Thursday, 15 April 2021

Maths DMIC. Term 1. 2021

 Room 22 DMIC

DMIC is the acronym Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities. Our JBS is taking advantages of this approach in teaching maths to our akonga. It is proven through the pilot research that DMIC is the quickest way to progress students in maths and it is the most advanced form of approach that can be easily applied in teaching and learning.

The two major drivers for DMIC are:
  • taking urgency on raising the children's mathematical understanding and practice so that when they go on to secondary school and beyond all doors will be open to them
  • the need to find ways of connecting children to the rich mathematical histories to be found in their cultures

Evidence in Action

  • Children are often a lot more knowledgeable and capable than their teachers realise.
  • Effective links are created between school learning and children's lives and identities
  • If we underestimate children's abilities, we inevitably limit their opportunities to learn.
  • Pedagogical practices enable classes and groups to work as caring, inclusive, and cohesive learning communities.
  • Mixed-ability groups give children multiple opportunities to learn from each other.
  • For many children, a collectivist approach to learning ('no-one gets left behind) is more effective than a competitive approach.
  • Children appreciate having agency in their own learning.
  • Maths is about being able to explain how the answer has been arrived at as well as getting the answer.
  • Children need to be taught how to work productively and respectfully together.
  • Seeing outside expertise working with their own children can create dissonance in teachers, causing them to question existing theories and becoming a catalyst for substantive change.
  • Effective maths teaching involves careful preparation: to generate worthwhile problems that build on children's proficiencies, to connect to big mathematical ideas, and to anticipate children's mathematical thinking.
  • Teachers become students of their own students, learning to use children's thinking as a springboard for further learning.
  • Teachers can find it beneficial to prepare collaboratively.

Mixed ability grouping

  • the role that school leadership can play in recognising the need for, initiating and supporting pedagogical change
  • the use of demonstrated external expertise to create dissonance that leads to productive change
  • the 'how' of scaffolding reciprocal or alternating tuakana teina roles in student group work
  • effective mixed-ability grouping as a key to accelerating improvement and promoting equity
  • Respectful engagement with teachers when existing theories are being challenged.

Because ability grouping has for so long been accepted as the norm in New Zealand schools:

  • it is what parents expect (and often want)
  • expertise in working with mixed-ability groups is limited
  • shifting to mixed-ability groups can generate huge initial dissonance for teachers
  • the experience of DMIC teachers and leaders is an important resource for supporting colleagues contemplating the shift.

Using mixed-ability grouping requires expert pedagogical and curriculum content knowledge, and the capability to work simultaneously and effectively with diverse learners.

Problem and launch

The DMIC approach envisages a three-part structure to maths lessons: the ‘launch’ at the beginning, problem-solving in mixed-ability groups, and the ‘connect’ at the end. 
  • Problems need to be carefully designed so that:
    • the children will understand what it is they are trying to solve
    • they connect to big, worthwhile maths ideas
    • they connect in some way to the lives/communities of the children
  • Devising good problems is best done collaboratively
    • pedagogical leaders 'talk the walk'
    • meetings optimise coherence, value and impact of pedagogical design
    • choice of problems is linked to the curriculum
    • exploration of possible misconceptions
  • An effective launch ensures that:
    • the problem makes sense to the students
    • the problem matters to the students
  • Pedagogical leadership.

Learning to listen

  • By listening to the children, teachers can learn how to improve their teaching
  • Instead of telling, teachers support children's learning by asking the right questions
  • Teachers can elicit questions from children that will support the learning of the group
  • A shift from mostly teacher talking to mostly children talking greatly increases learning by both children and teacher
  • Students have opportunities to resolve cognitive conflict
  • Children love that they can make school learning their own by having learning conversations with each other.

Teacher development

  • A shift in mindset has been required of both teachers and students
  • Teachers have had to develop new pedagogical knowledge
  • The focus in the second year is on embedding the pedagogy in classrooms
  • School leadership is now working to reduce dependence on external facilitation
  • Internal staff ownership and pedagogical leadership are keys to ongoing improvement.

Strategies include:

  • Peer observations in each other's classrooms
  • Collaboration that involve open discussion, critique and support
  • Lesson study:
    • A group of teachers plan the lesson
    • One teacher teaches while the rest of the group observes
    • The group critiques each part of the lesson to see how it could be improved
    • Another teacher teaches the lesson, drawing on what has been learned through the group critique.


