Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Reading Activity Planning for Jump Start

As part of my inquiry into literacy and vocabulary in Design and Visual Communication, I am putting together activities for my Jump Start students in term 4.
The standard that they will be doing involves making a poster about an architect's work and this will involve them reading, understanding and extracting useful information from a variety of websites and sources about their chosen architect. There are 4 literacy credits on offer for this standard too, so it is well worth doing as thoroughly as possible.

I have taken some information from the internet for them for this first try at this so we can focus in on a small part of the information that is out there.
The original source for this information is linked at the bottom of the document.

I have had some success with a similar style with my Year 10 group recently, so I thought that I would adapt this approach to see if it would help my students understand the written information about their architect's work any better. Blog post here.

Link to the activity here

I want them to mainly READ the information about the Chrysler Building. They then have to pull out some identified pieces of information and colour code them in reference to SOLO levels of unistructural, multistructural and relational. This will mean they have to read through the information a few times to find the bits that they need to highlight. This reading is key to their understanding of the work they are looking at as the students are really good at collecting information but not really knowing what it is about as they have not read it.

They are then going to collect the words that they don't understand and put them together with the rest of the class in an Answer Garden. They can then see all the words that everyone is having problems with. I am planning an activity after this one to work on understanding this collection of words together as a class.

Everyone's documents will also be shared in the class Google Plus Community so they will all be able to see each others' work and see parts they have missed.

This exercise will be filmed for Manaiakalani Class OnAir,  so I will be analysing how this went in term 4

After sharing this document this some colleagues in the English Department, the suggestion was made to put an example for each one in place for the students to see, so I have included that in the template.

Later on in the same project, they are required to analyse what they have found and pull out key features to rewrite in their own words. They can't do this if they have no understanding of the information they have been collecting together. This exercise is the first of quite a few steps I am planning to get them to have a few strategies that they can use.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir Lesson 14 - Design Portfolios

See the whole Class OnAir team here

Direct Instruction

The students are gathered round the front of the class room very briefly for instruction. They are to use the site template that they started at the beginning of the year to put all of their project work on.
Work that is online needs to be put into their subject folder and this whole folder made public. This will ensure everything embedded on their site from this folder will be able to be viewed by anyone.
The students are to ensure that their sketch book work has been scanned and uploaded to the class communities so that it is available to be included on their sites.
Anyone who does not have a portfolio site is to sort out time with the teacher in order for that to be sorted out as soon as possible.

This is the whole class chat about using the Google Sites that they made at the start of the year using a template supplied by the teacher.

This is the direct instruction to one Year 11 student who has not set up their Google Site yet.

This shows some of the students working on their portfolio sites and a couple of them talking about putting the site together.

Lesson Topic :- Portfolio Sites
Year Group :-  Year 11, 12 and 13
Learning Outcome
The students will have presented all of their up to date project work on their portfolio site (Google Site)

Success Criteria
Using SOLO

Extended abstract
Students will have identified all of their online work and will have filed it in the appropriate folder in their drive.
Students will have scanned their sketchbooks and will combine these scans with their online work in their folder.
Students will embed their online documents and their scanned designed work onto their Google Site in an order that makes sense so that the project flows and each part relates to the next in sequence.
Students will use their Google Site to present all of their project work together to create an online portfolio.
They will use presentation skills to create an online portfolio that shows them and their work in a good light.

Links with the New Zealand Curriculum
Level 1,2 and 3
The students put all of their project work over the year into a portfolio.
This used to be all on paper and posted to Wellington in November. It is now a combination of a portfolio site in the form of a Google Site and their sketch books with their original drawings in. The Google site has all of the online documents that the students have completed for their research. It also has scans and photographs of
The link to the online portfolio and their sketchbook are sent away together and the external components of the projects are marked.
  • Thinking - making sure they have everything sorted out ready to include on the site. Use the class site as a guide to know what they need to have.
  • Using language, symbols, and texts - visually presenting their work in the correct order on a Google Site.
  • Managing self - using the RISE values when doing this work on their own and staying on task.
  • Participating and contributing - helping others when stuck with how to put content on their site and with what understanding what work needs to go where.
  • Relating to others - responding to the ideas and help from others in a positive way.

