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?”

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!”

Shirley Clarke says tell students the truth if their work needs work.

  I’m re-reading Shirley Clarke’s book first published in 2008 on active learning and formative assessment. One of the points she makes in the book is the link between higher self-esteem and a growth mindset. We need to show enthusiasm for challenging tasks and ensure failure is followed with celebration… Read more“Shirley Clarke says tell students the truth if their work needs work.”

Reinventing Writing is that possible?

Recently I stumbled upon the work of Vicki Davis a classroom teacher (middle or secondary I think) in the States who is working on using technology to reinvent writing. The clip above is long (20 minutes) but I think she makes some points that are applicable to higher elementary or… Read more“Reinventing Writing is that possible?”

time for great teaching – a report on how

  I’ve recently read the Gratton Report “Making time for great teaching“. In the executive summary is says: Government regulations restrict schools. Enterprise bargaining agreements restrict changes to work schedules, and duty of care requirements restrain schools that want to free their teachers from child minding to focus on improving… Read more“time for great teaching – a report on how”

Keeping earlier improvements alive – a constant juggling act for school leaders.

Have you ever wondered how you keep earlier improvement work on the slow boil whilst undertaking more recent deeper work? I know this is a constant challenge for school leaders particularly as new teachers who often unfamiliar with the earlier work join the staff. We faced this challenge with reading… Read more“Keeping earlier improvements alive – a constant juggling act for school leaders.”

Feedback and Instruction

Recently I gave a presentation for the Brisbane Catholic Education Office titled “Feedback and Instruction”. I was trying to make several points: that teacher feedback is best received in a school culture that openly advocates feedback for all, including school leaders that observation must be non judgemental (this can be… Read more“Feedback and Instruction”

Instructional Rounds and Data Wise.

Last week I facilitated an Instructional Round at a neighbouring school and tried to embrace some of the principles of Data Wise into the evidentiary analysis of the observations. The initiative was well received so I thought I would share it. There were 3 groups of principals who observed students… Read more“Instructional Rounds and Data Wise.”

Everett Kline challenges our assessment beliefs and practices.

Ever been to a professional learning workshop or presentation and felt discomfort, challenged, empowered and an overwhelming sense relief all at the same time? Well I have several times (lucky me some might say) and this session led by Everett Kline on assessment at the2011 ASCD summer conference in Boston… Read more“Everett Kline challenges our assessment beliefs and practices.”

Like to start teacher conversation about observing practice – with humour?

Recently we ran a workshop on observing teacher practice in classrooms within a coaching relationship. To break the ice but make the point we used this clip from Summer Heights High which was an Australian TV show that “sent up” schools.  It successfully broke the ice and teachers talked about instruction… Read more“Like to start teacher conversation about observing practice – with humour?”

Rick Wormeli on redo’s and retakes

I’ve been pondering some recent parent feedback about our senior students lack of engagement with some teachers and the material they are expected to learn. I began my reflections about the students coming from the digital generation and expecting to be entertained by teachers otherwise they are bored or non… Read more“Rick Wormeli on redo’s and retakes”

Inspect what you expect

Earlier this year Penny, one of my assistant Principal’s, and I participated in the ASCD summer conference in Boston. One workshop we attended was by Pete Hall the Principal of Sheridan Elementary School in Spokane. Pete spoke about the need to monitor classroom instruction to improve performance. He used a walk-through as tool to monitor instruction… Read more“Inspect what you expect”

Do you have a fixed or fluid mindset?

Occasionally you stumble upon some research that just makes sense. Well this research about the effects of fixed and fluid mindsets on student motivation made sense to me. Have you heard someone say they just no good at………… maths or whatever…. this suggests they may have a fixed mindset. Carol Dweck… Read more“Do you have a fixed or fluid mindset?”

Do student incentives give the wrong messages?

As we finish the school year and pack up for Christmas and the summer holidays I’m starting to reflect on what we achieved this year and what’s part of the journey ahead. We have just finished a 3 year building project which transformed 40% of classrooms and added new facilities… Read more“Do student incentives give the wrong messages?”