Inferencing in the early years

This week I’m writing about inferencing. It’s nearly 5 months into the Australian academic year for our Foundation to Year 2 students and teachers have built Reading Workshops where students build sufficient reading stamina for guided groups to run, where learning intentions are clear and understandable, where schema particularly text to… Read more“Inferencing in the early years”

Painting a new school’s curriculum and pedagogy.

As an educator, and now consultant, it’s hard not to get excited when you are asked to support a newish school develop its curriculum and pedagogy.  In many ways, it’s like a starting a painting with a blank canvas, or is it? I was asked by the Principal to support… Read more“Painting a new school’s curriculum and pedagogy.”

Why have learning intentions without success criteria?

John, in this 9 min clip, puts the case for why we need to explain what we intend students to learn, why and how they might self assess success. It’s hard to defend the opposite. In this clip John’s work on effect sizes are explained about teacher clarity (intentions and… Read more“Why have learning intentions without success criteria?”

Are you Humpty Dumpty waiting for a fall?

Quite often Principal’s can feel like Humpty Dumpty “just waiting for the fall”. When you think of how many “clients” you serve (students, their parents and then the wider community) even a middle size school of 500 would add up to over 1,000 clients (including staff if you define a… Read more“Are you Humpty Dumpty waiting for a fall?”

You start a round trying to perfect your swing and end up thinking about leadership – how does that happen?

There are times when you are blinded by a parallel scenario as I was recently playing golf. I had played badly the previous round and wasn’t overly confident as I started on my first hole. The ball just didn’t seem to be going as far as I normally hit it…. Read more“You start a round trying to perfect your swing and end up thinking about leadership – how does that happen?”

Politics aside we need some truths to accept the challenges we face as a nation. That’s the election message we are sending!

Well its election time here in Australia and we may have a tie. I don’t normally stray into politics but the situation calls for some commentary. For my overseas readers we have 3 levels of government (Federal, States and local councils). Federal elections, which cover all of Australia are important… Read more“Politics aside we need some truths to accept the challenges we face as a nation. That’s the election message we are sending!”

Small classes are still being sold as the “golden” goose!

I’ve just finished cooking omelettes for breakfast and I open the daily paper (Age) and stumble across the Independent Schools Guide. It’s a 16 page full colour advertising features that doesn’t appear online. The last thing I’m wanting to do is start a private versus public education for in many… Read more“Small classes are still being sold as the “golden” goose!”

Revolution School, a must watch documentary on ABC television

There is a new 4 part documentary on our ABC channel called “Revolution School” with the first episode screened last week. I think this is a must watch show for anyone interested in schooling. The ABC took cameras into a normal secondary school for about a year with the aim of finding… Read more“Revolution School, a must watch documentary on ABC television”

Downsizing your house? We did and what did we learn?

Ever considered downsizing your house? We sold our family home in October last year after about 6 weeks of preparation time. After we finished repainting (over 1/2 of the external house and windows – once you start where do you finish), replacing (guttering, downpipes etc..), gardening (cutting down trees, laying new turf… Read more“Downsizing your house? We did and what did we learn?”

The Wounded Leader

Recently I recalled a book I read a few ago called The Wounded Leader by Ackerman and Maslin-Ostrowski. In the book they suggest schools have leadership resistant architecture typically “the conspiracy of busyness: where there is little time for leaders to convene people together to plan, organise and follow through –… Read more“The Wounded Leader”

Prioritising your workload

I recently read a short article in the January ASCD “education update” by Elena Hegland, an English teacher in New York, on the topic of prioritising work. It got me thinking about principal’s priorities. Elena lists her top 5 priorities as Student well being (“taking care of kids comes first”) Lesson planning… Read more“Prioritising your workload”

Victoria the “ice” capital of South East Asia !

Today at our local State principal network we heard from Les Twentyman a long serving youth outreach worker who has supported the marginalised and at risk young people who are generally homeless and on the streets. A few years ago he set up a charity called the 20th man, a… Read more“Victoria the “ice” capital of South East Asia !”

School Based Instructional Rounds: a progressive book club discussion (Ch 1 & 2)

In an earlier post I wrote about personal teacher professional learning. One of our teachers is doing a leadership course at Bastow Institute this year and her research project is using instructional rounds at the school level with teachers. One of the professional learning strategies we are using is a book… Read more“School Based Instructional Rounds: a progressive book club discussion (Ch 1 & 2)”