  • The importance of high expectations for all children, supported by effective scaffolding
  • The need to nurture educationally powerful connections to rich histories of mathematics in children's own cultures
  • Positive social norms in mathematics can be transformative of classroom culture across the curriculum
  • The shift in teacher practice can strengthen student agency, collaboration and leadership.

Group norms

  • Creating new social norms for productive collaboration is a major endeavour
  • A collaborative, respectful whānau model informs the values on which the group norms are based; teaching and learning practice consistently exemplifies these values
  • Children need to be explicitly taught the 'how' of productively participating and contributing
  • The 'talk moves' provide a framework for productive engagement that can be taught to, internalised, owned and propagated by children.
  • Shared responsibility for each other's learning goes hand-in-hand with high expectations of each other: no passengers, everyone will explain clearly, no one gets left behind
  • The group is responsible for ensuring that each member can explain and justify the strategy used. A 'one pen per group' policy supports productive collaboration.
  • When well-implemented, DMIC leads to accelerated improvement in literacy as well as mathematics.

Learning for life

  • setting maths in meaningful contexts is a key to engagement, understanding and agency
  • children like to have agency in their own learning
  • working on 'real' problems builds agency.

This reinforces the crucial importance of good problem design and teaching children how to work productively in collaborative, mixed-ability groups.
Speaking of their experience of DMIC maths, the children say:

  • working on problems that are situated in real life is a good way to learn about life
  • it's great to have opportunities to do your own thinking and come up with your own strategies
  • it's great to be challenged
  • sharing thinking gives you opportunities to learn from others
  • mistakes are opportunities for learning.

Effective implementation of DMIC gives students confidence in their ability to do challenging mathematics.

Learning together

  • Working in mixed ability groups exposes you to a variety of possible approaches, gives you choices
  • Listening to other people's ideas and reflecting on your own ideas are important for learning
  • Sharing your thinking with others is worthwhile for you, too
  • The 'talk moves' are a useful means for supporting group members to share and clarify their thinking
  • We like being able to take over some of the role that teachers have traditionally had
  • We can ask other students (not just the teacher) questions


  • As teachers/leaders we don't know what we don't know, so we need opportunities to check our thinking with someone who knows/understands more than we do
  • Core Pasifika values are at the heart of Pasifika Maths/DMIC
  • In-class modelling is a powerful tool for challenging existing theories and creating dissonance. By observing Bobbie in action in the classroom, teachers realised that their children were capable of a lot more than they had imagined and that their own low expectations had been limiting their opportunities to learn
  • It is highly motivating to see theory in action, especially with our own students, and even more so to see the theory working successfully the first time
  • In-class mentoring and co-construction enables gaps in teacher knowledge to be addressed in a timely way
  • It's a journey, and teachers learn best when they feel they are in a safe and supportive environment.

It’s a journey

  • You have to become uncomfortable with how you are teaching before you can become a more effective teacher
  • It is important that the level of discomfort is not so high that you give up
  • Teachers come to understand how to better teach mathematics through developing their own content knowledge, understanding children's learning processes and anticipating children's misconceptions in mathematics
  • Teaching maths effectively requires major investment in preparation time, particularly to construct problems that meet multiple criteria
  • Challenge, in-class modelling and mentoring from external experts, managed in a safe and caring manner, are powerful tools for demonstrating what is possible, creating dissonance and supporting teacher change
  • The DMIC lesson framework (launch, problem-solving in groups, connect) imposes discipline on planning and teaching, but getting each phase right requires practice
  • It is good for children to see their teachers as learners: taking risks, making mistakes, accepting feedback
  • The move from teaching based on fragmentary learning intentions to learning that connects to big mathematical ideas is very important and can involve a major mind shift
  • Uncertainty about what the big mathematical ideas are is stressful for teachers, especially those who are not secure in their content knowledge
  • The 'connect' at the end is powerful because that is where the learning is consolidated
  • Once children realise that mistakes are part of learning they are happy to take risks and to question and share
  • Learning, whether by the children or teacher, thrives in a safe and supportive environment.

