Learning Design Part 3

Click on the diagram to enlarge.


The information below is taken from the Leaders Resource – Getting Started developed by the Teaching and Learning Services team DECD.


This is my third post on Learning Design. The first part of Learning Design is about What is the intended learning and why is it important? This requires teachers to have a good understanding of the content and aims of the curriculum they are required to use (the Australian Curriculum or SACSA). I won’t talk about this in this post as we are having these discussions about the Australian Curriculum while all staff should be very familiar with SACSA.

The second part of Learning Design is about What knowledge do students bring to their learning? How do we find out where students are at and what do we do if students are not where we think they should be? Do we push on? Or do we stop and make sure students understand? Below are a few ways in which we can test prior knowledge.

Ways to find out what students know:

Physical representations – In groups imagine being a (insert topic/idea/concept here). How can your group physically show this. Make a model.

Visual representations – Draw one or more (insert concept/idea here).

Analogy prompt – The (insert concept here)  are/is like ……………….. because ………………..

Traffic lights – (Insert statement based on concept here) AGREE (green), DISAGREE (red), NOT SURE (orange)

ABCD cards to check out misconceptions – example  –  When water freezes there is a decrease in (a) temperature (b) state (c) volume (d) substance. I think that the answer is…………. I think that because…………………………….. I figured this out by……………………..

Written tests

Questioning – individually or as a group

Group discussion – will allow teachers to get a feel for where the group is at, not necessarily individual students.

Using Activote devices with Promethean IWB’s

Use small whiteboards one per student (A4 size) – ask questions and have students write down answers and hold them up. Gives the teacher a chance to get an overview of student knowledge instantly.


View this short video of Dr. Thelma Perso talking about the importance of finding out what students already know and how this might inform the next step in your teaching.

Dr. Thelma Perso


Dylan Wiliam – The Classroom Experiment

This is a two part series called The Classroom Experiment. Each video is an hour. I realise this is a large amount of time and that the end of term 2 is not the best time to watch them. However I highly recommend these videos. So if you do choose to watch them you can probably count them towards your time for week 10 term 4. You may wish to download the videos from You Tube and watch them in smaller chunks over a longer period of time. Perhaps through term 3?

One of the purposes of this blog is to share educational theory and research. I think that these two videos are a valuable and give the opportunity to view practical educational ideas (at least one of which is being implemented already at PBAS by Ed – coloured cups).

In this two-part series education expert Professor Dylan Wiliam sets up an experimental school classroom. For one term, he takes over a Year 8 class to test simple ideas that he believes could improve the quality of our children’s education. The concepts and ideas presented have implications from R-12.

Some of the concepts/issues in the experiment include:

  • No hands up – names on lollipop sticks.
  • Coloured cups.
  • Use of mini white boards (1 per student) – everyones in the spotlight/instant student response system (low tech version).
  • Removing grades from work. To help students focus on the comments on their work. High achieving students struggled with this. Whay do we need to give students grades?
  • Student feedback to teachers. Student observers.
  • Daily exercise – 10 minutes in the morning to prepare students for learning.
  • The second episode shows some good stuff about high achieving girls and making mistakes and their struggle with this.
  • Secret Student – improving student behaviour through peer pressure. The class earns points through positive behaviour. A Secret Student is picked each day (students don’t know who). The Secret Student for that day is the only one that can earn the points through behaving in a positive way.

The videos can also be found on the Pedagogy page under TfEL Domain 2.

Episode 1

Episode 2

R-6 Reports Parent Review

Today I met with five parents who sat with me and discussed reporting at PBAS for R-6 students. Here are the slides that we went through as part of our discussion. I have added in the data produced by the discussion so staff can have a look at it. Some of the comments made by the parents are in relation to reporting formats that they viewed today. R-6 staff will get to have a look at these reporting formats in a staff meeting which will help make some of the comments clearer. Primary staff will need to meet early term 3 to discuss this parent feedback and look at developing a new reporting format for PBAS. This new format could end up being a slight modification of our current report or a totally new format altogether.

