Archive | July, 2011

Goal for Term 3:

14 Jul


This term I plan to focus on becoming more confident with teaching numeracy and ensure my lessons are taught with quality teaching. I have selected this area as my goal as I feel I don’t really enjoy the subject, mathematics, and this is one of my weakest areas, I tend to overlook it and rush my planning, and as a result it means my lessons are not as in-depth or focus on areas that the children in my numeracy group need to be pushed at, and I tend to allow the children to move slower through independent tasks, when I need to give them more time limits and push them to ensure they are moved up throughout the terms.

I plan to really focus on moving those children who are close to being at stage 5 (Jade and Connor, up to stage 5) and I want to ensure I use quality resources/ materials in my lessons to make sure children have a full understanding of strategies and how to apply them to problems they are given. It requires more time and commitment to me, which I hope will inspire me to enjoy the subject more and to teach it better.


What are you going to do with your

students? Why are you doing this?

A specific description here will

make planning the learning easier


I will know when I have reached my goal because I will feel more positive when it comes to teaching the subject, Numeracy, and be excited in the morning sessions with the children, because now I feel quite negative and try to rush it along. I will also see the children being challenged in their learning and understanding strategies better, and because I am working with children using materials and having a tighter amount of work to get through (limited number of questions on board) the children will be doing better quality learning and manage to challenge their learning and understanding more. I will also see children developing in confidence and pushing themselves through the stages e.g. Especially Jade and Connor (they are so close, but need to be pushed just a bit more to reach the next level). Jade is at stage 4 with 76% on stage 5- so close to reaching % (the passing level) and Connor is at stage 4 with 76% to reaching 80%.

I will use assessment tools to find out how the children have progressed throughout the term, using numeracy tests to show the stage the children are at, and the areas they need to work on. I will do these at the end of term 3 to see how well the children have progressed.

How will you know when you’ve

reached your goal?

Was the outcome a success?

What sort of assessment will you

put in place for yourself and your









I will first of all make sure I take more time when planning my mathematics for the weeks and read through the numeracy books activities, making sure I have the equipment and materials needed to ensure a great lesson. I will go and observe other experts in this area teaching lessons. I will pay attention to the questions they ask, materials they use, the ordering of their mathematics lesson etc to see what I can do in order to become successful at teaching numeracy. I will email my old assistant principal (who is a mathematics expert) and ask for his help, resources, advice, whatever I can get from him to improve my teaching.

I will also use a range of new activities/ games in mathematics to motivate my numeracy class. Changing and bringing new ideas into the classroom will ‘spark’ them to interest them.

What key steps will you take?










I will need more mathematics equipment (which is very easy to access in room J). I can easily get this, I just need to ensure I plan to get it and take the time when planning to ask around, to other teachers, to make sure things are in the school. I think this goal is very achievable as the children I am aiming to move up are so close to moving onto that stage anyway. They just need a tiny push to get them there, which I can do and want to do in order to be a good teacher.

I may need some help understanding how to teach some of the different strategies in a simple way, and I can ask Faye, Geoffrey and Dicey for help in these areas- as they have all had experience with numeracy over the years.

Don’t plan things that will be

difficult to achieve. Take into

account the age of your students,

the availability of equipment and

your skills.

What equipment and knowledge will

you need?

What will you need help with?






I plan to complete my goal throughout term 3 and want to have Jade and Connor onto the next level by the end of term 3 (if I can do it before hand I will be ecstatic). I will start to complete this goal, focusing on these target children and working with my numeracy class, at the start of term 3 and it will continue until the end of the year. I need to always become passionate about the subject mathematics. I will access and reflect on my data when I test the children at the end of the term, but I will reflect during my weekly reflections about my attitude and planning steps throughout the term. I will present my goal to myMentorteacher, Faye, at our next team meeting and I will share my success about children moving throughout levels when the children have achieved stage 5.


When will you have the planning

completed by?

When do you plan to start work on

this goal with your students?

What is your plan for ongoing work?

What is the completion date for


What date will you reflect and

assess the work?

When will you be presenting the

goal and the outcome to your



Week Eleven:

14 Jul

YAH! The final week is now over. This week nothing exciting has happened. It has been the normal routine, apart from in the afternoons we are finishing off things for example care code, kiwifruit art (which look GREAT), Winter warmers and our writing evaluations from our Mighty Machines Unit. It has been great to wind down the term by keeping busy and getting what needs to be done finished. Our team did out Term 3 planning overview so we know the areas we will now focus on for term 3 and we had Thursday morning to plan our next inquiry unit, which has a focus on the Rugby World Cup, which sounds so exciting with what we have planned for learning experiences. It will be a fun, but a challenging unit, and such a contrast from our term 2 units. I can’t wait to start planning and sorting out some resources to use over the next term during these holidays. We had our celebration on Friday, which was where the children could bring along a toy of their choice and have a shared lunch together. This was a celebration for the children to show them how proud I am of their learning for term two and how well they have worked over the past eleven weeks. It has been a long BUT productive term and I am glad it is time for a break; I am absolutely shattered and need rest. Time to relax…

Reflection of Term two’s PRT goal:

8 Jul


Reflection of Term two goal:


The goal I set for myself this term was to do with the way I teach inquiry over the term. This was the focus for the whole school, and our senior team, but I also wanted to ensure I did it as well as I could. The P/D course, from Kath Murdock, inspired me and made me want to use some of the resources she shared and the approach she described to use with the children. I wanted to use an inquiry journal with my children and work with them through it. I also wanted to use some of the different activities that covered thinking, justifying and evaluating learning with the children. I wanted to talk about work as “LEARNING” not as work! I wanted to let the children discover things for themselves and not for me to give them the answers and allow them to use a range of sources to discover the answers to their questions.

