Effective Lesson Design: Intentional Planning

Week 4, Term 2, 2015. Curriculum Staff Meeting

Category: 1. Know students and how they learn, 3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning, 5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning, 6. Engage in professional learning,

Topic: Effective Lesson Design: Intentional Planning

I presented at staff meeting this evening about a course I’ve been on recently called Effective Teaching in English & Mathematics. The course has been designed by AISSA (Association of Independent Schools of SA) and delivered by Rosemary Kadow and Desiree Gilbert. Some of the references and resources have come from their course guide. The course runs for 3 days and I still have one more day left but thought I should reflect on my experiences so far and what I have shared with my colleagues.

Our school has been focusing on curriculum alignment. We are an IB school so we have been focusing on aligning ACARA with IB, making our planning intentional and clear for all to assist with informing our assessments and reporting.

Here is the Keynote Presentation we used at Staff Meeting:

 

Attached are the handouts provided to staff from the course booklet we received:

Intentional Handouts

Things I take away from this experience:

  1. The reflective tools were useful and I have enjoyed using them with my class and other staff seemed to appreciate more strategies to try out in class. IMG_0447
  2. I spent a considerable amount of time planning out this presentation and working with a colleague of mine to really dig deep. We reflected on why we should plan intentionally and how we can improve teaching practice by starting at the big picture and working backwards by design. Breaking down the objectives and curriculum standards to teachable and intentional lessons. Here is an example of an intentional planner in Mathematics that I made this term. Intentional Planner Maths T2 Money
  3. Success Criteria. Our lessons should hold no secrets. Students should know what we aim to do, how they can achieve success and the purpose behind the task. This is all part of WALT (What Are Learning To), WILF (What I’m Looking For) & TIB (This Is Because). Shirley Clarke introduced the concepts of WALT, WILF & TIB, google her and images for each and you will find an abundance of resources.

I had some good feedback after the session from staff. One staff member (Paul Huebl) blogged about our presentation and noted the following:

  • Learning intentions must be explicitly clear for all students in the room. Intentions must be visible.
  • Learning intentions are not descriptions of an activity. They are directly linked to achievement standards.
  • There should be no secrets in the learning process –> this means success criteria must also be clear and explicit.
  • Success criteria tell kids “You can succeed at this and this is how you do it”. What does it look like to achieve the learning intention?
  • Along with WALT statements (We Are Learning To) and WILF statements (What I’m Looking For) you also need to address TIB (This Is Because) which links WALT and WILF to the students personal contexts.
  • To help with students engaging with WALT and WILF statements, these can be present on task sheets and blank work sheets. That way teachers can easily indicate how students have performed against them.
  • Students should be able to state learning intentions and success criteria. This is easier if displayed as above.
  • Don’t use the term differentiate. Say ‘make it accessible’.

If you wish to read more of Paul Huebl’s blog post please click on this link:

http://mrhuebl.edublogs.org/2015/05/12/deliberate-planning/comment-page-1/#comment-51

I will blog again about my final session and share some more strategies I have used in the classroom.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Thanks, please leave a comment.

Jade

The Child as a Learner (Staff Meeting Week 4 Term 1)

In Staff meeting this week were were asked to reflect on the following questions:

What is my image of the child as a learner?

inquiry

I have always believed that we are born to engage and learn about our world. I feel that there is a natural curiosity instilled in all people. Children are are eager to absorb, inquire and question their world and the information they experience or knowledge which is given to them. They are also banks of knowledge from their own life experiences, ready to share and inspire their family, friends and teachers.

I see the learning child with bright eyes, burning questions, fidgeting fingers, crafting hands, open ears, thought filled voices and inquiring minds.

What are my professional views on how children learn?

There are so many different learning styles. I believe on personalised learning and catering for differentiation. This year my students did an online Myers Briggs Survey which helped them to identify their personality types and learning profiles. This survey identified their strengths, stretches, how they work best, who they work well with, how they can be supported in learning etc. Check out these links for more information:  http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html

http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/mb-simpl.htm

I believe we need to cater for individual learning styles and allow for creativity and self expression.

What is my image of the teacher?

the teacher

The teacher can take many forms. You may automatically envisage the classroom teacher, at his/her board/desk working with children (as pictured above), but I think that there are many different types of teachers in disguise. For example; the children teach each other in class, parents are a child’s first teachers, we have coaches, counsellors, friends, family members, technology (Google/ YouTube etc), animals & environments etc. We learn from others who are involved in our lives and world, our teachers are everywhere.