The source of the slide show below is Slideshare. This site is blocked so the slides don’t show up at school unless you unblock the site first. Requires you to go to Slideshare and unblock and come back to this page and it should work or just view at home.

Closing the Class Divide

On April the 18th Ed posted a link to the Insight program on class struggle in relation to education. The program discussed the divide that exists between schools creating an uneven playing field when it comes to everyone being able to access a high level education. This was a really interesting program and if you haven’t watched it but would like to click here to go to Ed’s post.

Just today in the Advertiser Keith Bartley (DECD chief executive) has come out and said that after 1 year in the job how surprised he is with the inequalities that exists within Australia’s education system.

“My surprise was that in a land of opportunities that actually some of the differences were more deeply entrenched than I’d expected them to be and that Australia hadn’t really been able to come to grips with those differences.” Keith Bartley.

The following (in bold) are how Keith Bartley thinks South Australia can close the gap between the most advantaged and the least advantaged children in our school system.

1. More schools will act as community hubs with family and health services associated with them.

2. Expanding children’s centres to increase numbers and reach. Intervention at the earliest possible age to support parents and parents to be.

3. Changing teaching practices to be more learner centred as opposed to being content driven. This sounds similar to the Finish model but counter to having a content driven curriculum like the Australian Curriculum.

4. Based on the Gonski review look at how much program based funding can be put into mainstream funding that follows student based need. Where program funding remains, take away the restraints and allow schools to develop their own methods to improve outcomes. “What Gonski is Saying is that resources need to be mainstreamed, they need to be there all the time rather than being dropped in.”  Keith Bartley. Again this sounds similar to the Finish model in that teachers and schools are trusted to provide the best outcomes for their students not the state.

5. Schools will use local initiatives to work with each other to fill educational and service gaps that may exists. Again the concept of collaboration and not competition is a strong component of the Finish educational system.

Hope I haven’t bored you too much but thought it important to know some of the thoughts of our chief executive on education in South Australia.


The information in this post has been taken from ‘Close our Class Divide’ by Sheradyn Holderhead, The Advertiser 22.5.12.




TfEL/Australian Curriculum Meeting Week 5

Wednesday Admin meeting 3:20-3:45pm in Kim’s room.

Wednesday TfEL/AC meeting directly after @ 3:45 – 4:45pm


TfEL/AC Meeting

Just a reminder from week 2 term 2 post:

Please note the following changes to our structure in terms of who is working with who and on what.

This term sees the following:

  • R-6 staff working on AC maths
  • Tanya, Allan and Ed working on 7-10 AC maths
  • All other secondary staff working on the TfEL process. Same staff as term 1 with the addition of Justin and Nick.

TfEL Staff

Same staff as term 1 with the addition of Justin and Nick. It would be good for this group to meet in the staffroom. I have copies of the resources lists from the TfEL DVD which will be useful for those staff who have made some decisions about the one or two elements they would like to improve. It would also be good to meet as a group to see where staff are at and any issues that may be occurring.

R-6 Staff

Meet in Paul’s room.

After quick discussion with Paul, Angela and Jackie this group might look at the following:

  • Angela and Valmai share some of the information they received from Lisa Jane O Connor.
  • Maths proficiencies (unpack these and have some discussion).

8-10 maths – Tanya, Allan and Ed

Will need to make a decision about where you want to work.

I have some suggestions/resources for you to use as you see fit. As a group you may wish to discuss your own concerns and issues around the 8-10 maths curriculum. The resources that you may want to use are:

1. The year level and content descriptions and achievement standards – What does our program look like now? How is the Australian Curriculum different to current programs? Do I understand the Achievement Standards and what they are for? Look at the work samples on the AC website?

2. The Achievement Standards  – R-10 in maths. Copies of the Achievement Standards only (no content). Do they make a logical progression?

