Monthly Archives: September 2013

Exhilaration, Exhaustion and more handstands.

It’s Friday on the last day of Term. Can’t believe this time has gone and been so quickly. About to set off to see my niece for her birthday (Happy Birthday Chloe Main) but i just doesn’t feel quite right. I decided it was necessary to jot down a few thoughts to sign off the Term. And what a Term it has been!

Only singular words can describe it adequately (or my brains just too strained to cope with stringing sentences together):

AMAZING, CHALLENGING, INSPIRING, LUCKY, HARD, MOTIVATING, EXCITING, WICKED, RELATIONSHIPS, FAMILY, CHANGE, MOVEMENT, SHIFTS, PEOPLE, LEARNERS, LEADERSHIP, FUN, OPPORTUNITIES, CHARACTER, HILARITY, PERSONALISED, WILLING, EMPOWERING…..plus all of the HOBSONVILLE HABITS

How lucky I have been this term to work with such an amazing and inspiring group of people. Bring on Term Four and adding more to that bunch. Whoop Whoop!!

Unfortunately I will not be spending my holidays visiting different continents, countries or islands (jealous much?), however, I’m looking forward to spending this holidays reviewing my weekly blogs over the last 9 weeks. Pretty stoked to say that I managed to achieve my goal of 9 blogs by the holidays! I stuck to it, and wish I had done it more!

Also on the holiday to do list –  read Megan’s GIANT book on the history of the world. Finally finish the first book I started. Begin creating my renovation ‘vision boards. Start practicing the splits. Learn to headstand. And finally continue to sharpen my skills as a Mexican food master!! 

Peace 🙂 

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Steaming Ahead, ERO and How We Roll!!

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It’s been a pretty spectacular last week since we broke through our jumbled mess to find some more clarity! At the time, man I was excited, but couldn’t predict how much more would come from that development of our Dispositional Curriculum.

We had thought long and hard about why we value Learning Hubs and why they were so crucial in delivering (or co-constructing) a truly personalised learning experience. We got that down. The principles behind a Learning Hub and what needed to be developed or worked on in this time was also clear. So since the Dispositional Curriculum Model was developed things have really started to take shape.  Like Thomas…we began to steam ahead!! Choo Choo. 

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Out of this we saw the development of our Habit statements (e.g. Resilience – I don’t give up when times are tough), this was choice. Taking it back to these simple core statements is where we felt we really nailed it on the head. At first we were trying to come up with several I statements to cater for every learner under every Habit. This was unnecessary. Resilience is going to look different for every learner and within this Habit they may have both strengths and weaknesses. In order for it to be truly adaptable and personalised all that was needed was one core essence statement. I like these. A lot. 

We also saw our definitions for the four Learning Quadrants begin to take shape. I argued, and argued, that much like the Habits, only one simple statement was needed to describe each of the quadrants; Strategic, Innovative, Relational, Meta-cognitive. I want it to be simple, usable and workable for all LEARNERS. I was wrong (not about the simplicity & usability but the need for one statement) and after some convincing withdrew my initial argument. The others were right. These quadrants each cover so many things, it would be impossible to narrow it down. It is also important that the coaches and learners have a good understanding of what it means to be Strategic for example in different ways. Therefore, a more thorough explanation was needed. What we have come up with so far is pretty good. Still most definitely a work in progress to be added to and critiqued by the next cohort as well as all the learners that come join us at HPSS. 

Arguably most exciting is the fact our Learner Profile dynamic document is beginning to evolve! In theory rather than electronically at this stage but that’s where Claire comes in. This document is going to the basis for our conferencing, goal setting, co-constructing and so much more! What a great basis to develop learner Habits and for the development of Personal and Academic Excellence. Super exciting. 

The visit by ERO was awesome. I like ERO, not just because we had scones and lunch but because they have an important job. I liked the way Maurie (see his explanation) prepped us for it. Just told us they were coming. That was nice, a real point of difference. Often the onset of ERO brings a sense of panic and false creation of ‘what we do’. At HPSS that’s not how we roll. Maurie spoke to us about this, at the end of the day we’re on track and the learner is at the centre of everything! That’s going to be good learning surely. The feedback, awesome. I was quite taken back. It was great to hear that the cohesive vision that we feel we have exists, and that we could explain our concepts, processes and practices well. That they could be understood and seen as workable. The ladies were great and it was also interesting to be involved in the process, including hearing the feedback. It was choice.

So we find ourselves making lists (on white boards usually) to ensure we are ready for the new roopu coming in next term. Really looking forward to them getting on board the waka! Kind of feel like they are already, virtually and in spirit at least. It’s been great helping plan the PD for them. Thinking about which experiences were important for us, how we take them through the last 9 weeks… without the time. Most importantly, how we provide the support for them and structures whilst allowing them to add their stamp to the mix. Wicked. 

So it’s Wednesday, and my brain is tired, but my heart and soul invigorated. How cheesy but true. 

