Grade 4 Appraisal 2013

Daniela Berenato, Siobhan Mansfield & Selina Pang

Communication

Regular communication is an essential element in the Grade 4 team which takes place between all staff; teachers, ES staff and student teachers. Here is a list of ways we communicate on a regular basis:

  • Emails with weekly timetable, LA planner, updates on wellbeing issues
  • Daily briefings
  • SMS
  • Evernote for anecdotal notes
  • Documentation on behaviour issues or wellbeing matters


How the unit assists and guides support staff in their unit

  • The weekly timetable is sent out after planning on a Thursday to all staff to ensure that they can plan their SPA/STA sessions
  • ES staff are included in all team emails on all matters
  • An LA planner assists ES staff in planning their SPA/STA sessions and tracking the students with needs


Effective use of staff (delegation)

  • Timetable with all staff allocated to workshops, learning spaces and target teaching
  • LA planner for ES staff and teachers to track the students with needs

Successes in the Grade 4 Unit

Here is a list of things we believe have been successful in 2013

  • Wakakirri: Finalists in Division 2
  • Student interest based electives: Looney Science, Freaky Fitness, Moving and Groving, WPPS Designers, ICT Innovators, Astonishing Artists
  • Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program
  • Promoting student voice: students designing provocations, students designing learning journeys, Grade 4 Class meeting, students designing Enigma Portal missions, passion projects, project action groups
  • Promoting student autonomy: Grade 4 Autonomous Unit, students mentoring students, ICT experts, student led workshops, students organising end of year excursion
  • Incorporating the performing arts in the classroom: Awesome Foursome Choir, Wakakirri, performing arts space in LA
  • Catering for diversity
  • Balanced curriculum of open ended questioning and practical skills

Procedures used to encourage student ownership and voice within the school

  • Grade 4 Class meeting: Students run a meeting where they discuss the positives and negatives of their week, work together to find solutions to any issues which are brought forward, suggest ideas for workshops, target teaching and Learning Agreement provocations
  • Student led elective groups: Looney Science and Freaky Fitness electives saw small groups of students teaching their peers about science experiments or a sport of their interest
  • Students taking responsibility in the Wooranna Park community: PMP helpers, chicken monitors, garden monitors with Mr Mac & Mr Lyon
  • ICT experts: Students who have fulfilled a criteria of basic ICT skills can be called upon by other students with their ICT problems
  • Students design learning journeys and their reflection tools on a Friday morning
  • Running events by the school council: Suraya's logo design and Keera & Imanya's Garage Sale
  • Keera’s quotation cards: A fundraising cause for Breast Cancer
  • Wakakirri: Students had a say in all aspects of the journey including the story, costumes, choreography, music, backdrops and props
  • Grade 4 Autonomous Learning Unit: Students were responsible for applying with a resume and cover letter

Areas of improvement

Here is a list of the areas of our practise which need attention

  • Improving the foundation math skills in students' toolboxes
  • Running a successful animation space in Learning Agreement or incorporating it into the curriculum
  • Using the iPads more authentically in our practice
  • Catering for EAL and Indigenous students

Assessment

Our moderation and assessment procedures:

  • Observations/anecdotal notes into Evernote
  • Patrick Griffin
  • Rich assessment tasks
  • Conferencing


How is the data collected used for future teaching and learning?

  • Target Teaching focuses
  • Home room activities
  • LA planner
  • Needs based workshops
  • Home learning tasks

Going global

Our actions to establish local, national and global links with individuals, groups outside the school

  • Pen Pal letters to Wallarano PS in Keysborough and Australian International School in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Letters sent to School Council
  • SMORE flyers being visited by people on a national and global scale
  • Emailing and letters to professionals around the world for project research: Melbourne Zoo, Government Officials
  • Student led plan for sister school relationship
  • Thai BRIDGE Project Skyping and Tellagami
  • Organising the Police Band to hold a concert at school


Para-professionals we use in the Grade 4 unit:

  • Eileen is a volunteer who comes in weekly to read with students
  • Jesse ran cross country sessions at lunch time to prepare students for the upcoming Gala Day
  • Russell is a regular visitor of the unit who reads with the students and also brings in objects from history and runs impromptu workshops
  • David ran an AFL clinic with interested students
  • Marian and Cathy read and assist students in LA and during Steph’s chefs elective on an ongoing basis
  • The Nanna's visit us regularly to read with students and also create conversation with shy students
  • Parents helping with costumes, props and backdrops for Wakakirri
  • Talei and Dina teaching students Zumba dancing skills


Progress in developing Asian Literacy, Sustainability and Indigenous Affairs:

  • LA provocations
  • Project groups
  • Pen Pals to Thailand

The unit’s contribution to the school’s website

  • Ongoing updates about Wakakirri Story Dance Competition
  • Keera & Imanya's Garage Sale Update
  • Constantly updating the Grade 4 Class Blog

Efforts to improve school transition practices

  • Grade 4’s visting Grade 5/6 Learning Agreement
  • Grade 3’s visting Grade 4 Learning Agreement
  • Friday afternoon activities with Grades 4 and 5 in Term 4
  • 5/6’s helping with Wakakirri backstage