Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Integration: A Different Lens

In our school currently, there is one Year 11 integrated Sport in Education class. The class was pioneered last year and continued this year. This year there is one PE teacher integrating a class with one Maths teacher. Sport in Education was designed as a pedagogical tool to increase engagement and learning, using sport as a platform. Recently I was grateful to attend the Auckland regional hui for the current schools implementing a Sport Ed model/class.

Throughout the day, facilitated by Celia Fleck, we heard synopses of the school programmes as well as the challenges they have faced throughout the process. I really enjoyed the day, as I could relate a lot of the discussion to our current PLGs as we develop our 2020 integrated units (see here for more info about my group). Some of the key points/things that stuck with me were;
  • When creating integrated units, consider how you can embed the school values within the unit, so can easily refer to the values.
  • If possible, have incentives for lower level/lower motivated students.
  • Look into the use of other assessments (i.e. achievement objectives or internals), that are outside of your curriculum area (such as sports psychology within Senior PE).
  • When assessing against the A.O.'s, ensure the rubric is the same for all students, and thus all teachers. Split the students and try have the teachers marking for all curriculum areas, and then moderate some together.
  • Know your why - what is the purpose of the unit?
  • Don't refer to the courses as the subject names, or the teachers as the PE teacher for example, because it continues to reinforce the silos.
  • It is important to have regular meetings and open communication with your co-teachers.
  • If the links aren't there, don't force them!
  • Have a skill versus content drive - what skills would you like the students to develop throughout this unit as opposed to what content would you like them to learn?
We had one discussion about trying new things; teaching methods, resources, activities, and how this can be nerve-racking - especially when few or no people have tried that thing before. But, it is important someone begins the movement to implement new things, to get momentum on that - just like the dancing guy below! I'm looking forward to being able to develop more of our 2020 unit, implement it next year and share our process with others, just like the school's did at the Sport Ed hui.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Student Results, Then Vs Now

As part of one of my inquiries (as blogged about previously here), I wanted to complete a comparison of academic results from 2018 to 2019. Even though these comparisons don't paint the whole picture of what is happening in the classroom, they are a great intro for me to use data to inform my practice. So far, students have completed 2 standards in 2 of my Senior classes; Year 11 PE and Year 12 Health, as below.

Last year was the first time I taught the performance improvement programme unit and standard 1.6. There is a lot of jargon, and the internal is ongoing over a period of time, so it really took me a while to get my head around the purpose of the unit and what I was actually looking for, for the standard. We also taught this unit at the beginning of my first ever term at Orewa, while I was finding my feet! Therefore, I went into the unit this year with much greater understanding than last year. This is evident in the considerable increase in students passing this year. In addition, I had a much smaller class (8 less students), so I was able to provide students with more 1 on 1 time and individualised feedback than last year. I believe this is why there were more students who passed above an Achieved, 4 of which achieved an Excellence. If I was to teach this unit again next year, I would have checkpoints for students (like in Year 12 Health), where I would provide feedback and feedforward, which may further support the students who weren't quite yet an Achieved (many of these students simply lacked depth or mixed up sections).

This was the first year Orewa included a Self Management unit (assessed by standard 1.9), hence no data from last year to compare to. Overall, the students were consistently engaged during this unit. Their participation within all activities was astounding. Although majority of students passed the internal, not all of them, I feel all students learnt a lot about what self management actually is and strategies they can employ to increase their self management. To increase results further, an optional lunchtime tutorial in addition to class time around the critical thinking questions (i.e. the Excellence level questions), may be of benefit for students to deepen their writing for a higher grade.

Unfortunately, as evident below, there was a large decrease in students passing the 2.2 resilience unit. This is not a reflection of their learning and engagement, but entirely teacher error. This year I am in charge of Level 2 Health, therefore complete all the paperwork and prep behind the scenes. As we were marking the internals, I realised that we (the other teacher and I), had not made clear one section of the assessment, one section that essentially determined whether or not the student would pass. After looking into this further, this section appeared to have been taught and assessed incorrectly in previous years too. So - the below cannot actually be compared, as the results from last year are likely to be inaccurate. This really highlighted the importance of double checking and triple checking every single time something is taught - not simply rinse and repeat!

Feedback from my 2018 students about the 2.3 Health Promotion unit last year, was that they felt like they didn't have anything to work towards, no end goal. So after the completion of their projects I added in an exhibition - students made a display and set up during a lunchtime a stand to further spread awareness about their health issue. I feel that although this exhibition needs greater advertising next year, it helped students to have the end goal which was missing previously. As a result, more students were engaged throughout the 9 weeks, and more students had critical discussions to an Excellence level. Contacting home throughout the process, and having checkpoints for students also resulted in  a greater number of assessment hand ins than last year (albeit similar results). I think this was a good step forward.

Overall, even though the classes are completely different across each year, I found it useful to look at these results. I have been able to identify possible strategies to increase student grades next year, and distinguish any possible patterns. I will complete another comparison like this, later in the year (and will reflect on my other inquiry shortly too).