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!”

What might Benjamin Franklin have to say to our young students?

  At Monday’s school assembly I used Benjamin Franklin’s story to talk about the importance of effort and persistence as we strive for personal excellence. “energy and persistence conquer all things” Benjamin Franklin I talked about his childhood days in Boston some 300 years ago where as one of 10… Read more“What might Benjamin Franklin have to say to our young students?”

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.”

When more is not good – lesson intentions can make a difference

At year level leadership meetings we often read and discuss shared articles or writing from noted educators. Last week we discussed chapter two of Shirley Clarke’s book on feedback titled  “Learning Intentions”. One of her opening lines is “It is generally true that the more covered, the less learnt” [p… Read more“When more is not good – lesson intentions can make a difference”

An advocate for reciprocal teaching – or hearing student voice in your classroom.

When I first listened to this address by 12 yo Adora I was rather skeptical and amazed. Her use of language is amazing but her message is simply. We need to hear student voice in curriculum development – so if you plan your inquiry learning unit without seeking student background… Read more“An advocate for reciprocal teaching – or hearing student voice in your classroom.”

Reading comprehension scaffolded for older students.

At our regular team leaders meeting where we gain an overview of curriculum planning across the school we discussed what readers workshops look like for older primary aged students. Our problem of practice started out about identifying what students are doing to process reading texts whilst we may be teaching… Read more“Reading comprehension scaffolded for older students.”

League tables

Over the past week newspapers all over Australia have featured articles and editorials on the Federal Governments new tax payer funded website “My School” which will allow parents [and others] to see how their schools rates against the national average in a series of tests [NAPLAN] and benchmarks [ i.e…. Read more“League tables”

How far have we come as teachers in using technology to engage learners?

Have a quick flick through this presentation as we in Australia shut down for the summer school holiday period. I’m reminded of a now famous quote “Yes we can” when I see this. I remember as far back as the spirit duplicator – what about you? The presentation comes from… Read more“How far have we come as teachers in using technology to engage learners?”

Teachers do not teach comprehension they test it.

Last week I attended a presentation by Di Snowballwho has recently returned from working in schools in the States for over 16 years. Di has been contracted to work in some regions in Victoria to hlep “struggling” schools, I gather, however during this presentation to a group of principals she made… Read more“Teachers do not teach comprehension they test it.”

Teaching Reading Clips

We have discovered this wonderful resources from the Canadian Curriculum Services which has great web casts with similar challenges to our schools: http://www.curriculum.org/secretariat/april18.shtml We have been revising our understandings about reading instruction and what certain teaching strategies look and sound like. Up to this point point we had been revising… Read more“Teaching Reading Clips”

A new model for “Writing” is needed in schools.

It seems writing is now more in focus than reading. Over the last 6 months I have heard and read a great deal about the power of writing and how the model needs to change in schools. I wrote about Douglas Reeves using the 90/90/90 schools research as a case… Read more“A new model for “Writing” is needed in schools.”

Reading Comprehension Strategies made explicit in classrooms

I visited Matthew Needlemans blog and really like the way his is trying to get his students to anchor their reading comprehension skills through the creation of posters that students can connect to. Often charts displayed in rooms don’t provide reminders to students about strategies they can use when learning… Read more“Reading Comprehension Strategies made explicit in classrooms”

Making a difference by Douglas Reeves.

I was fortunate to hear Douglas Reeves for the second time at the recent ACEL conference in Melbourne. He is the founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Performance Assessment, an organization dedicated to improving student achievement and educational equity. In his address and subsequent workshop he made many… Read more“Making a difference by Douglas Reeves.”

School improvement is not unlike peeling an onion – the jouney is layered and may produce tears .

  At most weekly leadership meetings we agenda a discussion on a published research paper distributed and read prior to meeting and this week it was the 90/90/90 Schools: A Case Study article. The article written by two journalists was based on research of some schools in lower socio-economic communities in America that… Read more“School improvement is not unlike peeling an onion – the jouney is layered and may produce tears .”

Toronto Superintendent Kathy Cowan visits Elsternwick.

On Wednesday 7/8/08 I was honoured to host Kathy Cowan a superintendent of a family of schools [SE6] in Toronto. I first met Kathy at Harvard University in 2006 and again in 2007 in Toronto when I visited a number of the family’s principals. Readers of my blog might remember an earlier post about Spencer, her… Read more“Toronto Superintendent Kathy Cowan visits Elsternwick.”