Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Lock-down Learning - Adapt to move forward

Today is Tuesday the 21st of April 2020.  Still on lock-down since Wednesday March the 25th.

Here are some of the things that I have done online while on lock-down, Level 4.  Many of these are new skills:
  • attended 3 DFI courses (Digital Fluency Intensive with teachers from around NZ)
  • created a new sports site
  • filed over 10,000 photos on my laptop since 2015
  • selected the right photos for the buttons on the sport site
  • created a digital pepeha
  • shared sports news for our school assembly that was livestreamed
  • created a youtube playlist of skills from 14 various sporting codes
  • created an A-Z exercise activities on google slide with a voice over using Quicktime
  • created a google form for response from students about their physical activities at home
  • organised a roster for specialists to make blog comments for 'their classes'
  • responding to emails from parents & students with queries about sport
  • created a spreadsheet with all of our students & class blog links for future use 
  • saving resources & ideas that I've copied from social media platforms
  • paid for a resource in order to use their images for my online content
  • shared a few resources with sports leads in the area
  • wrote & shared some ideas of how to engage reluctant students in P.E. & sport
  • organised a google meet lesson with the Manaiakalani boss on how to use Teacher Dashboard 
  • attended a sports cluster zoom meeting to discuss support for our roles
  • using the twitter link to track who has been blogging from our school
  • going into our school video archives to find pictures & footage for the sport site
  • created google meets with specialist teachers & a folder for minutes
  • attended Board of Trustees meetings 
  • filed Min of Ed bulletins in folders for BOT's correspondence
  • subscribed to NZSTA news for the board
  • changed the theme of my sports blog
  • edited my blog profile
  • creating folders for work as I go to file documents straight away
  • attended a rugby coaching course meeting via zoom  
  • created a dance with friends via zoom as part of a fitness group challenge
  • did an 80's retro dance class, following a YMCA instructor from our local pools
  • sharing birthday shout-outs, video clips & messages on our family chat page
  • sharing selfies & APP results to my health & fitness support group 
  • creating youtube playlists of favourite music
  • attended church & bible studies online
  • put all transactions from our family a/cs on to google spreadsheets for our treasurers
  • ordered new blanket/pillow & a nutribullet blender online
  • walk 6km for an hour every morning at 7:00 a.m. going past our school & Pt England beach

Famous basketball coach John Wooden's quote "If we fail to adapt, we fail to move forward" is true to what teachers have to go through during this time.  We have to adapt, we have to be open and we have to be resilient and learn how to teach differently.  I am thankful that I have had the time to learn new things and I feel blessed to have many kind experts I can call on to help me become more digitally fluent as we progress forward in to a new era.

Friday, 27 March 2020

DFI Session 4: Dealing with Data

Summary of DFI 4 Dealing with Data:

  • Share - Tohatoha
  • Google form
  • Google my map
  • Slides to support
  • Sheets
  • Analyse data from spreadsheet
  • Blogging tips and labels

The last weekday of 'Term 1' under NZ's Covid-19 lock-down regulations, was our first DFI PLD through distance learning with teachers from cohorts around New Zealand such as Northland and Gisborne, using Google Hangout.  Surreal. Reality. I felt a sense of renewed energy and focus, that everything we are learning today is purposeful, it's meaningful and it's important.  It is what our whanau are expecting us to know and to produce accessible, quality education for their children so they are continuing to learn and stay on track with their progress.  I feel very privileged to have access to this professional content that is necessary to create remote learning material for our students.

For the coming weeks, I am spoilt for selection on what I could use for our kids in the coming weeks.  First up, I need to work on the 'sport site' which is work in progress where I can post a lot of these great ideas.

Today we got to learn about what it means to 'SHARE' as part of the Manaiakalani pedagogy and kaupapa.  Here's my summary and reflection on this:

Sharing in this digital age is about a record of my learning, it is the process to 'finish my learning' that can be measured against learning outcomes. Sharing one's learning globally to an authentic audience (such as you, who is reading this post), creates more connections to receive feedback and feedforward from more than 'one teacher' in order to improve one's understanding. Sharing is another opportunity to learn and grow.

