Elsternwick PS meets Tobin Montessori in Boston

Continuing the series of posts written by Jess, Erin and Sarah 3 teachers attending the Harvard Institute and now visiting schools. Today we visited The Tobin School in Cambridge. This school was familiar to us, as we had read about it through the case studies presented in ‘Data Wise In… Read more“Elsternwick PS meets Tobin Montessori in Boston”

teaching trades and technology

This post is written by Malcolm Dawson, Carpentry Trade Teacher, Holmesglen Institute, Victoria. Bob Dylan must have known something when he wrote the song “The times they are a changing” and there certainly has been a shift in the way things are done within the trades training and assessment landscape. Traditionally the… Read more“teaching trades and technology”

Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 5.

Well…it’s over. Today was a celebration of our journey so far. We spent some time-sharing our insights and dilemmas with another school, and used something called the “consultancy protocol” to give and receive feedback around our journey to date. We found it insightful to hear the different opinions and perspectives… Read more“Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 5.”

Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 4

Today all the 8 pieces of the Data Wise Improvement Process came together. We  collaborated with teachers from other Elementary schools on a case study about a school in Texas. We used real data, student work samples and videos of classrooms from the school to make our way through all… Read more“Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 4”

Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 3

We are now officially over half way through the course, and what a whole lot of learning has taken place. We feel that in a sense there has been growth on four different levels – personal, team, school and beyond EPS. One of the activities we participated in was where… Read more“Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 3”

Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 2

Today was a significant day for new learning, during which the ideas we had established in the morning session, had dramatically changed by lunch time. Following the morning session, in which the Principal of the BART Public Charter School, Ben Klompus, presented us with a case study outlining how his school… Read more“Data Wise: Summer Institute Day 2”

Is there a mindset change needed to engage parents when using formative assessment during parent teacher interviews?

I’ve been thinking lately about our upcoming parent teacher interviews which we now hold in March and August of each year and whether we need to reset the context for both teachers and parents? Let me set a little background context for this question. Last year a group of teacher… Read more“Is there a mindset change needed to engage parents when using formative assessment during parent teacher interviews?”

Is drill and kill the right approach to learning to spell?

My headline is in lots of ways misleading for there is no one right way to learn to spell efficiently in English. In the 60’s and 70’s we made students learn to spell lists of words through repetition or drill with lots of rules thrown in and then in the… Read more“Is drill and kill the right approach to learning to spell?”

Data Wise at Elsternwick, a Harvard perspective.

Last month David Rease Jnr from Harvard visited Elsternwick to view our progress in implementing the Data Wise: Inquiry Approach to Improving Instruction in schools. We were quite chuffed at David’s visit and recorded this clip  to capture some of his initial observations and reflections. As you will hear he commented… Read more“Data Wise at Elsternwick, a Harvard perspective.”

Is there a social agenda that pushes the use of data in schools to a more summative view?

Over recent weeks I have pondering concerns raised by teachers and a few parents on the use of data to report to parents (summative assessment). Last week three of my staff attended a briefing on the new National Curriculum due to be implemented in 2013. Most of the questions raised… Read more“Is there a social agenda that pushes the use of data in schools to a more summative view?”

Personalising is really an outcome of differentiation: points to note for educators

At a recent regional Principal conference I heard Vic Zbar, an educational consultant based in Victoria; speak about personalising teaching and learning. Personalising learning he put it was really an outcome of differentiation. Vic then made a number of points I thought worth repeating: There is generally too much whole class… Read more“Personalising is really an outcome of differentiation: points to note for educators”

A few challenges to the idea of “life long learning.”

Last week I was privileged to spend 3 days interacting with James Nottingham and others around the topic of life long learning. He made to me some valuable points worth exploring a little further. “tests show only what a child has learnt to that point and nothing else”      Binet 1857 –… Read more“A few challenges to the idea of “life long learning.””

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.”