Year 9 Spanish – questionnaire about Education Perfect

I decided to ask the students for their opinion about using Education Perfect as a learning tool in their Year 9 Spanish course. Below are the following:

  1. A link to the questionnaire and the results
  2. My analysis of the results
  3. My reflection

The questionnaire and results (you must be logged into your OC account)

2. Analysis of questionnaire about using Education Perfect in year 9 Semester 2 class.

Q1. Students have a variety of points gained during the whole semester ranging from 180 to 1557. Some students who started well last term, did less work this term as it got more difficult. This was clearly shown on the EP summary data emails provided for me by EP after each deadline. There is a separate blog post about Education Perfect and the tasks I set for this class.

Q2. Seems to average out at about an hour a week. I give them half an hour in class every Wednesday (independent learning lesson).

Q3. 8 out of 22 students would rather use another app or website. This is just over a third. I believe the reason for this is that the EP homework has been more difficult this term, and has challenged some students beyond what they are prepared to do. However, two thirds are still happy to use EP, which I consider a good sign.

Q4. A total of 15 students gave EP 3 or higher, showing they like – love it! This corresponds with Q3 answers and accounts for the class dynamic during the independent learning lesson which was a pleasant, calm, workable environment.

Q5. 7 students thought they had too much homework. The rest were happy with the amount. Students knew from the start that they would get an Independent Learning class once a week, and also would have to complete coursework as well as working on EP. This arrangement clearly suited  the other 15 students as they did complete most of their coursework in class, most of the time.

Q6. All students know more or less what the educational purpose of EP is and I noticed some students could explain this effectively and succinctly eg “to learn not only at school but at home so you can increase your knowledge ….” and “to learn how to understand Spanish when it is being spoken or has been written”.

Q7. There is a variety of answers here, however most students agree that EP has helped their learning in some way. Only two students wrote “nothing”. Other wrote answers such as “I am able to learn the words I should use very easily….” and “I would have got a not achieved for my assessment if I did not use EP”.

Q8. It is interesting to see that the majority of students believe that someone else should pay for EP, either the school or the government. A few agreed that they should pay as they are the ones using it.

Q9. The answers here correspond with the answers I got from the students themselves during talks in class. They liked to revise words they knew already, and also work on easy and short lists, but they did not like long lists or difficult phrases or sentences.

Q10. 9 students considered EP fun and or educational which is quite positive since they were also complaining about the long lists and the increasing difficultly of the vocabulary they had to learn.

3. Reflection and Implications for next year

  1. Giving students more time in class to start on their EP homework this semester has proved a positive adjustment. It has meant they have less homework and therefore see the amount of homework they get, on average, manageable. I will continue this next year.
  2. Most students like using EP and see a point to it and a positive outcome if they do their homework regularly on EP. These answers were pleasing to read and showed that students have clear opinions about their own learning, and how and what they learn. This is very interesting considering we are starting to incorporate learner agency into our classroom. I will have to think about how to motivate the students who are less keen, and are not so prepared to work independently outside the classroom.
  3. On the other blog post about the Priority Learners, I listed in detail each task and what I did as related classroom tasks. I am wondering if I did enough scaffolding of the vocabulary for coursework. I will examine the programme in this respect.
  4. Clearly as the homework on EP got more difficult, students were more and more challenged and some found it difficult to keep up. I got some valuable feedback here about the tasks in term 4 such as the animal parts, and the school subjects. I had created wordlists myself on EP, and saw these tasks should take about an hour, but I had not reckoned with a completely new area of language. I will go back into these tasks and shorten them. I will also make more, shorter tasks and give the students a choice of tasks to do. If they feel they have a choice, they may feel more motivated to keep working on EP. I should also make sure they are regularly revising the words they know already, in order to give them a feeling of success each week.
  5. The priority learners eg Jade, Simon and Trae all scored low points on EP, despite my encouragement and active help in the class. Feedback I have been given by other teachers has been that I should make sure I spend my time evenly among my learners, and I have realized that I should also spend time with the excellence students and students who are quiet, yet achieving, to check what their next steps are. To me this is interesting, because I do tend to give priority learners and those struggling with either the material, or self-management, more attention during lesson time. I have taken this advice on board.
  6. A side note is that from the beginning I told the students they would get certificates on completing 500, 1000, 1500 points (and so on). This motivated them in the first few weeks to get started and find out what EP was all about. So we had a good start here, the same as the previous class in semester 1. The difference was that I kept up the homework tasks all semester, and did not give them a choice of tasks – although they could do extra work if they wanted to. And I also consistently gave them class time to start their EP homework every week.
  7. Finally: this class was a small (22) group and there were few classroom management issues. This made it easy for me to concentrate on the coursework itself, and the students’ learning. I gave myself extra time this semester to more actively incorporate EP into the course and kept it up. This class was the 4th year 9 class I had ever taught Spanish to, and I felt the experiences of teaching the other 3 had brought me to this point that I could use my knowledge and experience to work on this department TAI in a more active way.

