Friday, 10 May 2019

Kahu Ako Conference Day

My notes from the conference:

Conference Day April 2019

Dr Melinda Webber

Uma kai pou - contentment of a mother breastfeeding in the night
Uma breast
kai food

Tamariki should feel this when they walk into your classroom - safe. 

Broadening our ideas of what success at school should look like and how we measure it.

Told us her background but learnt nothing about this at school or NZ Maori history.
The curriculum needs to be localised
narrative of who they are and what they can become. 
Kahikatea - Maori achieve success as Maori but our schools don’t do this
Maori success is not held up as a model
They need to learn that their ancestors were exceptional, not un-educatable. 

Stereotype threat - unspoken perception that people around you don’t expect you to succeed as well as others.
Growing up Maori requires and extra fortitude because sooner or later a Maori child will be exposed to forces that will interrupt their development - stereotype threat. Has physical symptoms. Maori studies hear that they are less intelligent than other students. 
Undermines confidence, poor performance and 
It is the smartest students who are most affected by stereotype stress - feel has to stop being Maori or stop being smart. (poverty)
Pressure to disprove a stereotype gives them an ‘extra task’.  To do well and ‘slay the ghost’ in the room.
Disproving a stereotype is something they have to do over and over again. Many chose not to do it. 

Schools need to seek out way to develop mana - the positive forms. Normalise Maori world view. 
Maori achieving success as Maori - has mixed answers depending on where they grew up - Maori in Ham will be difficult of Maori in ???  Her way of being and speaking changes on the Marae. 

What do great teachers do to foster success at school? 
More about the development of Mana. 

Talk to students about who their role models are - from family, community, school = ask to describe in 5 words and that will show you what success means to that student. 

Qualities of success Te arawa
1. Students have a positive sense of Maori identity. (positive ones not negative) believe their success leads to others success (embedded achievement) I am successful because I'm Maori not even though I am Maori - Maui nana kia? mischievous - we must see the mana in these kids that drive us crazy
2. Successful Maori are diligent and have and internal locus of control - patient, stoic, persistence etc
Relationships critical as often fall out with teachers etc - if drive in heart can go back, if in head not so much
Learning is something the whole family values. 
3. Successful Maori students learn how to nurture strong relationships. get along with teachers they don’t even like. Willing to learn from others and be mentored by even if not their fave. Aware of own strengths and weaknesses. Service to others grown our own mana. Feedback is a koha. 
4. These students were overwhelmingly described as curious and innovative. Enquiring mids, make associations and draws conclusions. Creative. What does this look like in real life - algebra story.
5. Look after their well being. I can’t learn at school unless i have an outlet for my anger, sadness etc. Fit, resourceful, balanced, healthy. Touchstone teacher - just lets me be. 
6. Committed to advancing their own knowledge. Scholars who know where they want to go and persevere to achieve their goals. An aptitude for things scholarly commitment to excellence. Driven, purposeful, aspirational, 
Academic back planning - discussions about what you want to do - pilot - where do you need to go? right back to what do you need to do in Years 9 upwards. Decisions need to be grounded in reality. Making good choice not pursuing pathways that lead nowhere. Begin at primary school. Begin those conversations asap. Knew why they were doing things. Purposeful. Where do you want to be in 5 years time, in 10 years time? 
They knew what parents had done to allow them to succeed. Their success or failure is their whole families success or failure. 
7. Successful Maori students possess humility. They are too humble? Why are they scared to go up on stage. It’s lonely up there by yourself. Teka - lie, if just me not all the people who helped me. Allow them to have a shout out to those who helped them. Primary prize giving - whole family invited and goes up on stage. A lot of people contribute. Team players.  Humility is a cultural point of difference not just for Maori but for kiwis - it’s a cultural thing. Don’t confuse with shyness. 
Humble in defeat and in glory.
8. Successful Maori students understand core Maori values. Help them to be successful in wider community- Manaakitanga - care and hospitable of others
Kotakitanga - ability to commit to a vision
Wairuatanga -  moral compass and a sense of justice (often its seen as spiritualism but students talked more about moral)
When had to make a quick decision always went for the moral or social justice decision rather than the quick decision.
Story about eagles and turkeys. If you want to fly like an eagle. 

Identified some conditions that enable these qualities to manifest. 
The Mana Model - photo
Pepeha - has it been unpacked. 

Effective Classroom Teaching 
Which Edu-Theories should we listen to?
7 Myths, 2 Fallacies & 6 Recommendations

Based on Research Ed - pseudo science proof out of UK. Tom Bennett the man behind it. 
Cheap and best he has ever been to $40 compared to uLearn which he did like. 
Was in Auckland. 
What is out there that we should push back on?

