With my assessment task in science this year I have decided to provide students with an opportunity to really move forward with feed back I give them. To do this I needed to adjust my feedback to students as previously it was right or wrong with comments along the lines of well done, good work, more effort needed. Now I provide students with an assessment task and give written feedback to them which clearly indicates sections that show understandings as well as sections to improve e.g. Need a clearer explanation of which new substances were formed in a chemical change or how can a physical change be reversed. Students then had opportunities to resubmit their work in response to the feedback. A student who chose to do this was able to give evidence and improve their Australian Curriculum grade from a D to a C. The culture is building and several students now take the opportunity to resubmit work to show a greater understanding of the work.
During the holidays I had the opportunity to work with others in many areas, here are few examples.
In the first week of the holidays Carly Feegrade and I discussed a history unit and began to explore the fluency planning resource to document the unit. I has a similar experience in the second week of the holidays  where Jess Waters and I also collaborated on a unit of history work and also documented our thinking, intentions and resources on the Fluency 21 unit planner. One of the great things about this unit planner is that the work of Carly and Jess are now public and can be viewed by anyone, used and edited by anyone.

The holidays also had me working with Sophie and Andrea. These teachers use Ann Baker Resources in maths and we aligned the resources to Australian Curriculum so it was clear to us where they sat. We love the work Ann has done, especially as she includes the proficiencies of understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning. Hopefully this team of teachers will share some of their work with us soon.

The first week of the term had me working at several different locations. A quick outline is below and I am happy to discuss any of it further with site leaders or staff from the 2013 MB cluster schools.
Murray Bridge School- professional conversations with Greg and Rob around the Maths curriculum and classroom practice. 
Fraser Park PS- participated in their 2nd staff PD on TfEL ( Teaching for effective learning) with a focus on Domain 4 and assessment.
Murray Bridge South School- a quick stop to welcome Graham Alder (MBSPS - Principal) to our cluster.
Mypolonga PS- teacher observation process and facilitated History PD at staff meeting.
DECD , Flinders st, Adel.- PACF rep on planning days for the ACE days
Murray Bridge HS- Student free day planning and support meeting with Patti Williamson.
Adelaide- Saturday saw me attending a Christine Topfer PD on spelling, great to see South school staff Michelle and Jess there too.

The work and locations vary this week (wk 2, term 2), Jervois PS and Tailem Bend are a focus, as well as the cluster leaders meeting to mention a few.
  The cloud-app Fluency21 Unit Planner is a place where  educators can create, share, and collaborate to develop problem based learning units that are engaging, challenging and relevant within the context of the required Australian curriculum.

During the holidays I met with Carly and Jess to give this unit planner a go. See their History units titled Significant buildings in my school and Families, past and present at   http://app.fluency21.com/unit-plans/public_
This site shows a visual grid of events impacting on the world by the hour. You are able to delve deeper by clicking on the image or associated key words. 
Just spent two days in Waikerie with many committed cods from the Murray Mallee region at  Change Makers with Aaron and Dave.
It was the last face to face session of the project but the connection, energy, thoughts and actions will go on and on.
We participated in a range of fantastic sessions, one of these was our 5 min project pitch and recording personal take aways on post it notes from each presenter.

Think Big, Act Small!

Think big, act small was the take away many of us took from the initial Change Maker session in 2012 and below is the list of take aways I got from participants at our final session. By sharing these I am hoping that others can use my list in a reflective and purposeful way. ( what aspects listed am I involved in at my site and what is there that could be put into action in my work or at my site that isn't already or has waned? )

  • It's unacceptable when adults give up on kids.
  • Facebook has a purposeful place for educators and learners.
  • child directed learning increased student engagement and decreased inappropriate behaviours.
  • Power of collaboration
  • Ageless access to education
  • Partnerships/relationships for increase/improvements in happy and engaged students at school.
  • Take the risks as a leader and lead by example..... and persist.
  • Break down the fences/barriers and build relationships to establish effective transitions.
  • Passion and commitment is integral to leading change.
  • Encourage purposeful change in others for specific outcomes.
  • Use hooks and emotion to engage students.
  • Data is for staff to inform teaching and then to share with DECD/ others.
  • Celebrate successes.
  • Chaos is OK and an important part of the change/ learning process.
  • We are more powerful than we know.
  • Stop all the me and embrace the we.
  • Catch kids doing the good stuff and communicate it to families.
Last Friday ended up with conversations at the high school, these were around the science start up group and how we can share ideas, information and our work on teaching students in year 6/7 and 8 in AC science. This is a transition point for our students and we need to work together to make the learning and the transition as successful as it can be. The science start up group involving staff reps from MB North, MB South, Tailem Bend, MBHS and a Mypolonga proxy (me) will aim to create deeper understandings and look at possible strategies and processes for improving what we do. This group will look at ways to share and gather input from other MB cluster sites and staff too.

I am also excited to be heading out to Jervois later today to facilitate a PD session with a strong link to AC ICT general capabilities for our 21st Century Learners.

Paul and I have been exploring possible models to connect educators and learners across the Murray Mallee.
Paul CC
Submitted on 2013/02/20 at 10:06 am
Excellent use of connected learning. Hope this becomes a great place to progress your work. Best of luck, Paul

I have been fortunate enough to visit all seven schools a few times each in our cluster during the first few weeks of the term and WOW! I have met a range of Committed Cods ( Murray and Mallee Educators), working towards the continued implementation of the Australian Curriculum, improved practice in teaching and learning and success for all students.

I will mention some of my highlights so far,

Mypolonga Primary aim high for their students and staff. One way they are approaching this is through TfEL. The quality test key questions are clearly displayed in their staff room under the headings of intentionality, effectiveness , consistency and responsiveness. They are taking this to the next level in upcoming weeks and have planned a teacher observation process to enable observations and reflection.

Murray Bridge School had a staff member create a literacy desk mat for their class. This resource will enable her students are supported and will work towards common language and understandings with literacy requirements.

Murray Bridge High school planned ahead and have included the Dylan Wiliam traffic light strategy into student diaries. What a great way to empower students and their learning and for quick and timely feedback for staff.




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I would like to welcome all Committed Cods !

I see this place as a space where many committed educators can connect, support and stretch one another regardless of location, roles, experience and expertise. I will certainly be stretching myself with my first blog!