Professional Reading from Facebook and Twitter Part 11

Reading number 1

Blog: NA

Blog post: Game assessment in PE

Posted on Twitter by  @pilly66

Reading number 2

Blog: Dan Haesler

Blog post: What kids *really* want from us when they ask for help … – Do we really help bullied students when they approach us for help?

Posted on Twitter by @danhaesler

Reading number 3

You Tube

Title: Emily Tout Growth Mindset Speech – A student talks about how she applied a growth mindset.

Posted on Twitter by @davidfawcett27

PBAS Classrooms

We don’t often get a chance to go into other classrooms and when we do it is usually a quick visit and we don’t have the time to really look at what others are doing. Some of what you will see in this post is linked to student work while other aspects are linked to class structures or learning concepts like word walls and Growth Mind Set.

I realise there are many things related to student learning and classrooms that are not included in here. The post is not intended to be an exhaustive list of what is happening in the school but rather a way of connecting us with each other in a way we normally don’t get to.

In the Reception Year 1 class they are lucky to have a big space. This space is used in a variety of ways including an area specifically for reading and as a space to set up a themed learning environment linking to their science work on animal habitats.


IMG_3423 IMG_3422

The Year 1/2 students have a wall dedicated to the process of writing a story. The wall shows how students stories are created by introducing the characters, explaining the setting, developing a problem, the events that occur to solve the problem and the ending.

IMG_3425The 3/4 class have looked at how they will make 2016 a positive year through discussions about Growth Mindset. Each student has stated three things they will do to help achieve this and put them up in the classroom. This is one step towards holding students accountable for what they have said and supporting them to achieve goals.

IMG_3431 IMG_3432

The 9/10 class have also developed a learning goal for term 1. Students goals are based on their 2015 end of year report and reflect an area of improvement they would like to make with their learning. Students reflect weekly on how their goal is going through a set of standard questions. Students reflections are recorded on their private blogs every Monday in Pastoral Care.

IMG_3433 IMG_3435


The Year 11/12 home group room has a great pin up board space to help motivate and encourage high standards amongst the students. Newspaper articles about “Year 12 Success Stories” have been placed on the pin-up board highlighting key strategies that helped students succeed.

IMG_3437 IMG_3438


The 5/6 class use the Thinkers Keys to develop strategies for how they think about their learning.



The 5/6 class also has clear student expectations, a great reference point for discussing student behaviour – positive and negative. Students spent a great deal of time at the start of the year deciding on and negotiating their class agreements. They also divided them into learning agreements (green) and social agreements (yellow).



In Woodwork two students work on preparing a bar top made from Redwood.



In the art room examples of student learning are everywhere. A great way to show students what is expected as well as allowing students to feel proud of what they have created.

IMG_3451 IMG_3449 IMG_3450


In Food and Hospitality students have been learning how to use the Thermomix. Students can be seen here preparing a vegetable stock to be cooked in the Thermomix.

IMG_3459 IMG_3458


In Maths and Science students are being exposed to the concept of Mind Set.



Word walls are always a a useful tool and in the Science lab the latest word wall is all about Newtons Laws of Motion.




Class Dojo Mindset Videos

In a nutshell Class Dojo is a classroom management system that allows teachers to monitor and acknowledge postive and negative behaviours and share this with students and parents. If you would like to know more about Class Dojo then click here.

Class Dojo has produced a five video series on growth mindset using the characters from the classroom management system. The videos explain Growth Mindset and its application focusing on the brain, the magic of mistakes, the power of yet and the world of neurons.

POST UPDATE 27 January 2017 – The complete set of these videos are no longer available on You Tube. They are available on the Class Dojo Big Ideas website.

A secret about the brain

The magic of mistakes

The power of yet

The world of neurons

Mojo puts it all together

Using Book Creator to record student learning

Learning Aim

One of the focus areas for my Year 3/4 PE class in the first half of term 1 is preparing for sports day. My aim for the students is to practice and refine the skills needed to participate confidently in our upcoming sports day. In Australian Curriculum language – “Practice and refine fundamental movement skills in a variety of movement sequences and situations”. The year 3/4 students do a 600m run, shot put, long throw (vortex), long jump and a sprint race. We will also be practising discus even though this is not a required event on the day.

Recording student learning

To record student learning I have decided to use the app Book Creator on my iPad.


The book I created has one page per student which includes their name, a space for personal reflection and two spaces for video. To simplify the process I selected shot put as the event I would video for every student. Video one was taken last week (week 2) while the second video will be taken in week 6 or 7 allowing students to demonstrate their improvement over time. The “I have learnt …” section of the page will be completed by the student. Their task will be to reflect on all the other learning they have achieved in the events other than shot put. How have they improved? Which events did they make the most progress in? What advice did they get from the teacher that helped them improve? Did they persist?


