Saturday, 25 February 2017

Week four reflection

This week has been one of being adventerous, getting outside the comfort zone. With the WALLE SPIN using LEGO EV3 robots this has been around trying out new ideas to get students working as a team, using iPads to do the programming side of things. This has been a little bit harder than I thought, will have to look at some ideas to get students working together towards to outcome development.

Went to a live recording of the Project tonight, a great experience that had laughter, serious notes and the odd strange part. When you are watching them set up for a interview with someone off screen and then they suddenly stop talking, you know that its pre recorded. It took the audience a little bit to get used to this. Some of the things happening in the background during the whip around the country were funny. Thought I would try this out, as I enjoyed being audience for sportscafe when it was running last time I was up here.

Getting the sticker for codeclub was also good this week. It doesn't seem that long ago when we were starting it in Christchurch, when 65 students signed up and two nights for a term went into developing such an awesome programme. Thats enough this week.

Best comment heard this week, "Did beavers build the Hoover Dam?"

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Week three reflection

When I realize that I should also be making some reflections on this week as I ask my students to.

​Where did you encounter struggle this week, and how did you deal with it? Dealing with timetable and issues that were happening beyond my control. Having Kamar and hapara syncing together and the issues with custom timetables caused me to kind of lose it this week. Good to know we have have great people at school that can fix this. I didn't deal with it too well. Also remembered that SPINS are no longer just on Thursday which i needed to get the robots charged and unpacked for.

What about your thinking, learning or work this week brought you the most satisfaction? Why? Getting into teaching, watching students work through the work and hearing the realization that something's do that 45 minutes to problem solve and figure out, the same length of time it took me to realize that what I was doing didn't have any database connection lines of code in it. As soon as I looked at the error logs it all made sense.

The reaction of students when the realized what they would be being in my WALLE module, the realization that they "get to learn with $300 kits of EV3 lego", that was a comment from a student. A tweet from a parent that night was "A heart to dissect and robots to play with makes for an amazing day at school apparently".

Also having a student that was sick email in and ask for help, she wanted to catch up with here work, was able to email here back with google classroom codes and the email came back that her anxiety levels had reduced. Also posted some of the work that she had missed in hub through.

It has also been great watching the new schools in Christchurch start, some great posts of the learning that they are going through.

I will probably post this through to my blog later on, but thought it would be nice for family to see what I get up to at work in Auckland.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Curriculum coverage

For the past year and a half I have been thinking about a solution to help us make sure that we deliver a balanced timetable for our students. Being the timetabler also helps to push that challenge.
At HPSS we want to develop the ideas of a Personalised LearnPath

Personalised LearnPath

The Learning Coach works with students to identify passions and link their interests and needs to their learning. Learners negotiate their LearnPath (personalised learning programme) with their Coach to ensure that what they are learning is relevant to them. The Coach supports and guides students to set and meet challenging learning goals.

We have a great system in place already to gather this information together when developing the module booklets, it is the next stage of the process. The part in hubs and selections for students that I want to develop. Looking at a students selections and trying to make sure that they have selected everything that you want, some of it is relied that it has been done correctly and the instructions followed by the student.

As timetablers we hope that this has been done correctly, checking 240 foundation students timetables takes a fair bit of trust. 
One of the teachers at the school developed a way to do this in Google sheets last year, but there is a fair bit of modification to get it going. I did wonder at the time whether I could get something similar working on the web, but I kept putting it on the back burner. 

paper checker
Ready for this year, I thought about what I had to do today and spotted some time, next thing I was in phpmyadmin developing a database to hold the requirements for our q2 programme, a quick copy of the structure and I had the q1 programme in as well. Next came entering all the codes of our modules, something simple to do with sql statements.

Then using my php template, I had all the students name listed. Now to develop a quick check programme against their selection and all the learning areas to see if the module name existed. Add a number to the counter, and display. 
Surprisingly I checked everything by running form the data exported from KAMAR and I had it working within an hour of starting.

Next I created the foundation years check and tested it from the data collected by one of my new hub students, eek, will have to go back over the requirements with this as it failed to meet the coverage.

Suddenly, this brought a new issue, why do we check at the end of the process, why not develop something that could check before the information is entered, to save any issues that may come up before they happen. A quick verification from some of the staff in the staffroom and away to develop the prototype. This will continue to develop as we go through the year that it will pull the information straight from the database, at the moment all dropdown boxes are entered manually. However it does check the selections against the database tables for learning area module names.

This is the start of the showing of what a student will have covered for a year. 
At present the student fills this in through a google sheet document. I would like them to see coverage throughout the year through a google chart API and webpage so that they can share this quickly and easily when doing reflections and check in's. How do we make learning visible?