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Showing posts from June, 2015

Communication – Who are the key stakeholders and how can we be effective communicators to the key stakeholders?

Children benefit academically when parents and educators work together, as a parent is a child’s first and most important teacher. Within the formal education system, parent involvement is most effective when viewed as a partnership between parents and educators.

Parent involvement occurs when parents and educators participate in regular two-way and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their children’s learning at school and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making activities.

This may be achieved through regular feedback for schools, students and parents regarding the social and academic progress. As such school reports are an essential element in the partnership between teachers, schools and parents. As teachers focus on building trusting collaborative relationships among families and community members; they acknowledge and respect the family in addressing any class or cultur…

Social Inclusion – What are the consequences of classroom practices?

Berne and Stiefel (1999) suggest that, all children should have an equal chance to succeed, with this success based on personal characteristics such as motivation and effort. Equal educational opportunity should result in no difference in educational success based on student characteristics or place of residence. For there to be equal opportunity, all students should have access to capital that put them at an unbiased starting block and the conditions at school should allow them the possibility to succeed.

Within a classroom, inclusion is the key for pedagogy, understanding and appreciating people. Inclusion has been seen as a process that is relevant to all children in a school, but particularly focusing on those groups who have historically been marginalised by class, race, religion, sex, speech, disability and appearance or have underachieved. It recognises the way the school involves all parents, staff and community in its practices and decision-making processes as an important sta…

Relationships - How do we manage relationships with and amongst students and other staff members?

Professional interactions with colleagues, parents/caregivers and the wider community are vital means of communication that enhances students’ learning, gives insight of particular needs and requirements of students. To create rich, nurturing educational environments in the classroom, schools need to maximize the use of resources available in their communities. Professional interactions with other staff offer the opportunity for teachers to work with colleagues to strengthen their professional practice and deepen their understanding of teaching; through a cycle of planning, teaching, and feedback. The desired outcome of these interactions between teachers is foster the concept of the teacher as reflective and collaborative practitioner.

The qualities for a positive relationship can vary to set a learning experience approachable and inviting the students to learn. A teacher and student who have the qualities of good communications, respect in a classroom, and show interest in teaching f…

Edutech Australia Takeaways Day 2

As I sit on the AirTrain pondering my reaction to Edutech I realise how blessed I am to be teaching in a wonderful school and supported by an incredible Professional Learning Network. Much of today confirmed for me that there is a groundswell of educators who are now looking for ways to pedagogically improve their application and integration of technology. They realise that they along with students can do "dumb things with smart devices" and we need to be empowering educators and students to move to creating solutions for real world problems. 
I loved the quote that "a pencil is a technology but does it mean students can write?" The answer is no, obviously! Teachers need to be the guides in the learning process. We need to become less scared about what technology we are going to use and look more about the skill and process we are looking to teach. Then choose the technology appropriate for teaching the skill.
Another takeaway was student voice is more powerful that …

Organisation - How can the Classroom be Managed?

The ability of teachers to organise classrooms and manage the behaviour of the students is critical to achieving positive educational outcomes. Student learning is the primary goal of effective classroom management and thus the inability of teachers to effectively manage classroom behaviour according to Harrell et al., (2004) contributes to the low achievement of at risk students.  Instruction that is effective in encouraging higher rates of academic engagement and on-task behaviour is characterised instruction which has significant to the students, is planned, sequential and logically ordered to develop skills, offers frequent opportunities for students to respond and guides practice through immediate feedback (Carnine, 1976).

The use of rules and routines is a powerful preventative component of classroom organisation and management plans. Rules establish the behavioural context of the classroom by specifying what behaviours are expected and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour…

EduTech Day 1 Takeaways

I love the ability of educators to connect and the power of this has been shown today at EduTech Australia. Previously working in other field speakers were often distant and untouchable; however, the key notes, session leaders and seminar speakers were accessible.
My greatest takeaways so far are:

Maker spaces are here to stay – contact @ZeinaChalich Computational thinking is a concept we are going to hear more and more about.One size and method of technology implementation does not fit all. Backchannels are something to consider implementing in classrooms as it draws out the students who would often draw back.What would a classroom be like if we took most of the furniture away?How can we allow students to collaboratively complete assessments after completing an individual assessment?The value of teachmeets - learning from the grassroots.Authentic assessment and teaching is crucial.

Assessment – How are we monitoring student learning and performance?

When teachers assess student performance, they're not placing value or judgment on it as this evaluating or grading. They're simply reporting a student's profile of achievement with relation to an expected benchmark. For student performance the teacher reports on such effects as absolute achievement, relative progress and scores for specific writing skills. Good assessment is about expanding the assessment repertoire to generate richer information about students' performance because no single form is sufficient. There are reliability and validity problems with each. Every method has its strengths and weaknesses, and its place.

Authentic student assessment ought to be done regularly to guide teaching (Mosier, 1951). This assessment reinforces the content gathered throughout the term, helping students accumulate a body of knowledge and gain deeper understanding. Teachers that guide students learning experiences based on the child's current level of performance shown t…

How can we develop our own teaching strategies?

Teachers by setting challenging and realistic expectations for all students taking into account their individual needs and learning styles. This assist all students learn to appreciate the need for quality in all they do. I found that by encouraging students to slow the pace of their work they began develop the appropriate skills. In employing an interactive approach to teaching based on student questions, their prior knowledge and negotiated learning tasks and the teaching of research skills I become aware that students were readily engaged and desired to learn. This was managed through a range of explicit thinking skills and strategies so students become aware of the appropriate strategies and could use them independently as basis of lifelong learning.

I experienced the importance of coaching students using explicit co-operative learning skills so students can work together in teams. This showed me the importance teaching by modelling and demonstrating until students can use them aut…

Curriculum – How can we develop teaching and learning experiences to build student knowledge and understanding?

Due to the constant classroom activity students often think in different contexts about concepts and thus have a better understanding as reflective learners. For teaching goals to be successfully accomplished a supportive learning environment where students must feel comfortable to take intellectual risks and express their opinions is imperative. Through my experience I have witnessed group activities, discussions and peer evaluations become key components in generating this dynamic learning community.

The depth of a students’ understanding is not reliant on reducing the amount of content they are responsible for knowing. Knowledge and understanding are the foundations from which higher-level learning can occur. Setting high academic standards is important as this expectation assists students to achieve their educational goals. 

Scaffolding the learning builds student confidence and ability to expand intellectual qualities. Students’ academic growth through engagement and significance o…

Values and Identity - What does it mean to be a teacher?

Being a teacher in Australia is critical to the improvement and maintenance of Australian society. We are responsible for mentoring students in the process of living and the preparation of their coming futures. It is essential to be fascinated with the subjects that are taught, committed to generating enthusiasm and interest in others and producing an environment respectful to the student’s culture and background. Variety in teaching methodology is very important, not only because students have different learning styles but also as this further stimulates the learning environment. Teachers that value student studies help them make connections across their schooling and personal lives.

The responsibility of a great teacher goes beyond the doors of the classroom. Encouragement to participate in the community and sporting activities provide students with the links and resources to connect with their community, providing opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom as li…