Teaching in the eye of the pandemic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CafU_gAJNAo Watching our Term 3 second a day video, you’d be mistaken for thinking it has been business as usual here in Singapore schools. Reading groups took place, science experiments were observed and maths tests were marked. What the video had trouble capturing is what happened since late January in Singapore, as different regulations have... Continue Reading →

Keeping the ‘new school’ feel alive

Over the December break, my school moved across town to our new campus. It’s something I’m never likely to do again in my career. Yet now that I’ve gone through the process, I wondered how can we keep that ‘new school’ feel alive in 10 years? Schools aren’t the buildings or the facilities, but the... Continue Reading →

Top 3 Lists for 2019

I borrowed this concept of ending the year with lists of both personal and professional 'top threes' from Chris Kennedy's blog, A Culture of Yes Top 3 actions I took this year Acknowledging the Christchurch Mosque attack A conversation with one of our learners who felt despondent about the attacks in New Zealand prompted me... Continue Reading →

Starting the school year off slowly – putting PYP enhancements into practice

Tarryn asked how teachers were using the PYP enhancements to guide planning. So here's what the first few days of school look like. The learner Take time each day to greet and ask about their day. The children will design a layout for the learning space and move the furniture. Setting up the learning space... Continue Reading →

One second of learning day – what’s microtrending in your class?

Documentation of learning is a tricky business. Like so many teachers, the camera roll on my phone is full of photos and videos of learning in action. How can those digital artefacts be used to tell a story? I was intrigued by the 1 second day app and this past academic year committed myself to... Continue Reading →

Agency begins with a culture of ‘yes’

During the Christmas holiday, one of my students emailed me asking if she could organise a Skype between the class and her godmother in France. We had just finished reading Alan Gratz's phenomenal Refugee, as a class read aloud. The class had previously Skyped one of my contacts who works for Amnesty International, and now... Continue Reading →

Rethinking student councils

When schools are asked how they include students in decision making, they often point to student council as an example of students having voice and choice in the running of a school. This mirrors what happens out in the 'real world' we vote for representatives and then entrust them to lead and make decisions on... Continue Reading →

Saying no to Classroom Eye Candy – Planning for Agency from Day One

No matter how many years I've spent in education, I never sleep well the night before the first day with a new class. I fret about mispronouncing names, how amazing other teacher's learning spaces look in comparison to my own and wonder if I have enough activities planned to keep the kids 'occupied' until the... Continue Reading →

Learning to sit outside the Literacy Circle

It's been nearly two months since the learners in my class asked me to sit outside the literacy circle. Each week one of the children acts as the main facilitator for the group. The child drafts questions to discuss the novel Out of My Mind and makes a seating chart based on the data from the... Continue Reading →

Learner agency – be sure you’re asking the right questions

Agency. It's the word right at the centre of the new enhanced PYP. Like many schools, our teaching team is starting to reflect on what this means for how we plan learning engagements. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a planning meeting focused on what the teachers would be doing to support learner agency... Continue Reading →

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