Personally, sharing my inquiry to a global audience makes me nervous at times. 'Broadcasting myself' to faces and people from places that I don't know, is an ongoing, interesting learning process for me. However by adopting a growth mindset is helpful in that by sharing my learning, it is not only a professional requirement but it also plays a huge part in my development to become an effective teacher. Learn and grow.

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” (Dweck, 2015)
The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome. They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. (Dweck, 2015).

By understanding the 'share' process in using a growth mindset, I can confidently pass that thinking on to students, that 'sharing' is a part of their 'growth zone' in education and we are sharing to learn. In saying that, I need to make a personal goal of posting comments daily on students who play sport, so they can see that sport is connected to their classroom learning. 

I have used google form to collect entries for tournaments, for students to sign up to play for a sports team and for feedback on an event. Something new that I learnt today was how to use those responses in a spreadsheet to create charts in analysing those. One thing I need to do more often is to share a survey, post-game or post-tournament with students so I can receive their immediate feedback of that event. I haven't done that before. It would be interesting to read their perceptions and use the information to make appropriate improvements.

For my learners, I can ask the two groups that I am responsible for: House Captains and Sporty Botz monitors, to create surveys from classes for example; on what gear they would like to play with at lunchtime, what inter-house games they would like during the breaks. For the post netball season, I can use forms to collect reflections from coaches, managers and players and families.

Today I created a form for our intermediate students to use on how they are keeping active at home in their bubble. Once it's complete, the senior teacher will share the link on their class sites. Depending on the number of responses, I can share that each week before we are physically back at school.

GOOGLE MY MAP (see map below)
I can use google map to find directions to places and to map out a playing field or softball diamonds for tournaments (not to scale though!). I haven't used it like we practised today which was using data from a spreadsheet (city, country) and inserting the link of that spreadsheet to 'my map' which automatically creates pin icons on the world map, very impressive! With my learners, by using the google form for responses on a spreadsheet, we can create pin icons on the world map of where they are from, what countries they have travelled to, mark places of countries who took part in a world cup etc.

What I would like to explore more is the use of marking out the distance of areas on a map e.g. a playing field. I would use it to mark out accurately our cross country course, for athletics, how long it takes to walk from our school to games and tournaments, how far it is to walk to the nearest rugby club, the netball courts, to other local schools, the college for basketball. Our students can relate to this and I believe it will engage their interest - we can discuss metres, kilometres, making estimations, width, length, area, time and distance.

Most of my drive is filled with spreadsheets. I basically work off this, mainly for data entry and little else. I mainly use sheets for:
  • Netball
  • Rugby Union
  • Kiwisport
  • Basketball
  • Athletics Day
  • Cross Country Day
  • Training Schedule
  • Sports Exchanges
  • Swimming Timetable
  • Sports Teams
  • Prizegiving
  • Player of the Day
  • Coaches & Managers
But wait, there's more to spreadsheets! There are shortcuts I can use, I can find the sum and average of data, I can create charts which are valuable to share with students and whanau but I can also help learners understand this and attempt to use it as well - such as the data that House Captains and Sporty Botz monitors can collect.

I use spreadsheets in my personal life, so working out how to use it efficiently is the knowledge I can pass on to family, friends and sports clubs.

Here's a copy of an analysis I did of my inquiry blog. Using a Panmure Bridge's student's blog post on how to analyse her own blog, I followed her instructions to create my own. My confidence increased in knowing that if I can create something like this, I can use this with my learners. For House Captains, we can place the results from an athletics day and find out which house had placements for 1st, 2nd and 3rd for points. I can also use this to share with our whole community, how many students played in each code for a year and the age groups. I could also use the data to work out the end of year prizegiving winners. If I can create a player of the day form for each coach or manager with a 3-2-1 point system, I have an efficient way of collecting the evidence to use at the end of the year. I need to work on this one...