Culturally responsive pedagogy

  • Assumptions based on our own experiences and cultural mindset create barriers to learning for children who don't share them and can't relate to them
  • Children learn best in environments where their identities are valued
  • Teaching effectively requires forging educationally powerful connections to students' lives and identities
  • Children engage productively with maths when problems are set in contexts that they can relate to and understand
  • Learning requires active participation, so children from cultures that do not encourage questioning or putting forward ideas, for example, need to be actively supported to overcome these inhibitions
  • Mistakes have to be repositioned as a necessary and valuable part of learning if children are to be willing to take the risks that learning entails
  • Caring for students can mean making them uncomfortable by pushing them to think (pressing them for understanding) and to publicly contribute their thinking
  • Pasifika students learn best in a supportive collective characterised by reciprocal benefits and responsibilities. Parallels between a whānau and a community of learners can be leveraged.
  • When supposedly 'low' students are exposed to mixed-ability, challenging maths, they can surprise teachers
  • Ambitious teaching gets far more out of students than low expectations
  • Negative attitudes towards maths are not inevitable. Once they get over the initial shock, children love to be challenged and to be active participants in their own learning.

Fundamental shifts

  • When supported by effective pedagogy, heightened expectations lead to increased achievement
  • The belief that some children will never succeed needs to be replaced by the belief that all will 'get there' if certain things happen
  • When internal dialogue is externalised it can be examined
  • Effective maths teaching puts less emphasis on doing mathematical activities and getting the answer and more on explaining and justifying
  • By listening more, teachers become more aware of what/how the children are thinking at the same time as they provide a space for the children to do the explaining
  • Asking the right questions is more productive of learning than rescuing
  • In effective mixed-ability groups members are held jointly accountable for understanding and, if called on, any member can explain and justify the group's thinking
  • Children develop positive maths identities when supported to assume greater agency in their own learning
  • If children are questioning, thinking, and taking responsibility for themselves in maths, chances are they'll be acting similarly in other contexts

Friday, 19 March 2021

Integrating Computers into Learning

 Why do we need to bring devices into classrooms?

The Benefits of Devices In The Classroom

The current generation of students has grown up with technology and want to use it in every aspect of their daily lives — including school. They have an expectation that the same technology they use at home will be available at school too. Thanks to the mass consumerization of technology, students are now some of the most enthusiastic and savvy users of state-of-the-art mobile computing devices.

They keep their beloved mobile devices on them at all times and are not just using them to communicate with friends or download music. In fact, they use technology to study or work on homework assignments and they believe that mastering the latest technology skills will improve their educational and career opportunities.

A couple of years ago I spoke to my principal and we both recognized an opportunity to make the most of the technology already in students’ hands, allowing them to use the technology with which they feel most comfortable — their own laptops, smartphones and tablets — in class. Students are allowed to use their personal devices to take notes, collaborate on class assignments, conduct Internet research and use cloud-based apps.

  1. Student participation increases.
    Students like using their personal devices. In my classes, they become engaged in whatever it is that they’re doing with their personal devices — including classwork, which becomes even more interactive when everyone has access to technology. Kids these days live for technology. It only makes sense to utilize their love for technology in the classroom if you really want to get them engaged. 
    Room 22 students using computers to learn

  2. Learning becomes student-driven. Teaching in the digital age is becoming less about directly transferring knowledge and more about showing students how to sift through vast amounts of information to find the knowledge they need. BYOD has changed my teaching model. With the technology they are using for BYOD, students have more authority over their own learning. They can pose questions and do research instead of just listening to my lectures.
  3. Student collaboration and communication increases.
    Collaboration is key to engagement in today’s classrooms. My students use technology to communicate with their peers and with me. A BYOD initiative can provide students with far greater opportunities to interact virtually with teachers and work with other students on assignments, projects and content creation.

  4. Cost Savings.
    Although BYOD is really about delivering education in new ways, saving money is an important objective. With the students using their own mobile devices in the classroom, schools can save money on technology costs. My school does not need to spend a fortune trying to keep up with all the coolest technology that can be used for education these days if students are allowed to use their own mobile devices.   
  5. Personalized instruction.I use media to meet different learning styles. Then, all students can learn and excel at their own pace. By allowing my students to follow along with my interactive, multimedia lessons on their mobile devices, I give them more control over the pace at which they learn. Students spend countless hours outside the classroom on their mobile devices. So, why not use that to my advantage? I let them use their devices as engaging learning tools in the classroom. Then, they can easily bring their homework, educational games, projects with them. Everything they need to continue learning outside the classroom can be accessed anytime, anywhere, with the swipe of a finger. 

