Day 1 2016 – Staff Development Day

Well one of my new years resolutions was to be far more active on social media – including this blog, which has been suffering over the last couple of years.  In fact I have found that since I moved to Killara High School, my blogging and tweeting was the first thing to be left behind –  ironic as they were the best source of self reflection and innovative practice.

After the usual congratulating one another on an outstanding year of academic results we spent the first few hours working on what it means for students to be successful learners – directly linked to our school plan. As a faculty we have been discussing how we can encourage our students to be more independent learners. Late last year while working on the PDP goals for 2016 and reflecting on the process that new scheme teachers have to do in providing evidence we threw around the idea that perhaps students can be given the outcomes (kid friendly) that they need to demonstrate and provide their own evidence that demonstrates their understanding – this can be anything they believe demonstrates their understanding.  Our goal is to trial this approach with Year 7 in 2016.  Today’s session gave me the idea that perhaps students could use their work and give self reported grades , or +, – and = to record whether their work was better,worse or equal to their previous attempts.

A couple of other key things stuck with me:

  1. A quote from Simon Breakspear “Education is richly social but intensely personal”
  2. I don’t give enough time in class to go over feedback, and often the feedback given is not personal to a student but more generic
  3. Detective marking – give the students a mark and they then have to determine why they got that particular mark…
  4. Metacognition is like programming the Google self driving car – see TED video below
  5. Title pages as a concept map, on the title page for each topic, students are asked to write down what they have learnt at the end of each lesson and at the end of the unit they have a summary of what they need to study. Alternatively, the teacher could provide students with a summary of the concepts and skills the students are expected to have learnt by the end of the unit. Students can then tick off as they go.
  6. “What did you learn in mathematics today? Provide an example to demonstrate your learning?” as homework