Process (I have completed up to part 2 – inserting video 1)

1. Firstly we discussed the focus and aim of our lessons leading up to sports day.

2. Collecting video in the book

  • In our week 2 lesson the class was divided into 3 groups – long throw (vortex), 300m run then long jump and shot put.
  • I worked with the shot put group recording their efforts directly into the book in Book Creator. No instruction (other than some safety tips) was given so that the first video reflected the student’s current level of knowledge. Once I had finished with a group all groups rotated to the next activity.
  • This process seemed to work smoothly and was easily completed in one lesson with 24 students. The process was made smoother by having the groups match the order of student names in the book. Group 1 were the first 8 names of the book and group 2 were the next 8 names etc. This meant I didn’t have to spend time finding student names in the book I just started at page 1 and worked my way through to the last page.
  • The Book Creator app allows video to be taken and inserted within the app so I did not have to go between the camera and Book Creator apps.
  • The second video will be added in week 6/7.

3. Using the video to learn

  • We will go through a process of examining the correct technique for shot put (images/video/me demonstrating).
  • As a class we will watch everyone’s video (5 secs each) and give feedback as a class to that person. We will have strict protocols around reacting to others performance and the type of feedback we were allowed to give. Showing videos to the whole class will be voluntary (hoping for 100% though – I will be convincing them through discussion about growth mindset and learning from others).

4. Collecting and inserting student responses to “I have learnt…”

  • In a PE lesson (week 6/7) all students will be given an iPad. Using the Pages app they will record their responses to the reflection questions. Doing this as a group will allow for some class discussion and sharing which will hopefully assist those students who are finding the reflection process difficult.
  • Students will airdrop their document to me and I will copy and paste their text into the book.

Teacher observations

  • Throughout the topic I will keep my own notes and observations on my iPad separate to the book. When assessing students I will use a combination of what is in the book as well as my own notes.

Using video as a starting point in practical lessons

Video 1 also provides me with a starting point for shot put i.e. what do the students bring? What knowledge do they already have? Taking video in the first week or two of a practical topic provides the opportunity to closely examine where students are at and therefore, starting points for future lessons. Using the iPad camera and photos apps can be powerful formative assessment tools.

Using this process with other subject areas

Use the same process to record student learning over a series of lessons, a term or semester in:

  • Reading
  • Handwriting
  • Speaking to the class
  • Explaining a math concept
  • Word pronunciation
  • Creating a hypothesis (video/text/audio) and then conducting an experiment (video) to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

There are four ways to add student evidence to a book – video, photos, text and audio. All of which can be done within the app.

Teachers are always looking for ways to record evidence of learning and Book Creator is a simple and efficient way of doing this. Once my book is completed I will share the book as a video to my MacBook and also place it into iBooks on my iPad. My goal is to end up with a document that provides me with evidence of student learning that I can reference against my own observations.

Reflecting on TfEL and Classroom Observations

During the first days back this year we spent some time reflecting on selected Elements of the Teaching for Effective Learning Framework (TfEL). This document will be needed during the term so that we can complete the reflection process.

With professional development meetings occurring at the moment and teachers considering the focus for their first classroom observation it is important that we reflect on our teaching through the TfEL document. It may be useful to try and link our reflections with the four observation proformas. This may help teachers to select which observation proforma will best suit their professional development needs. Because we are required to complete a minimum of four observations it could be beneficial to stick with the same observation focus across all observations to get a deeper understanding of this area.

Observation focus areas:

  1. Assessment
  2. Being Strategic
  3. Classroom Management
  4. Communication and Engagement

Any feedback on these proformas would be most welcome, particularly the guiding questions that assist the observer.

It is important that we complete our TfEL reflections during term 1. The understanding we gain about our teaching through these reflections should help guide part or all of our professional development for the remainder of the year.  There will be time in week 5 (early closure) and week 8 (staff meeting) to allow this to happen.

Click on the image below to access the TfEL Reflection booklet.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.52.33 PM


Continuing to develop our understanding of the TfEL Framework and understanding how it can assist us with developing our teaching practice is an important part of our roles as teachers.

Facebook for professional development

Social media is great for professional development. For me you can’t go past Twitter but my other two favourites are You Tube and more recently Facebook. With some time and effort, you can create a large network of educational professionals from around the world that constantly feed you information that can inspire you to try new things or challenge/reinforce your beliefs about teaching.

Social media is 24/7 so if you already use or are planning to use it then try not to read everything that comes your way, mainly because you can’t! View your professional social media stream when it suits you. If you find something you like and don’t have time to read or view it then favourite or like it so you can come back to it at another time.

Most recently I have discovered Facebook as a way to access information about teaching and learning. I have a Facebook account for school and follow a number of Groups and Pages:

  1. Share network for the Australian Curriculum, SA – SNAC SA
  2. TfEL Teachers Companion
  3. Digital Technologies and Computational Thinking
  4. Edutopia
  5. TED-Ed
  6. Mindshift

The TfEL Teachers Companion Group has been set up by the Learning to Learn team from DECD to support those who are using the TfEL Companion Diary. The diary sets a focus linked to TfEL each fortnight and the Facebook Group supports this by posting relevant information linked to the focus. It also promotes PD opportunities as well as providing the opportunity to pose questions around teaching and learning. The Group provides great information regardless of whether you have the diary or not.

So if you have a Facebook account why not add some of these Groups or Pages to your feed?