At what age do people discover they are a writer? My friend Sue is now a published writer…well on wordpress. Introducing: Bendy and Tash- Best friends, problem solvers & crime fighters! LOL :) Links here…

My close friend and teacher colleague has always loved writing. She’s written her school’s end of year play for many years, but like many writer’s hasn’t shared her other writing in broader forums.

Well this has changed! Sue laughingly now calls herself a published writer and she is. Yes, she has finally decided to be a risk taker, or you just get to that age where you do things for yourself and are not so concerned about what others’ think. A good place for a writer to be!🙂

Sue has been writing about two characters Bendy and Tash. It’s a crime fighting spoof. The characters are based on Sue and her friend Sally. Yes, can’t say more than that.

Absolutely hilarious, with that Aussie sense of humour resonating through her words.

If you would like a laugh, then follow the link. No, we can’t google Tash and Bendy, but I’ve got a feeling we will soon. Link below:

Bendy and Tash: Best Friends, Problem Solvers & Crime Fighters

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Bendy and Tash are on twitter, or you can contact them at bendyandtash@gmail.com.

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Cheers Nina

 

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Probably my best post: Not sure how long it will be up!

Recently, I came across an article, Goal: Be Someone’s Champion. The article sets a goal to achieve:

Goal: Be another teacher or your student’s champion in the next coming weeks’.

The article also asks teachers to reflect on ‘the importance of being supportive and championing ideas’ and that’s something which resonates strongly with me.

My blog and twitter are where I am a ‘champion for others’.

I’ve recently joined a number of teacher groups and the sharing is amazing. These educators are supporting each other, asking questions and finding answers.

My blog is my space where I can share with educators the resources I use to be a better teacher. Teacher’s are always asking me where I get my ideas from!

I’ve been sharing the work of Steve Peha and Angela Stockman .

  • These educators do amazing work and have given so much to support teaching writing in classrooms.
  • They have shared their research and ideas for years with educators because they are passionate about their work.
  • They must be time poor, but each somehow finds time to connect with all.
  • Angela and Steve have finally published books!

Recently, I received a tweet telling me to stop ‘spamming’.

Wow! However, for the record, the thank you contacts & emails way out number this.

I’ve been sharing a brilliant book which I believe should be in the hands of every  teacher.

It’s as simple as that!

Those who read my blog, know I only write and share with positive intensions. You’ll never find anything negative from me. Will I keep being someone’s champion? YES!

And I hope someone will be mine too.

Cheers Nina

 

 

 

 

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The teaching text we/I need! Just imagine…

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To the many teachers who contact me about the work of Angela Stockman and Steve Peha.

Just imagine having at your fingertips a writing text or texts which take you from curriculum design to implementation to assessment and where instruction is guided from student work… and written for the Australian Curriculum and other curriculums. That would be something because I know there’s a gap. Yes, there is some excellent material out there but it’s difficult to implement. Imagine…. if the text and extras were cloud based as well. I can!!

Just maybe, and I mean maybe, this could happen and I’ll keep all posted here! Fingers crossed!

Cheers Nina

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Student Agency Part 3: The Teacher

Student/Learner Agency is essential if we are preparing our learners for their future. Student/Learner Agency starts from a child’s first year of school for the teacher. In previous posts I’ve talked about the student and the task and now I’ve added the teacher. All three components are crucial to Student/Learner Agency. Student-Teacher-Task

The Role of the Teacher

Plans collaboratively for student needs based on a sound knowledge of curriculum and students.

Refers to the 5 essential IB elements – Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action.

Provides tools and strategies for students to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning e.g. pre-Assessments, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, etc.

Supports students to use evidence when personalising and revising their learning goals.

Clarify students’ misconceptions, in order to refine individual learning goals.

Discusses connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Help students make sense of connections within and between curriculum areas.

Supports students to identify ‘stretch’ goals and set goals to achieve them.

Plans collaboratively to meet student needs based on a sound knowledge of exemplary teaching practice.