 

 

My Personal Pedagogical Profile

Personal Pedagogy

As part of my school’s development of school vision, staff have been dedicating time to explore their personal pedagogy. This has been done through our IDEAS program to assist staff in developing a Professional Portfolio to benefit school direction.

These are some of the questions we have been asked to consider and respond to:

How do my personal talents and gifts shape my pedagogy?

What counts as a specialist ‘knowledge’ in my work?

What is my personal pedagogical philosophy?

3D Dimensional pedagogyhttp://www.eqa.edu.au/site/powertotheprofession.html

We were asked to participate in four tasks to assist us in discovering and refining our personal pedagogy.

This post will explain each of the tasks undertaken personally and my professional stance on my personal pedagogy.

 Task 1: My Motivation for Teaching.

Teaching for me has always been about developing relationships and bonds between students, families, staff and teachers. Once relationships are built we can work together to achieve common goals. Teaching and learning involves making connections with individuals to assist them with their personal development. I believe in the development of the whole child, not just the ability to meet curriculum outcomes. As an educator I am passionate about realising the potential and strengths of each child to assist them in achieving their goals. I believe in valuing the individual and helping them to contribute to our world in their own positive ways. The process of learning opens the world and mind. We are all on a learning journey and as a teacher I love to inspire, motivate, navigate and join in on the journey of lifelong learning.

Task 2: My Experience.

I have been teaching in primary schools for ten years. During this time I have taught across all year levels. I am a R-7 teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. I am currently working at an independent school, teaching Year 6 students.

I am continuously working towards developing my knowledge and understanding of the International Baccalaureate program in order to assist me with my teaching strategies. I have been working in the MYP( Middle Years Programme) for the past two years. In particular I have been developing my MYP planning skills and exploring the possibility of taking on specialty subjects across my year level. At this stage I would like to specialise in Humanities, Language A and Personal Development. I have been encouraged to explore the MYP further, attend more professional development and take in as much as possible, whilst also making sure that I am meeting the National Curriculum standards.

During our IDEAS session we were asked to reflect on an event that changed the way we teach. In the last three years I have been working in an Independent School, previously I worked in public education. This change of workplace has had profound effects on my teaching and learning. I went from working in a low socio-economic school with underprivileged students, with challenging behavioural and learning needs (full classes of 30 students) to a highly accomplished school with privileged students varying in academic abilities (Average class size of 20 students). This had huge ramifications on my teaching practice. I have had more time to focus on my teaching skills as opposed to my behavioural management strategies. I have also been able to cater for individualised learning, smaller class sizes have allowed more time to refine my strategies to cater for differentiation within my class.

I have identified that there are similarities between my students from both schools. Every child is an individual who requires guidance on their learning journey, in particular their social and emotional development. I believe that social and emotional well-being is of significant importance within education. Developing students ability to be resilient, confident, organised, persistent and get along with others (You Can Do It Education. The Five Keys of Success: http://www.youcandoiteducation.com/whatis.html) is of great importance within all areas of learning. I have been teaching using the YCDI Programme for the last 5 years and have noted that the majority of my students have made academic improvements as a result of developing themselves in these areas. Using the positive habits of mind and developing self-confidence, setting personal goals and aiming to achieve them. It is due to my experience within this area of teaching and learning that I have developed a keen interest in studying counselling, to understand and assist my students with their development. I am considering studying part time in the near future to further my qualifications within this field.

Task 3: My Personal Profile

Part of the IDEAS staff task was to use the Myers Briggs model to identify our personality profile.

For more information about the Myers Briggs Model follow this link: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/mb-simpl.htm

An online Myers Briggs Test can be found here:  http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html

I formally completed the Myers Briggs test in 2010 and was identified as an ENFJ. After our IDEAS session I still identified with the ENFJ preferences. This is what the letters stand for and how I identify with them.

The E stands for Extraversion:

This means I focus on the outer world of people and things. I am energised by what goes on in the world and I prefer to communicate more by talking than writing. I need experiences in the world in order to help me to understand it.

The N stands for Intuition:

This means I look for meanings, relationships and possibilities that go beyond the information from the senses. I look at the big picture and try to grasp overall patterns. I am an expert at seeing new possibilities and I value imagination and experiences.

