Teaching under the microscope

A natural-born scientist before starting school...

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Showy Science

I love Science. I even enjoy a bit of showy science now and then - mostly just as a hook or interest point to kick start the engagement process at an open day or orientation event or Science celebration. We've been known to do Dragon's Breath, methane bubbles, dry ice bombs, liquid nitrogen icecream and... Continue Reading →

The future of teacher training

I was reflecting with my pre-service teacher about teacher training. Two 5 week placements is really not enough time to develop all the skills needed to successfully teach. She is in her last placement, so this is the last opportunity for formal mentoring before she's on her own in a classroom. She's gotten stuck in... Continue Reading →

Supporting students

In my current setting, 20% of the student population have IEPs with diagnosed learning disabilities, physical or intellectual disabilities. On top of that, you could predict that 5-10% of the population is 'gifted'. So differentiating is a necessity. Here are some general ideas for scaffolding tasks to support students (most of them are just good... Continue Reading →

Cookie cutter teachers

As professionals, teachers are really good at appreciating individuals in a class, at differentiating according to readiness or interest, and at making adjustments for students that take into account their varied home lives, backgrounds, health and a multitude of other issues. Teachers generally have some training in behavioural psychology and understand the A-B-C model of... Continue Reading →

STEM STEAM SMART what’s in a name?

From STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), to STEAM (incorporating arts) STEAMD (plus design) to SMART (science, maths and related disciplines) to just 'the Sciences' (as described in the 2017 Australian Government report as science, including medical science, earth science and mathematical sciences, and related disciplines such as engineering, technology). What do they all mean?... Continue Reading →

Leading cultural change in schools

Jane Kise said "There are no reluctant teachers, just those whose needs in the change process have not yet been met." When implementing changes (new software, a change in documentation or resourcing, new requirements to meet) I've found these strategies helpful. 1. Collaborate and consultate Let staff be part of the decision making process. If... Continue Reading →

Take the initiative

      I've been reading Seth Godin's Linchpin, and┬áStop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?). His recurrent theme is how we need to be rethinking school. Instead of promoting and teaching compliance, how to follow instructions, how to turn up everyday, how to do the minimum amount of work so you can move on,... Continue Reading →

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