APC staff conference 2016 – day 2

Rachael Gore – Using technology in the classroom

Substitution -> augmentation -> modification -> Redefinition

How do we move toward redefinition?

Using the ipad pro

Notability + iDoceo

Notability:  Using the ipad to do all board work. Facing the class all the time, students have the notes to review. Import screen shots and then write free hand

iDoceo – a electronic teachers chronicle automatically syncs to calendar and enables data collection, analysis and distribution.

Michael Pye – Cracking the hard class – from a conference by Bill Rogers and experience of dealing with challenging students

Always thank you, but not please makes the student believe they have an option for a request.

Use cue words repeatedly to create a habit that the kids know what the expectations are.

Describe the poor behaviour then describe the correct behaviour

Praise should describe the good behaviour and describe what they have done well

Be a gentle sheepdog, calm and assertive.

Andy Robinson – Kinesthetic learning

Game 1 – Treasure hunt – teams of 2 – 5 cards with problems positioned around the room, teams move around writing their solutions onto a prepared answer sheet.

Game 2 – Relay – 10 cards, with a question and the round they are in. Like maths olympics

Game 3 – Safe cracker, questions which are scored, the score is then used to ope the safe.

Alice Garner – New App – Kaizena        https://kaizena.com/

Do all our student read the feedback? and act on it? Verbal feedback may be the answer.

Can create conversation threads, syncs with google classroom.  Enables you to link to lessons so that you do not have to give the same feedback to each student over and over.

Need to walk the student’s through the Kaizena group.

Eleanor Voterakis  – Working with the reluctant writer

Making the students clear about who they are writing for.  Anchor students to be aware that they do not know them and they cannot make the assumption they would know them and understand what they mean.

Reluctant writers find feedback all over their page frightening and demoralising. Sometimes better not to annotate their work, but give them aural feedback.

Ben Williamson – EMPOWERING STUDENTS TO PERFORM: Success Through Emotional and Intellectual Confidence.

This session provided us with a greater understanding of how to think empathically with their students in relation to the content of their curriculum, and to facilitate improvements in student performance through confidence. These strategies will help relieve students of debilitating doubt and lack of self-belief. The specifics within curricula can be complex, but the way students understand the nature and structure of the tasks should in most cases be straight-forward. Teachers learn to communicate ways of thinking and strategies to empower students to feel confident when approaching assessments and to demystify the curriculum. Our goal is to ameliorate student anxiety and empower them as learners.

Josh Patrick – Getting the most out of SAC

This workshop will revolve around designing robust School-Assessed Coursework tasks and maximising student achievement through the use of SACs as a tool for preparing students for their final VCE exam. Staff will develop tools for streamlining their record-keeping system to get consistent data on student performance throughout an Area of Study and they will develop strategies for giving effective feedback and teaching effective revision techniques in a fast-paced VCE curriculum. This session will include a special guest appearance from the tech-savvy Laura Higginbottom!

Teaching Resilience – Martin Heppell  – http://theresilienceproject.com.au/

How do we respond to trauma. Its ok to fail, we fail everyday.

We need post traumatic growth, but do our kids have this.

Key to resilience: Gratitude, empathy and mindfulness

Taking control of emotions..Music, exercise and laughter    Positive emotion build cognitive capacity

How to practice gratitude: Write three things that went well for you during the day or write three things you feel grateful for  #dismoment

We don’t scan the world for positive  need to rewire our brains

Empathy: the kids do not do this enough. Behaviour needs to be modelled, not told to the kids. We must behave the way we want the kids to behave. You give and you will receive.

Oxytocin: Every time you do something for someone else it releases oxytocin. this leads to increase in self esteem, increase in energy, increase in happiness, increase level in positivity

Focus on the positive – emotional literacy – high stakes conversation should be face to face.

Mindfulness – using meditation. Mindfulness colouring.  Smiling minds, it takes practice.

When kids don’t trust the outcome they don’t reveal themselves, the don’t tell us the important stuff. Talking is the hardest thing.