Blogs need labels.  As a teacher, it is evidence of my practice that complies with the criteria of being a registered.  It's a quick way to search for a topic that could be useful to share with peers, students and whanau.  When my blog is bombarded with so many more posts to come :) the labels can help me find useful information more easily than without.

Lastly, in making an intentional effort to post comments on students who play sport for the school, I need to be making positive, thoughtful and helpful comments.

Below is my first attempt to use google my map.

Friday, 20 March 2020

DFI Session 3: Media

My last two blog posts were mainly notes that I've jotted down during the DFI sessions, rather than a reflection of my learning and how I can implement that in to my professional and personal life. I will go back and re-edit those. This post is a reflection on our third session called 'Media' and what I can take away and to use as a professional and for our awesome learners.

Summary DFI 3 Media Topics today:
  • Create - Manaiakalani pedagogy & kaupapa
  • Live Streaming
  • Youtube channel
  • Playlists
  • Google draw
  • Google slides
  • Digital pepeha

Here is what I have learnt about CREATE as part of the Manaiakalani kaupapa & pedagogy:

From today’s session I was reminded that planning for students to 'CREATE' what they have experienced
helps to engage them with the curriculum.  By teaching students to 'create' what they're learning,
assists them to become better problem solvers, collaborators and communicators. Create is a 'doing'
word, using the whole body.  It is a process of forming original ideas through exploration and discovery
(Kohl 2008).

So what does this look like on the sports field or court?  
'Play' and sports creates rich experiences.  Playing is the 'doing bit'.  Playing is the 'hook' to learning.  Students are continuously exposed to new learning opportunities when they train and play games. They are demonstrating what they have learned from trainings and exploring and discovering their vision, ideas and physical capacity as an individual and as a team-mate.  They are learning new skills, new moves and strategies, game plans, social skills, building a team culture, creating goals and contributing ideas for improvements.  By being in a team environment, it demands their thinking, their creativity and their contribution is vital because successful teams know that there is no 'I' in team.

Currently just about every game or tournament is filmed by videographers or a coach or team manager. Student editors or our Creative Space teacher produce highlights of the day and this is shared on our daily P.E.N.N school news network, also visible on our website, sports blog and archives. Our school community gets to celebrate their effort and achievement.

But the possibilities can be more. There are opportunities for individual students to use digital technology to create what they have learned as evidence to process their understanding and as another way to assess their content knowledge. For example, a student can write on their blog about their experience, they could create an animation on a google slide to re-create a special moment or highlights of the day, they could use game footage to analyse how they played as a team, moves and strategies etc.

As mentioned earlier, sport and play is already a hook to learning. As a professional, the evidence based information of implementing the 'create' part to my teaching that it makes a difference to accelerate learning progress is to intentionally plan for these opportunities. Coupled with effective teaching, this should produce better academic results.

Google Draw
I see the great value is using Google Draw for creating sports newsletters, promotional flyers,
maps for tournaments, for school sports days such as athletics and cross country. Can use the draw with live links (i.e. each time you edit a drawing, it updates this on links to other places).
Notes to remember:
  • Download as png to remove background
  • You can add notes on side bar for instructions

Google Slides
Use this to present to a crowd.
I have used Google slides for coaches and managers meetings, for lesson content, instructions for
players to register for a team and a sports hui. Today's session showed me the great potential in making
high quality presentations. I loved the idea of using post-it notes to plan what I wanted to have on each
slide (one idea per note), keeping in mind the main focus and objective of what I would like the audience
to learn, 'what's my story' - making an emotional connection with my audience.

I am encouraged by the idea of using a blank slide and various templates and themes e.g. free
templates on https://www.slidescarnival.com/. To make the slides more interesting, I can access icons
such as those found on the SlidesCarnival website, plus use different custom colours and fonts. A
helpful website to use images for slides without the background is found on www.remove.bg. You can
download an image and it removes the background around it, this is very cool. This gives me
confidence to produce better quality visuals to support my delivery.

