Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Flying… blogging… hand in hand again….

What a week… and oh, it is only Wednesday! 
This is the week, I am taking back control of my life.  It is amazing how transformational it is to just write that down and say it out loud!
For the last few weeks I have been feeling increasingly snowed under, and pressurized in the feeling of playing catchup! Many things have aligned to bring about the necessary change, not least of which is due to the fabulous mentoring by Hazel.  As part of my role I am a developing mentor and as such I am mentored!  These sessions are transformative.  I have said and will say again that at times Hazel is like my lifeline.  

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE MY JOB!!! I really love it, in fact maybe that is part of the problem. When you love what you are doing it is incredibly easy to keep doing, do more, say yes, add on more and just keep adding to the list.  Suddenly I began feeling like I was playing catchup and I had an incredibly déjà vu feeling and I realised it is time to wake up.  I am no good to anyone, or anything when I am less than 100% for everything.  Time for a deep reflection and re-prioritising.  I needed to take back control! 

When I reflected on my roles I saw a real drift from the proactive leader quadrant to the reactive management quadrant of life.  I find everything much more of a challenge when it is reactive. 

So, I have set some firm boundaries with myself!  I am taking back control!  I am saying, YES, I do have time for that reading – because that reading is my work. I am saying I do have time for those mentoring modules because those modules are my work.  I am saying I do have time for powering down and spending quality time with my nearest and dearest, because they are my life.

If I was in class, I could not ever imagine saying, I don't have time for planning, I am too busy teaching.  Just as in this role, I cannot say I don't have time for reading, gathering evidence and detailing my inquiry, because my inquiry is my work. 

I know that because of my nature and the nature of my work, I will slip back but for now, I am in control!!!!


As I fly today, I am up above the clouds, the air is clear and the view amazing!  Like life, there is a clearing and a beautiful view when we are in control of our workload, our commitments, our life! 

Update 17 April 2014 - Digital Literacy

Kia ora tātou,

With only a couple of days to the end of term, it is timely to reflect on all that you have celebrated and been challenged by in term one.  As you take a very well earned break take time to reflect on and celebrate the successes.  As you identify challenges take time to acknowledge these and record them to allow you to make the most of opportunities to network and collaborate with others who are working through similar challenges.  

This week we are focusing on Digital Literacy.

Digital Literacy is defined on wikipedia as “the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies.”  Derek Wenmoth has defined Digital Literacy as “a person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment.” Increasingly digital literacy must be a consideration for us as educators as our learners are interacting in a digital environment at a young age.   “A Magazine is an iPad that doesn’t work.” 

As we are defining digital literacy, indeed our digital aspiration for our environment, we must be aware of the placement of digital literacy within digital citizenship and digital proficiency. 

There is an almost endless range of digital literacy frameworks and the challenge is to design one that works for your school.
We would like to draw your attention to:

Aspects of digital literacy are intrinsic in our daily routine and must be modelled in our programmes to support our learners to digital proficiency.
  
Anne’s Latest Literacy Links and Look ups…
And finally as you head into a holiday:
5 Things Great Teachers Are Not (and 5 Things They Are) Take time to reflect on all the times this term you have been:
  • an everyday hero;
  • an inspirer;
  • a practitioner;
  • an individual and 
  • a team builder!
Enjoy your very well earned break!  

Conferences:

NZLA - the 37th New Zealand Literacy Association Conference. Register now.
CLESOL - the 14th National Conference for Community Languages and ESOL. Register now. 

Ngā mihi nui

Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education
@LiteracyOnline2

To post to the list email: literacy@lists.tki.org.nz


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Literacy Update 11 April 2014 - Financial Literacy Focus

Kia ora tātou,

The MAGICAL autumn weather continues as the end of term approaches. I sure hope it continues through next week and into the holidays. 

This week we are focusing on the Financial Literacy Resources
“Financial literacy is defined as the ability to make informed judgments and effective decisions on the use and management of money. Being financially literate gives students choices, helps to protect them from unexpected events, and enables them to have a voice as consumers and citizens.”
Financial capability allows teachers to explore a theme across all curriculum areas. This updated section on NZC Online provides ideas for key competency and values as well as downloadable teaching ideas.

In particular, we would like to draw your attention to the 
  
Anne’s Latest Literacy Links and Look ups…
  • Ten Things Good Writers Do by Tim Shanahan written as a blog post requested by high school students. Full of wonderful tips for writing, this is well worth reading and sharing.  "...good writing is bad writing that has been rewritten." 
  • Please take time this week to check out this amazing resource; Kid’s speak progressions - primary.  Huge thanks to Mary-Anne Murphy and the team who have worked tirelessly to create and share this resource for all to use, and adapt to suit their needs.  
  • Over on the Secondary Literacy mailing list Mikhal Stone, a science facilitator working at Team Solutions, shared a strategy called Talking to the Text. It is about making more concrete those things that good readers do. You can read his post or watch a short clip of talking to the text in action.