The F stands for Feeling:

I make decisions based on person-centred values. When making decisions I consider how important the choices are to myself and others. When conversing with others, I tend to become sympathetic, appreciative and tactful. I value harmony and work hard to ensure my environment is harmonious.

The J stands for Judging:

This means that I prefer to live in a planned and orderly way. I endeavour to regulate and control my life by making sensible decisions, setting up routines and structures, being organised and settling or resolving issues when they arise.

I believe that my personality profile adequately mirrors myself privately and professionally. The main characteristics that reflect my teaching strategies are as follows:

  • Learning lessons through experiences- hands on learning, real life lessons, relevant and engaging content where students experience and participate.
  • Building relationships and developing students personally, especially in regards to their social & emotional well-being.
  • Balanced- organisation, planning, structure, predictability and routines which lead to consistency.

Task 4: My Assumptions, Beliefs, Philosophies that inform my practice.

This task saw us identify our personal beliefs about teaching. Here is an image of the task completed:

Personal Pedagogy

We also studied five different philosophies of teaching:

Type B: Behavioural Education- education for compliance and standards. People: Skinner & Tyler

Type C: Comprehensive Education- general education for life. People: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato & Piaget.

Type P: Progressive Education- education for problem solving in society. People: Dewey, Sizer & Spady.

Type S: Social Change Education- education for transforming society. People: Freire & Illich.

Type H: Humanistic Education- education for self actualisation. People: Carl Rogers, Maslow & Montessori.

My dominant philosophy of teaching lies within Type H, however I have strong identifications with Type S too.

Here are some links to information about educational philosophies associated with Type H:

Carl Rogers: http://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html

Maslow: http://web.cortland.edu/andersmd/maslow/homepage.html

Montessori: http://www.montessori.org.uk/what_is_montessori/the_philosophy

Here is my personal pedagogical philosophy based on the work I have done over the course of Term 4:

My Educational Philosophy

Students learn in a variety of different ways and as a teacher, I plan to meet individual needs. I am willing to learn new practices and teaching methodologies to assist my students with their learning goals.

To ensure I cater for the diversity within a classroom, I plan and program individual student learning goals to allow for differentiation. I work with students to set their own learning goals as well. I believe students should be aware of their personal achievements at school and also have input to what they want to learn about. I am keen to use structured and purposeful inquiry methods to teach students how to be life long learners to make relevant connections with our world.

I believe it is important to know where students are beginning in their learning journey in order to assist them with where they need to go. Therefore, frequent assessment and testing is critical in a child’s development. It is vital to keep this data to measure student successes and to build upon those successes. My assessments enhance accurate reporting to parents and fulfil my teaching duties and accountability.

It is my duty within the classroom and school setting to provide a stable and friendly learning environment for my students.  A nurturing and collaborative classroom environment will enhance student learning opportunities. I want my students to experience their own learning journey with some direction and guidance from myself to keep them on track with their learning goals and to extend them further. I want to be the facilitator of learning but also learn from my students. They have a world of knowledge and understanding from their own experiences in life. We are life long learners in a connected world.

Most of all I want student learning to be relevant, fun, engaging and purposeful. We never know what kind of world our students will be living in in the future, so developing life skills such as problem solving, creativity, ingenuity, cooperation, collaboration, risk taking, inquiring and effective communication can play an integral role in the development of a child for success in their adulthood.

Please leave me some feedback, I’m new to blogging and appreciate constructive criticism. Always craving to learn from others, please retweet me to educational professionals.

Jade Vidovich

Catering for Differentiation: Not just a saying, evidence of action.

Catering for Differentiation

Earlier this week a parent emailed me about their child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan). The parent questioned what I was doing to cater for their child’s learning needs and asked if I was actioning the plan. I wrote the IEP with assistance from our Learning Support Team and the school counsellor, I have actioned the plan to support the learning and behaviour management of my student.

This email allowed me to reflect on my practice and provide evidence of catering for differentiation within my response to the parent email. I think that as educators, we often differentiate without realising that we are doing it. It comes naturally; we alter our plans and teaching methodologies to suit individuals. These are my modified emails/ responses to outline how I catered for one of my students.

Email Conversations:

Parent Email 1:

Hi Jade,

The current unit of inquiry requires an investigation of Maori and Australian experience with settlers. Could you please email me the process steps you have provided to (student name) to undertake this work (as per the IEP)?

Regards, Parent

My 1st Response:

Hi Parent,

Absolutely.