In my role here are some examples of what I can use google slides for:
  • netball coaches and managers meeting
  • 'Meet the Coach' night
  • role of sports coordinator (for a Manaiakalani workshop)
  • personal digital pepeha
  • role of sporty botz monitor
  • house captains role
  • athletics day - staff meeting
  • cross country day - staff meeting
  • how to play rugby union, or rugby league, basketball, netball, football etc...
Notes for me to remember:
  • summarise message in a tweet size length statement
  • must have pictures on a screen to support my talk
  • have 3 main points and say the explanations
  • consistent formatting
  • better than google docs for visuals
Embed my slides on to the sport site, using the same slide.

Youtube Channel & Playlists
I would like to create playlist of songs for our whole school special events: 
  • Picnic Day
  • Cross Country Day
  • Athletics Day
  • Discos - Junior & Senior
  • Matariki Day
  • Meet the Teacher/Parent Day
  • Olympics / Commonwealth Sport Day
Reminder: No Youtube accounts for our students.  Use Blogger & Google Drive for teaching and learning.

How to Livestream
If it's worth capturing, why not livestream?  Never from Youtube - all from Google Drive
Our school has livestreamed sports games on our field which is uploaded to our website.  Families and the opposing schools can view the game if they couldn't make it.  Students can rewind and use this information to analyse the game and themselves.
We can film games livestream or organise the camera to follow a player.

Clean up tip for my GMAIL inbox:
Use: unroll.me.  You log in and edit subscriptions on one page and delete what you want to unsubscribe to.  Or you can 'add to the rollup' and read all subscribed messages/newsletters once a week.  This is useful for me as I subscribed to many publications e.g. Coach NZ, Education Gazette

The following is what I could use with my learners:
Google Draw
Examples of how my learners can use this:
  • draw a highlight of their game or of the tournament day
  • draw a portrait of their favourite sports person or team
  • for House Captains: create a poster for the Disco
  • for Sporty Botz monitors: create rules and guidelines for borrowing gear
  • examine a famous team captain, what are their qualities, quotes etc
  • create posters for a cake stall
  • create thank you cards for a coach, manager, mentor, sponsor, game organiser
Google Slides

Examples for learners:
  • create animation of your team or yourself scoring a goal or try
  • house captain pepeha and their goals for the term
  • instructions on how to pass & catch a rugby ball
  • instructions on how to pass & catch a netball
  • instructions on how to pass & catch a football
  • instructions on how to dribble a basketball
YouTube Playlists
I could create a 'Skills Playlist' for each code to share with learners:
  • How to swim - progress of skills
  • Netball
  • Rugby Union
  • Basketball
  • Rugby League
  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Athletics - Shot Put, Discus, High Jump, Sprint
  • Cross Country - Long Distance running 
Notes to remember:
  • by creating the playlist will limit distractions
  • embed on to my sport site - it is secure and students can't go to other videos online
Inspires me to create our own school playlist on "How to..." etc short video sports clips to share on our sport site and website.

The impact on using this information in my personal life...
All of the above is a revelation for my personal life.  I can be more creative in using google draw to create appealing flyers for my sports club, for promoting a sports hui, fundraisers.  I don't have to be an amazing artist or graphic designer to make one, I have the confidence to produce something that can be just as good.  It may take some practise but so does every good thing that is worth doing.

I feel excited to create a digital pepeha and think that it's a great idea for my whole family to do.  I am feeling confident to create more exciting google slides for presentations.  

Final thoughts, as we were inspired from today, it's through doing that we are learning and developing creative minds.  Be active to learn something.  Be intentional in using digital technologies to generate thinking and enable creativity.  

