Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

'To Inquire' or 'Not to Inquire'

What is Inquiry Based Learning?https://youtu.be/u84ZsS6niPc

- Asking Questions
- Thinking to make meaning
- What will I learn today?

How is this different to what we are used to?

Moving from Traditional teaching methods - Teacher provides all the information / students then recite what the have learned

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) - constructivist Theory

What is the Teachers Role?

Levels of Inquiry


  • Teacher directed
  • Teacher provides the question
  • Step by step instruction
  • Develops students ability to inquire

  • Students take more responsibility
  • Teacher guides the inquiry


  •     Students take the lead
  •     Requires higher order thinking 


We were required to reflect on Inquiry Teaching Approach and identify the positives and the negatives of having a 'No Inquiry Approach' compared with an 'Inquiry Only Approach'

Below are our thoughts.

  • Traditional
  • Linear Learning
  • Reusable
  • Schools are set up already for this
  • knowledge
  • Measureable
  • Recycling resources / planning
  • National Standards
  • Understanding growth
  • Easier Predictable *
  • Efficiency *
  • Scalable*
  • Deployable *
  • Controllable - Totalitarian *
  • Suits some subjects better than others *
  • Innovative Learning
  • Cross curricula
  • Creators
  • Student ownership
  • Skills development
  • Adaptive Resources
  • Exploration
  • Real World Application
  • Growth  mindset
  • Skills
  • Drilling skill
  • Teacher centred
  • No catering for learning styles
  • Fixed mindset
  • Lacks creativity *

  • Student Learners falling in-between the gaps
  • Preparation of foundation skills
  • Lack of parent understanding
  • Resource organising

  • After much discussion and further reflection it appears we are always inquiring!


    When do we need to use direct instruction?
    • when safety is involved
    • driving / sky diving
    When do we need to encourage specific inquiry?
    • depends on the purpose
    Google 20% time - independence to do whatever they like, do not commit a crime or hurt others.


    5 Whys
    Getting to the Root of a Problem Quickly - https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_5W.htm

    Thursday, 3 September 2015

    Woodhill School makes music with Makey Makey

    Coding with MaKEY MaKEY

    What's MaKey MaKey?

    Welcome to the world of MaKey MaKey! A world where every day objects are much more than what they appear. Bananas are more than just a curvy fruit - they’re keys to a virtual piano. Play-dough isn’t just a tasty child’s toy - it’s the controlling force behind Pacman’s up/down/left/right. And your simple pencil drawings are a portal to Portal.

    Click on the link and view what can be created using MaKEY MaKEY

    MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Woodhill children had the opportunity to explore, programme and create a musical instrument using Makey Makey. Thank you Jay Silver!

    Below is the learning brief.

    Group Challenge

    Create a musical instrument using “Scratch’ and ‘MakEY MaKEY’
    • Select any musical instrument
    • Can use boxes, tin foil, playdough

    Musical Instrument
    Has to be able to play at least 5 different notes

    Must be connect to something physical

    Here is the script to get you started
    Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 10.23.51 am.pngScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 10.28.12 am.png

    Sunday, 30 August 2015

    MaKEY MaKEY Inspiration

    30 August 2015

    Today I had time to explore and play around with our MindLab group links, and discovered I have been sitting on a piece of magic that has huge potential to change the way our children interact with the world and get them creating.

    Well.. this week I will be using it with our senior children and will be encouraging them to 'smash' our natural environment with our digital environment to create something musical.

    In the meantime I hope by watching this YouTube Ted talk you will be inspired too.

    Wednesday, 26 August 2015

    Flipped Classrooms

    You may have heard that flipped and blended learning are transforming school and university classrooms, but what exactly is a flipped classroom?

    For many schools, with the teacher at the front and students seated in rows, the classroom has barely changed in the last century. But, today we know that there's no 'one size fits all' approach to learning. The idea behind a flipped model of education is that much of the content is covered outside of the classroom through bite sized video clips, quizzes and collaborative on-line discussions. Subsequently deeper learning can occur in the classroom through face to face discussion which can apply, evaluate and contextualise the content, as well as enhancing collaborative activities, strengthening relationships, and developing communication skills and other key competencies. 

    The end result is a personalised, engaging learning experience for every student — whatever their learning style, pace, or ability.      

    This term in room three we have been trialling a flipped classroom approach with our literacy learning. In practise, I have created a learning website and placed our literacy learning information online. Having the learning available online has enabled children to access the learning material at school and from home.  Scarlet and Izzy have already been accessing and working on their learning at home.  If a child is away from school for a time, when they return to school, they can still be up to date. Their class time remains focused and engaging and we are able to continue our learning without children being left behind or needing to catch up.  Our children have been very focused and extremely engaged, and because of this, I have been able to explicitly focus on specific children and their learning needs.          

    Our learning site can be accessed from this link: https://goo.gl/0BQq8K

    I also developed a simple music site children can access and learn how to play the ukulele: https://goo.gl/kDEzcj

    Thursday, 20 August 2015

    What Makes a good leader?

    What Makes a good leader?
    • active listening
    • good communicator
    • reflective practitioner - open questioning
    • collaborative - two way process / collaborative, supportive 
    • two way process
    • growth mindset
    • trust integrity
    • high expectations
    • self confidence
    • social skills
    • patient
    • managing with heart

    What type of leader are you?

    Thursday, 13 August 2015

    Growth Mindset @ Woodhill School - Born to Learn

    For generations it was seen to be important to memorise facts and figures, and for schools to teach this information. I remember when I was in standard 4, we were required to complete a disaster project.  We could choose any disaster we wanted and I choose the sinking of the Wahine as it crossed Cook Straight. It was a beautifully presented poster with facts and figures copied from a text book.  At the end of the project was I better for it? Do I still know the names and dates? Do I need to? Would I have been better off learning about and practicing how to survive and keep safe in a disaster, or learning how people react and respond in times of emergency and disaster, and finding ways to connect this to my life and world?

    Our brain is the planet’s most powerful learning machine. But our traditional teaching practices often aren’t doing enough to unlock our true potential. As modern practitioners we need to be encouraging curiosity and risk taking through play and modelling ourselves as learners.

    Born to Learn is the first animation in a fascinating series aimed to provide easy-access to the exciting new discoveries constantly being made about how humans learn - narrated by Damian Lewis.  As a staff we are using these film clips to reflect on our own teaching and learning practices and will be sharing these on our Facebook page.  We hope you enjoy learning about learning with us.