PROFESSIONALLY & PERSONALLY
TeachersMatter The Magazine of Spectrum Education
Casting the Habits of Mind pg 14 Double the bang pg 26 9 ways to exam success pg 58
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Activating Brains 2011 Gain Ideas from Top International Presenters Spencer Kagan – Transforming Teaching Laurie Kagan –Motivating the Reluctant Learner Jenny Mosley – Quality Circle Time Ian Jukes – Understanding Digital Kids John Joseph – Learning with the Brain in Mind Joan Dalton – Learning Talk, Build Understandings David Koutsoukis – Creative Tools for Engaging Learners • Whole school team development! • Professional and personal development! • Fun and energetic learning environment! • Be surrounded by hundreds of like-minded teachers! • Ready-to-use strategies in your class! • Motivating start to your new school year!
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Spend a full day learning from Top Professionals! Laurie Kagan translates a deep understanding of theory and methods into practical, teacher-friendly strategies and presentations. Teach Smarter, Not Harder – the Kagan Way! This highly interactive, research-based, user-friendly workshop explores ways to accelerate learning, close achievement gaps and make learning fun! Learn how easy it is to increase student engagement while developing 21st century skills! John Joseph is known internationally as “The Brain Man”. He is the founder of Focus Education Australia, and has worked in over 23 countries. Mind Your Brain Workshop: learning about learning, behaviour, brain care and emotions. Hear how the brain learns and the key elements of brain care: correct nutrition, adequate sleep and good hydration. Understand memory and information processing and explore the links between emotion, behaviour and attitude: managing conflict in healthy ways. Sandra Brace has had a 20 year career in the performing arts and this has driven her focus in education, using performing arts strategies to support learning of the Habits of Mind in the classroom. Teaching Habits of Mind Through the Arts. Learn and experience instruction and strategies for using performance arts activities to not only drive Habits BookofToday! Full Days of Inspiration & Focus! but as active vehicles for learning and internalising the Habits. MindTwo learning across the curriculum, Cheryl Doig Previously a highly successful school principal, Cheryl’s particular areas of passion are organisational leadership, change and relationship management. She builds innovative practice into her Conference work and sees herself as a learning catalyst. Leading by2011 Letting Go. Sydney • 24thChange & 25th January • SMC Centre Explore the role of leaders in building Rotorua • 27th & 28th January 2011 • Energy Events Centre a culture where staff have a say and where the voices of students resonate through everything the school does. 5 Keynote Presentations • 20 Specialist workshops
Activating Brains 2011 BOOK YOUR PLACE TODAY! Gain Ideas from Top International Presenters for more details
Spencer Kagan – Transforming Teaching Laurie Kagan –Motivating the Reluctant Learner Jenny Mosley – Quality Circle Time Ian Jukes – Understanding Digital Kids John Joseph – Learning with the Brain in Mind Joan Dalton – Learning Talk, Build Understandings David Koutsoukis – Creative Tools for Engaging Learners • Whole school team development! • Professional and personal development! • Fun and energetic learning environment! • Be surrounded by hundreds of like-minded teachers! • Ready-to-use strategies in your class! • Motivating start to your new school year!
Time: 10.30am to 4pm. Date: 26th January 2011 Venue: Energy Events Centre Investment: $125 per person for Teachers Matter Conference attendees $145 per person for non-conference attendees Presented by Registration Closes 12th November 2010
cover photo: carlos Caetano
In this issue
7 HOM Boot Camp Australia 2010
20 Mapping the Habits of Mind
36 Living with your adult child
10 “Learning Talk” to bring about change
22 Slip, Slop, Slap – teaching philanthropy
38 He waka eke noa – A canoe that everyone may embark
12 The visible school leader
24 Creating win-win discipline
dr cheryl doig
dr spencer kagan
43 Promoting intellectual play through the art of interpretation
14 Casting call: Enter the Habits of Mind
26 Double the bang in instruction
45 The way we communicate
30 Happily incompatible!
16 School readiness: Helping parents decide
46 The alternative to National Standards
32 Be the community kind
19 Explaining the difference between internal and external motivation
48 WOW TV – Students taking charge of the learning
Dr marvin marshall
51 Jokes and Groaners 52 Self-belief: How to build it in our students
Teachers Resources & Lessons pages 28,29,50
54 Help, I’m struggling to identify and sort priorities robyn pearce
56 Getting tough on exams andy ralphs
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Teachers Matter Magazine Team Publisher, Sales and Advertising: Karen Boyes Managing Editor: Kristen De Deyn Kirk Graphic Design: Mary Hester / 2nd Floor Design Printer Spectrum Print, Christchurch
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ISSN 1178-6825 © Spectrum Education 2010
58 The nine necessary aspects of exam mastery
70 Kids need – and want – active and involved teachers
dr jason fox
60 Thoughts can overcome trepidation
72 The top nine fashion mistakes that are also very bad manners
62 Put spring on the table
73 Resistance exercise really does matter
All rights reserved. Parts of this publication may be reproduced for use within a school environment. To reproduce any part within another publication (or in any other format) permission from the publisher must be obtained. The opinions expressed in Teachers Matter are those of the contributors and we love them!
