Big Projects Showtime

Yesterday the students had showtime for the big projects they’ve been working on since last term. Walking around looking at the displays it was inspiring to see all the self-motivated work that has been done. It really highlights how the school interacts with the community, this particular project being on sustainability and creating community activities.

The HPPS came to have a look and there were several activities set up by the students for them to do. A treasure hunt, an obstacle course, building, and basketball coaching were some examples. The students were engaged and had an awesome time.

What a great way to celebrate the student learning over the past weeks and a privilege to be part of the process.

 

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Me Time

I have always wanted to join a yoga or pilates or Zumba class but have never had enough courage to join. I am always finding excuses, too busy, not good enough, etc. So Yesterday I pushed myself outside my comfort zone and went to a Centergy class at City Fitness, a gym I recently joined. It is a combination of pilates and yoga. I dragged along my daughter and her friend so I wouldn’t be alone.

While some of the exercises were quite hard, I was able to “manage” most of the movements. On leaving the class my whole body felt relaxed, my mind felt relaxed and I had the best night sleep in a long time! Why did it take me so long! I have found a perfect way to have some “me” time and rejuvenate. I just need to keep myself disciplined to go at least once, maybe twice a week.

Mini Breaks

 

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This week started off as a challenge, student A was being his loud, rude no-compliant self throughout the day. When I realized this was how it was to be for the day, I took a deep breath, kept a smile on my face and soldiered on. I allowed mini-breaks when he went off task, gave a time limit and got him back on task. This seemed to work well, so have continued the strategy and what a different lad. Have had a couple of great days and he is showing how independent he can work as well, only asking for support when really needed! Must remember to keep positive, a reminder of some good statements below.

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New Challenges

After a very restful holiday we are back into the 2nd week of term 3 already, the team has been scanning the new modules and spins to see where support is needed. It has been nice to be exposed to other students as well as the 1:1 support I have been doing. I am looking forward to more assessments and supporting students with SAC. Working and collaborating with different teachers is a new challenge as well.

The team joined in the Open Day presentations by setting up in Juliet. We had examples of some of the scaffolding games and activities, an art display, and read write set up to play with Carlos giving awesome demonstrations on how it works. Serena was a key voice in explaining to the visitors what our role was, she did an amazing job! I am hoping to become more articulate like that.

So, on reflection, I have found a goal to work towards, which is to have more confidence in myself and my abilities. Another is to write more often in my blog about day to day work and achievements!

 

Little things…

As I write about this post I am thinking about the small achievements over the past few weeks. Having a go at my first YARK and SAST testing was challenging but I gained confidence in myself. Seeing Jamie and Cameron’s faces light up and hearing their laughter when they did a “treasure hunt” for GEOCACHING showed how engaging learning can be for all levels. Andre and Cameron working well on Chromebooks, finding the work achievable utilizing read/write. The team having a catch up day during IEM’s tidying up paperwork, resources and general office work that gets behind while we support throughout the week. Getting some new exciting resources that will help engage our HPL’s in the classroom.

The small achievements keep us grounded, move us forward and are good for reflection.

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Lots of News….

Can’t believe it’s week 5 already, what a whirlwind beginning to Term 2. It has started well, more settled into the timetable and routines of school. We’ve had some awesome training with some RTLB’s on YARK assessments, how to carry them out and score them. The last session included going over the writing and spelling tests. The scoring is quite challenging but with practice we’ll be competent in no time. What a great way to work together as a team. The RTLB’s that trained us were patient and informative when we grilled them with questions.

Big Projects start tomorrow after the first weeks of term spent exploring what sustainability is about. This finished off with a “speed dating” exposure to all the project options, which was fantastic in helping the students choose an option they are passionate about and will engage with. The partner is Kaipatiki Projects, who are involved in bringing together communities and regenerating their environments. Heaps of interesting things to get involved in, looking forward to seeing the students busy again.

After having an appraisal recently (which was very positive:)) I am looking forward to pursuing some new goals. We are moving forward with our Spirals of Inquiry, getting feedback from the teachers. Just need to now work on Critical Friends and achieve an observation, which I hope to do before the end of this term. One other goal is to explore blogging a bit more! 

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Term One Reflections

Whew! What a busy time, getting accustomed to a new working environment, new team and a whole lot of new students! With the support of an amazing team, I have come through feeling like I’ve found my place. I’ve enjoyed the continual challenge of keeping the learning at a level that will be engaging for our learners, which also encourages communication and collaboration with teachers. My previous work at the primary level has proven valuable, as some resources I have accumulated are adaptable for using at HPSS.

The biggest learning curve this term has been the computer side of HPSS. Everyone from students to teachers willing to help or teach has expanded my knowledge, I am now able to troubleshoot and blog! Spiral of Inquiry is thought provoking, encouraging deeper thinking and collaborations into how we approach the way we teach and keep our students engaged.

My big “high” of this term has been observing how engaged students were with Big Projects, showing ingenuity and enthusiasm. Getting involved with the community and the environment around them has pushed them to explore their abilities. I have had fun working with the cupcake and finger food stall, having the HPLs we work with included in teams that were both supportive and encouraging.

Goals for next term: Critical Friends and more work in Spiral of Inquiry. Broadening my knowledge. Happy Easter everyone, have a restful break, well deserved.