What was fad and what should be listened to. 
Knowledge a pillar to learning that does not get as much appreciation
Are we too skills focused? 
Skills vs knowledge
This session John Eddy’s stuff. 

Katherine Burkett
Impact of Early Trauma
Experienced something in their early years that reorganises how their brain processes things. 
“I’m going to fuck you up bear” removed from home at 2.
If we don’t do anything with this kid he will still think like this at 50.
Set by 2.
 Insults into the brain. 
The first 1000 days conception to 21/2 but really to 3.
Neurosequential model of brain development. 
Nice solid foundation things can happen but they can be plastered. 
Only way to really change it is to go back to the foundation and solidify it. 
What did we do in the first 1000 days. Sang, touched, rolled, rocked, and this is what damaged kids do when they rock etc.
All the little things we did that were taken for granted and can rebuild the foundations in the brain. 

1000 days brain develops from top to bottom inside to out. 
Red brain survival emotional, green brain is managing.  Survival, Emotional, Managing 3 areas of brain development. 
Survival brain developed on first 2 years see hear cross the midline    and its saying “am I safe” (attachment theory)
when the answer is mostly yes, fed, warm etc then I’m safe so I don’t need to produce a further survival brain - if not safe i.e. constant chaos, anger, fighting, disorganisation, not safe - not being fed, changed, touched, orphanages can die within 2 weeks of birth if not touched. Touch activates thinking and good positive things. 
If survival brain says not safe then I need to keep developing the ability to keep scanning the environment. 
Calm to angry faces. Two types of kids. From violent environment could identify anger coming much sooner. 
Highly sensitised to identifying what they need to see to survive. 
Those kids also identified all expressions to anger because any facial confusion, frustration etc lead to anger for those people. Hypervigilant. 
You tell me I’m safe then I will go on and learn some emotions - emotional brain. 
Managing brain is the part that sequences - planning, time management, empathy, 
If continued to concentrate on survival then those other skits will not have developed. 
Survival brain enhanced then they miss out on opportunities to develop other social skills. 
Learning to cope with emotional - cope with failure, fear, anger, etc

Trauma does not allow kids to go thru developmental stages until they learn they are safe. 
It’s not determinate, it’s influential. 

86billion cels in brain developed in utero. 
Why pregnancy stage is considered. 
Alcohol, drugs, cortisol, - all detrimental to the development of cells - there is an enzyme that is made to protect from cortisone but not if there is too much. But if it is constant it can impact baby brain. Earthquakes data to show in utero has impacted on cells in utero. Some things they may not be able to do and we have to accept it - if their brain cells were reorganised in utero. 
It is never absolute. 
Partial activation of stress is anxiety. People can also be genetically anxious. 
Nutrients also there is data discussion about. 
Also an anxious parent will develop an anxious child if the child experiences that too much.
Physically anxious parents need to separate themselves from the baby to allow baby to be calm - can’t trick the baby if you are holding them. 
Teach children to calm down 
therapy not recommended children should not made to talk about something if they are not ready

86 bill cells but not connected, they connect through experience, everyone born with potential to talk every lang in world but speak the lang they are spoken to. 
Respect - if not taught - send out a kid who has not heard the language of success, learnt to take their turn, try again, has this kid ever spoken the lang you are expecting the to speak you may as well be asking them to speak German. 
Experiences - brain connects Myelin produced it’s the weight increase in the brain more reputations the more connections the more yelling 
Myelination happens because we repeat it. In a sensitive period less repetition needed i.e. learn language as a baby without as much repetition. 
Dog. Oh dog dog - repeat name look connects with visual part of brain touch fluffy etc, taste, what does a dog say, woof?? no incorrect template - check the template. If the template is that if someone hurts someone in your whanau then the template rule is you hurt someone in their whanau. And then you teach this to your kids. 
When kids are taught templates that are destructive about others and about themselves. If you repeat something enough then you know it the brain does not check templates unless you do reflective practise - are you stopping and checking why I do this/ is it the best way/ 
Community constables come into school to reteach the template about police. 
If a template s built we don’t check it until someone asks us to and we build a new positive one. 
What the dog does and how parent reacts builds the template in the brain. 
Myelination creates the template. 
We can always build a new template. 
HPA access activated - fight flight energy survival response. 
Once activated you can’t expect them to learn you have to help them calm down. 
Your behaviour in that moment is to fixing it long term you are triaging. 
Rest of the day you practise calming down so they can learn how too. 
Practising activation calming down at a lower level. 
Drink, the away whatever it is not rewarding bad behaviour. 
Cleaning it up now, apologising now etc is not helping it is keeping them in that state. 

If waiting until 10/11 to learn to calm down then it’s so much harder, much easier when younger. 