Saturday, 14 March 2020

DFI: Session 2 Workflow

Today was the second part of the DFI - Digital Fluency Workshop that I am completing in nine sessions. Excellent, high quality material on learning more ways to become an effective teacher by using digital tools to deliver knowledge and content. Here's a checklist of what we are covering in the coming weeks: Google Certified Educator Checklist Level 1
The focus of today was around boosting workflow to turbo charge learning. We have access to google slideshows that explain in detail how these spaces work:
  • Connecting with each other / Reflections
  • Hangouts
  • Manaiakalani Pedagogy: Learn Create Share
  • Google Keep
  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Tabs
  • Practical: Hangout with a small group
  • Blog Commenting

These are some personal notes I have made for myself to remember for future use. All information is found on our DFI agenda that has multiple links to numerous slides around each topic. It's awesome.

Google Hangout (Google Meet)
This is great and requires practise to remember it's great use.
You are able to talk face to face with a group of people, share knowledge of work from your laptop that people can view, make comments in the chat space while you're talking online. You can record and save the hangout on your drive.

I could use this app to communicate with coaches, outside agencies, meetings and groups of students.  An example of a topic would be to create an effective captain's speech.  We could share and analyse examples of captain's speeches before creating our own.  

What is effective teaching in my area? Manaiakalani Pedagogy
  • Effective teachers make the difference
  • Not a facilitator but teaching alongside students and to students
  • If it’s worth learning and teaching - it’s worth creating a rewindable resource. This is an example of what is turbo charging teaching.
  • A new way of learning, removes barriers, creating solutions to problems
Google Keep
Download the APP on your phone. Another fantastic resource. It's a lot more than taking notes. One way to use this with students or for personal use is to take a photo of a portion
Strip text that is needed for your learning: e.g. use authentic text, take a photo of an article or part of it, press the 3 dots and click on next (it copies and pastes the texts).
Archive - birthday gift, digitise life story e.g. handwriting each year
Pin list to be at the top e.g. school to do, sports to do
How do you keep a copy of this in archives?
Label everything and archive them to be hidden away

What is effective teaching in my area?
Effective teachers make the difference
Not a facilitator but actually teaching
If it’s worth learning, teaching - it’s worth creating a rewindable resource i.e turbo charging
Removes barriers, new ways of learning - make it a life changer…solutions to problems

Need to set up emails to be pre-sorted as they received so important messages are read and responded to, filed and archived.
Other notes:

  • Archive emails - do not delete, you may need past information
  • Label, label, label emails
  • Important and unread - learn how to sort these
  • Use filter to help sort emails
  • Once I've already read
  • Note to self - tidy email inbox
  • Schedule emails e.g. if working at 11:30pm at night, can schedule email to be sent at 7:00 a.m. 
Google Calendar
I currently use 2 calendars:
School Sports (visible to all - tournaments, games, important sporting events)
Sally - personal for appointments, other events
More information can be found here: Calendar: Rewindable Video

One Tab
You can amalgamate all tabs that you have opened under one called 'One Tab'

For Homework: 'CREATE'
Create a calendar event with Marie from Panmure to practise a 'hangout/meet' time.
Connect on the 'hangout' before session 3.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Digital Fluency Intensive - Using digital tools to improve sports at Pt England School

Digital technology to improve sports education at Pt England School

An area that I greatly desire to improve in, is to become more digitally savvy, particularly in my role where communication is key to how sports can run more efficiently at Pt England.  For 9 weeks, I will be a part of the 25th Cohort to complete the Digital Fluency Intensive Course (DFI) that is facilitated by the staff from the Manaiakalani Education Programme.

The topics we covered today:

  • Overview of the course
  • Manaiakalani origins
  • Streamlining communication
  • Chrome
  • Drive
  • Explore - Chrome extensions
  • Google Docs
  • Skills list
  • Add-ons and Extensions
  • Create visual media

Key learnings and tools that I would use from today's session:

