Robyn shears

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3.12.2016 EducationonAir – A mindset for 21st Century learning

This weekend Google held EducationonAir where educators from around the world ran webinar on different topic. I attended Richard Wells talk on ‘A mindset for 21st Century Learning‘   and Justine Driver’s ‘G Suite – Your zero to hero solution’.

The beauty of the these sessions is that they are all recorded and as such you can go back the re-watch any of the presentations that you didn’t attend live.

Here are my notes from the sessions.

Richard Wells 

Justine Driver

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Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy

This science course was held on July 18th – 21st in Auckland. There were 20 free places offered by the academy. Interesting that out of the 20 people, 8 of us were from Franklin (four different schools).

You can find the course notes here


Next term I will be teaching in a year 5/6 class full-time. They are due to carry out their own scientific inquiry into a topic of their choosing. So far they have brainstormed their ideas under each of the four strands. They have then chosen one ‘topic’ they want to learn more about and have recorded ‘What I already know’ and ‘What I would like to know’ I tried to encourage them to record at least 10 questions but this was really difficult for most studnets. Harder than this was actually getting them to think about what they knew. I had ask a lot of questions to help them find and record their own knowledge

Two areas from the above text are key aims of this terms inquiry:

Is personalised – Learners feel ‘in charge’ of their learning and experience the right amount of challenge.

Needs structure that directs attention to certain aspects of experiences and helps the learner orient themselves.

While I am happy for the class to start their inquiries independently and start finding their own resources, this will be the first time the class has had a chance to complete an inquiry this way. I know they will be interested to ‘learn more’ as they have chosen their area of interest. However I know from their previous work in class that most need structures to work through their questions, gathering data/information, evaluating, making further questions and understanding the nature of a spiral of inquiry.



We start today by briefly recovering the expectations of the curriculum. We must cover the Nature of Science strand (Understanding, Investigating, Communicating, and Participating and Contributing) but the content is not compulsory and will likely be covered incidentally or as a result of students on inquiries.

We spent time completing activities in small groups. These were deliberately set up with many different variables and were a chance for use to develop as many different questions as possible rather than develop a perfectly fair test. Ours was to test which types of truck would take the longest to stop if their brakes failed on a hill.

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21.05.2016 Dyslexia and STEPS training

Today we had a PD session at school led by Ros Lugg from the Learning Staircase. Teachers from around the Franklin area were invited and we ended up with 58 teachers, teacher aides, Senior Leaders, RTLBs and others in our hall for the day.

The session began looking at how dyslexia is researched. What are the facts about dyslexia as they currently stand. It was explained that as research continues into the way children and adults learn and as we learn more about how the brain develops.


STEPs has the ability to measure the speed with which students can recognise words from 800milliseconds down to 50 milliseconds.

To choose the appropriate workbook level any spelling test which gathers spelling ‘age’ is appropriate. STEPS online has a build in test.