Sunday, 14 September 2014

Learner agency emerges across the Whitestone LCN at # Big Event No 2

Our second big event took place at Weston school and was another engaging event for our network.
Nicky welcomed Rob Mill (MOE) and Anne Pratt (principal from St Pat's Waimate new to our network). She also thanked and farewelled Siobhan Patterson  (DP St Joe's) who is taking on a principalship in Tirau next term.
Thanks to Nicky and her team for hosting this event and to all of the staff who attended.

The main focus for this event was one of our change priorities - student agency.

Thanks to Rose at Papakaio for the collation of our student agency reflections from the afternoon below.

Student Agency
There is a need to find ways to engage learners more directly and give them the “power to act” in their own learning.  The idea of student agency goes well beyond traditional views of student ownership, self regulation or student voice… Look at this 5 minute video it gives you an idea of what the term “Student Agency” refers to:
TKI definition: Student Agency refers to a combination of academic mindsets and learning strategies that have been demonstrated to advance achievement. Academic mindsets are evident in students who feel a sense of belonging in school; believe they have the capacity to learn, and see value in their participation.

Therefore our purpose is to clarify what student agency is for us and to develop our understanding and teaching practice/s:
  • as a network
  • as individual schools
  • as year levels

Discussion in groups: working backwards!
  • Key points for teachers: sticky notes activity: What does this mean for me as a teacher?
  • Working as a group do the shared reading from elearning infusion blog: Is there anything else for me as a teacher to think about?
  • Work as a group to fill out the chart below

You also have some readings to take away which can be accessed here:

Years 1 & 2
Years 3 & 4
Years 5 & 6
Years 7 & 8
What is Student Agency?
-Empowering -Meaningful
Management -Belonging
-Having the skills to have input into what they are learning and how with teacher guidance
-Self-extending system-metacognition -Knowing where they’ve been, where they’re going, where going to
-Engaged, motivated
-Ownership in their learning, taking control in a structured environment
-Student awareness-able to voice the why and the how
-A cluster of growth mindsets that engage with
cognition and places the learner in the driver’s seat
Why is Student Agency important?
-Move forward in direction of class
-Empowers students - they feel connected/have ownership/more engaged
-Empowers the learner
-The want vs the need (Some things that children need to know)
-To engage our students in their own learning and successes.  -Prepares them better for the world they face
What might Student Agency look like at our level?
Risk taking
Involvement - contributing to class
-Self directed
-Problem solvers
-Being in control of their learning
-Taking responsibility
-Students having choice with activities.  Choice when need extra support
-Following students interests.  Teaching skills/behaviours to be able to do this
-Student awareness of where to next etc
-Independent management of learning
-Children supporting and extending each other
Knowing where they are, and what they need to do next  in their learning.
-Choice, how where and what of learning.
-Concepts not contexts
-Highly motivated deep learning
What are we already doing as teachers to encourage/promote student agency with our learners?
-Goal orientated
-Giving choice
-Meaningful activities - linked to child’s interests
-Self directed
-Using family
-Sharing from home/involving whanau
-Encouraging children to self-monitor.  Teaching “where to next”
- Flexibility, reacting and adapting-teachable moments
- Modelling student agency
-Goal setting, next learning steps
-Differentiated learning
-Choice of how/where/what
-Diverse topics
-Collaboratively learning
-Glide time
-Active reflection
-Children using language of learning
-High expectations
-Mixed grouping
-Student choices
-Self directed
-Shared teaching
-Devices as choice
What are our next steps in changing what I do in my classroom.
-Knowing your children & families
- opening up our classrooms - welcoming
-Trial different approaches.
- Modify existing programmes.  “What am I doing that’s helping you/not helping you learn?
- The children need to be familiar with next steps and where they need to be
-Increasing understanding of agency for us and the children
-Reconfigure spaces
-More language of learning
-More aware of language
-Change our systems
-Take a risk
-Self management
What ‘gem’ will I take away from today’s discussions?

-Ask children what they want to learn/../get better at/in their learning?
-Getting feedback from the children on what the teacher does that helps them to learn
-Reinforcement were on right track - wer’e not above
-Choosing own devices
-Take a risk
We are on the right track
How can we share our ideas about Student Agency with our parents?
-Having them involved - coming into classroom.
-blogs, emails, newsletters, parent teacher meetings,
-Informal chats
-Jobs not done until parent comment on work

  • Allowing student voice to come through and giving children the tools to do this.
  • Changing my language and structures and expectations.
  • Students are connected to their learning and helping design the direction for their learning with guidance from teacher.
  • Giving the students ownership of their learning while we give them the tools to achieve this.
  • Children knowing their next steps and knowing how to get there and being motivated about their learning.
  • Are children thinking about their own learning and making choices for themselves?
  • To give children some say in how and what they learn.
  • Giving students ownership over their learning and next steps, providing supports along the way.
  • Student voice.  Students making their own decisions where they are /need to go.  Involving parents in process.
  • Student decisions, ownership over their next steps
  • Enabling students to learn to learn.  Skills and reflection
  • Specific teaching in key competencies
  • Giving them the guidance to grow their ability to be agentic and letting them be agentic - a partner in learning with deep vested interest.
  • Children taking increasing responsibility for their own learning.
  • Teachers and Whanau giving them the skills and encouraging the behaviours to facilitate this independence with learning.
  • Children having a say in what and how they are learning.
  • Student agency is having children take responsibility and have an active role in their own learning.
  • Students being actively involved in their learning - what they want to learn and taking ownership.
  • The choices the students make for, with and within the class and the varied volumes they make those choices.
  • Children ‘owning’ their learning, following their own paths, clear about expectations and next steps, self extending systems.
  • Student confidence.  Knowledge with what is expected of them as learners and self direction to use confidence and knowledge to show learning, identify next steps and grow as learners.
  • Thinking about the students first - putting their needs first.
  • Students have ownership of their learning and we as teachers give them the tools to achieve their goals.
  • Sharing decision making process with the child.  Putting the child at the centre.
  • Giving children opportunity to make decisions about what and how they want to learn.
  • Developing a growth mindset “understanding my learning”.Getting children involved in their learning - being active, participants with student voice.

