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?”

Student Reports: a case for change

This is a copy of a post I wrote on my company’s website Well its November again and on the school calendar for teachers all over Australia is the preparation of the end of year student reports. Schools become stress centres for teachers. I’m wanting to build a case for… Read more“Student Reports: a case for change”

Resources by themselves are not sufficient to improve language learning in Victorian or for that matter Australian schools?

Once again students learning another language hits the newspaper headlines: The trouble with languages in primary schools Time to mind our languages Interestingly it hits the headlines in the only state in Australia (Victoria) that mandates languages be taught in schools despite it being in the Australian curriculum. So what’s… Read more“Resources by themselves are not sufficient to improve language learning in Victorian or for that matter Australian schools?”

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”

How do we scaffold what we teach in grammar to student writing?

I often hear teachers complaining or just plain confused about why students don’t transfer what they learn in one context or lesson to their performances in another. They have taught something in grammar (e.g. dependant clauses) or spelling (e.g. letter combinations that make the long a sound), students have practiced the skill… Read more“How do we scaffold what we teach in grammar to student writing?”

DataWise – the community grows at the 2015 on-campus Institute.

The final challenge from the first day of the Data Wise Summer Institute (DWSI) here at Harvard was to encapsulate my learning experiences thus far, in only five words. Mine was; Similar challenges towards systemic improvement. I wanted to share my short sentence with you because it highlighted what I… Read more“DataWise – the community grows at the 2015 on-campus Institute.”

Diving Deep to Build Assessment Literacy – Step 2 of the Data Wise Improvement Process – Day 2

The focus of Day 2 of the Summer Institute is the work around both Organising for Collaborative Work and Building Assessment Literacy, (which comprise the Prepare Phase). At Elsternwick PS with new teachers joining the team and the existing staff digging deeper we found its a stage that is never exhausted…. Read more“Diving Deep to Build Assessment Literacy – Step 2 of the Data Wise Improvement Process – Day 2”

Is the metaphor a leader is like a parent valid?

I have been contemplating a leadership metaphor used by Simon Sinek on a recent Ted Talk: “great leaders are like parents wanting to give their children (employees) opportunities to try and fail in safe ways and to discipline when necessary”. I’m struck by the use of the term “discipline” in… Read more“Is the metaphor a leader is like a parent valid?”

Do we teach handwriting skills to young writers – OK – when and why?

Recently I was in team meeting where teachers were discussing when to teach 5 year olds handwriting. It got me to thinking about why of my age and the old pen licences which we scrapped at least 10 years ago. In fact our 2015 foundation year booklist has black, blue, red… Read more“Do we teach handwriting skills to young writers – OK – when and why?”

Growth mindsets and school wide learning cultures – a perfect mix!

I’ve written before on growth mindsets and this year teachers were keen to include young people developing growth mindsets as a key principle in the new strategic plan. A few teachers are now mentioning this to some parents who have expressed some concerns about their children. Hence I thought it… Read more“Growth mindsets and school wide learning cultures – a perfect mix!”

A twist on parent teacher interviews

This week we completed our 2nd round of parent teacher interviews. They were held in August, which is just over half way through the academic school year. So what’s different you might ask? The students 1/2 year written reports were sent home in June – I hear some saying isn’t… Read more“A twist on parent teacher interviews”

“education is not a horse race”

Over the holidays I came across an easy to read article by Elliot Einser on Benjamin Bloom. Essentially the article made a some key points about Bloom’s work: education as a process was an effort to realize human potential, indeed, (it was) an exercise in optimism. (its why I believe… Read more““education is not a horse race””

EPS visits Jefferson Elementary School in New York

This blog entry is the eighth in a series from the team visiting schools in the States and comes to you from the ‘Big Apple.’ Today we visited Jefferson Elementary School (K-5), located in upstate New York in a town called New Rochelle. We were greeted by the New Rochelle School… Read more“EPS visits Jefferson Elementary School in New York”

EPS visit Joseph Lee and Harvard-Kent schools in Boston

Here is our new post, sent from South Station, Boston. This is the seventh post in the series from the team participating in the Data Wise Institute at Harvard. (Penny, Jess, Erin and Sarah) Today we visited two schools within the Boston School district; first was Joseph Lee K-8 which,… Read more“EPS visit Joseph Lee and Harvard-Kent schools in Boston”