Why Blog?

I love to share things I come across with colleagues, parents and friends and others interested in matters to do with education. I am particularly interested in inquiry learning, gifted education, fostering independence and growing emotional literacy in our children. You may find posts interesting, you may not. You may agree, you may not but the important thing is you ponder about how it sits with you and your learning journey.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

More Mindset Moments

Everywhere I look and read I seem to come across reference and readings about mindsets. These links came via Twitter today.

Carol Dweck talked about asking questions that would determine ones mindset. Although we need to bear in mind that we will use different mindsets throughout the day and in different situations. Click on the image to take the survey.

The website itself hosts a wealth of information, resources, video clips and other things to develop your own understanding of mindsets and ways that they can be used with your children. Click on the image to discover more.

Finally a graphic that illustrates the differences between fixed and growth mindsets.

A Message to New Zealand Teachers

This slideshow was developed by CORE Education and then is being added to by children all over NZ to tell teachers about what they want and how they want to learn.


As this is not my creation I don't want to publish it but would loved to have it embedded so you can watch it grow. Please visit the link at this stage to see what NZ children are thinking.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Growth Mindsets

Attending the Learning Network conference a few weeks ago has had a profound effect on my teaching, feedback and thinking, particularly thinking about growth mindsets and the impact they have on learning.

I stumbled across this post from Karen Boyes which I enjoyed and started me thinking about what we celebrate and report to parents. Are we celebrating the attitude children have to their learning or is the focus on achievement? Do we ensure we have shared enough about the progress children have made and the effort they have put into learning? What are we awarding certificates for? Do they reinforce what we believe about mindsets and learning?

I am always one for quotes and pictures and I have grabbed these from the article Karen shared. If you would like to read the article in full, follow the link, http://www.karentuiboyes.com/2014/11/effort-vs-accompishment/

Friday, 27 March 2015

Feedback and a Growth Mindset

Austin's Butterfly is a fabulous illustration of how children are able to respond to quality feedback and make improvements to their work. In order to do this children must have a growth mindset and be aware that learning is a process, seeking to challenge and improve. The use of praise is interesting too, Austin is given praise for persevering and his efforts that lead to improvements.

Dylan Wiliam shares a snippet of his work with self and peer assessment.  This is not the marking of another's work but time for students to formatively assess each others work which has huge benefits for both children involved in the process.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Great Sites and Apps to Motivate Writing

At a recent professional development session with Louise Dempsey some great sites were share to motivate writing.

Bored Panda is a site filled with fabulous photos and motivational stories that will inspire writing.

The Kids Should See This is a collection of smart videos for curious minds of all ages. Topics included are: science, nature, tech, DIY, music and much more. They are high quality, age appropriate and kid friendly making them perfect resources for the classroom.

Go Pro is worth investigating as it houses hundreds of videos and photos submitted by Go Pro users from around the world. From wild animals to riding waves you can join in the fun and see if from a unique perspective. Perfect to use for first person stories.

Apps worth investigating include:
Book Creator - an app that easily allows ebooks to be published.
Popplet - a tool for the iPad and web that allows you to capture and organise your ideas.
Telligami - an app that lets you create an avatar in front of a background then record a message worth sharing.

Mindmapping and Beyond

When I had the privilege of teaching Year 6 students a few years ago, I enjoyed introducing them to the skill of mind mapping. I love these diagrams and ways of recording notes. I would have a lot of fun making them and they are far more interesting to revise than pages and pages of written notes. Maybe time could be spent in reading and/or writing lessons developing this skill.

Click on the picture to visit te@chthought and explore this idea further.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Literacy Shed

The Literacy Shed is another amazing place to access inspirational idea for the teaching of writing.
Spend some time checking it out.

It also provides links to other 'sheds' which are collections of resources to enhance other aspects of your programmes.

The Writing Book

Team leaders at St Albans all have a copy of 'The Writing Book' for the team to access. It is a resources that is worth purchasing as you don't like sharing it. It is full of fabulous, practical ideas that make teaching writing easier.

A day spent with Louise Dempsey last week reminded us of the need to move away from teaching genre and think about purpose. Snippets of writing and writing exercises with clear expectations so the children experience success.

If you are a facebook user they have a page that is well worth liking and send links that provide motivation for classroom writing. Worth checking it out.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Guy Claxton and the Idea of Building Learning Power

Guy Claxton is an English educator, researcher and scientist who has made his life work investigating and spreading the word about learning power.

His website is well worth investigating and can be accessed through this link.

The basic premise of this is that teachers will work on building students power to learn and creative capabilities. The brain is always growing and intelligence can be developed through experience.

" When teachers focus on building learning power in their classrooms, the impact on learners can be startling. I've seen this happen in schools across the UK when teachers have begun to think creatively about the ways in which they can help young people become better learners."
Guy Claxton, 2007

The Power of Yet

A 10 minute TED talk that is a great summary of Carol Dweck's talk in Christchurch held recently. Full of pointers that educators can implement in their classrooms and practice tomorrow.

Mindsets and Talking to Children

This is the article that Carol Dweck referred to at her recent talk held in Christchurch recently. It is interesting as it mentions her thoughts about gifted and talented education and also ideas about parenting. It was originally posted in New York magazine in August 2007.