Kia ora and welcome to my blog! I'm Danni Stone, a year 7 and 8 teacher at Pt England School in Tamaki, Auckland. I use this blog to share aspects of my teaching practice, professional development and my teaching inquiry.
I am now six months into my inquiry about accelerating the literacy progress for students between years 7 and 10. I have been making the connection between reading and writing explicit to my students - check out my findings so far!
Now this sounds like something my maths class would enjoy - many of us are pretty passionate about algebra and we already really enjoy coding. However, I also have students who fear this dreaded subject and some have already asked when we will be learning it this year (perhaps hoping that it might align with a terrible pre-planned illness of family holiday).
We started by having a look at algebra on spreadsheets - using functions to write the equations. These were like a more interactive version of a worksheet, but I actually enjoyed completing them alone. It is easy to see how this would translate to coding, taking the engagement and interaction up another level.
When it came to generating our pattern we did things a little differently; we jammed on chrome music lab and created a simple song using its song maker function. This was such a fun way to see maths in the world - there are patterns everywhere!
We then went onto scratch to code some music - each note is here represented by a…
While it is easy to get carried away with a range of apps, extensions and sites when you are a digital teacher, it is important not to focus more on a cool tool than your lesson content. In the spirit of this, Clarelle and I decided to run a session about Google Draw, to show how one simple tool can be used to do a range of things.
This was a really fun session to run - it started off with us talking about the things that we use all the time, like sketchnoting, annotating, hyperdocs (or hyperdraws). We then looked at some of the more artistic things that you can do with Google Draw, I had a lot of fun with this part, but it wasn't for everyone!
We also went through some of the tips about how to use Google Draw. Some of them were really basic, such as changing the size of the Google Draw, but they are still really useful to know!
When I used to think about Hyperdocs, I immediately imagined a page filled with hyperlinks. After a session with hyperdoc guru Lisa Highfill, I realise that I may have been wrong about them, in fact, they are not so different from the type of slides that I have been creating for my own learners.
The docs and slides that Lisa creates have a definite structure, they clearly take the students on a journey, which for me would look like 'learn, create, share', while for Lisa this might look more like 'explore and explain'. The slides have short instructions and they use images and a layout that is visually appealing.
The other misconception that I had about hyperdocs was the number of links that they would feature. Yes, student choice is wonderful, but nobody likes to be bombarded with links as this can become overwhelming. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of links that Lisa's slides provided; the links were purposefully chosen and took students to engaging bu…