Maribyrnong Network of School Leaders

This post is to follow-up our network day on the first 2 steps of Data Wise. We spoke about answering the WHY question when change is being advocated – as we are about to advocate for change in collaboration in schools and the use of data in a more formative… Read more“Maribyrnong Network of School Leaders”

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?”

Effective Lesson Planning: length of lessons

Some of the questions, concerns and issues raised by trainee teachers so far include: constantly repeating instructions to students students forget what to do students either don’t finish the tasks in the time set or finish in the first 5 minutes with nothing else to do What these questions raise… Read more“Effective Lesson Planning: length of lessons”

Why aren’t us parents seeing any benefit in smaller class sizes?

I have just responded to this post by a parent: As a parent, the Bloomfield Public School system has sold smaller class sizes as part of their narrative. The experience of my two children has been a DECREASE in group interaction and all of the other good things that should… Read more“Why aren’t us parents seeing any benefit in smaller class sizes?”

Transitional Vocabulary – one process of effectively teaching grammar.

I realise there are times when I might show a little bias however I had to show this photo of a teacher at my school teaching grammar in ways that both engage and support students transferring the understanding to their writing. The teacher, Kalliopi, had just shown a short YouTube… Read more“Transitional Vocabulary – one process of effectively teaching grammar.”

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?”

An authentic purpose for learning – a makers market.

Tonight our Year 1 and 2 students ran a “makers market” as their last performance for their technology based unit of learning “how do you make”. As you can see by the photo the market was well attended with hundreds of parents participating and buying the products students had made…. Read more“An authentic purpose for learning – a makers market.”

Meaningful Reading Comprehension – students doing the work!

This is a year 2 boy’s attempt to infer the meaning of words in a non fiction book of his choosing. Both the teacher and I thought this a really good artefact to show his reading comprehension development. The first column displays his attempts to pick up the vocabulary of… Read more“Meaningful Reading Comprehension – students doing the work!”

Teaching Writing? (part 1)

I’m sitting on the back porch of a small lodge at the base of Mt Buller listening to the babbling sound of rushing water on the Delatite River. As I gaze up from this iPad I see many differing shades of green trees sprinkled with the odd yellow-leaved deciduous tree… Read more“Teaching Writing? (part 1)”

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?”

The pendulum conundrum of strategic planning.

Over the past 18 months we as a school having been reviewing our performance as a school through the student, teacher and parent lenses. There was lots to celebrate which we have. However human nature is a curious things for we seek the road to improvement – not necessarily enjoying… Read more“The pendulum conundrum of strategic planning.”

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!”

Provoking student interest in learning

I say again I’m in a fortunate role as principal to see some amazing products and processes of learning and I’m guilty of not sharing these as often as I should. So here goes: the first two photos show an 11-year-old student’s investigation into the scientific understandings behind whirlpools. Students… Read more“Provoking student interest in learning”

Student feedback to teachers – just ask them we did!

We were working with Kath Murdoch this afternoon on using our student feedback to adjust the 2015 curriculum plans. Our students provided the followed recommendations to teachers which I thought were worth sharing: less teacher talk: which we are thinking about making this a class challenge: How can we give… Read more“Student feedback to teachers – just ask them we did!”