64 Game on: When students take charge
66 A nerd’s guide to childbirth and the aftermath
77 The importance of visual arts
Spectrum Education Ltd
79 Inspirational quote
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68 Lessons in hope
Robert Maynard Hutchins
tricia kenyon and barbara griffith
76 Change – for good
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Use a butterfly analogy Page 19 5
ouldn’t it be great if you could quickly skim the contents of Teachers Matter a n d s u d d e n l y become the teacher of every student’s, parent’s and principal’s dreams? Not possible, right? We know that the process of becoming an exceptional teacher takes openness, research, practice and commitment – in other words, a significant investment of time. But there is something you can do right now to at least start the process. Here are some quick teasers – a few words to summarise what the experts in this issue are sharing – to spark your interest. Take a deeper look at their articles later and then go even further by reading more about their techniques, taking a class, trying the techniques and then eventually mastering them. Step by step, you’ll be on your way to communicating clearly, motivating your students and helping them develop a lifelong love of learning:
• Let students call the shots (don’t be scared; read Simon Evans’ article) • Invest in solutions, not standards (imagine the possibilities with Barr y Musson) • Follow a GPS and map it out (Bena Kallick suggests that you take hints from technology to stay on track in the classroom) • Freeze the positivity (tips on keeping kids excited, compliments of Chris Kerr) • Be the community kind (how to go beyond a good student to a good citizen with advice from David Koutsoukis) • Slip, Slop, Slap (from the master of catchy phrases – Glenn Capelli) • Get personal with your students (Kevin Mayall tells you why) • If it’s not broken, still fix it (Martz Witty keeps you improving) • Share your “view” with everyone (Ngahi Bidois uses an analogy to show you the rewards)
• If you’re ready, the “not-ready” child might still grow (Maggie Dent explains how the right teacher makes a difference.)
HOM Boot Camp Australia 2010 Teachers learned the Habits the best way possible: by using them.
nd we thought it couldn’t get any better. The quality of teachers that attended our Sydney bootcamp in August was incredible. I personally know the schools and students who have these teachers are extremely fortunate. Behind the Habits of Mind Bootcamp is me, associate director of the Institute for the Habits of Mind, along with my handselected mentors: Graham Watts, Adrian Rennie and Sandra Brace. Together we lead teachers through a transformational education experience where participants not only learned about Art Costa’s 16 Habits of Mind, they had to use them personally. At the centre of the bootcamp is a team challenge. The resources, lesson plans and presentations given by the teams continue to amaze us. Habits of Mind are research-informed characteristics of successful learners. They are not Thinking Tools as such but the ways to think and act when trying to be a successful, autonomous learner. Below is a list of all 16:
The Habits of Mind: • Persisting • Managing impulsivity • L i s t e n i n g w i t h u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d empathy • Thinking flexibly • Thinking about thinking (Metacognition) • Striving for accuracy and precision • Questioning and posing problems • A p p l y i n g p a s t k n o w l e d g e t o n e w situations • Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision • Gathering data through all senses • Creating, imagining, and innovating • Responding with wonderment and awe • Taking responsible risks • Finding humour • Thinking interdependently • Remaining open to continuous learning
A Habit of Mind is knowing how to behave intelligently and knowing what to do when we are unsure or unclear of the next step or when we don’t know the answer. A Habit of Mind means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, contradictions, dilemmas, inquiries and uncertainties, the answers to which are not immediately known: Join us in 2011 for another great Bootcamp. F o r m o r e d e t a i l s , p l e a s e g o t o w w w. spectrumeducation.com
Adrian Rennie A successful classroom teacher, Adrian is passionate about excellence in teaching. He combines simple yet effective classroom techniques and Art Costa’s Habits Of Mind to create a culture of thinking.
Alan Cooper Alan Cooper is an educational consultant based in New Zealand. As a principal, he was known for his leadership role in thinking skills, including Habits of Mind, learning styles and multiple intelligences, information technology, and the development of the school as a learning community.
Allison Mooney Allison is a passionate and endearing speaker who infuses a desire in her audience to significantly increase their performance as educators through identifying the behaviours and traits of others. Author of Pressing the Right Buttons, Allison has been twice awarded “Speaker of the Year” by the Auckland Chapter of NZ National Speakers Association. www.personalityplus.co.nz
Andy Ralphs Andy Ralphs is a human resources professional with over 30 years experience of psychometrics. He is the NZ distributor for AQR Ltd, one of the world’s leading edge international test publishers and consultancies. www.aqr.co.uk
Barbara Griffith Barbara has been a primary school teacher for 36 years. She has specialised in the teaching of literacy for more that 20 years and recently retired from a position as a Resource Teacher: Literacy, which she had held for the last 16 years.