Develops students’ metacognitive skills by modelling the language of thinking, and providing tools and strategies to assist them to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning.

Monitors students for cues and notices when students need assistance.

Makes students responsible for establishing deliberate practice routines.

Provides students with a choice of learning activities that apply discipline- specific knowledge and skills including literacy and numeracy skills.

Facilitates processes for students to select activities based on agreed learning goals.

Supports student to select learning engagements that support their areas of strength and areas for development.

Ensure dialogue is distributed, so that teacher and students both take an active role.

Raises students’ awareness of the characteristics of inquiry and the process of inquiry.

Involves students in adapting the learning space to support everyone’s learning.

Shares responsibility with students for reinforcing agreed learning expectations and refers to agreed routines and protocols throughout the lesson.

Paces the lesson, giving students enough time to intellectually engage with the concepts, reflect upon their learning and consolidate their understanding.

Demonstrates respect for all students’ ideas and ways of thinking.

Negotiates group arrangements with students, appropriate to particular learning goals.

Designs activities that incorporate cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Present concepts of the discipline in multiple ways to all students and identify diverse perspectives when presenting content.

Supports students to hold each other to account for their contributions to the group’s outcomes.

Facilitate students’ self-assessment by giving them tools to assess, and reflect on, their own work.

When articulating assessment requirements, the teacher uses examples of student work to demonstrate the expected standards.

Organises opportunities for students to articulate what they have learnt and to say which learning strategies are most effective for them.

Explain the taxonomy used to structure the learning activity and to inform the assessment criteria, so that students understand the intellectual demands of the task.

Provides students with opportunity to reflect critically on the strategies they have used to complete the learning task.

Negotiate assessment strategies with students, ensuring these are aligned with learning goals.

Supports students to assess their own use of academic language and measure their own progress in this area.

Support students to critique one another’s ideas, in order to increase the intellectual rigour of the conversation.

Uses a variety of formative assessment activities to help students assess their own progress.

Provides opportunities for immediate feedback. KPS

Cheers Nina

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Student Agency Part 2: The Task!

In the previous post I wrote about the behaviours of a learner developing Student Agency. In this post I’m describing the elements of tasks which empower Student Agency.

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Supports students to identify their learning goals

Encourages self-responsibility.

Allows students to be immersed in the possibilities open to them.

Provokes thinking beyond the known, opening up further possibilities.

Makes connections to appropriate tools e.g. pre-tests, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, reflection, etc.

Incorporates a variety of transdisciplinary skills.

Incorporates cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Makes connections to previous learning, reflections and evidence.

Designed to allow students to achieve their learning goals.

Allows for connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Provides a range of options for students e.g. teacher focus group, peer tutoring, hands-on, thinking routines, etc.

Develops students’ metacognitive skills, providing tools and strategies to assist them to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning.

Makes students responsible for establishing deliberate practice routines.

Provides students with a choice of learning activities that apply discipline- specific knowledge and skills including literacy and numeracy skills.

Allows for students to select activities based on agreed learning goals.

Allows for the use of the characteristics of inquiry and the process of inquiry.

Allows for students to intellectually engage with the concepts, reflect upon their learning and consolidate their understanding.

Allows for group arrangements, appropriate to particular learning goals.

Incorporate cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Supports students to hold each other to account for their contributions to the group’s outcomes.

Supports students to generate their own questions that lead to further inquiry.

Supports students to use different representations to develop their understanding of particular concepts and ideas.

Incorporate cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Includes multiple entry points.

Supports the development of academic vocabulary through oral and written construction.

Involves the community – parents, peers, other classrooms.

Various assessment tasks and tools for students to select from to assess and reflect on their own work.

Allows for a variety of thinking routines.

Promotes the use of evidence and assessment criteria to support assessment outcomes.

Provides opportunities for students to articulate what they have learnt and to say which learning strategies are most effective for them.