Conferences:

NZLA - the 37th New Zealand Literacy Association Conference. Register now.
CLESOL - the 14th National Conference for Community Languages and ESOL. Register now. 

Ngā mihi nui

Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education
@LiteracyOnline2


To post to the list email: literacy@lists.tki.org.nz

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day Six Italian Treasures - Florence to Verona to Venice

For as long as I can remember I have loved the sound of Venice so when we booked this trip last November we planned for my birthday in Venice, However due to unfortunate circumstances that tour was cancelled and we rebooked.  I am soo excited to see this amazing place of dreams... 


Up early for a very long coach tour through the beautiful countryside arriving at Verona to view the famous Shakespearean  balcony of Romeo and Juliet fame! WOW I don't think I could have believed so many tourists could fit in such a small area til this trip. Anyway we thoroughly enjoyed a look around this quaint town and giggled at some of the very quirky buskers including the rather bizarre baby in the pram... 





The very famous Shakespeare Balcony
Rubbing her breast is supposed to bring good fortune for those unlucky in love! 




The Verona Arena
Back in the bus to sleep our way to Venice crossing the bridge to the island and catching a water taxi round to the Main area. 




OH MY GOODNESS this place is totally beyond my dreams... Checking into our hotel right on the edge of St Mark's square, again just time for a quick shower and change and meeting In the square and off we went for the experience of a lifetime  - a gondola trip around the canals.




 Robert, Arnick, Grant and I were In our gondola and just as we were about to take off two rather burly gentlemen hopped into the gondola! I thought they were rather cheeky hopping into our private gondola.... MAMMA MIA can you imagine our surprise when the music and singing began. One played the piano accordion and the other sung with a voice box from the heavens.... Agh this truly has been one of the most MAGICAL moments of my life... I simply cannot believe the beauty, tranquility, romance of this place,..







  Then out for a simply stunning Venetian dinner comprising at least six courses again.... Shrimp cocktail, melon, pruscheta, pasta, risotto, salad, fish, then HEAVENLY tiramisu.... Bubbles, wine... Agh I love this place.... 




 After dinner Aida walked us over to the Rialto bridge and we walked back over the cute little bridges over the canals back to our hotel... 



Rialto Bridge 


St Mark's Square




BEST DAY EVER.... 

Day Six - Italian Treasures - Florence

Up early for breakfast and off to meet our tour guide for the Florence tour! Yet again we realise the value of the tour walking directly in to see Michelangelo's masterpieces. Starting near the door we were wowed by five 'work in progresses' discovered shedding a lot of light on the working of Michelangelo! I love hearing the history learning of how he persuaded his friend to let him enter morgues at night to cut up cadavers to study, learn and memorise the exact human anatomy!  To see the pieces he carved from pieces of marble he travelled up into the hills to select exact pieces which he marked with an m to be bought  to him! Also to learn that unlike other sculptors he did not work from a model or a cast but from  his own drawing. And to learn that he said all he did was reveal the masterpiece that already existed inside the slab of marble - what a true legend of a man! The part sculptures also reveal that Michelangelo worked solely from the front to the back of the sculpture not all around it as did many of his contemporaries! Then it was time to view 'David' WOW! Nothing could prepare you for the magnitude nor the perfection! To learn that at the age of 23 he spent two years working alone in private sculpting David is almost impossible to believe! To see face to face the size and the detail... Speechless really!  To learn that when the sculpture was revealed he was realised as a true Maestro and rhe sculpture which was commissioned to be displayed high up in a cathedral in Fkorence was instead displayed in all its glory outside the main square on view for all. To also learn of the deterioration andthe  break in the arm which has been masterfully repaired and the relocation of Davud inside over a oeriod of weeks inching down a specially prepared railway track to allow it to be on display in the museumbuilt  around it! WOW a true highlight! 



A replica on display in the piazza



We then toured the centre of Florence visiting many churches, squares and sculptures before a gold jewellery and leather display. Our afternoon was free to explore the town and shop! After shopping we returned to the hotel for a well needed siesta before a wonderful traditional Florentine dinner at a stunning restaurant! Oh MAMMA MIA so much food and wine... Even Grant is becoming a red wine lover! Then unbelievably after dinner they bought out limoncello shots! Well who would believe they could taste so good.... Many many shots later I think I was declared the shot champion... The photos tell a bit of a story! Oh what a night... 









Fabulous food...
Stunning courtyard dining



It seems no meal is complete with an after....


Aida and I debating the merits of yet another Limoncello shot!!!

Skipping our way home...


Eventually Irene, jim, Alex, grant and I sang and skipped and stumbled our way back to the hotel... In time to meet the young ones all changed and off out for a night out in Florence! Straight to bed for us oldies....