If children and adolescents feel included and accepted, particularly by a larger peer group, they are more likely to feel good about themselves.


VCE Physics conference 2016

Friday 19th February. – all day

9.00: Keynote Dr Phillip Urquijo from the University of Melbourne on ‘Particle Physics: from Alpha Particles to Quarks’

Particle Physics: from Alpha Particles to Quarks

10:15   Workshops: Session A

A11(V)            Flipping Physics – Jane Coyle, Albert Park College  

Many of us have been using activity-based pedagogy in a flipped model for years, we just didn’t have a groovy web 2.0 name for it. In essence it is about getting the students to connect with the content for homework and apply it to problem in class. The flipped classroom does not mean you need to make heaps of time consuming videos for your students. In this session I will explain how I am managing my flipped classroom using Google docs and Google Classroom. To get the most out of this session please come with a web enabled device and have created a Google account if you don’t have one. If you are using a tablet you will need the Google drive and Google Doc apps as well.

12:00   Workshops: Session B

B5(11) Teaching multiple Options concurrently –  Jane Coyle, Albert Park College

The new Unit 2 Options offer a large range of physics applications for student to investigate. It would be wonderful to let the student choose a topic they like the look of but how do we manage a classroom with students studying different content? How do we offer choice without having to write 11 courses? In this session I will give ideas on how to achieve both of these using Google to create a portal and Google Classroom to enable content delivery and tracking. Collaboration is also the key. A web enabled device would be handy but not required for this session.

Lunch time plenary: A/Prof Emma Ryan-Weber’s presentation of the 2016 Physics Teachers’ Conference

Cosmology: From the Big Bang to the Formation of Atoms


Asking deep questions with VERSO

Presenter: Phil Stubbs

Time: 1 hr

Keeping kids engaged in your lesson.  Never ask a question you know the answer to.

Need to make learning irresistible?  we know of the 6Cs but there is one missing….

C – curiosity

Need to make learning wonderful, the quality questions asked is directly linked to the quality of learning.

Great poem, “the things we steal from students”

Questioning declines over the years a student spends at school.

Wonderful = Curiosity + irresistibility

Crafting questions in VERSO. . .   to start the big converstaions

Do these inform our path in learning? Need to start thinking of ourselves as activators not facilitators.

Mash-up of Hattie’s research and Michael Fullan

Use VERSO to enable the discussion to create activities to get better value.


Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 4.20.58 pmMake a bold statement on VERSO and then ask students to make a list of questions on their table, before they respond to the VERSO statement. We do not want their first thoughts, we want them reflect and find the best questions.  They can then be asked to upload their bets three, or asked to move tables and choose the best questions from a different table.  Students post their questions and then critique deciding they are open or closed.  If they think it is closed they must reword as an open question.

These questions can then be used to inform the path the class takes.

Activity:  Go deep with google

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 4.28.12 pm

Use a google doc to ask the class to contribute ideas as a whole.  Students are then ask to select one idea and then justify their choice. This offers a rich thinking process and asks them to synthesise and think deeply.

Summing up..

Start with one idea, to shared ideas, to synthesis and critical thinking to shaping the idea.

Need to craft a question, peer to peer comment drives the relational thinking and enables connection of ideas together, this needs to be backwards by designed with what we want the students to have at the end of the lesson.

APC staff conference 1015 Art & Science of teaching

August 23 – 24

Steve Cook Intro and welcome

Mastering all the elements of the Science and Art of teaching is our aim for the next three years. Three important points from the 10 key elements

  • Establishing learning goals, tracking student achievement and celebrating success
  • Opportunities to develop and explore knew knowledge
  • Homework needs to be strategic and accessible and involve everyone at home
  • Effective questions
  • Engagement
  • Classroom rules and procedures, just and reasoned

Keynote speaker: Simon Breakspear

Digitalisation and the future of learning

Session 1

Art and Science of teaching

Relentless use of evidence base development of practice, is this making us better?

Is the evidence effective for what and in what way?

