Wednesday, 29 April 2015


One thing that I have seem to have embraced at HPSS is the mytime option.

When I was introduced to this last year, I thought about all the things that could do with a one hour slot a week that could constantly change. This year, the slot is set for a term. This allows for new ideas, and also to develop new learning. It is interesting that some of the feedback I had from students was that they wanted the same mytime to happen again this term. It seems that they are excited about the new opportunities to work towards their goals (set in conjunction with their learning hub coach) and to work on their hobsonville habits.

For me its also about developing an expose to things that you may not have had to opportunity to do before, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to try new things.  I think I have taken this on as my challenge.

Term One saw me developing a weekly challenge around the point developing students observation skills, through orienteering. Called finding your way. Map reading, puzzle finding and having to make your way around 4km of construction, roads, fields, people and ever changing routes was a challenge for students. This was enjoyable as I got to know more areas of the point, and learn a bit more about what is going on as a whole It is a pity that I was never able to develop this to a next level as part of the point that I wanted to use is out of action while they remove asbestos from some of the old buildings. The other mytime was around guided learning.
Finding your way
This term, I had done some investigation, I explored the FabLab in Christchurch. At one of the open days they had students working on Hama Beads developing art. To me, it looked like the 8bit pixel art of the old days, and the students were engaged, developing an idea, purposeful, creative, reflective and resilient.

Developing a design

Over the holidays some tweeting was required to get some more details, where was the best place to get hama beads, how many would be needed over ten weeks, with 28 students. So 100,000 beads have been purchased, baking paper, an iron and some containers to keep special colours separate. Watching the students faces yesterday as I opened the box, started putting together my first creation, working our what I needed to do, what other equipment I needed, going to have to get some more trays to put beads in for students to be resourceful. The other part is, once students have developed one design, normally off the internet, they need to develop their own.
Getting your pixel on

The other part of "get your pixel on" mytime is that they have to share their work, something that I need to make more explicit next week. Also, I need to make sure that I have everything packed up and tidied up before the class ends. This is something I have to work on.

The second mytime come out of the "Finding your way" mytime. Currently it is a 5km run, an active recreation module, though I am not too sure if we are still calling them that? It is one that is electronically timed using some gear that I put together, and is in the previous blog post. One thing that was pointed out to me today that this is great for our students who need to work on some fitness as part of their sports team. The coaches would love to work on skills and technique as part of their weekly training, not really wanting to use it for fitness training, though when you drop the ball, you are still going to have to do ten push ups. This is something that I am getting into as well, though I am working up to it. I have the bike at school and I ride it, just to make sure the students are ok, and normally mens that I have to do it twice just to catch up with the tail end.
The top of the bridge, 2.5km turnaround point
I like the last part of the video, "over time, as you can make good decisions around your learning, you will earn a passport that will allow you more and more freedom around your choices."

How does your school develop freedom around students choices in their learning?

1 comment:

Maurie Abraham said...

Love this post, Gerard. You're continually reflecting, asking questions of yourself and sharing your journey as well as highlighting what such a neat school we are!