3. The maths scope and sequence tables.

Ed has the copies of these resources.

Arts Connected Toolkit

This site provides information about visual elements and principles of art. Information is provided about line, colour, space, shape, balance, movement & rhythm. There are also two videos which show professional artists creating original art works using the principles covered in the toolkit section of the site. The site also provides an Encyclopedia which is an in-depth guide to learning more about the building blocks  of composition. Here you’ll see many examples of works of art that illustrate  the visual elements and principles. Looks like an easy to use and informative site for helping to teach students about art.

Click here to visit ArtsConnected

Don’t forget to visit the Curriculum page on this site for web resources associated with subject areas including the Arts Connected Toolkit.


Learning Design Part 2

The information below is taken from the Leaders Resource – Getting Started developed by the Teaching and Learning Services team DECD.

Below is a video which takes teachers through the process of using Learning Design. The example uses a Year 4/5 history class to demonstrate the process. The video is obviously designed to promote the Australian Curriculum/Learning Design but does take you through the six stages of the process which is useful if you would like to develop a stronger understanding of Learning Design.

If you would like to view the resource that this video is from (or just view this video in better quality) please go to the links section in the side bar of this blog and click on “DECD Australian Curriculum Leaders Resource.”

To view a larger version click on the YouTube button in the bottom right corner of the video. This video was created by DECD Teaching and Learning Services.

NAPLAN Testing

Found this interesting interview!

“Dr Justin Coulson is a parenting psychologist and expert in happiness from the University of Wollongong and he’s adamant his children won’t be doing the NAPLAN tests. Dr Coulson explained his reasoning to Afternoons presenter Kelly Higgins-Devine.”

As well as Dr. Justin Coulson view a number of parents ring up and give there views.

Click here to visit the ‘612 ABC Brisbane’ website and play the interview.

Australian Curriculum Senior Secondary

Consultation is now open for the Australian Curriculum at a senior level for English, maths, science and history. Their are 14 separate subjects under these main subject headings. To access these draft curriculum’s you need to register on the ACARA site – if you are not registered you can do it when you go to the links below (will take 3 minutes). Even if you don’t want to provide feedback you may want to have a look at how the Australian Curriculum compares with our current SACE courses.

To access the ACARA Senior Secondary Australian Curriculum click here. If you would like to go directly to a subject page click on the relevant subject below (remember if you have not registered you will need to do so when you get to the page).


Responsible use of Social Media

The use of social media is wide spread and regardless of what we personally think of this medium it is here to stay and is the way that a large portion of the worlds population communicates. This includes our students. If our students are on Facebook then we should educate them about Facebook, if our students use mobile phones then we should educate them about the use of mobile phones. I use Facebook and mobile phones as examples because I would be surprised if their were more popular mediums among teenagers (and younger) for sharing comments and images.

When it all goes wrong and an image is posted which shames or embarrasses others or themselves our reactions as adults can be very condemning, “Why would you do that?” “Didn’t you realise the consequences?” I think it can be easy to sit back and think that the last couple of generations of kids are Internet savvy and automatically know what to do when using social networks because they have grown up with it. I also think this is an incorrect assumption. As parents and teachers we need to guide kids on how to use social media responsibly. Below are a couple of resources which could help teachers to do this. Do you have students in your class on Facebook and using mobile phones? If the answer is yes how do you help them use these tools responsibly?

I have collected a couple of resources for teaching digital literacy and citizenship and created links to them below.

The poster below is not easily readable in this post but you should get the idea. It would be a great starting point for discussion with students who post images and comments online. Common Sense Media – Digital Citizenship poster quality version – (click here to go to their site for a downloadable version of the poster).













Common Sense media digital literacy and citizenship curriculum K-5

Common Sense media digital literacy and citizenship curriculum 6-8

Common Sense media digital literacy and citizenship curriculum 9-12