Saturday, October 7, 2017

Effective Secondary Reading Programs...

My school is exploring Accelerated Reader with Renaissance Learning.
To support formative assessment, quizzes are available for a wide range of novels.
Further, reading levels are monitored closely
and a printable graph is available for individual students or a whole class.
Independent reading is encouraged and each student has his/her own realistic goals.

A review is HERE
***As of November 2016, Renaissance Learning partnered with Achieve3000.
The focus on monitoring differentiated learning in non-fiction reading and writing has now strengthened.
More details HERE 

To teach is to keep learning

Friday, September 29, 2017

Graphic Novels for Differentiation?

Source: Edutopia - Powerful Graphic Novels for Middle School

The article by Quin Rollins suggests that this selection of graphic novels represents possibilities of learning in English, Humanities and Science classes.
They could engage all literacy levels.

But could there be further possibilities?
1. Partnerships - Students read and discuss
2. Modified curriculum resources 
3. Cross-curricular modified resources
4. Peer evaluation evidence

To teach is to keep learning

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Value of document-based questioning...

A fine video (from Fairfax County Public School)
illustrating how document-based questioning promotes:

critical thinking
analysis skills
co-operation - including synthesising responses
oral/public speaking skills
reading/comprehension skills

I especially like:
*one question - multiple primary and secondary documents sourced to answer it
*how these students sort perspectives into bucket lists which are shared and compared

While document-based questioning ideally applies to documents in History,
I wonder if these principles could be applied to:
*analysing extracts from novels esp the classics
* novel into film - comparing differences and values
* advertising - comparing the value of different advertisements
of the same product or on the same topic

To teach is to keep learning

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review of Reading Australia...

In view of current statistics suggesting that Australian universities have the highest dropout of students in a decade,
(up to 1 in 5 students - SMH 8.9.16)
it is time to push the value of reading widely
to enhance a will and drive to concentrate and enhance ideas.

Reading Australia
is a website supporting English teachers in their search for reading materials.
Resources are for both primary and secondary levels.

An account is FREE
and offers regular updates on book news and teaching resources.

A home page video introduces the features of the site.

Primary and secondary tabs lead to graphic novels, drama, short stories, poetry, narrative history, opinion, memoir, essays (about books), young adult.
Each resource has a suggested year level and includes sample classroom and assessment activities.

Special Resources
Australia Day
Anzac Day
Asia and Australia's Engagement with Asia
Indigenous Histories and Cultures
Future Resources

Perhaps the real bonus is the addition of comparative titles - a further reading element - and film resources where appropriate.

There are even rubrics.

Overall, this website is a priceless resource and tool for English teachers.

Shared on Edmodo 8.9.16 

To teach is to keep learning

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

a PD course leads to data tracking reflection...

Just recently, I completed a 6 hour Professional Development course online with Cool Australia.
The course was about sustainability - the integration of units across the curriculum.
At the close of the course, we were asked to reflect on future perspectives of sustainability.
I am still reflecting, wondering, considering possibilities... and more...

1. Could schools connect more actively with the community?
*schools grow veggies for local restaurants?
*schools help council regions to maintain clean parks, reserves and waterways?
(Balnarring Primary School on my Mornington Peninsula contributes to the protection of the nearby Balbirooroo Wetlands)

* Year levels have particular community responsibilites, so that by the close of secondary schooling, students have participated in a range of community activities?

(For another post 'Reflections on Sustainability' see HERE)

Blue Illusion - in the Australian fashion retail scene for 15 years - partnered with Cool Australia.
By hosting a national event on 2nd August, Blue Illusion contributed 10% of sales
to the Cool Australia cause.
For more details
see HERE 
... driving change and making a real difference is integral to Blue Illusion. 
On going partnerships with charities including World Vision, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Dress for Success, Bali Life, Red Cross Australia and Smith Family are the foundation to the brand’s vision of ultimate success. 
In recent years, it is estimated that Blue Illusion has donated in excess of $500k annually.

There is now a global trend for student data tracking.
MAP = Measures of Academic Progress
A database is longitudinal if it provides the ability to track the same type of information on the same students at multiple points in time.