Note 1: 3 students completed this survey on paper and these results have also been included in the analysis.

Note 2: 1 student had to be taken off EP for non payment. Nevertheless he still filled in the survey sheet.

Note 3: The Language Department TAI in 2016 is to examine the acquisition of vocabulary, and how this is taught/learnt, in my case, in a year 9 classroom.




Priority Learners Yr 9 Spanish Semester 2 (sem 1 included)

The list of priority learners in this class is attached here (scroll down to Semester 2). I created the list half way through term 3, with comments, then updated it at the end of term 4, to reflect the marks on their reports. Comments from term 4 are in red.

I noticed that the students marked as ‘priority learners’ in term 3, remained a concern in term 4. It is a pity that two of them (Trae Davies and Jade Waipara) lost 15 credits out of 20 in term 4. This, despite my regular encouragement and assistance in class. I will have a chat with these two to find out what could have been done to ensure solid achieves on their parts. One point of interest is that even though they scaffolded their final assessment (a documentary about an animal in Spanish), neither of them completed the task. They just seemed to give up and at one point Trae told me “just give me not achieve miss”. I was surprised at this attitude. I plan to discuss these two students with colleagues in the Languages Department to see if there is another way of motivating uninterested students to at least complete work to a point where they can get an achieve.

Language Dept TAI end of year 2016. Reflection.

Included in this post are:

  1. Link to Education Perfect task list for both semester 1 and semester 2.
  2. Brief reflection on EP tasks and my summary.
  3. Student results semester 2 (results for semester 1 are included in a previous post).

1. Education Perfect task list and reflection:

2. Reflection on EP tasks:

After giving students plenty of freedom to choose which tasks they do on EP during semester 1, and this resulting in very little done by most students, I decided to take a more structured approach. Semester 2 I have given homework assignments right from the first week, and have also given the students at least 30 minutes in class time to get started on this homework. I noticed that once they got going, and got into a rhythm, most found it easy to carry on working on the tasks at home. The completion percentage dropped off in term 4 around the time the students were revising and doing their year 9 exams. This is understandable and after a short class discussion about this, I decided to carry on with the routine of starting a new homework topic each week, and encouraging them to catch up on anything they had missed.

I created a test in term 4 – the first time I’d done that. Most students completed the test in class time, and scored well. A few complained that their answers were approximately correct, but that EP marked them wrong. I have learnt from this that I should give more possible answers, or set the test up in a different way, to ensure students get maximum possibility of getting the translations correct. The students who did not do the test online, did a print out of the vocabulary instead. They did not score better than the ones who did their test online.

Later posts about two questionnaires I gave the students of the semester 2 class, include detailed analyses and reflections on the Languages Department TAI this year.

To sum up: Students clearly need some regular, structured vocabulary practice in order to learn the words they need for specific purposes (the tasks and topics). Students have not yet learnt how to do this themselves, and need guidance to some degree. It is my belief that a combination of EP tasks, and keeping a vocabulary booklet, contributes effectively to students’ learning/acquiring and retaining vocabulary.

3. Student results (kamar markbook) Semester 2 (terms 3 and 4).

Priority Learners Semester 1 2016 Spanish Year 9

Below are:

  1. A link to my priority learner list of students with comments.
  2. A copy of the kamar markbook results for this class Term 2.
  3. A reflection on these students, the term’s course objectives and success criteria.

Priority Learner list:


Strategies decided on:

Making a list of priority learners and using it regularly in class

Spending more time with them in class

Spend time on question and answers in class and include the priority learners to draw them out

Actively motivate, inspire students

Formative and instant feedback in class.

In practice:

These strategies did not always work. Students who are not motivated will not participate, even if encouraged actively.

The better students get ignored. Learned ‘failure’ in some students. Lack of engagement is difficult to change.

Update: October 2016

I have found this paper about differentiation in the EFL classroom, and can apply some ideas to my year 9 Spanish classroom, and in particular to students who are priority learners, or who need extra help learning Spanish (not the same list!).

I note that with the current buzz phrase being ‘learner agency’ that differentiation in the classroom becomes even more relevant. If you are a priority learner, and are trying to make sense of instructions and a new language, how do you learn, make decisions about what or how to learn.

This article refers to Gardners multiple intelligences, and Bloom’s Taxonomy – which is the core of AKO Orewa learning and teaching at Orewa College.

The tic tac toe menu in figure 2 is really interesting, and links to my developing ideas about Workstations (see the post on this wordpress). I am wondering how these three points fit together – learner agency, workstations and priority learners. This will contribute to my ongoing TAI for my Spanish year 9 learners, but also for the priority learners in my English classes.

Quoting from the conclusion in this article: “Differentiation puts students at the centre of teaching and learning.”

To be continued …..

SAMR PD Friday 22/5/15

Please note that these are notes I made during the professional development day itself, and there is a reflection at the end.

SAMR PD Friday 22/5/15

Start with avatar app. Short presentation. My talking avatar.

