Composite Classes – a pressure point- at least in East Lothian, Scotland.

  I have just read a post and added a comment on Don’s log which I thought was worth a mention. Don is the Acting Director of Education and Children’s Services in East Lothian, Scotland. School organisation it seems is an issue or a pressure point, as Don puts it,… Read more“Composite Classes – a pressure point- at least in East Lothian, Scotland.”

Why use protocols when looking at student work?

We posed this question at a team leadership meeting last year when we discussed the quest to personalise learning more for our students? Perhaps one answer came after we introduced the idea to staff last week – it’s a bit like moderating student work except I might get more of a say.  Using… Read more“Why use protocols when looking at student work?”

“iNet” online conferences

I recently posted a comment on an iNet online conference. iNet is an international network of schools committed to innovative change that supports improved student learning.   The online conference had a focus on “curriculum redesign” and posed a question on school organisation matching the needs of learners in the… Read more““iNet” online conferences”

Design meets learning

The teachers in the Years 5/6 team at Elsternwick Primary are faced with many challenges and questions when co-designing learning environments that stimulate and promote both collaborative and individual learning as well as the environment supporting students and teachers living a set of values: respect, responsibility and resilience.   The teachers who are currently… Read more“Design meets learning”

Teaching for Understanding

Have you ever struggled with teaching or assessing growth in learners understandings – I do? It’s easier to teach and assess skills. I like the example many people give of coaching a sports team – you teach skills that are observable – clear cut. They can either demonstrate the skill to a… Read more“Teaching for Understanding”

Student Writing: a focus for improvement

We have just completed a whole pupil free day looking at our instructional practice on student writing. Anne Hammond, our resident literacy coach had us look at persuasive text for most of the morning: where you would find it, how it comes in different text forms [e.g. editorials, songs, advertising,… Read more“Student Writing: a focus for improvement”

What’s your vision for schooling?

This week after our staff meeting I have been reflecting about the dialogue on what value we as teachers bring to the deeper learning our students need in the 21st century. We watched a pod cast of Richard Elmore saying that in fact through the dominance of our literal recall… Read more“What’s your vision for schooling?”

Instructional tips that might make a difference

At this week’s leadership meeting I introduced John Hattie’s article on building teacher quality. We began talking as the instructional leaders of the school of our individual journeys to making a greater difference in student learning. Hattie explores this learning journey from novice to expert. The conversation turned to some… Read more“Instructional tips that might make a difference”

“School can be like a vacuum cleaner sucking the knowledge out of kids.”

I am working on one of the DEECD principal focus groups for building an instructional model for teachers in Victoria. During the first workshop we listened to this video clip from Richard Elmore talking about some of the challenges.  Richard makes a point that many students loose the knowledge and… Read more““School can be like a vacuum cleaner sucking the knowledge out of kids.””

What lense do you use when looking at children’s writing?

I looked at this 6 year olds work on thinking and thought of this quote a team leader used at the annual parent information night: “We let children paint their faces, swing around poles, blow bubbles, build cubby houses, go down the street in their ballet dress or superhero suit… Read more“What lense do you use when looking at children’s writing?”

What drives your classroom coaching program?

Last year I caught up with Barrie Bennett in Toronto and had the chance to talk through his framework for classroom improvement. It was one of those light bulb moments when it became clear for me what the missing focus was in both walkthroughs and in the schools coaching programme. We needed to… Read more“What drives your classroom coaching program?”

Leaders talking teaching and learning!

At this week’s leadership meeting I set the context for our reading of John Hattie’s article on building teacher quality. The article lists a number of key strategies [e.g. feedback] that have the greatest effect size on student learning. It concludes: “expert teachers do differ from experienced teachers …. most critically in… Read more“Leaders talking teaching and learning!”

Student Leadership

I was talking to the senior students at school this week and used this clip to start the discussion about leadership changing the world We often start in our own backyard so to speak in small ways and the students said by being kind to someone, or putting away sports equipment without being asked . I… Read more“Student Leadership”