Tag Archives: Differentiated Instruction

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. Kunyung PS

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). Kunyung PS

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. (Kunyung PS)

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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Implementing Change in Teaching and Learning

Change-Agent-Chart

There are many different versions of the above chart. When this, or a similar chart was introduced to me it gave me clarity around the issues needed to promote, implement and sustain change. The change could be minor or major, it doesn’t matter because the elements for any change need to be in place.

Simply, if one of the key drivers of ‘change’ isn’t in place, the outcome is detrimental to the overall success of a program etc.

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When investigating something new e.g. a new program I need to think about these questions.

What do I know?

What do I want to know?

How will I find out?

What have I learned?

What action will I take?

What further questions do I have?

Once these questions are investigated and whatever is being changed is seen as valuable, then the implementing change chart is a fantastic reference point. Are the following key components of change in place?

Vision

Skills

Incentives

Resources

Action Plan

During my years of teaching, particularly in my earlier days, I’ve seen a number of very worthwhile curriculum initiatives not get off the ground or disappear because one or more of the key drivers wasn’t in place. What could have and should have led to improved teaching and learning for students fell by the wayside.

Anyone impacted by change needs to share the vision, be mentored or professionally developed with the skills needed to implement the change/program, know the purpose/incentives i.e. improved learning for students, have the resources required, and a detailed plan to add to the resources overtime built into an action plan which directly addresses all key drivers.

The impact of not getting things right is detrimental to the sustainability and overall success of a program. It doesn’t mean that a program won’t happen, it will just not be as effective as it could be. I’ve experienced the false starts and frustration which happens when you know a program or resource is fantastic and you haven’t got it.

Quality resources are essential and can be addressed in an action plan, whole school planning, school budget and future planning. This year I’m presenting some resources for Cengage Learning  and I’m delighted to be able to do this. It’s a casual role which I’ve taken on because I love their resources and have been using and writing about them by choice for a number of years, and now I am able to show and explain them to teachers.

The new PM Benchmark Reading Assessment Resource RAR system is fantastic. This morning I’ve been playing with the online assessment tools. To complete the reading assessment and  have at the moment, point of need data for teachers and students to set their future learning goals is just going to save so much time and provide greater accuracy.

Student data, class data and school data can be accessed and exported for classroom and whole school planning. Most importantly the assessment goals can be unpacked by teachers in planning teams for Foundation to upper primary students. This is just one example of Cengage’s resources. Cengage are  publishers so they can respond to the needs of teachers.

Cheers Nina

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IB-PYP: Maps – Gathering prior knowledge: Show me the way to your home from school. What did I learn? I should have known more about this student!

We’re learning about maps so I asked my students to show their way home from school. They could choose how they would show their journey. One of my students started drawing…. What did I learn? I know that how we ask children to show what they know is incredibly important and when gathering prior knowledge we can’t assume what a child knows. One of my very quiet 7 year old students started drawing their map.

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Can I find the way to my student’s home? YES How did this student know what they know? Would I have discovered what I now know about this student and their thinking if I’d presented my initial question a different way? QUESTIONS!

Cheers Nina

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