1. Group Email Communications
This is an alternative to creating groups from your contact list.  It is creating one email address e.g. teachers@ptengland.school.nz where messages are sent to every teacher under a topic and every response goes out to everyone.  This is one way to keep information and communication about a topic in one space.  With the permission of our senior management team at school, I would like to create group emails for
  • netball coaching staff
  • rugby coaching staff
  • house captains & their teachers
2. Drive / Work Spaces
  • organise my drive folders into subjects e.g. AIMS, Tamaki Cluster, Rugby, Staff meetings etc into different work spaces
  • colour code and look at numbering folders 
  • make all folders visible
  • file folders under years e.g. 2020, 2019, 2018
3. Web Forum
  • explore this space to discuss and create lessons to critically analyse current events, articles, use for research studies
4. Voice Typing
  • your voice automatically records what you say.  A useful tool I could use to records reflections of a tournament, highlights of a game.
  • to save typing lots of information, this can record what I say.  I would need some time to train myself on how to do this
5. Google Documents
  • heading titles
  • Explore tool - very useful to tag and connect research material to key words, quotes, facts etc - it automatically creates a footnote with reference to the source
6. Visual Graphics
  • remove.bg website - great to use to remove the background of an image and re-use the clean image for visual work
  • using tables in google documents to create visual documents
I am looking forward to the next session.  In the meantime, I will endeavour to try a few things that I have learnt today.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Pt England, how do you do it? NETBALL...

I received an email, recently asking "Pt England Netball - how do you do it?" as the person was investigating around low decile schools and their participation in sport.  Pt England is a school that they always referred to as a school that is low decile but is so active with their netball at the Auckland Netball Courts.  This post is a response to that email with a few bits that I've added.

Basically, it's hard work and it takes a 'whole village' to make things happen, but it's worth it. Bottom line is that we don't want our children and families to miss out due to financial reasons. The 'investment' in to our netball programme is not just about the children, but it's about strengthening our relationships with our parents, and empowering them to "look up" and be engaged with the community. We find it rewarding when families see the joy on their child's face, their connection to team-mates and their potential for a better future.  It is also about empowering our volunteers and staff in sports coaching and management.
4 years later: from the 7 players above, in 2019, the GS plays in the Year 8 A team (A grade, section 2) and was in the Development Programme this year.  The C & GA play for one of our Year 7 teams in the C grade.  The GK is not playing this year to focus on school work.  The 2 non-bibbed players plus the first player on the far left now attend other schools.


For several years each player paid $60. Each time the fees went up, we cringed and we reluctantly increased it to $70. That would only cover the fees. We add up all the team fees plus the umpire fees for Years 5-8 (we book ANC umpires because we can rely on umpires showing up) and this puts less pressure on our volunteer coaches who are already doing almost everything...Fees are paid at the school office by cash or eftpos or online through internet banking.  In November or December each year, we have a school-family consultation meeting (about the curriculum subjects, camps, sports fees etc), where we decide on how much to set the fees for our netball teams.  Feedback from families is that they need a lot of notice about fees and due dates. A lot of parents like the part payment option, to be given the opportunity to pay it off on a regular basis, example $5 a week or when they get some extra money, they chuck it on their fees. It takes a few families 3 terms to pay off their fees (Terms 1-3). When the season is over, we stop giving friendly reminders. So with this kind of payment structure, we pay the full fees in May (when it's due to the ANC) and the umpire fees out of our sports budget, which leaves hardly anything left for other codes/equipment etc. When parents pay their fees, they are putting money back into our sports budget.

Since our sports budget becomes smaller after paying the netball fees, we don't have enough to purchase new uniforms. Our Year 4 & 5 teams are basically wearing uniforms that we've had for about 20 years. The seniors are wearing cheap ones that we got on sale at Postie Plus several years ago and are falling apart. I am currently looking for grant funding to purchase new uniforms for all of our teams. What's very urgent is uniforms for our senior teams (Years 5-8).  Our older girls feel more comfortable in wearing skirts and tops that are a size bigger than what they are.  Dresses tend to creep up and become 'too short'.  Our Year 1 to 4 students wear dresses and love that.