The best are always looking for the better

Need to find the answers within our own setting.

Educators as designers and activators of learning

Example of the car: things have changed and improved as ‘standard’ but relentless drive toward better,

Need to ensure we are driving to better not change.

4 questions

  1. What can stay the same
  2. What should be removed
  3. What needs to be tweeked
  4. How can we harness the collect genius in the room

4th point most important when you are doing well at the other three

The future of teaching is about the future of learning

Digital distraction, are we missing out on our own life?

Learning is not what it used to be.

Great Douglas Adams quote.

“This is not new technology this is just environment”

End of information Asymmetry – death of the gatekeeper

They are learning without us,   – but what are they learning?

We need to teach our students to navigate the WWW, ask the right questions and motivate to find the information they require not just what interests them. Teachers are needed to encourage rigor, motivate for excellence.

The limiting factors is not technology , we face human challenges.

Winning the battle for deep engagement.   This is the biggest challenge

You cannot learn on behalf of another person.

The learning pit – James Nottingham

Deliberate practice to develop mastery – 10,000 hours rule

False belief that students are smart but actually surface skimming and pattern recognizing of a not particularly difficult curriculum

Human enterprise not industrial enterprise

How human is our digital learning strategy/vision?

Need to interrogate all the buzz phrases and really understand what we are trying to do

Beyond the conceptual into the concrete

What are the learning ecosystems in our faculty areas in the next 12 months?

Innovate an the edge of the evidence base

Limit the technology sometimes: unsexy but may be the biggest innovation.

Disciplined innovation process.

Session 2

How do we simplify things so that we are channeling our mental capacity on the things that are really needed and focused?

Do our classes and what we are asking our students aimed at too high all the time, students need to be able to rest their brains,

Over emphasize the new, rather than appreciate stuff that works.

Nuance the process and design to simplify to apply the learning.

Language of learning design

Plan for arranging elements in a particular way for particular purpose or outcome.

All learning is designed.

I we are not getting what we want we need to redesign.

Tom Sherrington Quote: Design….

4 simple learning innovations

  1. Disciplined focus on learning – trying too hard to use all the many different pedagogical strategies, focus on less but better.In CATs what is the best focus and also what not to focus on.Focus: Space, time technology, community, peers, roles, choicesWhat’s the next gear we move too? Can only move at one gear? What’s the next learning design problem that needs solving
  1. Deep Understanding of LearnersNeed to see the world form the students point of view, if you want to innovate you need to start with your users. Be aware of the student who is not like you and does not learn like you. Need to be empathy driven. LISTEN: User needs, motivations and aspirations
  2. Small-fast-iteractive, pilot moves (design and implement) to prototyping (changing the real world). Learning in and through practiceWe are prototyping in every lesson. Minimum viable product, – small hack to solve a problem
  3. Use and generate evidence We are applying the 7 principles and using Hattie and other educational gurus. But now we need to generate our own evidence and use failure part of the learning process.Smart failure = learningWhat is working, for whom, under what conditions?Pivot or persevere

    Ok not to get it al right in the first time

    Experiment, learn, pivot and iterate…

    What can we take away..

    Work on small do-able change first, try to make a prototype change, and then share the success and the failure

Constructive controversy: – Anne Stout.

Have a really clear structured process to engage students in our class in paired discussion.

  • generate energy
  • focusses attention
  • Strengthens relationships
  • higher quality and more creative decision making
  • higher retention rate

APC – Staff Conference – High challenge and differentiation

Two Day conference on August 24th & 25th at RACV Torquay Resort.

Conference program:

Differentiation + High Challenge  – Steve Cook. Setting the scene and providing context, objectives + information for the conference

Session 1- Michael McQueen – The shape of things to come. Book called the New Rules of Engagement

Generation X 1963 – 1980

Generation Y 1981 – 1994. (15 – 33)

Generation Z 1995 –

Generation gap is wider due to the pace of change.

