At the MLP Parent Information Evening we answered lots of questions. Some Parents wrote some questions for us to answer. Neta and Jo have responded to these questions.
If our child dislikes a particular subject how do we make sure that they don’t avoid it?
- students are ultimately responsible for their own learning with ‘Can do’ and ‘Must do’ activities but with the power of 3-4 teachers monitoring the learners through being the ‘Learning, Roving and Support’ teacher - students have little chance of ‘avoiding’ subjects (Neta)
- There will be systems in place for students to be accountable for their work. This may be conferences with teachers and buddies, check in with teachers, work completion tasks and expectations. (Jo)
Is there a core group that has time for each subject?
- students work in ‘core’ learning groups which are flexible and allow for movement when goals are met. Each core subject area is addressed daily (depending on levels and group focus. Each group will be seen daily if not, every 2nd day - when not seen they will have independent follow-up tasks that relate to group focus with access to ‘support / roving’ teachers who will monitor and sign off completed work). So when not working with the ‘Learning Space’ teachers - Support and Roving teachers are there to support their learning. (Neta)
- Core subjects will be taught daily with small breakout groups for teaching time. This will be uninterrupted teaching time which allows students the chance to really focus and gain the skills. They will then have the added advantage of having a roving teacher to support independent work when they are unsure of need some guidance. They will have choice over what to do for ‘can do’s’ which means they can pick activities that directly relate to their learning needs. (Jo)
Student choiceHow do we make sure our kids make the ‘right’ choice?
- it goes back to instilling our key values and skills for learning to learn. Choices are limited at first until students become familiar with what is available and how they work best. Ultimately, if the wrong choice is made or not working for them the ‘choice’ is taken away from them. (Neta)
- Students will have more input into their learning. With the use of visible WALT’s and goals, students are aware of what they are learning and why. Thus, encouragement for self management and the right ‘can do’s’ students will make the right choices. The roving teacher will always be there to monitor and check up on all students to ensure learning is still needs based. (Jo)
Is handwriting considered a less required skill?ie. how can our kids learn to write neatly while on the floor?
- No - handwriting is still important and useful skill for teaching correct letter formations(size, shape and starting points) but our focus when writing has made a shift to the content and ideas recorded rather than how ‘neat and tidy’ work is. There is still a time and place for neat work where the skill of handwriting takes priority (i.e. publishing, presentations) and possibly writing on the floor will not be the best time or place for this. (Neta)
- There will be options and areas for students to make choice about where they work (i.e. on the floor, at a desk, on a bean bag, a a lower table). Students will be encouraged to make the right choice of the purpose of their work. Students will also know what the expectations are for their work - and sometimes presentation/ neatness of handwriting is part of that. (Jo)
Can do V Must doWhat do we do to ensure kids don’t coast?
- There are expectations outlined and set timeframes/checkpoints for tasks to be completed. Regular conferencing with teachers and monitoring across the team ensure students are on task and meeting goals. Sharing the roles (Learning, Roving, Support teachers) ensure there is always a teacher available in each learning space to monitor progress. (Neta) - agree (Jo) - scheduled conferencing / check points are made to ensure set tasks / goals are met (Neta)
gmail acc for our kids??
-need to involve parents-cyber safety paramount
- gmail (for education) accounts are constantly monitored by teachers - teachers have full access to each account. Parents will be fully involved?? (Neta)
- cyber safety is in action now - teaching / agreements - **Maybe students have to go through some training or have a quiz and rewarded a safety certificate?? (Neta)
- Gmail accounts will primarily be used for collaboration - enabling the students to access and work on google docs. They will be taught the right way to use an email and the docs and the purpose. WIth a focus on the ‘why’, students will be less likely to abuse the right. They will be monitored by the teacher. (Jo)
You spoke of a ‘go to’ personI don’t want my child to feel too responsible for others learning.
- agree - students learn from each other every day and when working more collaboratively this will become a ‘natural’ thing for students to action. The responsibility of ONE student being the ‘go to’ person will not be the situation as we are encouraging all students to learn from each other - A rostering system could be an optional idea for groups that do use this system?? (Neta)
- There has always been an unwritten ‘C3B4ME’ system in most classes, where students have always gone to a variety of people, not just the teacher. This will only be building upon this in a collaborative manner whereby they will be taking it a step higher, working together to solve problems that they couldn’t do themselves. With the roving teacher always available, there will be more opportunity for students to seek help from a variety of sources. (Jo)
Parents may feel more comfortable with this transition if there were opportunities for them to be involved in the classroom and there was more communication about the changes.
- Agree - we are looking at sending out more information and maybe in the future opening up classrooms for parents to view it in action? (Neta)
- Agree. There will be opportunities for parents to visit and take an active part in shaping learning for their children (Jo).
How can parents feel more engaged when not a part of a day in classrooms eg. parent help - perhaps open days.
- Agree parent open days would be great when teams become more comfortable with practises - ask students how their day is structured - where did they work, what did they do, who were they with?? (Neta) - agree (Jo)
How will modern learning cater for job/university courses that require “old school” rote learning eg. medical degrees
- we are teaching the SKILLS our learners will require when moving through education (self management, time management, team work, communication skills - all of which are detrimental to each of these stages in life). High Schools, Universities and jobs are all changing - what they look like today will be different tomorrow. We are seeing more collaborative working environments and that is what we are preparing our students for. (Neta)
- They will have the skills that will allow them to be flexible. These institutions and jobs also require students who can self-manage, participate and contribute and also think in different ways for themselves - exactly what they will gain from working collaboratively (Jo).
At the moment the teacher/child ratio is approx 1:26. To seriously work on learning dispositions like creativity engage in project inquiry the ratios need to be better. Technology is just a tool. Focus should be on fostering learning dispositions.
- Agree - technology is just a TOOL and that is how we are using it.
- I believe learning dispositions are not reliant on ratio. Examples of positive learning dispositions highlighted/in action when working in larger team environments are their skill to show resilience, reciprocity, persistence, problem solving. etc… The teams of teachers are more likely to witness students facing these dispositions more constructively with 3 sets of eyes to observe, monitor and discuss individual behaviours within different peer situations. (Neta)
- Agree - there will be and has always been different ratios for different learning and contexts. Students learn best off and with each other for certain areas and learning, whilst they also need focused group time with a more structured approach for other areas (i.e. maths strategies). Teachers and students working collaboratively gives them the opportunity to have both, according to their needs (Jo).