Reading the latest eNews from AITSL and the On the Couch with John Hattie was heartening.  Reading through John’s responses reiterated all of the qualities of a great teacher and much of what our day-to-day work aims to do.  Some of the points John made were:

  • teachers need to maximise student learning
  • we need to support more teachers to teach & lead like the best
  • teachers need support from school leadership
  • decisions should be based on evidence
  • feedback is paramount.

I find it interesting that John talks about parents and the possibility of them being able to choose the teacher they would like for the child.  What would parents be basing this decision on?  What they hear in the playground?  This would be interesting to unpack.

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Day 3 Coordinators

Working well at Our Lady is the use of Google Forms to collect focus group evidence.  This would save the sharing that is currently needed with Confer so that everyone would have the same information.  It’s a matter of looking at how we set up the Forms, there are multiple ways of doing so.


Screenr   screencast-o-matic  2 options for recording computer screens with voice overlay to create how-to videos


Enabling prompt: nuance success criteria down

Extending prompt: nuance success criteria up

CEVN/ICON/School Support/Stories from Schools is where the videos that have been taken  will be published to.

SOAP strategy for analysing evidence:

  • S strength
  • O observations
  • A aspirations
  • P possibilities

Richard OlsenIdeasLab

How can we describe out learning and teaching practice…

  • using language that enables us to…
  • understand our practice,
  • recognise similarities and differences with others,
  • and pose “what if…” questions.

What are the essential elements of a learning model?  There are 9 of them at this point.  What is it that makes the “projects” we use work?


A Business Model says: value proposition, key partners, key resources, key activities, cost structure, revenue streams….etc


We think: Collaboration, Communication, Relationships,

IdeasLAB thinks:

Learning Outcomes: learning and teaching produces definable and measurable outcomes

Student Role: and define the learner’s roles and responsibilities

Functions: learners use specific functions that enable them to do what they need to learn

Enablers: …require correlating learning environment elements.

Practice: learning and teaching practice results from what learners and teachers actually do… (At the heart of the model)

Pedagogical Beliefs:…based on the pedagogical knowledge about how learners learn…

Teacher Role:…and in turn define the teacher’s role and responsibilities.

Culture: Culture is a product of the shared beliefs about how learners learn…

Policies:…while policies and rules set limits based on environmental constraints.




Essential Elements of a Learning Model

This document can be used in an iterative process to answer “What If?” questions.  If this is the status quo (Iteration 1) and we do this, what are the impacts (Iteration 2 overlay on Iteration 1)

How can we use these ideas to:

  • talk about innovative learning and teaching
  • understand innovative learning and teaching
  • design innovative learning and teaching


Leadership Stories 60-90 seconds

What’s at the heart of you have learnt? (essence)

What is the story going to illuminate about transofrmative practice within your school? (connections)

What’s the best way to communicate your learning? (format)

What is the most powerful evidence of learning? (evidence)


Tools for telling the story

Tasks before next Leaders Day (Nov 14)

  • Evidence of Transformation document completed
  • 60-90 sec video of my leadership strategy
  • 60-90 sec video of teacher & student learning (assistance of EOs here)

What do we want to get out of this day?????

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Module 2

Embraced by Words
Photo Credit: Robbert van der Steeg via Compfight

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about blogs.
  • Create your own blog and add your learning reflections in Module 1.
  • Add your details and blog URL to the list of Blogs.
  • Find out more about the educational use of blogs.
  • Learn how teachers use Twitter in the classroom.
  • Create a blog entry about your learning experiences in this module.

This Module was a fun one to complete. Our staff created their own professional blogs on the first day of the school year. So far we have used them to record our Professional Action Research and share external Professional Learning.
2 of the Action Research projects focussed on using blogs as online tools to publish work and develop collaboration. It’s been fabulous to watch other teachers embrace the new learnings of their colleagues and exhibit a willingness to incorporate this tool into their teaching practice.

On Monday we held a parent information session to help skill them to engage with our classroom blogs. We had a great turn out of over 20 parents with only one week advance notice! Working with the some of the new parents joining our community in 2014 highlighted that some parents are not going to be active participants on our blogs due to their lack of English. That day I had received an email subscription from the Teacher Challenge on Edublogs with a link to creating a Google Translator widget.  A couple of minutes later and it was added to my class blog.  Now everyone will be able to access the blog in their preferred language.

As for an educational purpose for Google Translator, our students learn Chinese (Mandarin) as their Language Other Than English. One of the simplest ways this could be utilised in a classroom is writing a sentence in English and translating into Chinese and vice versa or alternatively having to explain what a blog post written in English was written about after it has been translated into Chinese.  For some students being able to identify the specific characters that have been learnt will be how they show success and those that have more of a knowledge of Chinese characters would then have an opportunity to showcase their knowledge.