It's been a few years since I've ordered brand new netballs. We have been using second hand netballs that have been donated by people in the wider community (former netball coaches) and the ANC (through lost property) or we have re-used what we had the previous year. We have a few fundraisers during the year such as the running the Weetbix kids triathlon car park, a cake stall and sausage sizzles during the breaks at school. The Variety Club NZ - they're awesome. The money that people donate to the club is available for eligible parents to pay off their netball fees, to purchase any netball shoes or a school sports hoody. Parents have to apply for this funding. Staff members tend to pay for students with hardship circumstances. Shoes - strangers and staff members donate used shoes that I keep in a box at school. They are given out to players who don't have any shoes and for ones who 'forget' them on 'netball day'. Any spares are given out to other school students in need of shoes. Their feet are growing all the time.

Like any sporting code, no coach - no team. We are so blessed to have the majority of our teams coached by staff members who volunteer their spare time. They are awesome. The other teams are coached by a parent, older siblings/cousins and former students and we really value their contribution. Many of them are new to coaching but want to give it a go so that their child and their friends don't miss out. That's a heart of gold in our community. However new volunteers can come with a wide range of personal, sporting experience, hence why I try to buddy up coaches with a staff member so that everything can run smoothly - our staff members know each student, their story and are more able handle tricky issues. Our staff members are also modelling how to be professional, inclusive, positive and encouraging. We are working with the children AND our families.

My role is that I coordinate the whole programme and help resolve any issues, with the support of our senior management team (Assistant Principal & Principal). I am also Plan C for everything. Coach is Plan A, Manager is Plan B. If neither of them can make it to a game or take a training - I am plan C.  I co-coach a team on Tuesdays so I won't get to see all of the other teams play but I will be there on Thursdays from the first round to the last to offer support and encouragement.  I love watching our students play.

2019 TEAMS
We are looking at having 15 teams this year - so far it looks like this:
1. Year 1 - coached & managed by 2 teachers
2. Year 2 - coached & managed by 2 teachers & a Year 7 student
3. Year 3 - coached & managed by 2 teachers
4. Year 4-1 - coached & managed by a former teacher & her Year 7 daughter
5. Year 4 - coached & managed by 2 teachers
6. Year 4 - coached by 2 awesome mums
7. Year 5 - coached & managed by 2 teachers
8. Year 5 - coached by our AP & another teacher is the manager
9. Year 6 - coached by a support teacher & managed by a dad
10. Year 6 - coached & managed by 2 teachers
11. Year 7 - coached by 2 former students, current staff members (no siblings in the team)
12. Year 7 - coached by a mum, managed by a teacher
13. Year 7 - coached by an older cousin, managed by a teacher
14. Year 8 - coached by a teacher & managed by a couple of people i.e. our Board of Trustees Chairperson (dad), office staff member and former coach (who is having a baby in March)
15. Year 8 - co-coached & managed by 2 teachers (including myself)

Straight after school, all teams meet in the hall for a 10 minute briefing. They sit in team lines, I take the roll call & give them reminders e.g. short nails, sportsmanship etc - parents are usually there & I give them reminders too. After 10 minutes, one team at a time will collect a piece of donated fruit from the front of the hall and will go to their coaches to a space in the hall (this 10-15 minutes gives teachers time to get to the hall after they lock up their classrooms etc). We had a grandmother who baked cookies for every junior team for the past 6 years.   Each child would get a cookie and a piece of fruit as their snack before the game.  Often with games after 5:00 p.m. - players are sent home to be dropped back off to the court half an hour before their game.  Student without a ride will be picked up by the coach or manager.

Google spreadsheets and documents are our best friends.  I have a google spreadsheet with all the team and player information, key dates, fees paid, uniform allocation, results, players of the day etc. I give out weekly newsletters on Mondays.  Team captains collect them from my office at 2:30pm to deliver to their team-mates.  Spare ones are left in a cubby hole outside my office for those who may have missed out.  I have a large, visible notice board outside my office with the team lists and draws and also in the staffroom & the school office.  Coaches send team reminders by creating their own newsletters or by text.  I text / email / or talk face to face weekly with volunteer coaches and managers, to check on how they're doing, so they feel supported and also get the latest news/updates from the ANC.

