COACHING LOG AND REFLECTION
This flyer will:
- record the progress of each meeting between the peer coach and coach-ees
- feature reflections, thoughts and ideas of the peer coach
- Yaz - first year support teacher (literacy and numeracy)
- Melanie - classroom teacher of an enrichment class (year 2-6)
16 October 2012 with Melanie
19 October with Melanie
- Learning Activity: Diegesis
- Technology Integration: For term 4's technology focus, Mel wishes to expose students to a variety of technology tools and platforms. From my peer coaching course, I learnt of SMORE. I believed this would be a suitable platform and so suggested it to Mel during the session.
- Next Time: Middle of next week
Reflection: BSPS's term 4 focus for all classes is 'Fantasy'. All classes are named after a fantasy world, and as team teachers, Mel and I are looking at ways to allow students to develop technology skills whilst exploring the idea of Fantasy. As part of the (now postponed) Satellite Games, students were to produce a game or transmedia story about a theme. In our team teaching planning time, Mel and I believed that our school's term 4 focus of fantasy would tie in really well with that concept. However, part of today's peer coaching session addressed Mel's concerns of ensuring syllabus outcomes would be met, and that technology would be used for an authentic purpose. As her class's writing focus this term was narratives, she was sure this would be achievable and relevant. When Mel expressed that she wanted students to create a diegesis of their fantasy world for their gaming or transmedia project, she was unsure of a useful tool to achieve this. At this point, I asked her whether she would like a suggestion, and it was here that I suggested SMORE. I learnt about SMORE during my peer coaching course and am glad to have been exposed to many technological tools as it has strengthened my ability to peer coach in the area of ICT.
23 October 2012 with Yaz
- Learning Activity: Vocabulary - fiction and non-fiction texts
- Technology Integration: Discussed ways to increase engagement and attention of students through lesson delivery. Coach-ee noted that her students are interested in the IWB, and the coaching session explored ways to deliver the teaching content through useful use of ICT. IWB, Popplet, Microsoft Word and Powerpoint as potential tools.
- Next Time: Meet Wednesday, Week 4 to reflect on lesson.
Reflection: Today's meeting began with the coach-ee explaining her lesson plans for the upcoming fortnight. Through paraphrasing, it was determined that the coach-ee was concerned about the engagement of her students, and maintaining their attention for 40 minute literacy sessions. Whilst clarifying, the coach-ee determined that her students are most engaged when they are physically involved in the lesson (using technology, drama etc.). The coach-ee then critically considered each aspect of her lesson and through natural discussion, she was concerned that her lesson was focusing more on the texts and not on the actual strategies that she intended to teach. We then explored bringing her lesson back to her stage's learning goals, and the learning intentions. Then, how could the strategies be taught using ICT. For example, the coach-ee wanted students to mind map. However, she was unfamiliar with any web tools that could assist her with this, so through further probing, I asked her whether she had ever heard about Popplet (as we have used it in staff meetings). As this coach-ee is in her first year of teaching, I am aware that I may need to suggest some potential ICT/web tools if she is unfamiliar with them.
24 October 2012 with Melanie
- Learning Activity: Narrative Writing
- Technology Integration: Online story writing tool called Storybird.
- Next Time: Meet 9 November
Reflection: Today's peer coaching meeting showed me how peer coaching removes the "expert" and the "novice" dynamic. Whilst working with Mel, I have been learning alongside her. Today's meeting was one of those instances. As part of her class's narrative writing, she was focusing on her term goal of selecting appropriate ICT to address the term's theme as well as other syllabus outcomes. Peer coaching has inspired her to explore online tools and also speak with IT experts in the school to learn of new application and software. One of those online tools was Storybird. I had never heard of Storybird before, and upon learning about it and researching the website (see link below), I was reminded of the benefits of peer coaching for the coach - being able to learn from the coach-ee.
7 November 2012 with Yaz
- Learning Activity: Grammar - nouns, verbs and adjectives
- Technology Integration: Reflected on previous lesson and teacher expressed interest in using Popplet as a mind mapping tool due to successes with previous lesson. Teacher found the webtool to be a useful way for students to share their prior understandings of topics, especially as she is a support teacher for the class and is not always present to see what they are learning. Teacher identified that students responded to the Smart Board as opposed to the in-class board which didn't work as smoothly, so teacher agreed to teach several lessons in the library Smart Board room. Microsoft Word will also be used next lesson, as students demonstrated a need to develop their word processing skills.
- Next Time: Meet Monday, Week 7 to reflect on lesson.
Reflection: When meeting today, I noticed that coach-ee was a lot more confident in the sharing of her ideas and thoughts for her lesson. She reflected on positives of the previous lesson but noted some contraints. During our conversation, she reflected on several components of her lesson that she would like improved - mainly: timing, modelling use of computer software, explicit teaching and step-by-step instructions. When reviewing her lesson, coach-ee found several parts of her lesson to be repetitive and unnecessary and so consolidated the teaching so it would be more explicit and focussed. The teacher also asked if we could share ideas on how to manage the modelling of using technology in the lesson. We discussed the idea of a quick teacher/student demonstration, with students independently completing the task to find verbs. The group would then come together for teacher/student to model using the technology to find adjectives, then students would do so independently. This process would be repeated for nouns. Coach-ee is looking forward to this structure, and thinks it may keep students on task and interested.