Prior knowledge
Most of the students made their Google Site at the start of the year by using the template supplied by the teacher.
They have completed most of their project work ready to go onto the sites.
They have used Google Sites before and are aware of how to embed things onto the pages.
Lesson Sequence

Session Outline
The students will mostly be working at their own pace, online. They will be finding all of their work in their drive and adding it to their Google Site as an online portfolio.
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • The students will sit round the front table and listen together to the teacher outlining what to do and reminding them of what to put on their Google Site.
  • Remind students that we made Google Sites at the start of the year by using the supplied template made by the teacher.
  • Go over what needs to go where, what the headings and tables of contents on the pages mean and what they should be embedding.
  • Point out where online help is in the form of the portfolio help page on the class site - this is for when they forget how to embed items etc…
  • Scanning of drawn work in sketchbooks where needed.
  • Individual help and support where needed.
  • Help with students who don’t have a Google site yet.
  • Find all of their online work and make sure it is in the appropriate folder on their Google Drive.
  • Get their scanned work from the Google Plus Community.
  • Present all of their project work on their Google Site.
  • The students need to make the folder they have put their work into is public so that everything in it is public and able to be viewed by anyone viewing them on their site.
  • Make sure the Google Site is public.
  • Share the site on the class Google Plus Community

Google site templates
Google Plus Communities Level 1, Level 2, Level 3
Next Steps
The students need to continue to add work to their portfolio site as they finish it to keep the sites up to date.
Reflection and Analysis

What went well.

Having the students find all of their online project work and make sure it is in their class folder was a good way of refreshing their memories on what they have completed over the project time.
They then had to make this folder public. This was very useful as it stops them having to remember to make each individual document public so that they are viewable when embedded on their sites.
Reminding the students at the start of this activity what to do was useful as although they all know how to “do” sites, it has been a while since we were last on them and it is not something they are doing every day, so they forget.

What still needs work.

There were students who started a little late into the year so had not made the portfolio site at the start of the year like the rest of the group. I had to sit with these students individually to go through what to do and how to do it.  It would have been better if
I had sat with them when they first joined the class, so they were ready to go with the sites when the work was done and ready.
I need to get the students to keep their sites up to date as they complete elements of work within the projects. This will then stop the need to do this in a big session at the end of projects. This is important as if the students do not come to class as often towards the end of term 3 and start of term 4 due to a variety of reasons, then their sites are up to date and ready to be sent away in November for external marking.

Student Work

Autymn - Level 1
Max - Level 2
Alex - Level 2

Class Google Plus Communities

Monday, September 25, 2017

Vocabulary Activity Planning for Jump Start

When our senior students leave next term, our Year 10 students start their new NCEA Level 1 courses. They get and early "Jump Start" for next year.
The first project that my NCEA Level 1 students do is AS91069 - Promote an organised body of design work to an audience using visual communication techniques. I have them do this by looking at the work of a selection of architects and then design a poster to promote that work, with the layout of the poster being in the style of the architect.
I have planned a basic overview of the course using the schools Unit Plan template. What I want to add into this now are activities based around literacy and vocabulary. I have written a blog post here about why my inquiry has made a move into the area of literacy. Part of my thinking and planning for literacy has involved me visiting the class of +Robyn Anderson , which I have written about here. I have used a number of ideas taken from this visit with my planning.

I will get the students to work in pairs - this will be the start of my using small group work to support their confidence. They will get a film poster and a set of 10 words. (in the yellow diagram above). I will not be giving them the meanings of the words and I want them to discuss between them in their pairs where they will stick the words on the poster (just by using blue tack).
I will then use a list created on to let the students research what the words mean. They will then get a chance to move the words around on the poster if they decide they need to after reading the meanings.
Green laminated cards will be available for the students to write meanings in their own words to go with the words.

I have purposefully made the initial words cards yellow and the meaning cards green to link to the colours on the SOLO Taxonomy posters in the class room.
Yellow for Unistructural / Labels.
Green for Multistructural / Describe.

All of the work that the students do for this activity will be put up on the class room walls for them to refer to afterwards so they can easily remind themselves of the first 10 words we have used to describe parts of a design.
I intend to keep adding vocabulary words to the wall as we use them to build a growing bank that they can refer to easily.

