Monthly Archives: October 2013

Future Learning: How do we prepare our students for the unknown?

There are so many questions and beliefs in this presentation. While watching I’ve been making key notes and I’ve listed these below:

Education – needs to be world class. We have an obligation to the next generation.

My Questions
How do I motivate students?
What for?
What are obsolete skills?
What are life skills?
Do I actively engage students?
Do I provide a reason for my students to learn?
Am a providing a ‘higher order’ thinking curriculum?
Am I allowing for self-directed learning?
Play and learning and the blurry line between.

Sugata Mitra believes…
Three key needs for students for the future:
1. Reading Comprehension
2. Information search and retrieval skills
3. How to believe.

What are your thoughts?

Thought for my day: Spellcheckers will not replace human eyes. I’ve corrected my errors!

Cheers Nina

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Our Claim: Inquiry is constructivist! Our Staff Meeting tonight…

Today the Inquiry Professional Learning Team (which I am a member of) led the first of three staff meetings on inquiry.
Our Goals:

To develop a common understanding of what Inquiry looks like at our school using an inquiry approach.
To provoke thinking that may influence practice.

We hear a about project based learning, inquiry based learning, etc… What does that mean? What does it look like when schools shift away from “drill and kill” learning towards big ideas, questions, and “no right answer” kind of learning?

Our Claim: Inquiry is constructivist

Staff viewed the first 4 minutes of Piaget speaking about the constructivist theory.

The feedback from staff has been very positive and considering we’ve had a school Walkathon and whole school transition session today this is fantastic!

If you were asked the following question: What is Inquiry Learning? What would be your answer?

Cheers Nina

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IB-PYP Risk-taker: Using a mentor book & Independent Writing- Archie’s Haircut by Lindy Smith: 6/7&8 year old writers respond to a quote from the text.

The name mentor book was introduced recently to me and although I’ve always used fiction and non-fiction books to hook students in and support teaching and learning, I’m now strategic with my approach to their planned use. Last week I was thinking about a text to reinforce the IB Learner Profile Risk-takers. One literacy focus for writing was verbs and for reading it is writer’s purpose and message.

Risk-takers: Definition

They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs. IB-PYP

Last weekend I stumbled across an author selling her picture story books. I’m keen to support writers who have the courage to self-publish. The book is Archie’s Haircut by Lindy Smith and is part of a growing series of Archie the Black Alpaca stories. When I read the text I knew the story would be perfect to support discussion around risk-taking when learning. The vocabulary supported a focus on verbs and the author’s message is articulated clearly within the text.

My students were read the story and asked to think about the author’s message. After a oral Think, Pair and Share students were asked to respond to the following quote and describe the author’s message.

Even if you don’t succeed you will learn a lot when you try.

Alpacas and Mentor Book 047

Student A:

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Student B:

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Student C:

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Student D:

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Student E:

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Student F:

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Alpacas and Mentor Book 055

Alpacas and Mentor Book 057

Student G:

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Student H:

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Student I:

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This is a random selection of writing from my grade. The bigger lined books are used by 6/7 year olds and the smaller lines by my 7/8 year old students. My students are responsible for the editing of their writing and their Have A Go spelling books are supporting this well.

Cheers Nina

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My next post: Stay tuned- Looking at NAPLAN results for states… Queensland’s improvement strategy is working! What are they doing?


Having read the NAPLAN reports for each state it became apparent that QLD is doing something special. They may not be the top state in Australia but their results show improvement growth. I’ll share my thoughts here!

Cheers Nina


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