Friday, July 3, 2015

Connected Curriculum and Innovative Practice - TOD with Di Cavallo

This was our third 'mini conference' TOD and it was great to have Di Cavallo from HPSS as our keynote speaker, sharing their journey and their work around learning  design. It was a thought provoking and entertaining sharing of ideas. 

Di started with what underpins us as teachers - Moral purpose - and reminded us of the ideas of C Beeby (1939)  that 'every person regardless of background or ability had a right to an education of a type for which they were best suited'
Parents send us 'their best' and we have to do 'our best' with them and for them. 

Technology has changed - the way the  classroom operates in many cases have not. We should be asking ourselves the question  - What do children need today?

Connect the dots obviously the language of HPSS cannot be directly transplanted to here at RHS, but the ideas  Di presented resonated with many of us- 

- we think kids are 'au fait' with all things 'tech' but they are in face naive pa out many things. 
- however things such as augmented  reality is here now - just like we expected the tape deck back in the 1989s, what do they expect today?

HPSS - learning centres around some key words and ideas -.
Define discover and dream
How could we empower our learners for their future ?
A new model not just what we've always done!

Loved this phrase - the most expensive words in education - 'we've always done it this way!!' 
The Big Projects were of interest to those of us who are looking to connect curriculum areas for authentic and engaging learning. At HPSS Big Projects have to be 'bigger than ourselves'
Di shared a film made by 3 Yr 9'students based around a local concern - the endangered plant - epilobium.  You can view the piece here -

The kids worlds have become on demand - TV  will be on demand - what and when they want to view it.  We need to hook into - 'Just in time as opposed to just in case' learning.m

This statement was for some,  is a hard pill to swallow - the fact that we've built empires - called curriculum areas!  One of the reasons that change is easier for primary teachers is that they have never had the silos!! 

Personalised learning - HPSS staff are committed to truly  personalised, student centred learning - focussed  student voice and student choice. 

Other key ideas include making use of Powerful partnerships. Connected learning and connecting the curriculum are key. Everyone has an understanding of what everyone's curriculum looks like. 
Connecting curriculum - what is the intent of the curriculum ? What are the common threads, language and concepts across the 8 areas.  Teachers have to look  outside of their bubble. 

Highlighting Deep challenge and inquiry in order to create  Critical thinkers and inquiring minds underpins planning. The language and hierarchy of verbs goes is central to lesson and unit planning. 

Timetable focus at HPSS - an iterative timetable it seems! 
Learning Hub / Coach - 4hrs a week - home group 
Need to change the pastoral model 
My Time - a continuum depending on self management skills - might be directed to literacy and numeracy - or totally self directed 
Learning Projects - real life deadlines and real clients 
Learning Modules - what we could call subject time

Students expected to be like staff and check in before the start of the day - before Learning Hub time - self management an expectation.  Students sharing their learning story is also a given. 

Collaborative planning and co teaching - different types of co teaching.

How do we make learning explicit and relevant to the kids. 

How hard is it for kids to make the connections?

The plate of broccoli analogy. The broccoli is the stuff we have to have. The chocolate dresses it up as a plate of broccoli is not that great by itself. 

Enjoy the nutrition in the lesson not just the way it's been dressed up?
What skill or conceptual understanding has been developed ?

Be a learning designer - we design learning every day - what experiences do you want kids to have ? 

Replace - strands with contexts  - in order to get the threshold concepts
All teachers have been challenged to look at all other areas and see what is the key thing in each area.
Huge overlaps.

At HPSS there are 8 - for the foundation years of 9 and 10.

Be agile - key to planning 
Deliver the learning design - in x curricular groups - who has what concepts that will fit?

The value of transferable tool - such as paragraph writing - consistency of tools across the school. 

Language is power - look at the essence of your learning area. 
Common language across the school. 
Natural collation of words - from the NZC - learning verbs the keywords - ordered in hierarchy of words - these frame learning objectives of the unit and the lesson.

Enhance natural connections -
How can Maths fit with Art? 
Where do we go to in Yr 13??
Help the students make links across the learning areas. 

Allow bizarre connections  to flow.

And through all of this we saw NOT ONE PHOTO OF A BUILDING 
BECAUSE -The most important open space is your mind!  

Leading by design
What is really important in our Faculty or team? 
What are the values? How do we live them everyday? 

Shared vision
Secured accountability
Self review
Process for embedding vision in learning practice 

So many ideas, so little time. Hard to believe this all came from an hour.......

Other workshops were presented by RHS staff and facilitators from Te Toi Tupu. I attended two different ones. Kerry Sullivan's session on Zaption was well received, as was the Flipped classroom sessions facilitated by Sarah and Jess from Te Toi Tupu. 
One of the key messages around flipped classrooms was to consider 
 - What content can be recorded for students to see again? 
 - And that a bad lesson, will not become a better lesson just by putting it on a video! 

Tired team at the end of the day - I hope Di had  a voice left for the weekend !!

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