Thursday, 20 June 2019

Arguementation in Junior Health classes

This year I have been using professional learning from 2018 to develop critical thinking skills in Junior health. An example of this is exploring drugs in New Zealand as part of the Health curriculum. Today I had my students watch the NZ Herald video on the New Zealand Meth crisis.

The video explores approaches in dealing with the problem. It poses the question should our meth issue be a law and order issue or a health issue. The video sparked lots of great conversations between the students.

The follow-up activity was to write a blog post -  if was the Prime minister of New Zealand I would solve the meth issue in New Zealand by......

They then had to predict the outcomes of taking this action.

I really enjoy teaching critical thinking skills. I think too much we consume ourselves with work production in secondary school and we pass over the discussions we can have and the directions discussion can take. I think the engagement of students is best when we get the students talking about a topic and I am very fortunate this is the approach we have taken in Health.

reflection on introducing detensions as consequences

Over term 1 and now into term 2 the PE department has been keeping students back after school for acts of defiance. This has not happened in our school for a long period of time, mainly due to the logistics in following up students who do not attend and also because the school was advised by higher powers that detentions were not a productive way of improving teaching and learning.

I was initially concerned when introducing a consequences system that students would deliberately rebel against the system. There were also colleagues within the school that spoke to me about detentions not being culturally responsive. What convinced me that is was worth implementing was the Te Reo teacher, Matua Ian, who explained to me that consequences are culturally responsive and our students respond to discipline. I was also encouraged by John Rohs our principal who talks about us owing to our students the need for consequences of actions. This message resonated with me.

As a PE department, we agreed that defiance is an act of not following through with the teacher's reasonable request. This had to be explained to the students. Students who are defiant receive 10-minute detention after school. They are expected to come to us. When they don't, contact is made home and the students receive a one hour Friday detention. If they don't attend they are referred to Senior leadership.

In my mind consequences for students should not mean a consequence for the teacher. If the teacher has to put in extra work it is the teacher that is disadvantaged. Therefore students come to us and they do jobs that would otherwise have been done by the teacher or other students. Rubbish, cleaning, plugging in Chromebooks, jobs around the classroom all make the time productive.

Coming towards the end of term 2, we have got to the point where almost every student attends the end of day detentions. They are also a powerful tool the teacher has at their disposal in term of classroom management. We have had very few incidences of students being referred to Senior Leadership, and when this has happened Senior Leadership has been very supportive in resolving the matter.

In my mind, this action has been the single most important feature in increasing engagement and compliance from students in our department

Ki o Rahi

As part of Matariki, our PE department at Papakura High have been playing Kio Rahi. Part of teaching this unit is to explore the legend and the story behind the game. The video below

What I like about Ki o Rahi is that it is an invasion game that requires participants to access an open target in the Te Roto, and then accessing a closed target - the Tupu and Te o. This term our Year 9 students have been exploring invasion game strategies and Ki o Rahi is the perfect game to explore strategies to use for open target and closed target sports. This includes both offensive and defensive.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Trialing a new consequences system at Papakura High

I have long thought that at Papakura High all the pressure is on the teachers to lift the achievement. My feeling is that this pressure should be shared by the students. In my three years at the school, there has been very little in the way of consequences for students who are unwilling to put in effort or students that deliberately defy teachers reasonable requests

This will put the pressure of achievement back onto the student and also ensure that the teacher remains in charge of the classroom. Staff will share the load of after-school time. The students will be required to participate in a  restorative justice discussion and also assist the teacher with manual jobs such as cleaning classrooms. All defiance will be logged on Kamar and when a student refuses to participate contact will be made home. Referral to SLT will occur when students again refuse to participate after contact is made home.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Students reflections on Blogging and agruemenation and critical thinking

I had my students give me feedback on blogging and argumentation units we have been completing in Health. The feedback was interesting as it showed that students having a real variance in perspective about blogging and sharing their viewpoints. Whilst some students thrived and made many blog posts other students did not share any work. I am interested in more follow up to this. from teaching younger students at the Primary level I have seen how visible learning and sharing appeals. Why is this not the same for teenagers?

I have enjoyed argumentation and thinking about different viewpoints10 responses
?12345012342 (20%)0 (0%)4 (40%)1 (10%)3 (30%)
I have enjoyed Blogging and sharing my learning10 responses
12345012342 (20%)1 (10%)4 (40%)2 (20%)1 (10%)
I have enjoyed receiving feedback about my learning and my viewpoint10 responses
12345012342 (20%)0 (0%)3 (30%)4 (40%)1 (10%)
What does Mr Borland do well in his teaching8 responses
He gives us freedom of speech whilst not letting us stray off track
Explain all the information so that student can understand.
explain and demonstrate what we have to do. Finds little videos that will help. Makes us really think about the subject.
allow people to have an opinion and speak on the subjects we're studying.
teach the class clearly and shared his understanding.
What does Mr Borland need to improve in regards to his teaching8 responses
Nothing that I can think of
nothing..he is all good
um maybe stop talking so much about off topic things. check up on us now and then.
to teach the class in good ways


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Students work using Argumentation

I am very proud of one of my year 10 students who has made a wonderful blog post. In the post, he details his learning from a lesson last week. In the lesson, the students watched a political debate on legalizing cannabis. This student has considered all viewpoints, considered the source of the information presented, considered other viewpoints, and then made an informed judgement based on this evidence.

It is great when you teach thinking skills to students and they produce such great work showing that it has made a difference. One thing I have learnt from teaching in Decile 1 schools for 17 years is that you must take these small victories to keep yourself motivated and passionate about what you do.

Feel free to see the post and leave a comment.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Online toolkits

Last night I hosted my first online toolkit. This can be viewed in the video above. The topic for discussion was making an online quiz using google forms. Some interesting ideas came out of this including having students make quizzes based on their learning and then sharing that on their blog.

Having students make quizzes for other students is a great way to reflect on their own learning and it would also make for an interesting interactive blog post. The more interactive a blog post is the more likely it is going to be viewed and commented on.

I would be interested to hear if anyone has tried this already