Tuesday, 13 November 2018

KPop Sound and Light Literacy Data!

Presenting the Year 9 Sound and Light unit data!

Please peruse at your own leisure. I'm really happy with the shift students made.

Check out the entire unit (adjusted to suit the Eastern culture interests of my 2018 class) here

Science and Mātauranga Māori

This week my new Year 11 class are starting the Physics 1.1 internal, worth 4 credits.

About 50% of my class is Māori, so I thought it was really important to spend some time showing students that:

a) Science can be fascinating and helps to answer all kinds of interesting questions and
b) Science and Mātauranga Māori are linked, and can support one another.

Here is the link to the presentation about some of the scientific studies throughout history I found the most interesting to learn about at university and beyond! They include how far authority can push the average human (to murder?), how the bystander effect impacts when people help one another, whether humans can survive on Mars (or trapped in a Biosphere for 2 years!) and the current investigation into what my class named "poo pills" can help overweight people have increased gut flora diversity and health, and whether that will help them to lose weight.

And here is the link to this presentation about some recent Māori research that follow the basic scientific method of: ask a question that interests you, work out the best way to find the answer, and then go and research it! It also touches on what Mātauranga Māori is and how indigenous knowledge and collaborative learning is vital to both learning and research.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Science Rap - Acid, Do You Love Me?

Tamaki Productions returns with another science rap! The main character is a base (not an acid), and he is wearing a blue shirt and singing from his perspective as a base.

Lyrics and images cover lots of different concepts from the Year 11 NCEA Exam Acids and Bases!

One example is when the base sings "acid, do you love me, are we colliding, say you'll never neutralize here without me." 

When an acid and a base react, that chemical reaction is called a neutralization reaction. 
They react to form a salt, and water. 

There is lots of analysis you could do on this video with students, such as why particles in the drone shot move faster when red and orange 'flames' are being shaken in the shot? 

Why does the litmus character throw blue paper up in the air while the base sings about her, and the phenolphthalein character throw pink?!

What does the umbrella in the drone shot represent? Why does everyone link arms when the umbrella passes over them? What is that meant to show?

We hope you like it :)

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Sentence Types and Student Assessment Task Overhaul

During the holidays - on my birthday - I went to the WTE National Writing Conference and the keynote in the morning alone was worth getting up early for.

I took all my notes on a Presentation, which is here for you to view below or view at this link.

I absolutely have used these sentence-types in class. With the juniors I ran whole lessons around casting sentence types, to try and improve their writing.

Here's one lesson I ran on precision writing in science - this presentation linked to this set of activities for students.

The other thing I was absolutely blown away by was the way that we present students their assessment tasks. We've been giving them THOUSANDS of words to decipher and try to work out what to do before they even begin writing the assessment.

At the writing conference we sat down in groups with a real 1800-word, Level 3 PE task and all tried to work out what it was asking us to do, and how to get Excellence, and which parts were important.

Then Ian presented us with a single A4-sized task. It had exact word limits and included clear instructions on what students must include to gain top grades. We didn't have to guess what was meant! Why does it have to be a mystery what we want students to do? When he took his single A4 sheet to an NZQA moderators meeting (there were 40 of them there) they were bamboozled - they thought that's what everyone was giving students! The TKI tasks are not meant for kids' eyes!

Ian said the best way to make these amazing tasks is to write your own Excellence exemplar, and then see how many words you have apportioned to each section of the task. Set students a word count (as they would have in University, anyway!), and provide headings for each section. Provide clearly worded prompts about what to include. You can see two examples of this that he provided, in the presentation above.

Here is one that I wrote myself for Year 13