I intend to film this activity as part of my Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir work next term, so will be blogging about how it goes then.

I have put all of the resources for this activity in a folder on Google Drive. Link here.

Friday, September 22, 2017

SOLO Poster in Te Reo Māori

In all of our classrooms at Tāmaki College, there is this SOLO poster that I put together a while ago and printed lots of copies for everyone. Blog post here.

After a trip to schools in the South island last week, +Robyn Anderson gave me the words for Prestructural, Unistructural, Multistructural, Relational and Expended Abstract in Te Reo Māori today.
I thought it would be a good idea to completely redo this poster, so I needed more help with all the other words and phrases. With the help of Brent Dunn in the Tamaki College Te Reo Māori Department, I have redesigned the poster.
I have shared this with all the staff at school so they can use it if they want to, or maybe order one to be printed really big on the large format printer so they can display it in the classroom with the English / original version.

If you would like a copy of this poster without our school logo, then here it is ...

Friday, September 15, 2017

First go at making a HyperDoc ...

I have recently been reading The HyperDoc Handbook.
The main thing that caught my notice while reading this was :-

"We want our students to be creative, collaborative, critical thinkers and communicators —and then we ask them to sit quietly while we explain everything and tell them exactly how to do a task." from "The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps" by Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, Sarah Landis

This stuck with me as I am trying to build a course that supports a multi level / year group situation in my classroom. I want them to be able to know what to do and get on with it with constant teacher input.

I thought I would have my first attempt at making a hyperdoc with my Year 10 class.
I have decided to use Google Drawing to make it ( as it is my favourite Google App!!) and make quite big, chunky task "buttons" for the students to click on. I have kept it simple, to 3 tasks that can be completed in a lesson for our first try.
I will try this out on them next week when I see them and get some feedback from them about what they thought.
I am hoping to get the hang of this so I can use it for the Jump Start students in term 4.

Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir Lesson 13 - Design Analysis of own Design Work

See the whole Class OnAir team here

Direct Instruction

The students are round the front table very briefly so they can be reminded as a group about what we have covered in the design analysis exercises and they can see the relevance to the analysis that they need to do to their own designs now.
Stress is given to the main elements that are important in their analysis, especially the WHY of the design decisions that they have been making.
The students then get on with their individual work where one to one help and support is given where needed.

Here is the direct instruction given to the whole class where we remind ourselves of the work we have covered in the design analysis exercises and stress the important elements that need to be included in the design analysis of their own work.

This is some clips of various lessons where I am working one to one with the students on their individual design work.

Here are some of the students talking about their analysis work.

Detailed Lesson Plan

Lesson Topic :- Product Design Analysis Team Work
Year Group :-  Year 11, 12 and 13
Learning Outcome
The students will be able to analyse their own design ideas using the skills gained in the previous exercises.

Success Criteria
Using SOLO
These have not changed a great deal in the last few lessons as we are still doing design analysis which incorporates the same skills and levels in SOLO.
The focus of this work has been changing and the depth that we have been doing it has been increasing.
The focus is now on their own work so the success criteria is more specific now towards that.

Extended abstract
Students can identify the main parts of their own designs.
Students can describe and list the design elements, properties, how it will be used and materials used in a design.
Students can describe how materials have been combined together on their design ideas.
Students can explain and compare elements of their design ideas to show how they work together and the effects that they have.
Students can explain why materials have been chosen and the properties that they have to make them suitable for the job.
Students can evaluate their own work and reflect on where design decisions have been made and generalise on why they were made. They can imagine where improvements can be made and can evaluate what effects these improvements would have on their design.

Links with the New Zealand Curriculum
Level 2
Curriculum Level: 7
Learning Area: Technology
Strand: Design and Visual Communication
Achievement Objective: Outcome development and evaluation
Critically analyse their own and others’ outcomes and evaluative practices to inform the development of ideas for feasible outcomes. Undertake a critical evaluation that is informed by ongoing experimentation and functional modelling, stakeholder feedback, and trialling in the physical and social environments. Use the information gained to select, justify, and develop an outcome. Evaluate this outcome’s fitness for purpose against the brief. Justify the evaluation, using feedback from stakeholders and demonstrating a critical understanding of the issue.
  • Thinking - analysing their design work based on a focus.
  • Using language, symbols, and texts - talking about their ideas for the analysis.
  • Managing self - Using the RISE values when doing this work on their own and staying on task.
  • Participating and contributing - Giving suggestions to the whole group. Listening to the suggestions of others. Using these suggestions with their own work.
  • Relating to others - responding to the ideas of others in a positive way.

