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 →

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Student-led conferences – a lesson in trust

Over the years, student-led conferences have become increasingly popular in schools. Instead of the parents and teachers talking about the child while the child sits at home, the child is there not only to hear the conversation but, in theory, lead it. https://twitter.com/traintheteacher/status/950898620743663616 Yet how often do the children get a choice in: The artifacts... Continue Reading →

Video provocations – use small screens to develop conceptual thinking

Video is a powerful medium for provocation. Images, words, music can help us visualize powerful concepts and support storytelling that explores big ideas. Traditionally, teachers gather the children into one group and all watch the video together. Yet during this process how much precious learning time is wasted: Organising the children to sit down in... Continue Reading →

The tour guide on the side – inquiry outside the classroom

Field trips. Barking at the children to not touch, wander off, fidget and listen attentively all while in the public eye. It's stressful. Does it need to be? Inquiry learning is something teachers plan for in the safety of the school environment. However, once we take children on field trips, it's easy to slip back into... Continue Reading →

Decluttering pedagogy – creating space to spark curiosity

I'm about three years late reading Marie Kondo's Joy of Tidying Up. The thesis of the book is that if an item doesn't spark joy, then dispose of it. To an international school teacher, living light is a necessity.  Sentimentality goes in the bin along with your unwanted possessions when you are under a strict... Continue Reading →

The long days…

Most of my days seem to whip by in a flurry activity - I arrive early in the morning and before I know it I'm waving the children off at the end of the day wondering where the day went. But then there are the days that seem... to...  drag.. on... forever. The kids are bickering,... Continue Reading →

What the kids think they know… unlearning in science #edsketch15

This article really resonated with me. At present my class is looking into how forces shape the planet. As I watched excepts from the film Private Universe, I found myself being overly optimistic about the effectiveness of my own teaching. I immediately wondered if the misconceptions highlighted would be so widespread in the southern hemisphere where seasons are seen... Continue Reading →

You can’t force collaboration 

One of the joys for me as a primary teacher working in an international school is that I have access to the specialist knowledge and resources from having a secondary school on site. When preparing for the current unit of inquiry into forces shaping the planet, I sent an email asking one of the physics... Continue Reading →

Who watches the people watching teachers?

A few years ago I was in the room with a very senior member of the teaching profession who joked they used so little modern technology they didn't even have an ATM card. That comment bothered me for a long time. How can you be a senior member of a profession devoted to learning but be... Continue Reading →

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