Steaming off like Thomas!!

End of term? What end of term 🙂 

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Dispositional Curriculum, Handstands and Break throughs….

Wow…where to start on the last week? As mentioned in my last blog, getting together as ‘Learning Team Leaders’ has been awesome. Lea, Megan, Sally and myself have been nutting out what we feel Learning Hub’s, Learning Path’s, Learning Plan’s and Learning Journey’s are and what they will look like. This has  been complex. Weaving through the different models, important values and many ICT tools that will help us with the implementation of a powerful, effective, personalised learning programme for all of our learners.

We have been so impressed with the groundbreaking work the SLL’s are doing with the creation of the Hobsonville Point Learning Model (see Steves Blog). Share and Hear time over the last couple of weeks has been both interesting and invigorating. Watching and hearing the Modules of Learning take shape gets more exciting by the day. These guys are really making some big moves and establishing some great foundations for our learning to come from.

So where did this leave us? Full of ideas, knowing how we wanted it to look and work, but still a little confused of where to start! So many facets, so many tools, so many structures that need to be put in place to support the flexibility. This ‘supported flexibility’ so crucial in developing truly personalised and powerful learning. Again, insert weight on shoulders. Thursday saw us work on some clarity. Confirming the purpose of; Learn Path’s – The term given to what a learners day/week/term may look like; Learning Journey’s – The learners record and reflection of their learning, using tools such as My Portfolio; The Learner Profile – The heart of the hub – the model that identifies what we value in learning and learners, allows for personalisation and underlies everything.

So after this, we again started looking at specifics and again got tied up in the finer details. Add more weight to shoulders.  It took us stepping back for a bit friday morning to visit the heart of it all before, with the perfect timing and help of Maurie we really made a  breakthrough. It began to click…all of our different experiences, perspectives and ideas came together and the model evolved…

 

Friday was our day, 13th September, 11.10am. 

So what is the heart? The Learner Profile. This is where it all comes together. Where the habits take centre stage, where personal and academic excellence are pursued. The profile will clearly establish what we value, will kick-start conversations, provide opportunities for sharing and be the foundation of the co-construction of each learners individual Learn Path. Choice.

The pictures provide a better representation of what we established. We realised that we were being heavily influenced (and rightly so) by the Hermann’s Brain Model, Julia’s Circle’s and Hobsonville Primary Learner Profile. But what we needed to do was  to pull it all together and make it Hobby. Making it ours and making it in a way that will work best for our learners. Whoever they will be. The white boards got a smashing. Love it. 

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So what did we discover about the profile? 

  • The habits cannot be divided into the 4 important thinking areas of strategic, innovative, relational and metacognitive they look different in every area and so sit at the centre of everything. Being resilient in relationships is very different to being resilient when innovating or creating. 
  • The model needs to provide explanation and examples – we need to empower our learners, whanau and communities with the language to explore their learning.
  • Continuums are important as they allow for support and rigour. Making sure there is never a time to ‘stop’ working on something or improving. 
  • Evidence is equally important. It’s easy to say, but you also need to prove that you do. (That means all of us!).
  • Most importantly it provides the structure, support, flexibility and rigour we have been looking for. Students can and will make it their own. 

Only this picture can describe how I felt after we made this breakthrough. What a feeling!!! I am glad Maurie was there to emphasise the important step we had made. I am amped for us to present this to the rest of the team and for it to be pushed, tested and nutted out further. 

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So…weight is still on shoulders. However, I feel we have made one of the toughest steps. Establishing the beginnings of the Learning Hubs. Creating the first model (I’m sure there will be many adjustments) of the tool/model that will sit at the centre of our Learner Journey’s. 

Bring on this week. Loving the direction. Wicked team. Good work guys 🙂 

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Passion Projects…Why? How? Framework.

Moving into our areas of speciality has been a choice part of the last week. So much going on in my head and out so have found it difficult to blog. Where to start? 

The last five weeks really drilled into me how crucial  advisories/hubs are for maintaining personalised powerful learning. They are going to be a significant element of our school curriculum design.

However, the weight has hit my shoulders. Being a Learning Team Leader is exciting, I love the focus on learning and dispositions, the power of relationships and the possibilities they provide…But, we’ve got to get the framework and support right. The pressure!!

I did get into my zone, when exploring passion projects. The picture journey is below however I did come to a few key conclusions….

  • Passions will be discovered through relationships, engagement, exposure and opportunities
  • Project planning must come about – when the time is right – Don’t push it. It will lose it’s authenticity. However, support will be essential in setting a path for discovery. 
  • Once established continued support will be provided through structure, helping build connections, giving time for reflection, sharing, critiquing and collaboration. All whilst the maintaing the learners autonomy over the project. 
  • Exhibitions of learning, planning sessions and conferences will present the opportunity for learning to develop and for the learner, their peers, support group, whanau to reflect on the development of their dispositions or habits. 
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