Prior knowledge
The students have been working through a series of exercises about design analysis based on the SOLO taxonomy structure.
They have design developments and / or final designs to write a written analysis for.
Lesson Sequence

Session Outline
This work will start all together to remind the students of the exercise activities we have been doing to build their analysis skills.
They will move onto individual work where they will be writing analysis notes about their own design work.
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • Sit round the front table and talk together about the analysis skills that we have been using over the past couple of weeks.
  • Talk through the previous exercises with the students, with prompts to remind them what we did and why we did it.
  • As the students are getting on with their own design analysis work, sit with them and provide one to one help where needed.
  • Check through written work on Google Docs as they are doing it to provide suggestions and support.
  • Scan student's work when complete and upload to the class Google Plus Communities
  • The students will use their own design ideas - both design developments and their final designs, depending on where they are up to.
  • Write analysis notes to go with all of their design work using the skills we have been building.
  • Share ideas to the whole group about what we have been doing to remind themselves and others of the skills we have covered.
  • Design work and notes to be scanned and uploaded to the class community - look at each other's work and read each other's notes.

Google Plus Communities with previous resources in for them to refer to.
A3 paper, pencils, colours, outliner pens, drawing equipment.
Next Steps
The students need to write analysis notes on all of their design developments and their final designs to show their thinking.
Reflection and Analysis

What went well.
The one to one work with the students while they were working on their own design developments went really well as we could dig deep into their individual needs for each design. I could ask them very specific questions geared towards their work, not just generic ones for the whole class. The exercises and work we have been doing to build up towards their own analysis has really helped as they were able to tailor what we have been doing to their own work.

What still needs work.
The exercises and support work we have been doing in the last couple of weeks needs to start much earlier in the projects. We need to start doing this at the beginning of the project when we are starting to look at design work done by others.
Year level specific support documents could help the students while they are getting on with their work. It is difficult for me to get round too many of them during a lesson as the work we are doing is in depth.

Student Work

Class Google Plus Communities

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Visual Planning

My inquiry this year included this last part :-

The measurable outcome ...
This is targeted towards achieving the school focus of  16+ credits at Level 1 and 14+ credits at Level 2 and 3 for each subject that the students take.
This work is also to enable more access to merit and excellence levels on the NCEA DVC standards.

To this end, I have started planning for next year.
The option choices have started coming in from the students for next year and I am delighted to hear that I am getting and option line that has Level 1 DVC by itself without sharing with Level 2 or 3. This means that I will get my Year 1 group by themselves next year. FANTASTIC news. 

With this in mind, I have tried to plan a year where we focus on a course in depth and with the quality and time allocations needed to get to merit / excellence.
I decided to do my initial planning visually using an iPad app called Mindnode.
I worked out what credits were on offer for each of the standards I wanted to cover, so what time allocation they needed in order to to work.
I work on 10 weeks for each of terms 1, 2 and 3 then another 3 weeks on term 4 before the work gets sent away. So that gives me a total of 33 weeks. 
The figures are worked out on 10 hours per credit and 50 minute lessons 6 times a week.

I have done the same for Level 2 and Level 3.
The difference here is that there is a technology standard in each one that is being covered at the same time as the DVC standard. As most of the work completed in the project covers both standards, I have not given the full 60 hours for them separately, but added time onto that project from the Technology standard so that all elements have time to be covered. (AS91356 and AS91610).

Another difference with the Level 3 course is that the external work is taught explicitly and separately and leads into a design project.(unlike Level 1 and 2 where the work they are doing already in the projects is sent away to be marked for the externals I have chosen to include).
This Level 3 external is what we do first, at the start of the year, as it leads into the first project. So this work needs to be included in the year's time allowance.