I hope this week’s edition finds you well.
“Writing allows students to tell stories; to persuade; to advocate for an important cause; to explore; to inform; to liberate. It is for these reasons that we can no longer accept its marginalized status in schools.” Brian Kissel
TWEET OF THE WEEK
COVID has changed many things. Including how we can teach real life maths.
CONVICTION VERSUS KNOWLEDGE
Given that delivering professional learning is something that I do regularly, the above graphic really resonated for me.
The hardest part in my work is when someone is situated at ‘Child’s Hill’.
One of the causes of getting stuck here is that nearly everything works. This can give educators a false impression that there is no scope for improvement.
In education, there is more to learn than is possible in one lifetime. Embrace this and venture up ‘Grown-Up Mountain’.
In my experience it is not common for schools to have two whole school Curriculum Days within close proximity of each other. Brighton PS bucked this trend in term 1, and I think it is both strategic and smart.
There are limits to how much you can cover in one day before presenting more content detracts from the content covered earlier in the day.
Having a follow up day a few weeks later, allows teachers to trial practice, and then to go deeper with the learning, setting you up nicely for the year ahead.
I’ve been helping to coordinate school visits again. At this stage I’m limiting visits to schools I work directly with, or are in a course with me.
Recently Woori Yallock hosted Camberwell South’s junior school leaders. It is rare that I can be there on the day of the visit, but on this occasion I was able to make it happen.
Both schools have consistent approaches to pedagogy - Gradual Release of Responsibility and the Workshop Model, as well as curriculum.
I love being able to make these connections happen, and hearing the rich conversations between talented educators. For the CSPS team there were some quick take aways/actions that they have implemented as a result. This has lifted the quality of writing in their classrooms even higher.
Study Group is finally locked and loaded.
I’ve deliberated a lot over which text to use, but I’ve finally made a decision. We are going to use Debbie Miller’s ‘What’s the BEST That Could Happen? New Possibilities for Teachers & Readers.’
I look forward to sharing with the Education Enclave community all of the thinking that is generated from the conversations with the talented group we have assembled.
We are aiming to start early in term 2 for our first catch up. Stay tuned!
MATHS SNACKS VIDEOS
Healthy Mathematical Snacks – for home and classroom use
Through the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (UK) there are a number of videos that can support teachers in the classroom, as well as parents and students at home. The videos are a mix of tasks, puzzles, challenges and games; selected to support and enrich mathematics taught at school.
Many of the videos can be accessed by very young children, with a little bit of adult support, and all are relevant to pupils across the school age range. There's hardly ever a single right answer and there are many ways of working on tasks. The videos are designed to entice and to focus on working in the ways mathematicians do; such as exploring situations, looking for patterns and rules, asking questions and seeking answers, and trying out and testing ideas.
Check it out:
TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION
In 2017 when I embarked upon working for myself I was given a number of opportunities through the Queensland Education Leadership Institute. This was in the form of running leadership courses in general, as well as specifically in literacy and numeracy.
My initial connection with QELi was through Christopher Thomas, who is the Director of Programs.
I was lucky enough to have Chris as my mentor when I first started out as a principal, and we have stayed connected as colleagues and friends ever since.
I still engage in some coaching for QELi, but much of the course work has been put on hold since COVID hit.
In a positive sign, QELi are increasingly bringing back their face-to-face programs. One of which is ‘Teach Like A Champion’. The program is being offered in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. I’ve included the link to the Melbourne offering below.
Queensland colleagues – I hope they are going well 😊
ACT, VIC, NSW, WA and NT colleagues – not long now!
SA colleagues – a week to go. I’m going to be in Adelaide over Easter. Let me know if you would like to catch up.
Thanks for reading and see you next week,
P.S Feel free to provide me with any feedback regarding the newsletter, or anything for that matter via email. Also, let me know what topics you would be interested in reading more about.
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