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Halfway through the year!

Will culturally responsive practises improve writing motivation and in turn increase achievement in standardised writing testing


The students writing test takes place next term and the kids will not have access to their iPads. My inquiry states 'Increase achievement in standardised writing testing.'  This leaves me questioning what to do and how to do it effectively. I am having to slowly eliminate the iPad throughout the term while still hopefully getting the students to write what they were previously capable of without the iPad.
After discussing this with teachers in my Inquiry Group and teachers around the school, I received a number of great ideas to slowly take away these scaffolds such as: - Talk talk talk - Gift some words to the students with the removal of the iPad - Memory games!

Talk talk talk...
I have actively used this tool throughout the year during writing but I plan to try and extend on this, allowing students to generate it and hopefully myself standing back. I wil…

How am I getting on?

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A hugely rewarding aspect of my inquiry would have to be students choosing to complete a piece of writing during 'Free Choice.'  These students were incapable of writing a simple sentence at the beginning of the year and dreaded 'writing time'. Once I praised a boy on an excellent choice of activity, I asked him why he decided to pick writing, with his response 'Because I'm getting good at it.' He has grown in confidence and become intrinsically motivated to strive to succeed. Below he is represented as #3 of the progression images.

#1 in the images is a student who struggles to speak a sentence correctly. At the beginning of the year, she would sit at the back of the class and rarely share her ideas with a peer. As my inquiry has a heavy focus on culturally responsive practices, before the students head away to write we have a discussion on the mat in small groups, followed by expanding this where the floor is open for anyone to share their ideas. This alw…

Inquiry Update Term 1 Week 9

Will culturally responsive practises improve writing motivation and in turn increase achievement in standardised writing testing?

As I reflect on the last month, I am beginning to see changes with my students ability to write simple sentences.

I am creating follow up activities on the iPad around alphabet sounds to support the students who are currently solidating this. Some days they do not write and do this as their writing task instead. These students are struggling to record 1 clear simple sentence on their iPad and the sentence is usually far too challenging when they have recorded it themselves. We have been working on writing 'I like to ___ ' & 'I went to the ____' where the students know they can find these words on their helper cards around the room, identify the correct word and write it. I plan to start recording the sentence for them to copy and hopefully build words into their vocabulary throughout the year.

My students who are identified as below (major…

Inquiry 2019

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Manaiakalani COL Achievement: Raise Māori student achievement through the development of cultural visibility and responsive practices across the pathway as measured against National Standards and agreed targets for reading Years 1-10 and NCEA years 11-13
Inquiry question:


Will culturally responsive practises improve writing motivation and in turn increase achievement in standardised writing testing

This year I have decided to base my inquiry around writing. As I collated the 2018 data and reflected on the learners lack of motivation throughout the year in 2018, I decided to focus my inquiry around writing. Within the first 4 weeks of the school term, I have identified 10 learners who specify themselves as cook island/maori (4) or maori (6).  Reflecting on last year, I found a pattern within the attitude towards writing and my learners, beginning to plateau and show little interest of completing their writing. I have identified these 10 learners to focus on this year with 8 of these learne…

Wrapping up my first year of teaching!

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My inquiry focus for this year is:
Will visible/feeding vocabulary with directed discussion increase kids language acquisition and participation within class discussions and be seen in their mathematical language?
This integrates with the Manaiakalani CoL achievement challenge #6 which is:
'Lift the achievement in maths for all students years 1-13.'


This has been a super busy term so I set out with small achievements. I decided to work closely with my Priority Learners - these are my learners who struggle to stay focussed and share their ideas in mathematics and are below standard. I worked on getting these students included and participating, speaking up about others ideas and being the scribe of the group. This was hugely beneficial and these students felt a sense of ownership to participate.

I plan on continuing what I am currently doing next year but identifying these learners earlier, hoping it will impact these learners to make a shift in their learning and language acquisiti…

Speaking at the University of Waikato

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During the school holidays, last week my brother (Zac Moran) and I were invited to go and speak in a lecture of studying teachers on their final year about 'Teacher Life' and Literacy in the Classroom at the University of Waikato. This was a huge privilege to speak to studying teachers about how awesome this profession is, while also sharing a few 'Tips & Tricks.' Thank you to Marianne Robertson and the University of Waikato for this great experience and taking me outside of my comfort zone! 

Inquiry: Are they making the expected shift?

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What value have I added to my children so far?
Looking at the data I collated at the beginning of the year to where my class is now is very rewarding based on the confidence my students have gained to share their ideas and talk in mathematics. 
My students have gained confidence to share their ideas in mathematics and speak up when they don't understand. When I say it's time for maths, you hear an outpour of 'YAY' filling the classroom which is a huge change! Students are able to understand a range of mathematical language and are beginning to notice these words when appearing across all curriculum areas, eg diagonal and recognizing this, understanding the meaning. Students can confidently attempt to answer word problems as they understand the language and can then decide the best strategy to implement!
I am still working on getting the students to use this vocabulary themselves, rather than just hearing it from myself which is a work in progress and a goal for term 4. So…