9 November 2012 with Melanie
- Learning Activity: Personal Projects by students - gaming and transmedia storytelling
- Technology Integration: A unit/sequence of lessons around the theme 'Fantasy' where students write a narrative and tell that story through different media or a gaming platform. These learning activities feature students selecting from many examples of ICT such as SMORE, blogging, laptops, iPads, Storybird, Scratch, Puppet Pals and Animoto in order to create their final project.
Reflection: This reflection is more focusing on a shift that I have seen in students since peer coaching began. As I team teach with Mel, I am fortunate enough to be able to work with her class and see the benefits of peer coaching that extend to her students. I work with Mel's class for two hours a day, four days per week. During literacy sessions, students have been working in teams to address a term theme as well as reading, writing, and talking and listening outcomes through a technological project. This structure has encouraged students to work in teams, solve problems, engage in quality discussion and work, as well as develop responsibility to stay on task and persevere on a project from creation to completion. Students remain highly motivated as they value their project because it is unique to them and has purpose (as Satellite Games did not go ahead, students will share their projects at our school's 'Expo Day'). Throughout the term, students in this class have been learning to use many types of ICT (see previous log entries). They are now at a point in their learning where they must revisit all of the ICT, trial and select the most appropriate ones for their project. For example, one student group is doing transmedia story telling. They are beginning their story on the blog, then their complication will be on Animoto. However, to use Animoto, they had to use iPads to take photos and then learn to upload them to a laptop. So in turn, using one ICT tool has enabled them to develop many other technological skills and terminology. This does not go without difficulties though - students working in teams does raise issues with sharing of technology, how to save work when multiple people are working on a task etc. However, Mel has put many scaffolds in place to try to address this (such as planning sheets, student roles, team USBs to save work to etc). Upon speaking to students, I have also learnt that they are exploring technology out of school hours in order to enhance the work they are doing at school. For example, three boys have been watching online tutorials at home on how to develop gaming scripts on Scratch. They then bring this knowledge back to school and share it with their peers to help them. I am seeing so many examples of how coach and coach-ee discussions can motive and engage students to improve their learning for a purpose.
13 November 2012 with Yaz
Today coach-ee wanted to meet to discuss the lesson that was the focus of our last meeting. Due to server migration, technology was not able to be accessed at our school for 3 days (all computers, internet and so on). She decided to post-pone her lesson series and ended up teaching the session on a class-room walkthrough day. She was happy with the arrangement, as it gave her an opportunity to share what she has learned with colleagues and visiting teachers from another school. There were some issues she raised, such as a lag in computer response time (which she found daunting) as well as some difficulty with Popplet. She logged onto Popplet and I instructed her on how to address one of the issues that arose with the mind map boxes. She showed me the mind map that her students had created, and I could see that good teaching had occurred. Students had recorded the prior understandings of grammar, and had made connections between the ideas. They had also provided examples of nouns, adjectives and verbs.
One question that coach-ee asked was how to provide feedback to students once a unit of learning was complete (e.g. 2 weeks of a grammar unit). As she is not a classroom teacher, she felt it difficult to revisit last week's work when a new unit was being taught by the classroom teacher. Using some peer-coaching strategies, we had a short coaching conversation, and explored how ICT could form part of authentic feedback (such as using the school blog). That way, students could review their work and feedback in their own classroom time or home time and still have the benefit of identifying strengths in their work as well as areas for improvement.
Next meeting session: Week 7, Tuesday
20 November 2012 with Yaz
- Learning Activity: Language Devices
- Technology Integration: Popplet has been quite successful with this class and as coach-ee is a support teacher who works with many classes and groups rotate, it is necessary to review prior knowledge. She has identified that her students respond really well to this as a mindmapping tool and are quite happy to share their understandings from previous learning when such technology is involved (as opposed to only talking about it). Laptops - edublogs was also integrated in this lesson due to previous log entry. Students were able to use school laptops and comment on the blog post to share their use of language devices.
- Next Time: Meet Monday, Week 7 to reflect on lesson.
Reflection: Through our coaching session today, it was determined that the teacher felt she was meeting her goal of improving student engagement. One of the noticeable threads/reflections of the coaching process with her was that she could benefit from some development in selecting a clear lesson focus and ensuring that her lesson addressed intended outcomes. Although as a coach I have worked with her on this, I would like her to develop strategies so she can maintain this herself. I understand that as a first year teacher, she is working on these skills and that is to be expected. The benefit of this particular coaching session was that our conversation enabled her to deeply consider what was relevant in her lesson and did each task and question relate to the learning intention and success criteria. She left the session with a clear focus on how she was going to incorporate this goal into her 2013 Personal Professional Learning Plan.