Learning – Who gets to define success?

@sherrattsam threw some serious shade into the conversations around rubrics. I've got a fair number of criticisms of rubrics.  Children who, despite their best efforts, were still at the lowest point of the rubric. Classroom culture can mitigate this. Children who go beyond expanding that still need to be challenged. Rubrics full of language that the children didn't understand (and... Continue Reading →

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Using visible thinking to inform reporting

Phew. Another round of reports over and done with. One of the easiest parts of the reports to write this session was our unit of inquiry. In the past I'd be pouring over rubrics, student work and tearing my brain for memories of classroom conversations. This year I used the data the children had gathered... Continue Reading →

#raisingstandards – asking the wrong questions

A wise educator once told me that learning isn't about knowing the answer. It's about being able to ask really good questions. So here's a $250 million question. How has the implementation of National Standards improved learning in New Zealand? The short answer is not a lot. The argument given at the time was that... Continue Reading →

We value what we assess

We value what we assess. Students are still sitting exit examinations through pencil and paper. So we keep assessing kids through pencil and paper from a very young age. Yet does this make a child a writer? My students write digitally and on paper. Some have strong preferences while others migrate between the two. A child might... Continue Reading →

How might we better involve parents in inquiry? #pypinnovation

One of the challenges in transforming learning in schools is taking our parental community with us on the journey. Parent experience of school  can be a strong influence on how they view learning. In order to overcome this challenge, schools give information evenings, have student-led conferences and showcase learning at mini-exhibitions. Traditionally we've waited until... Continue Reading →

Mind ‘the gap’

The children I teach have been in school a few years. Conventional wisdom dictates that there is a long list of milestones the children should hit over the course of this year. Yet for some kids these milestones are absurd. The ones who long ago hit the learning targets are seen as doing more than... Continue Reading →

What happens after the provocation?

Something I know I do well as a teacher is to provide a strong context for learning. There are thoughtful provocations to kids engaged and thinking however my big problem is follow through. I'm wondering how do I sustain meaningful and personalised learning throughout the Unit of Inquiry? During the provocation I collected a lot... Continue Reading →

Getting feedback sucks…

I am learner. I am an educator. I believe in the growth mindset. I want to be challenged in order to grow. I fervently believe all these things yet when it comes time to get feedback, I still find myself a ball of nerves not wanting to open that email or book that meeting. Why... Continue Reading →

Memory is fallible – talk less, video more

One of the things I used to do a lot in class during provocations was interview my students during the provocation. Instead of writing copious notes or telling the children what I saw/was seeing, I could simply video the reflections for later. Memory is highly fallible. How often have you noticed and named something only... Continue Reading →

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