1. We began this assignment on Monday and the first step was to brainstorm prior knowledge about the Maori people and Aboriginal Australians. To cater for Student’s needs in this particular task I allowed (name) to work with a partner, other students chose to work in small groups, which I know doesn’t always suit (name’s) learning style/ needs. They created Venn diagrams comparing what they already knew about the two cultures.  We also wrote down some questions we had about these cultures ready for our next lesson to direct our lines of inquiry.

2. Today we will begin to inquire into Maori & Aboriginal Australian history. I have pre-selected some video links for (name) (and others) to view along with some printed texts, this will ensure time is not wasted searching online and students will mainly focus on the questions they developed on Monday. We will share the inquiry process in groups or partners. In (name’s) case I will encourage them to continue the investigation with a friend and ‘check in’ on their progress at intervals throughout the lesson.

3. On Thursday we will continue the inquiry process. Again I will provide texts and some sites for (name) to read/search. The main focus here will be looking at the impact British Settlers had on both Maori & Aboriginal cultures and how they differed.

Class discussions will also take place to share learning and understandings; I have created guiding questions & prompts to make sure everyone is on the right track. Notes will be taken independently on their understandings from discussions.

4. On Friday, students will individually reflect on their findings and answer this question on their blog:

How was the collision of cultures in New Zealand different from Australia?

 This will involve comparing and contrasting how the Aboriginal and Maori peoples reacted and dealt with the arrival of British settlers.

It is important that in your response to the above questions you discuss both the differences themselves as well as the reasons for them.

 Your blog post will need to include a bibliography of websites and texts used.

This is an in class investigation, not a homework task. All students will be given this week to complete the task.

As always I will be supporting (name) with redirection, tuning in tasks and providing relevant texts for their use. The benefit of working with a partner will allow them to use texts selected by a peer too. (Name) has appeared to be quite interested and engaged in this topic based on reactions from Monday.

I hope this has been suffice, it is actually refreshing to write down this process for you as I usually do it naturally without communicating it. This is something I must remember to blog about as part of my personal professional reflection on my practice, of course omitting student and parent names.

Thanks Parent.

If you have anymore questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Hope to hear back from you soon.

Regards

Jade

Parent Email 2:

Hi Jade,

Thanks, but I meant the list of steps on ‘how to do this assignment’ for my child.

I.e.

1. Write a list of what you know about aboriginal Australians and settlers.

2. Write a list of what you know about Maori people and settlers.

3. Create a Venn diagram.

4. List questions you need answered.

Next lesson:

5. Search xxxx

6. View xxx and write down important points.

7. What key words or phrases would you use to search the Internet to answer your questions?

Etc.

From the IEP I thought (name) was to have a ‘to do’ list. (Name) is a bright student who needs direction – They completed their homework last night then we spoke about the school-based work. The ‘to do’ list will guide and teach them how to do research.

It was the same problem last year as (name) didn’t understand how to do the research and work was left to the end.

Could you please help (name) with a list of steps to follow?

Thanks Parent.

My 2nd Response: Humanities Task Week 3

Hi Parent,

I have attached a checklist for the inquiry process we have been doing in class. It is a ‘to do list’ which will hopefully guide (name) through the process. I will keep on developing this process, I feel that some steps may need to be broken down even further, which I can do verbally if need be. These are my initial attempts and I will be speaking with the Deputy Principal about receiving extra support from the school as I am finding it challenging to dedicate more time on developing this by myself and would appreciate some guidance and feedback with this. I want to develop a template of ‘to do lists’ that I can update easily and regularly, just need time to get this done and I’m hoping that Learning Support can assist with this process.

Appreciate your support

Will chat with you soon.

Regards

Jade

Parent Email 3:

Hi Jade,

Thanks so much, this is what is needed. I am happy to help you develop these if the school is not so helpful.

Regards Parent

The parent was pleased with the checklist and process provided. This is an ongoing process to assist one student with his learning needs.

This is evidence of my communication method with parents and how I aim to collaboratively work with parents and other staff to assist and meet the needs of individual students.

So often teaching professionals use the term “catering for differentiation” but lack the understanding or evidence of how they actually do this. It is something that teachers do on a daily basis, sometimes without even realising it. I think it is important to reflect on moments like these to acknowledge how much teachers do for each individual child in their classroom. It is important to provide an education to our students, but it is more important to ensure that the education they are receiving is in fact suitable for their learning needs, styles and preferences. Are we catering for differentiation? Well in my case, I think so.