6. A new way of learning. Incorporating student-owned mobile computing devices into the curriculum has helped me transform my direct instruction methods into the project and inquiry-based learning opportunities. This pedagogical approach helps students learn by doing and gives them ownership of their education.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Term 4. Week 8. 2020 Team Folau Assembly

 Team Folau assembly, hosted by Room 22.

Assembly slides were prepared in collaboration. Room 22 students hosted the Team Folau assembly in collaboration. The students started off by listing all the preparation that they need to do for the assembly. The students formed numerous groups to share their duties and responsibilities.

Everybody started preparing once they knew about their roles. The students were putting lots of efforts in grooming the parts they have in the assembly. Everyone helped someone to get through the assembly day.

The assembly day was a great success. There were some challenges which were quickly handled and put under control by the responsible and quick thinking students of Room 22. The students worked for hand in hand to make the assembly a great success.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Inquiry. Term 4. 2020

 THEME: Don’t worry, be happy

TOPIC: The Art of Piet Mondrian

JustificationPiet Mondrian used colours and links to express his beliefs, feelings, and emotions about the world.

A Snapshot

Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter who was born in 1872. At one time, Mondrian painted realistic landscapes, but as he painted more and more, his style began to change. He started to create abstract images.


How did he come to paint this way? Well, the more Mondrian looked at trees, buildings and vases, the more he saw their basic shapes and colours. You can try this, just squint your eyes while you are looking at something and all the details will start to disappear. You will see only shapes and colour… no real objects. This is what Mondrian did.


Eventually, Mondrian’s style consisted of geometric shapes and primary colours. Every shape can be created from the basic geometric shapes and every colour can be created from the primaries – red, yellow and blue.


Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Physical Education Dodge Ball 2020 Term 3 Weeks 1 - 5

Dodgeball is a team sport in which players on two teams try to throw balls and hit opponents while avoiding being hit themselves. 
The main objective in dodgeball is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by throwing the ball at them. Plays must dodge the ball to remain in the game and the team who manages to eliminate all of their opponent’s first are deemed the winners. Link:

ABOVE: Team building. Students are learning the skills to work as a team.

ABOVE: Students are practising the skills of throwing and catching the ball.

ABOVE: Eying a target to throw the ball at.

ABOVE: Game Time. Putting skills into practice.

ABOVE: Game Time. Putting skills into practice.

Cook Island Language Week 2020

Kia orana

The theme for Cook Islands language week is"Kia pūāvai tō tātou Reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani i Aotearoa" which in English means "That the Cook Islands Māori language may blossom throughout New Zealand."

This year Room 22 celebrated the Cook Island Language Week. Students decided to select various aspects of Cook Island culture and research about them.

Below are some of the work which students have done to mark the Cook Island Language Week. 

ABOVE: Alishba has drawn a beautiful Frangipani flower,
which is commonly found on Cook Island. 

ABOVE: Flower art is done by Alishba

ABOVE: This student has researched and explored multiple aspects of
Cook Island culture. 

ABOVE: This student has researched and explored multiple aspects of 
Cook Island culture. She has written a brief description to explain, 
what her drawings are about.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Folau Assembly

 ABOVE: Zoey, Kailah, Bella and Nivayah presenting their class learning in Inquiry.

ABOVE: Misionare, Moala and Jeremiah presenting the class learning in maths.

ABOVE: Maria, Inglera and Phoebe are getting ready to present the class learning in Reading

ABOVE: Maria, Inglera and Phoebe presenting their class learning in Reading.

ABOVE: Emma, Drae, Sarah and Atumalie presenting their class learning in writing. 

ABOVE: Emma, Drae, Sarah and Atumalie presenting their class learning in writing.

ABOVE: Pranav, Avishal, Lotima, Owais and Faraaz presenting their class learning in Blogger

Maths DMIC. Term 1. 2021

  Room 22 DMIC DMIC is the acronym Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities. Our JBS is taking advantages of this approach in teaching ma...