A class blog was something I first started last year as part of the community 4GPS.  This year we first trialled a 5/6 level blog before setting up individual class blogs.  After this step, the community I share with Jacqueline and Elisabetta quickly showed us they were ready for individual blogs and so we are challenging ourselves with maintaining this as it is what they are ready for.

It has been a privilege to watch the growth in students as they have an authentic purpose and audience for their writing, commenting and published work on the blog.  Watching a student check spelling, find alternative vocabulary, write scripts for screencasts, share their knowledge and skills with other classmates and complete “classwork” at home in their own time has demonstrated some of the improvements that blogging has provided.

The Student Blogging Challenge has been a great opportunity to facilitate the set up of a blog and Quadblogging has the potential to set up global connections (hoping for a more active quad this time around!). I’m sure there are other great resources available that I could use.  Do you know of any you could share?


I was first really encouraged to sign up to Twitter when I attended a brilliant day with Alan November.  He opened my eyes to the amazing knowledge that is shared every minute of every day.  As a learner first and foremost, it helps me live out my life-long learning.  There are days I can consume the knowledge out there and other days I feel I am able to contribute.  Feel free to follow me and I’ll follow you back! (Just ignore the horribly out of date profile pic!)


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3-6 Network

Vatican Stairway :: HDR
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Frédéric Renaud via Compfight

Attending the first network meeting this afternoon was a valuable experience.  It was such a great opportunity for hearing from other teachers that are also implementing this pedagogy as well as from Kathy herself.

Kathy highlighted a very important aspect for us to remember as we engage in these network meetings – going back to the book or mentor to maintain the integrity of the pedagogy.  This stood out to me when discussing the ERP and the questions I have about how to implement this in a rigorous and sustainable way.  I was asked how long I did immersion for by a teacher quite experienced in the approach.   Reflecting on this highlighted how this is a journey for us all and we are all at different points.  I wish I had thought at the time to ask what this teacher meant by immersion, particularly as this pedagogy refers to immersion as all of the explicit teaching of the term’s subject focus – not just the introductory teaching that most teachers would implement at the start of this unit and what this teacher was referring to.

One of the benefits that I hope does come to fruition is the creation of an online space to share all of our subject focus and learning intentions.  There are not that many different areas of AusVELS that we all need to be spending time rewriting the same learning intentions.  In fact our term focus was identical to another school I discovered late in the afternoon.  If only I could remember which school so I could follow up how this teacher was able to support her students to link their interests with the learning intentions for their ERP!

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Module 1

The Web2.0 course is the perfect opportunity for me to begin to realise the power of the blog I created at the start of the year.   In my new role as Learning & Teaching Leader one of the tools I introduced to staff was setting up a personal teacher blog.  So far this year our teaching staff have been using their blogs to reflect on the journey undertaken in their Professional Action Research Team.  I’ve loved being able to read the weekly reflections of each teacher and responding as often as I can to their posts.  However when it comes to my blog here, well it certainly could be put to better use.
A group of us are taking advantage of a weekly 30 minute Techie Brekkie session to work together through the Web2.0 course.  At first it seemed an interesting concept: face to face meeting to work through an online course however the discussions based on the material presented has been powerful.  Hopefully I can capture some of that conversation in my reflections.
Learning Objectives:

  • Get an overview of Web 2.0 through YouTube.
  • Visit a site for teachers to see a list of Web 2.0 tools with links to tutorial.
  • Get started with Google Apps for Education.
  • Join Google Plus.
  • Learn about Google Plus and Google Hangouts.
Web2.0 tools are a familiar concept to me.  I’ve used some when I’ve seen the need and been aware of a tool that suits my purpose.  I have used Google Forms to collect data, vimeo to showcase photos of student work, Animoto to create a timelapse of garden photos, Scribd to share documents and Wallwisher (now Padlet) to collect feedback from students.  Whilst I have used some tools, the YouTube clips opened up valuable discussion about the changes that occurred in the movement of Web1.0 to Web2.0.  We talked not only about the positive of having information freely accessible  and readily available but also about some of the pitfalls.
The conclusion I had already reached and has only been strengthened with the information in the YouTube clips is that the skills developed through blogging are going to be some of the skills our students need to be participating in the online world.
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Embedding Help

There is a wealth of Web 2.0 tools out there for use. One of the features of many of these tools is the ability to embed what you create into your blog. Whilst this all looked easy: copy the code and paste it into your blog post and there it would appear, unfortunately it wasn’t quite working like that.

Never fear, whenever there is a problem, there is a solution too. Edublogs which is the blogging platform this blog is provided from have amazingly helpful resources. It was here that I found a solution to my problem and found out where I was going wrong!

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