To learn you need a managing brain. Most kids if put in a plan that does not have behavioural consequences then there will usually be progress. Take for a walk, calm down rather than consequence. 

First meet -
how often did they activate into survival brain
and how long did they stay in survival brain
every moment that you can have a child calm they have the capacity to learn not just academic but observe other children anyhow they behave. Increase their capacity to stay calm. Then they will begin to engage. 
Programme of staying safe not behavioural consequences. 
Kids who do become hyper-vigilant when the usually have a higher potential and care more than those who just have written life off. 
Not ideal to have hyper-vigilant kids around other kids. 
We understand that some kids more help to calm down and we need to accept and help them, reward for calming others down cause if you poke the bear it gets angry and that can be a reward to. 

Monday, 4 March 2019

Understanding how kids learn to read

I've been reading around this topic recently in light of all the new information we have about how the brain works so it's definitely time to update y thinking from University days and even from the earlier years of my teaching career.
I've found some articles that 'explain' the new learning in an accessible way.

Teaching Decoding to struggling readers. 

Reading and Oral Language

Monday, 25 February 2019

Play based learning

Backward Planning! - ha there is a name for what I did for years:-)

Two excellent videos to listen to . Somethings I didn't fully agree with but 95% I do. It's all about the degree of interpretation and the ability and teaching style of the teacher.
Number Agents - Using play to guide inquiry / Writing
As promised, trying to do some short videos (of just me talking) to answer some of the questions I get.  This video is about capturing the curriculum and how we deliver inquiry. The key for us is talk, it plays a huge role, discussion is rich and children are valued as experts.
Hope it is helpful, have a few more questions to answer, but if you have any burning questions, just fire them at me and I will try to get to them.
Ok second and last one for the night, this one is in answer to how we teach writing, hope it is useful :)

Inquiry all comes from the child.

Writing is the painting of the voice. 
Children need to be developmentally ready and interested to write.
We need to value the making of marks more. 
Writing is communication, if they have nothing to say they have nothing to write. 

Sunday, 24 February 2019

What 3 to 7year olds need to learn

Podcast Nathan Mikaere Wallace: Read the article and listen to the podcast.

They are not little adults, by 7 your frontal cortex is developed so you are ready for cognitive learning but not younger. They need social skills not cognitive skills, knowing stuff does not make them more intelligent at this age it's the need for social and emotional skills - how they feel about themselves. Learning to read at 31/2 is not better than reading at 61/2. Success is based on your perception of yourself and yourself as a learner. Pushing children slows them down. Model don't correct. Not right or wrong answers. Intelligence is problem-solving, problem-solving is creativity. Create the thinker before you put the facts in. Good outcomes are associated with less structure. There is a conflict here between research and what parents think. If you value too much right and wrong answers you are valuing them parroting back. Would you talk to your friend/adult like this? Anxiety hinders higher cognition. Develop quality relationships where you listen to the child. Stop giving advice. Develop and value social skills. Most western countries start at 6 based on Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Start at 6, have a year to socialise and be ready to start learning at 7. The power of play, open-ended no right or wrong answer. Self-driven creative play is the most valuable thing a 3 to 7 year olds can do. Nathan talks about brain lateralisation that has to happen to be ready to read and if this hasn't happened it's too soon, making before 6/7 too soon. Metacognition - give them some knowledge of themselves as a learner. What I'm good at and what I need a bit of help with and that everyone has something they need help with. Screen time - what is a healthy amount. 3-7 no amount is beneficial it depends on how you use it. None below 2. Gluckman and how we are so punitive to our children in NZ which results in delinquents. In childhood, we focus too much on cognitive skills. NZ Curriculum is chronological standards that are set by - 'year of production'. All children this age should be the same?? No. The Key Competencies are so much more important. And remember you can 'grown intelligence' the brain is so much more capable of doing this that we ever thought.

Nathan Mikaere-Wallis (MEd. Couns, BEd, PGDip Sys Intervention, Whakapiki i te reo Maori-Post graduate qualification in Maori language) Nathan has spent the last nine years as a lecturer at Canterbury University, a neuroscience presenter for Brainwave, and as a Child Protection trainer.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Location, location, location

This is an interesting watch for anyone, not just leaders. It helps you understand your own behaviour and that of those around you. I like how it clarifies that 'below the line' is our default position and that we all get to go there sometimes. For me, it really unpacks the mindset of those who resist change.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Play is Children's Sacred Work

The Sacred Urge to Play Pennie Brownlee and Kimberley Crisp This book is full of inspiring quotes and is well worth reading.

 This documentary from 1950 makes you wonder what went wrong in the following 70 years and why we are fighting today to justify play based learning?