Sample of Australian online student tracking databases
Some Advantages
Simple, intuitive interface makes GradeXpert easy to use.
Easily record and analyse qualitative and quantitative student assessment results and normalised scores.
Add detailed comments and anecdotal notes of unlimited length to assist in monitoring student progress.
Attach any type of external file, e.g. Word document, PDF, JPG or MP3 to any assessment result or note to build up a digital portfolio for each student.

Evidence of progress is not all numbers  
 teacher observation of student's classroom interactions, attitudes and participation
 teacher observation of informal performance in class (on-going)
 audio/video recordings of students’ spoken communication
 homework comprising reading and written tasks extending class work
 formal assignments, completed in and/or out of class, related to course content and presented in written or spoken form
 tests of achievement (ie assessing what has been covered in the course)
(Pre and post tests)
 regular tests of general proficiency (ie unrelated to specific course content )
 regular progress interviews to gauge student's  perception of personal progress
 reflective/learning journals, diaries, blogs or wikis
This could include a portfolio recording a student's ongoing community service, 
sustainability efforts + student reflection.
 project work (small group or individual)
This could include creating a website with or
In a group situation, each group member would have a strategic role to play in the final product.
Progress can be identified through self-, peer- or teacher-assessment of performance.
GradeXpert accommodates all these records 
accessible for all teachers

Final Thoughts
Sustainability seems like a difficult subject to integrate across the curriculum.
Data tracking seems like a mine field with a broad spectrum of demands.
Could both assist each other to achieve an effective outcome?

Shared on Edmodo 22.9.15

To teach is to keep learning

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

creative responses and formative assessment...

Junior secondary students are required to read a book for 10 mins at the beginning of each English lesson...
The students choose their own book...
If they complete required class work,
students are encouraged to develop a creative response to their reading...
The one above is a sample of Alina's recent Year 8 work...

To foster interest in senior English studies, creative responses are encouraged too...
Above is Year 11 Sarah Dunstan's response to Macbeth, just using newspaper headlines...

Creative responses encourage students 
to connect ideas...
to express ideas differently...

They are a challenge for both the able and the less able students,
without the pressure of competition or
the feeling that someone is always better than someone else.
Some students complete these creative responses as they listen...a great tool to help them concentrate...
Creativity is an attractive goal
when the teacher needs to steer through lessons that students may find "not so appealing".
If we complete how to write an essay by this time... then we will create...
Concentration is paramount...

I now use creative folders in all my classes.
They are a wonderful asset when:
- many students are absent e.g. rally day
- after lunch lesson represents restless attitudes
- a bonus option when students complete required class work
- ideal for extension and remedial work (differentiation)  - I simply insert the appropriate sheets

Teaching is not just about 
recognising and acknowledging learning styles,
it is about encouraging a range of response styles 
for an optimum, ongoing measure of student performance...
that is what formative assessment is all about...

In summary,
 creative responses encourage 
the holistic measure of student performance...

a great resource for ideas...
56 Examples of Formative Assessment

shared on Edmodo 19.8.14

To teach is to keep learning

Friday, August 1, 2014

out of the comfort mould...

What if you seek to break young people free
of being hooked into
the trendy
the popular music

and you would
love to give them the experience of
other sounds

give them some music
by the young


55 years of Catholic were celebrated, last night (27), with a recital at the Teatro de Santa Isabel. The show was due to the Madrigal Unicap and had the title Un Viaggio Per Il Mondo Dell'Opera (A journey through the world of opera). In addition to the anniversary of the institution, the presentation celebrated the Jubilee Year of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The event was attended by the entire academic community and guests.
- translation - September 28 2006

Will be conducted by the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Madrigal Marlos Nobre and Community Pro-rector, the recital "Un viaggio per il mondo dell'opera". The event is part of the commemoration of 61 years of Catholic University and will take place on 27th September at 20:30, the Rev. Francisco Tavares de Bragança Cultural Center in Unicap.
- translation - September 2012
As Amadeu Guedes posted this above video March 2013,
it seems the trio were part of this later 2012 celebration????

Now I know the name of the trio - They are Il Volo

To teach is to keep learning
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...