Kahoots – I came 4th in a short test we did in class.

Also quizLet.Also Socrative.

All of these apps are great for revising and testing knowledge after a unit has been taught.

1st session with Linda.

Diane, Gavin, Anne, Kinsler, me.

Linda’s iBook example. The book is called ‘Engaging English’. This is an example of what we could do as well. TIPS: Take the whole terms work. Put in one place. All in one folder. External hard drive. Have to make it on a MacBook. iBook author.Can be edited year by year. Also have to put it on ultranet as a PDF for sets without an apple product.

Flipped lesson. Flip it, trust it, test it.

Explain everything. I have used this before. Good for topics or items which need to be repeated or come back each year.

How do you embed a you tube video into EE? I was shown this, but did not quite get it – must ask Linda to show me again, or show me where to find instructions.

Other apps: Educreations. Show me. iMovie.

Gardeners learning intelligences. Using Matrices. I have several of these which I have used in classes at various levels, to varying successes.

Example shown is Shakespeare for year 10, and the matrix for level 2.

Eg memetic is substitution, iMovie is redefinition,

All examples are on the ultranet. Including 30 apps for classroom.

Use the template on ultranet.

On my BILB rubric put a list of suggested apps to help them/guide them


Linda went to a conference about SAMR and met the designer. Beryl as well.

The delight factor!! – to encourage teachers to use SAMR

NCEA evidence can also be visual, or oral.

Gavin’s explain everything. Learn how to stop and start.  Quizlet is also good.

Unfamiliar text structure Q? Ask him to send me that EE. It’s for level 2.

My rubric is for year 9s. Wall.E

TIP. Put your EE into an app. Lapse it.


I noticed I already knew quite a bit. I have been redefining my classroom tasks and topics and have also used rubrics and matrices as well. *Blog post – Take one matrix and examine that for success, effectivity, and how I can improve it in future.

I acknowledge that Linda is highly skilled, and I can learn from her. We can also learn from each other, and also share our resources and adapt them to make them fit our own classrooms (like we used to do with text books). Teaching and learning – the AKO process, is more fluid than before. We can adapt more easily to the needs of the students, and differentiate more easily, to include the students who sometimes get left behind.


Sent from Mrs Taylor’s iPad

TRUMP/AKO Task checklist

TRUMPAKO Task checklist.docx

This was the result of a quick brainstorm between Sorrel and me in October. I took photos but they were not clear. I typed up and tidied up our notes and the resulting document was discussed during the Languages Department meeting on Monday 9 November. It was well received.

Comparison 2014 student achievement data

Reflection on my L1 English results 2014. Comparison with OC school averages and other decile 9 school averages.
AS90052 1.4 Produce creative writing. Last year for the first time I gave my L1 external students a choice of tasks. Either version A Conflict and Resolution. Or version B Up close and personal. (2015 versions attached).

Most students chose version A. Version B was new to me.

I spent quite some time in class teaching how to write correct dialogue as I had done some research into ‘showing not telling’ a short story. And dialogue is one of the ways you can do this. Unfortunately some students used too much dialogue in their story, and did not get the punctuation correct. I also noticed during the moderation meeting that not all of my colleagues agreed about how much dialogue would be acceptable. There were points made during the meeting which I wish I had known beforehand. I have taken these on board to improve my teaching this year. 

Results: 23% NA, compared to the school average of 15%. Going through the results closely, I notice that students who did not achieve in this assessment, still managed to get their level 1 literacy because this result must have shocked them into trying harder for the rest of the year. 

My aim this year is for fewer students to get NA for any assessment. However, I recognise this is not something I am fully in control of, because ultimately the students have to do the work themselves. 
AS90852. 1.8 Explain significant connections across texts using supporting evidence. I was mostly satisfied with these results. I was pleased that many of the students who had NA for creative writing, achieved this assessment. I had fewer NAs, comparatively, and 6% more merits. My goal would be to encourage merit level students to reach excellence standard more often, to meet the average which was 12% last year.

I am using the same texts as last year, but will check more thoroughly which text the students choose for their own choice, and to ensure students understand they must find their own connections in their own text.
AS90855. 1.7 Create a visual text. This internal assessment has already been this year. I hope the end result will be fewer NAs than last year as I made a concerted effort to change the way I taught this assessment. This year I showed the students plenty of exemplars, and went through 3 NA exemplars quite thoroughly with them before they started. I often get the impression the students would do well with extra time, as there is not a lot of time for the gathering and processing of techniques, exemplars and short pre-production tasks. However, I organised e time better in class so I hope this will have made a difference. 

One difficulty I experience is that the ‘Internal’ students are much slower to get started, and also there are more students at this level who are reluctant to make a picture. I found it difficult to motivate these students and keep them on track, however, ultimately, only one student did not submit because he stopped coming to school.
In the final analysis:

1. I had 81 students. 86% of whom passed level 1 English. 91% of whom attained level 1 literacy though English credits alone. This was higher than 86% and just under 92% respectively.