Monday, August 21, 2017

Maths Assessment Progressions

Maths Assessment Progressions at Sommerville.

The Sommerville Maths curriculum team have created this overview of maths assessments.
Students at Sommerville who often can not be assessment using mainstream maths assessment are assessed against P levels. This is a series of leveled progression indicators. P 1 to P 7 are below  the Emergent maths levels.
As our students reach these  P level progression indicators we move them onto Mainstream assessments eg JAM and Gloss.

Sommerville Special school uses a fabulous maths resources called Numicon
Numicon has an assessment system that matches this maths resource.
Numicon is a distinctive multi-sensory approach to children's mathematical learning that emphasises three key aspects of doing mathematics:
  • communicating mathematically
  • exploring relationships
  • solving problems in everyday life experiences (generalising)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Differentiating our Assessments in Literacy

Literacy Assessments at Sommerville.

Sommerville Literacy assessment

As part of my on going Inquiry into using appropriate assessments
Will using fine-grained assessments improve teacher capacity for setting appropriate goals for students who fail to register on standardised tests?

I have put together a overview of assessments we are currently using at Sommerville to help us establish exactly what our students know and inform how we set appropriate learning targets and goals for the students next steps.
The teachers at Sommerville now have a range assessment to chose from . It is important that the assessments used give the teacher as much information as possible not just a pass or fail!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Oral Language a crucial element.

Starting primary school is an enormous transition in a young child’s life. Children need to find their place in a new social and learning environment. Entering this new environment with Speech Language Communication Needs can have long-term impact on a child. Children may struggle to make friends, to learn, and to be themselves as part of their new  school community.

It is expected that when a child starts primary school, they will be able to understand much of what is said, express themselves clearly, share their feelings and make their needs known.
In many ways our ability to communicate  can define us, sometimes it is away we are judged and measured by others and the means by which we form our relationships. Children starting school with speech, language and communication needs may struggle with many aspect of communication and they can become withdrawn or present with challenging behaviour within the school environment.

Some children may not be able to understand the words being spoken to them. When their teacher tells the class what they need to do, or explains a new idea or concept, these children may struggle to understand what is being said. Having an appropriate vocabulary is essential for  learning, however learning vocabulary has been identified as one of the most significant difficulties for some children.

As teachers we need to scaffold the learning for our students. Offer multiple opportunities to learn new vocabulary, and practice it regularly. We need to help make connections and use visuals to help cement the new learning.
How much of our day is spent developing our children's language?  Low language levels impact all other curriculum areas.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Grit - I think I can , I will keep going until I do it!

During the Manaiakalani Leaders PLD today there was a discussion around setting clear expectations and setting goals for our students .

I am a firm believer in the principle 'if you think you can - then you can' and also if ' people I trust believe in me and think I can then I will '.

It reminded me of the TED talk I had
Listened to.

Worth a watch and some thoughts

Let's build some Grit in our learners .

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Inclusive School Curriculum - A Curriculum for ALL !

NZC- A Curriculum for all.
Framework for an Inclusive School Curriculum.

This framework embodies the key elements of an inclusive school curriculum that together ensure progress and achievement for all students.

"The New Zealand Curriculum is a clear statement of what we deem important in education. It takes as its starting point a vision of our young people as lifelong learners who are confident and creative, connected, and actively involved."
The New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, page 4

A flexible framework

"The New Zealand Curriculum, together with the Qualifications Framework, gives schools the flexibility to design and deliver programmes that will engage all students and offer them appropriate learning pathways."
The New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, page 41

The New Zealand Curriculum supports schools to ensure that teaching and learning are effective and engaging for all. When teaching, learning, and assessment recognise and respond to the unique differences of individuals, all students can learn.
The New Zealand Curriculum is not prescriptive. Its learning areas provide a flexible foundation for exploring, evaluating, integrating, and enhancing knowledge. Its key competencies, which capture learning capabilities and dispositions, strengthen the learning areas by supporting students to value curiosity, thinking, self-management, perseverance, collaboration, and caring for others.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Developing Language Skills in our students.

All the research tells us our students are arriving at school with low oral language skills. The oral language children have when they start school directly impacts on their ability to think and to learn. Alison Burge presented findings from the "Welcome to school project" in Tamaki schools showing 53% of New Entrants assessed had significant concerns in Communication.

All students who enter the school environment need to learn about a variety of conventions and routines of talking and listening in a context that is unfamiliar to most of them. Students’ oral language improves through practice, that is, when students talk regularly for different purposes and with different partners.  (Ministry of Education. (2009). Learning Through Talk: Oral Language in Years 1 to 3. Wellington)

At Sommerville we extremely fortunate to employ our own Speech language therapists who work directly with students and provide on going Professional development to our staff.
Francesca Bierens SLT has shared her Verbal language development Summary for how language is developed and the progress
 'Assisting Students with Language Delays in the Classroom  - A Practical Language Programme'

                                Published:  In 2015 by Speechmark Publishing Ltd, London, UK,

I have attached Oral language resources from Francesca that are worth a read.

Oral language development and abilities have significant impact on our students ability to access the curriculum in all areas.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Early writing levels

While researching my  USLT Inquiry I have observed students whose  writing levels are too low to be assessed by NZ standardised testing.

At Sommerville we are currently using a Developmental Writing Scale which is helping us identify what level our students are at and what their next learning targets are.

I thought I would share this with our Mainstream colleagues.

Developmental Writing Scale

Check out this great one page  visual snapshot of children's writing development.

Reminder to Manaiakalani COL schools that you can book time with me to discuss your literacy programmes for students with additional needs.