I believe I was able to achieve this goal strongly in some areas, but it also has made me aware of areas I need to improve on within my inquiry teaching.


 The things I did well this term in inquiry where:

– I filled in our inquiry journal as a class, every lesson’s Learning Outcome was written in and I was able to reflect on this, and now I can look back at our learning journal and see what lessons I can teach or improve (it now can be used as a teaching resource for future lessons on machines).

-I was able to go through the stages, laid out by our school inquiry system, successfully. It was obvious what stage the children and I were working on and we could see where we needed to go and what we were achieving.

-Actually making our machines and models was fun and challenged the children. They had to do this by themselves, and I was able to stand back and let the children figure out for them where things needed to go, who needed to do what. It was hard at first sitting back, but over time it was easy to ask them a question back and challenge their own thinking. They where then able to always come up with a solution to their problem. It was successful and I really enjoyed the mighty Machines Expo we did as a senior team, to celebrate all classes machines and displays.

-I gave children a week to reflect in their writing about all the stages we went through as a class for our mighty machines unit. It was good to see how much they had picked up and learnt throughout the term, and they changed their thinking a lot. They all reflected really well and showed the process they went through.


The areas I felt I didn’t do as well as I would have liked in inquiry was:

-I put a ‘Wonder Wall’ up in my classroom and hoped to use this as a constantly changing display where children changed their thoughts and put up discoveries they made throughout the term, but I have to admit I kind of lost focus on this, and didn’t come back to it as much as I would like. It kind of was a one off session, and not brought through, which is what I should have done, and how I had been taught and told, in my P.D sessions, how to carry it out.

-I tried to control my inquiry unit too much, for example when Sam in my class asked me if he could study about machines with motors, I said no, because I wanted our focus to be on simple machines, but I should have let him go and find out for himself, and released why we didn’t look at them in the class. It was not my decision to stop his learning and it was unfair of me- I realised this now after going to my P.D throughout the term and when I discussed with other teachers in my team.

-I also ran out of time and got a bit sidetracked and missed out on using Kath’s ideas within my classroom for inquiry tasks. Next term I would like to introduce these activities more into my classroom, allowing children to see how their thinking changed throughout the unit.

I really enjoyed teaching this inquiry unit, Mighty Machines, and I gained a lot of confidence in teaching using inquiry. I need to remember it is not just something taught from 2-3pm in the afternoon, but it is entwined in every subject we teach and it is a teaching style, not a subject!

I can’t wait to better my understanding and knowledge in this area.

Week Ten:

7 Jul

Week ten was back to some normality of having my maths, reading and writing programmes back up in running. It was quite nice having these back in place, as the children were a bit more settled and concentrated when working independently. What I did notice this week was that the children have been quite disruptive with their overall behaviour and they way they are interacting with one another is unsettled. I believe this has something to do with the end of the term approaching and the children are just exhausted from our Mighty Machines inquiry unit. I know I am feeling exhausted myself and I have little patience at the moment, and I am reacting quite negatively. I know it is know excuse and acting in this way is negative towards the children, but I am just finding it really hard to be positive. I know there is only one more week to go, which will be a fun, but normal week (I am choosing to keep the week normal- to allow the children to stay on task and focused) apart from our ‘fun’ last day of the term, which is called Room I Idol. This is a day where the children are able to perform, if they want, and use sing star in the classroom to sing out to us as a group and we will have a set of judges that will mark each act. We will also be having a shared lunch/ morning tea, where children can bring something along, if they like, to celebrate the terms learning. I will be making a cake for the children will the Room I Idol logo on it. I hope the children enjoy it, but first they have to earn it. Another positive that I have just found out is that I am now officially permanent as a teacher at Manchester Street School. It has been a great year so far, and I am really enjoying my time with the staff and children in the school. I am pleased to say I have a job for as long as I need and it feels great! I am so privileged to have it and can’t wait to see what else I can contribute to the school and my team! All I can say now is bring on the holidays! I need a break!

Week nine:

1 Jul

 This week was amazingly busy in the classroom. We started the week with a list on the whiteboard and the children had the middle section and end section of the day to work through it. Some groups worked so well independently and just got on with what needed to be completed. I was really proud of some of these children, but some others tended to muck around and needed a lot more direction. I learnt a lot about these kinds of projects, that they are HARD work, but they are also rewarding. I was really proud of my own work this week as I really focused on not doing the work for the children, and getting them to find solutions to their own problems. I really did use inquiry to teach, when the children asked me questions about how things could be fixed I usually replied with a question back to them, how do you think? Have you asked an expert? Can you ask another group? Etc. It was a really great step for me to sit back and watch the children push themselves and challenge their own thinking. I think throughout this term they have become a lot more in control of their own learning and are able to make better decisions because of how this unit was taught throughout the term, using inquiry style teaching. I was able to get release on Tuesday which allowed me to sort out my maths groups and move three children on and move two children down. It was great to see how well the children had progressed and that I now have a really focus area to use to teach my children the skills they need to move to the next stage of number knowledge. I was able to use this new information and assessment data to change around groups in the class to make the learning more effective for some children. On Thursday evening I went to the registration meeting in Palmerston North, set up by NZEI. I didn’t really get much out of it, as the main talker was Matt (my old Mentor teacher from last year). I know now what I have been doing with P/D, my goals, and reflections is what I need to be doing in order to register and it has allowed me to get so much more out of my development as a teacher. I now know I need to print these registration forms off and get them sorted for Rex and Faye to sign. I feel really exhausted after this entire week of working on our machines. It was all worth it in the end, as the expo was AMAZING! The kids had so much fun and got so much out of it. It has been a really effective inquiry unit and I have learnt a lot, and I know the kids have too. Glad the weekend is finally here!