3 educational changes:

The nature of students. Students will become increasingly

Switched on – high level knowledge, grown up with google – challenge wide but is it particularly deep knowledge. Know a lot of adult concepts without the process to deal with them

Plugged in- tech savvy, gen z never have moments of being impressed with tech. They are not impressed by bells and whistles we get excited with. Horror on being off the grid, out of the loop.  This need impacts every area of life including sleep, major impact on learning. This generation does not switch off cannot deal with issues cause they are tired.  Empathy is the other loss. Prefer text to calling. Fine empathy skill are learnt through tone of voice, body language these empathy cues are not learnt by this gen.  Look at book – Grown up digital Tapscott.

Post modern – describes a view if the world around that states there is no such thing as absolute truth. “Should” is a word we may use if we are living in a world of absolutes, gen y and gen z will ask why? What they mean is ‘what is the perception that makes this true?’ How do we engage a post modern learner

High maintenance – need for thanks for everything.  Gen x and baby boomers affirmation is intrinsically internal, where as for the next gens is is external. Self esteem era. Need external validation, lesser ability to separate personal attack from critical feedback.

Fragile – lacking in resilience. Belief: life is meant to be hard. When it gets hard why are you surprised.  The next gen has been told by pop culture: life is meant to be easy and fair and exciting. Generation raised on reality tv. When life gets hard – there is something wrong with the goal/path and want to give up. Easy = right, hard = wrong.  We have to coach these students through the challenges, they do not have coping mechanisms, we have to show them how to persevere. If life is meant to be easy and I find it hard, there must be something wrong with me.

Grown up – know too much too soon. Exposed to adult themes, sexualisation of our youth through media, (tween market). Push ‘the right of passage’ earlier. Robs the generation of the life stage at which they have earned them

Empowered – over steps the mark. Not kids, they are little people. Expect the capacity for reasoning of these kids. Every point of behaviour needs to be discussed.  Change in the power dynamic of the family, kids are the centre, everyone else is moving around the child.

Surprising – screen time, concerning – sexualisation, impact on empathy , confirming – fatigue

The climate of the classroom – not teacher centred, teachers have to be prepared to relinquish the control of the classroom.

The expectations of parents – helicopter parents, students can text home when they believe they are felt with unfairly, parents Can  be at the school in ten minutes.  Waste of professional capacity, dodging the repercussions, and in the end teachers avoid raising the issue for fear of the repercussion. How do we deal with demanding parents?

Empathise and listen first – most people don’t listen with the intent to understand rather they listen with the intent to respond. Parents experience of their schooling will influence the way deal with us

Reaffirm your common goal – affirming this can neutralise the us and them mentality

Keep good records and be prepared., objective data is extremely important but bring it only when needed, don’t bombard the parent

Take the first step

Don’t be afraid to ask for time. Don’t answer if you do not have one. Can I get back to you.

Feel, felt, found

Use ‘we’ instead of I , making it about the future, call home about the positive

Glad, sorry, sure

Session 2 – 21st century learner -Strategies

Put relationship before role – the teachers that students connect with are the ones that treat them like humans, not students. Cannot achieve success with the command and control model. ‘Todays students learn teachers not subjects

authentic – be honest, show you are human, model the behaviours you ask of them

Interested – know what they are doing outside the school, hear their music, watch their shows.  You do not have to like the stuff your student are but you can show interest

Flexible – pick your battles. If you set too many rules then you create ways for the kids to disappoint. These rules are unconscious, and the students often don’t know these rules either. How many of the rules really matter?

