I cannot overstate how important the first few weeks of the school year are. A focus on the deliberate planning and time for building relationships, behaviour and routine expectations can set you up for a great year.
Below are 5 links that can get you thinking about how to approach the Positive Start Program we use here.
Finding efficient and effective workflow habits and tools to give feedback to students, and receive feedback from them can be an elusive goal.
Mindshift is a favourite professional reading blog I like to use. Recently Katrina Schwartz posted thoughts about feedback that are worthwhile reading and thinking about. There is a link to a very short video where John Hattie again talks about success criteria being more important than a learning intention.
I still think the time spent thinking about and designing both learning intentions and success criteria provide you with a reference to focus your feedback.
The video below, featuring John Hattie, broadly touches upon a number of themes that support our instructional and planning models, as well as the ‘Let’s look at Learning Intentions and Success Criteria’ overview.
It reinforces the message of variability within schools and champions the value of collaborative observation and using artefacts of student work to monitor learning.
Let me start by asking you to look at the video below, about 5 minutes worth. I had this put aside to use for some professional learning early next year, so you might see it again at some point! Do your best predicting, looking for foreshadowing, use any prior knowledge you might have, you will have some questions (probably, what the hell is Tim on about?), you might think aloud and hope to see a summary…no matter what you do, you will have to watch it all to work out how it fits in with what follows.
If you are not prepared to watch this, read the email and follow the links, then you shouldn’t really have an opinion about the topic! I am giving you 10 years worth of thinking and reflecting on pedagogy and practice with portfolios in a considerably shorter time! I want you to base any decision on some authentic background and depth of knowledge. If you think this paragraph a little strange the video should help.
Now that you have watched the video, let me begin by saying if you think this is about the (free) Global2 platform and the (paid) Seesaw app then again, you shouldn’t really have an opinion about this!
The issue here is about the importance of students developing a portfolio that represents their learning. If you don’t understand the depth and complexity around learning portfolios then both Global2 and Seesaw will be a failure, yes both. So you can pay for mediocrity or produce it for free.
This next link takes you to a blog post with a picture that is close to the best I have ever found that explains what I think of when I talk about learning portfolio…read ‘blogging’ in the image as portfolio, to me for the purposes of reading this blog post they are synonymous.
Still with me? Then you now need to read this slightly more complex text from the InsightAssess website, by the way if this is the first time you have seen this website bookmark, and explore in more detail at a later date.
Hopefully those synapses are firing. The next blog post, to my mind, starts to make some of the depth of thinking required to develop great portfolios, as opposed to mediocre ones.
Nearly there, the next link can be read in its entirety, or you can just look at pages 2 and 3. My bias towards inquiry and IB are known, read ICT though as digital learning in the article.
No doubt many of you are relating this to some of the Hattie influences, and the fact that the strongest instructional models have a component where sharing and reflection are involved.
One of the platforms allows for individual student blogs, the other doesn’t. One looks easy to use, the other requires some commitment and effort to use effectively. One offers the opportunity for authentic global collaboration and communication, the other doesn’t. One opens the door to creating a true digital footprint and developing real digital citizenship behaviour, the other doesn’t. One demands parental effort to be involved, the other doesn’t.
I think there is a place for both platforms in the educational journey at our school. One for F-3, and one for 4-6.
There is no place for either, however, if as a teacher you can’t develop your own class blog, ask students to reflect with some depth and effort, teach students how to set SMART goals, provide the time to communicate with peers, or be involved in opportunities such as Global Read Aloud, Quadblogging, Student and Teacher blogging challenges, the Nifty Fifty STEM program or Mystery Skype.
Time to reflect on learning, and creating the evidence has to be planned for students so that they have the opportunity to do it properly. For students to reflect and organise their learning so that it is visible takes a great deal of effort from students and teachers. If you are not prepared to put in the effort, deliberately plan for students developing a learning portfolio, model how to communicate and persist with parents in the later years of primary school, then you shouldn’t be using either platform.
If you are here, have followed and thought about the links then you are probably ready to have a discussion with colleagues. As the first video indicated, I have a distinct bias. It is a bias based on years of thinking and doing however.
Make her blog one of your regular must reads by subscribing. Start by looking at her About page, it has a link that explains the purpose of the blog and guides you to some suggestions of what to listen, view and read if it is your first time visiting her blog.
Cult of Pedagogy will provide more than enough reading and thinking, as well as opportunities for sharing and planning to last you for a whole PDP cycle!
The idea of ‘tight but loose’ was something I was able to revisit while reading the Class Teaching blog through the year. Shaun Allison, one of the three authors of this blog, has also produced a book called Making Every Lesson Count.
I think the concept of making every lesson count is important for the mindset of planning and teacher talk. You can link to the post on the image below, where the authors explain how having a structure for a school can complement the idea that teachers thrive on being creative.
With the thought that V.I.T. registration is due, you might be updating your records of professional learning.
For the next 12 months you might want to look at increasing your own professional reading…this time online. The Teach100 site is a great place to start looking for blogs and websites that interest you.
DigiPubs have an excellent teaching and learning resources page that links to year level home pages. For each strand in a year level there is a content description, lesson ideas, units of work and resources.
Click on the image below to find what you are looking for.
A bit of professional knowledge can go a long way, particularly when beginning to think about multiplicative thinking. I have seen a little of what has been coming from the photocopier, so I am guessing it is part of planning for a number of Year level teams.
While I go to Clarke and Sullivan for fractions, Dianne Siemon is the person to deepen your practical knowledge for multiplicative thinking…along with a dose of Booker. (Do the other authors of the book get peeved with such casual reference to one of the four authors?)
Not unusually our own Department website has links to help you as well.
Below are the links to help you on your way!
Dianne Siemon first, you have probably seen these but you really should start with these two resources that complement each other.
Of course it helps to design some useful pre testing, the Department has a link to tools to use to identify common misunderstandings.