Weekly school assembly on Friday mornings.   Players of the day receive a certificate in front of the whole school and stand up on the stage with other recipients. Our own netball prizegiving is in late September on a Thursday night to coincide with pay day (not Monday to Wednesday).  Families and staff bring a plate of food to share. School provides the beverages.  Each student receives a participation certificate and a lolly necklace.  Three extra awards are given out from each team:
1. Most Improved
2. Sportsmanship
3. Most Valuable Player
Each team says their team chant and presents their coaches and managers with a thank you card and any gifts they can manage to put together. This is an opportunity to thank other people and advertise for new volunteers. In December, we have a special Volunteers Morning Tea shout where all of our coaches are invited to this.  Team photos are taken at the end of the season.  Parents purchase these from Photolife for $15 or $17 depending on the size.

We are blessed to be 5 minutes down the road from school. Our staff and available parents transport the students to the courts from school (those who play after 5:00 p.m. have to go home then meet at the courts - sometimes our staff pick them up from home).  Parents are expected to pick their child up from the courts. But we make sure that we support the mums and families who don't have vehicles or have little ones and can't leave home to pick their child up We don't have any school vans however our Associate Principal kindly allows us to use his van to drop off teams to the court. We have a few parents and students who walk to and from the courts.  We try to avoid this happening because it's cold and too wet on some days and it can be a bit of a walk, especially if they live on the other side of Glen Innes.  No one gets left behind at the courts.  On their permission slips, there's a bit where I ask parents if their child can't be picked up or dropped off, would they give permission for the staff and other parents to do so.  Some parents indicate that they strictly go home with family only. We try to always cover ourselves.

There are other things that we do that's tailored to our school community.  But essentially, there's a lot of people involved in making this work for our students.  Fees, transport and lack of volunteers are obstacles for low decile communities. We are fortunate that I am also employed full time to look after our sports programme (we have 9 rugby teams and 5 basketball teams plus other sporting codes - so winter is a very busy time!).

You need key people who have the time, passion, the faith and capacity to drive the programme. But you have to also be realistic and work with what you can manage.  Hope those are some insights in to our netball programme.   It's not perfect and every year is different. But the confidence and the engagement that you see in a child and their family makes it all worth it in building stronger communities - building faith that anything is possible...

Monday, 26 March 2018

2018 Inquiry Focus

Language acquisition for our gifted athletic intermediate boys

Year 5 & 6 Boys Rugby Teams 2017
My focus this year is on a group of intermediate boys who are generally, the most outstanding athletes across all codes in our school.  The focus is on their oral literacy, by expanding their vocabulary and teaching them the language to articulate themselves in different sporting settings.

The students are two Year 8's and two Year 7's who have been captains or vice captains for our school sports teams.  The Year 8's are a prefect and a house captain, so they are in roles where they are expected to speak to large groups of people as school leaders.

I would like for them to learn about the 'when and what to say':
  • to ask questions (e.g to the coach, match officials)
  • to use social etiquette 
  • to react to the opposition's words (good or bad)
  • to justify a decision they made on the field or court (be able to explain in detail)
  • to explain the coach's game plan to their team-mates
  • in a half time time talk (how to critique the game & come up with a strategy to improve)
  • to match officials (e.g how to approach or talk to a referee)
  • in a captain's speech (e.g. who to acknowledge, to have a an opinion)
What they will learn alongside the above is to practise a:
  • thank you speech
  • karakia
  • mihi
  • waiata
Ideas on how to measure the progress of their language acquisition:
  • shared google doc
  • self reflections shared on blog
  • peer reflection
  • use audio voice memo to record speeches
  • possibly a rubric?
First step is to let the students know that they will be my focus group for the year and to share:
  • the sports calendar of training and games for 2018
  • purpose for the group 
  • set goals to work towards
I'm looking forward to this inquiry as I have tried to teach our athletes over the years about the language to use above, but have not intentionally made it a focus on, to document, measure and share with athletes over the years.