Allows for the critique of one another’s ideas, in order to increase the intellectual rigour of the conversation.

Builds in a variety of assessment, reflection and feedback systems (teacher, self, peer). KPS

Quality planning, accurate assessment, point of need learning goals and rich tasks are required to develop Student Agency. Part 3 will outline the role of the teacher.

Cheers Nina

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Student Agency Part 1-#EduTechAU What the twitter feeds are telling me: The Student!

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Bill Ferriter  Follow the link to read more from Bill Ferrier

Learner Agency is something we talk about often, but what does this look and sound like? Engagement is a word teachers use but has its meaning changed? So what is Learner Agency and why do we want our students to be empowered?

A student developing Learner Agency strives to:

Identify their learning goals using appropriate tools e.g. Learning Cycle, pre-tests, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, reflection, etc.

Identify their learning goals based on previous learning, reflections, evidence, etc.

Be open to and explores possibilities for appropriate learning goals.

Use learning goals to monitor and advance their own learning.

Manage a number of learning goals at the same time – incorporating different transdisciplinary skills.

Identify ‘stretch’ goals and understands the incremental steps to achieve them.

Focus on the process, in addition to the product.

Articulate why they are learning it and how it connects to previous and future learning and how they will use it in life.

Make sense of connections within and between curriculum areas.

Make connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Select learning activities which best support learning goals e.g. teacher focus group, peer tutoring, hands-on, thinking routines, etc.

Select group arrangements appropriate to learning goals.

Select activities that best engage them (Thinking routines, watch a clip rather than reading, writing)

Hold themselves and others to account for their contributions to the group’s outcomes.

Use the characteristics of inquiry to deepen understanding.

Identify the process of inquiry and working through the various stages towards authentic action.

Make cross-curricular applications and real-world connections.

Use a range of strategies to solve problems when learning becomes difficult.

Seek support when ‘all else fails’ to maximise learning time.

Manage transitions to maximise learning time.

Adapt the learning space to support everyone’s learning.

Respond to questions, formulate own questions and share ideas with the class.

Connect classroom practices to the world beyond the classroom.

Practise and transfer learned strategies into independent activity.

Display learner profile attributes.

Select appropriate method to demonstrate learning.

Provide evidence to demonstrate meeting learning goals.

Use exemplars, rubrics, success criteria and other methods to monitor progress.

Reflect on formative and summative assessment to support development of learning goals.

Articulate what they have learnt and which learning strategies are most effective for them.

Develop rubrics according to the specific learning goals.

Initiate self-reflection using appropriate tools

Invite peers and teachers to provide feedback.

Critique one another’s ideas, in order to increase the intellectual rigour of the conversation.

Reflect on previous learning in Transdisciplinary theme.

Taking authentic action as a result of their learning. (KPS)

These behaviours/actions are goals for a student who exhibits high level Learner Agency. There is also the role of the teacher and the quality of the tasks required to support the student which need documenting. However, I agree when a student starts exhibiting a sense of Learner Agency they are indeed empowered and certainly engaged!

Keep tweeting #EduTechAU

Cheers Nina

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It took EIGHT to get going! Cengage Presentations…you grow as you go

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This term I completed eight presentations for Cengage and it took EIGHT! Each presentation improved as my knowledge and understanding grew. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m a constructivist and it takes a constructivist to be a presenter!

Feedback is a powerful teacher and the more constructive the better. It’s like any learning experience, you grow as you go. The difference between presentation 1 and 8 is measurable but that’s what learning does and should do!

I met some incredible educators and thank them not only for their attendance but for their enthusiasm at the end of a long teaching day! If I can show something that can expedite assessment and provide ongoing recommendations for future learning around a student’s point of need, educators listen. If I can talk about comprehension and show Cengage reading materials which are differentiated for students’ ability, beautifully presented, rich in content and have multiple copies I’m going to.

I want all students to have quality reading material which is engaging, current and cost effective for schools. Have a look and do the maths!

Cheers Nina

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