Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Finding my Feet.

We have been back at school almost three weeks.  Twelve days to be exact as each of the weeks has been four days.  Tomorrow we are off to the Waikane Pools as a school. That surely counts as a four day week!

I believe the class is settling down.  I think I have almost 'let go' last year's class and begun to enjoy the ones I am with!  I only have 25 of them.  I think that makes a difference, I would imagine that 30 going towards 35 would take be a challenge for me, so 25 is a very nice number.  I am still trying to catch up with commenting and responding to student writing.  This week we had a visit from ERO (Education Review Office) and while it is an advantage to have it completed, it did leave me feeling like I just couldn't catch up with all I wanted to achieve.

In the last three weeks I have been able to manage to have Daily Five or in our case Daily Three up and running. We have now reached the point where  students are making choices each day and it is running smoothly.  I still have not settled into conferencing or taking groups. Rather I am roaming and checking in with students.  At present they are in goal setting mode, and when they choose writing some of them are writing goals.  I am spending some time chatting with them about the goals if they are choosing to write them during Literacy time.  It may be another week before I start conferring or working with groups.  Although testing will loom in Week 6 at the beginning of March and disrupt some of them momentum.

We have opted to introduce BYOD this year.  We had a rocky start as the wireless network was not up and running.  However Norcom now have this  operational and about 5 or 6 of the class are bringing in their own devices.  This is great as it supplements the computers we have as a class.  One student is working on her iPod touch.  In fact she produced a really great video last week that took a session of planning and a session of videoing and then editing.  Simone took her own photos, personally I just love the one she snapped of Kapiti Island. It is one of my favourite views.

While we didn't really make iPod touches  an option, I can see that the latest one takes very clear photos and has possibilities.  I noticed today the owner of the iPod had borrowed another student's wireless keyboard, and was working with it and the iPod touch.

We are working with Google Docs and I think this will work well.  We have Teacher Dashboard set up, I am still exploring this, and as the year goes by hope to incorporate this more and more into my interaction with students.

This week as I mentioned above, we had ERO in our school.  They were very pleasant and professional gentlemen.  However I think the one that came into my room was somewhat nonplussed.  I was showing my class how to put an image on their blog and to do that correctly using creative commons.  Somewhere along the line I mentioned digital citizenship.  Later at a meeting I attended he asked where did the idea of digital citizenship come from, was it a word I coined!

Later that evening I decided I had misheard.  This morning I checked with the other staff member who had been at the meeting.  She confirmed that what I thought I had heard was what she heard too!  I can only say I am still struggling to comprehend this. Even though I have only been to one elearning conference in my life - Ulearn 11, I would have thought that ERO would surely be keeping up with this aspect of ICT?  I am still thinking I misunderstood.  Surely!


  1. That surprises me, too, that he had not heard of "digital citizenship", as it certainly seems to be very much at the forefront at the moment.

    Even in the Police we are currently developing a whole school intervention based on the concept of digital citizenship.

  2. Yes, I can't make sense of it. I was sure everyone would be so aware. As I mention in the post I just can't grasp that digital citizenship would be foreign to someone in education today.

  3. Hi Kathryn

    Thanks for sharing what you are up to in the Daily Five. It has really helped to know that you haven't started your literacy groups yet either. My kids are Year 2, and we are just setting up our reading to self behaviours. We are learning about the 3 ways to read a book, practicing retelling and working out which books we like best. There is so much learning in that - and yes, we have only been at school for two weeks! I am looking forward to the d5chat today to hear how others are getting on.

    Gosh, it surprises me that the ERO gentleman hadn't heard that term. Makes me wonder how up to date they are with all the issues surrounding it. So important for our kids to be learning about this.

    Google Docs have been hugely beneficial to our school in terms of staff collaboration, and we are exploring them with with our kids more this year. They working together on the same document!

    Loved hearing about the BYOD progress, keep the posts coming, you are generating lots of thinking for me! Thanks.

  4. Thank you for your supportive comment. I love Daily 5, our junior teachers are now using it as well so when I went into one I could see that they had started on the cafe wall. Must take a photo.

    Yes Google Docs opens up many possibilities. I am sure we will find them as we go through the year.

    The BYOD has started small, however I think it is going to work out and I am delighted with it so far. :)


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