Staff were enthusiastic about implementing some of their learning. Becci Huls from St Joe's initiated a student agency activity with her Year 3 class as an outcome of the event. You could learn more by visiting this link.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Whitestone LCN #Big Event No 2

On Tuesday 9th September we will come together for another combined staff event. 
We warmly welcome Anne Pratt, the new principal from St Patrick's Waimate to our network. 
Rob Mill, the Lead Development Advisor for the LCN will be joining the principals for a shorter meeting at 1:30pm in the Whanau room at Weston to focus on a draft transition action plan.
Then we will all come together at 3:30pm in the Weston Hall. Here is the agenda based on feedback from many of our participants.

Whitestone LCN #Big Event No 2
Date: Tuesday 9th September 2014
Venue: Weston Hall
Time: 3:30-6:30
‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’ WALHT: Action achievement for our priority learners through a focus on our network challenges: 1. Student Agency2. Community Engagement 3. Future  Focused Learning
3:30  - 3:50 Refreshments, socialise 3:50 - Welcome & Introductions (NR) Rob Mill
3:53 - Twitter # event hashtag sharing 3:55 - Crowd Breaker - (Gary to Provide)
4:10   -LCN Change Video from VLN site (JJ to share) 
Whitestone LCN message: We are collectively Whitestone. What does this mean? ( Rob to help all of us here?) Strategic Plan focus on priorities that bring us together. Why collaborate?
4:15-  Learning Progressions - next steps?Sean - Talk about how they could be used and Curriculum leaders share back what has been achieved from last meeting; 2 mins each
4:30-  Strengthening Student Agency Activities (see Seaview link from Rob)  (NR and JJ)
4:35- 5:30  Collaborative group time
5:30 Pizza break
5:50 A chance for teachers to feed in ideas and discuss what outcomes they would like to see from these collaborative meetings. Perhaps in small groups.
6:10 Next Steps
6:20 Finish

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Preparing for #Whitestone Big Event No 2

We will be coming together in a few weeks time on Tuesday 9th September and we want to start preparing.
You have a chance to make this event yours by contributing to the agenda.
This is the same open, collaborative way that planning and preparation takes place for the regional networking days.
Go to this link  and add your thoughts and ideas to the agenda.
Keep in mind that the purpose of our learning and change network is to action achievement for our priority learners through a focus on our network challenges: 
1. Student Agency
2. Community Engagement
3. Future Focused Learning

Sunday, 10 August 2014

How does a Learning and Change Network work? Will our ripples make a difference?

‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’ Henry Ford
(Jenny's reflections in preparation for the LCN Reference Group - All images below taken from the LCN brochure)
‘Coming together is a beginning'
A very large group of participants came together for the inaugural 'Big'event No 1(see agenda and slideshow)

Most of the LCN work so far has gathered momentum through the leaders who have been part of the local and regional meetings over the past 18 months. 
During this time, our collective determination to make a positive difference for all learners across our network has driven our desire for collaboration. We understand that we can still retain our unique school cultures but grow our learning and change capability through active contribution and participation as part of a wider group.

Where does the Whitestone LCN fit in?
The knowledge that the Whitestone LCN is part of a wider group again is made evident through the termly regional network meetings where learning and change clusters come together. Then to understand that we are part of an even greater worldwide strategy within the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Centre for Educational Research and Innovative Learning Environments, gives authenticity to a belief that 'one tiny ripple can create a tidal wave.'

How does it differ from traditional PD cluster models?
The LCN strategy is not traditional PD that is 'done to us'. Just as we recognise that the traditional teaching model has to be flipped to engage the learners, the LCN strategy flips the traditional PD model. We move from a passive absorption of communal knowledge model to an active self-driven personalised model. The latter being what we aspire to for all learners (young and old).

What is an evaluative probe and why do I need to be 'probed'?

The evaluative probes help to keep us focused on where we are at, how we are going and where we need to head next. The trained probe leaders meet with students, staff, family/whanau and other leaders to ask questions that will stimulate reflective interactions. You don't need to worry about taking part. It is not designed to assess you or your teaching personally but your response will be collated with others and contribute to helping keep the network on track.

Further links 
Whitestone Strategic plan with change priorities (condensed thanks to LFR)

Evaluation #Whitestone Big Event No 1 with extra column to add suggestions for Big event No2 planned for Tuesday 9th September. Here's your chance to contribute.

Click here for 1 minute Slideshow from Whitestone Big Event No 1

Learn more about how LCN's work by going to the official site and watching a 5 minute video.