Rules with a relationship builds respect

2. Matrix learning – showing the relevance and connections of what you are teaching,to the other subjects they learn andto the outside world. Creativity is needed to make these connections

3. Adopt a facilitator role facilitators ask the right questions rather than the fountain which answer them. Check out website, becoming a master asker

5 keys to an effective question:

Avoid closed questions

Ask with a curious and enquiring tone

Answer a question with a question

Adjust your expectations

Don’t start with the word ‘why’ – adversarial ‘what’ or ‘how’

4. Give regular positive feedback

the kids are wired to positive feedback, they respond to this. What gets recognised and rewarded gets repeated. Give it personally. Publicly. Proportionally – goes from a reward to an entitlement. Unpredictably

5. Use stories to make your point

Why do they work. A story is in the context of your experience, this is their currency, they revolve around experience in their social media so to use your experience is very powerful with them. Stories of failure as well as triumph, be real

6. Go for commitment not compliance – lead the kids to find a reason to commit rather than to comply them, can be as simple as the language. Compliance tends to rely of fear and authority. Commitment tends to rely on allowing a choice, that they are making up their own minds, showing the advantage. Motivation rather than mandating

Day two

Session 2

Enhancing learning by enhancing assessment. Assessment is a potent potential tool to expand and develop students learning. What factors have the strongest positive impact on learning?. Teachers working together as evaluators of their impact. Moving from what students know toward explicit success. Errors and trust are welcome as opportunities. Maximise feedback to teachers re their impact. Ratio of surface to deep learning. Goldilocks approach to challenge, deliberate particle to attain these challenges. Principles of assessment. Choice and flexibility – most powerful motivator is when the students have the option to present their understanding

Show students what success looks like – a complex task is not a vague task, exemplars and models, drafting and rubric

One team, one vision of the highest standard – everyone on the team has a clear idea of the outcomes and progression. Consistent standards.

Share you experiences, build a collective ‘passion’ – share with the team successes as you progress through the unit, spur passion within the teachers

Develop clear criteria – simple and accurate rubric, clearly identifies the standard and enables feedback for improvement

Know what your students are bringing to the classroom – diagnostic formative assessment and an understanding of how they learn

Assess for learning – formative

Encourage transfer of knowledge or skill to novel material – forces student to think rather than just recall, transfers knowledge to new contexts. Design authentic tasks. Purposeful and engaging. Models how these problems are solves In the real world. Puts knowledge to work. Demonstrates what student know and can do. Supports multiple representations and multiple solutions. Allow for ‘ahah’ moments. Product at the end. GRASP

10. Foster deep knowledge

Marzano’s high-yield instructional strategies

Rigour and safety

Questions cues and organisers – Ample waiting time, illicit inferences and analogies, organise the information – Low yield

Generating and testing hypothesis – 23%

Setting objectives and providing feedback – 23%

Cooperative learning (with mixed ability, roles and responsibilities) – 23%

Non-linguistic representations – 27%

Homework and practice – 28%

Reinforce effort and providing recognition 29%

Summarising and note-taking – 34%

Identifying similarities and differences – 45%

Staff professional Learning sessions: School Wide Positive Behaviours (SWPB)

Presenter: Pauline Tawa

Time: 7 sessions of 1 hr = 7 hrs

Schoolwide Positive Behaviour (SWPB) is a whole-school framework which helps schools to create positive learning environments. This is achieved by developing proactive systems to define, teach, and support appropriate student behaviours.

SWPBS was developed by leading educational experts in the United States where it is used in more than 18,000 schools. Many of the world’s leading education systems have adopted SWPBS, including Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, with Finland commencing a SWPBS trial in 2013.

Data shows that when SWPB is implemented with integrity it helps reduce problem behaviour and increase academic performance. Principals have also reported decreases in referrals of students, allowing time saved to be invested into other areas of school business.

Through SWPB, the school implements evidence-based approaches to managing student behaviour support issues at the local community level. With an emphasis on data-based decision-making, the framework is evaluated regularly and practices are adjusted to make sure the process is achieving effective results for schools.

This has been the focus of SPL for the year of 2013 at SCHS.

“How to cater for the gifted and Talented Students in Mathematics”

Time – 6 Hrs

Presenter: Andrew Barr

This day looked at the Maths 300 and the use of activity based learning to stimulate and develop the top end learner.  Although this type of learning has been identified as particularly useful in engaging students who struggle in Maths this PD showed just how effective they are for stimulating and extending the very bright students in the room too