Despite being in the ‘twilight’ of his career, Barry has been re-energised since becoming involved with Habits of Mind and Thinking Maps. His knowledge, passion and enthusiasm is now being shared with schools wanting to incorporate the Thinking and Behaving benefits these two powerful tools have to offer. www.lindisfarne.school.nz
Bena Kallick, Ph.D is a private consultant providing services to school districts, state departments of education, professional organizations, and public agencies throughout the United States and abroad. Her work with Dr. Art Costa has led to the development of the Institute for Habits of Mind, an international institute that is dedicated to transforming schools into places where thinking and Habits of Mind are taught, practised, valued and have become infused into the culture of the school and community. www.instituteforhabitsofmind.com
Jane Harmony Blake is a passionate guide, inspirator to children, youth, parents and businesses alike. She found the Virtues Project, and now brings the Virtues into her classes, workshops and speaking with exceptional results. She helps people recognise their own virtues, discover their self-worth, self esteem, and achieve clarity and understanding of purpose.
Dr Cheryl Doig Dr Cheryl Doig is director of Think Beyond. As an educator, her aim is to challenge organisations to think for tomorrow. She can be contacted through www.thinkbeyond.co.nz.
Christine Kerr Christine has 30 years experience in education, the last decade in school management. Using 21st century research and mindset tools, she inspires young people to take leadership in their own lives, culminating in a total package for future reference throughout their lives. www.lifeseeker.co.nz
David Koutsoukis David Koutsoukis is an award-winning international speaker and author who helps educators build positive and productive classrooms and schools. He presents at education conferences throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the AsiaPacific region, and is the author of the Values Education Toolkit resources, the Behaviour Management Toolkit resources, the Daily Dose of Fun series and the Six Kinds of Best Values Education programme. For bookings, resources and free downloads visit www.dkeducation.com.au
Glenn Capelli An author, songwriter, radio and television presenter and creator of the Dynamic Thinking Course for Leadership, Glenn delivers a message of creativity, innovation and thinking smarter. He teaches people how to be a learner and thinker in today’s fastpaced and ever-changing world through the use of creative thinking, humour, enthusiasm and attitude. Glenn’s new book, Thinking Caps, is available from Spectrum. www.glenncapelli.com
Dr Jason Fox By the age of 25, Jason Fox had completed a PhD (on goal getting), written a book (on how to enjoy exams) and lectured at three universities (on education for change). Having escaped the clutches of academia, Jason now helps clever organisations and individuals implement and execute awesome innovative ideas. He is a multiple award-winning international speaker and consultant based in Australia. In his spare time, Jason helps the next generation of smart students get clever about exams at www.enjoyexams.com
Jenny Barrett Jenny is the CEO for Breathe Technology. Her enthusiasm for technology came when thrown in the deep end whilst teaching at a Taiwan high school. Jenny has since undertaken a Masters of Education (Ed. Technology) and has supported classroom teachers to use educational technology in UK and NZ projects. www.breathetechnology.co.nz
Joan Dalton Internationally respected Australian teacher and educator Joan Dalton is acknowledged for her expertise in learning and teaching, as well as leadership and facilitation. She has worked by invitation with schools and educational organisations in more than 10 different countries. Joan has authored several internationally successful books. Her current passion and writing is focused on the kinds of skillful language and powerful conversations that move learning forward. www.plotpd.com
John Shackleton With a sports psychology and sports coaching background, John now shows international business audiences techniques that exercise and improve the biggest, most powerful muscle in the body – the brain. His clients include Coca-Cola, Air New Zealand, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Sony and Renault. www.JohnShack.com
Dr Judy Willis Dr Judy Willis practised child and adult neurology for fifteen years before returning to university to obtain her Teaching Credential and Masters of Education. She then taught elementary and middle school for ten years and is now a presenter at educational conferences and provides professional development workshops nationally and internationally about classroom strategies derived from neuroscience research. www.RADTeach.com
Karen Boyes Karen Boyes is a leading authority on effective learning and teaching in Australasia and is founder and CEO of Spectrum Education. A highly skilled, enthusiastic and dynamic presenter with over 18 years experience in the education profession, she works with teachers, parents, students and corporate clients internationally, unleashing their peak performance. www.spectrumeducation.com
Karen Tobich Karen is a food stylist who is passionate about living off the land and creating and presenting food. She believes that sharing food connects people and fosters quality relationships in so many ways. She shows you how to transform home and locally grown seasonal foods into delicious healthy and inspiring food to make, to give and to share.
Kevin Mayall Kevin works with individuals and families from around the world. As well as working in a private practice, Kevin is also the creator and founder of www.kevinmayall.com, which provides online coaching tools for teens, families and individuals around the world. www.kevinmayall.com
Maggie Dent From a background in education, palliative care, radio, the funeral industry and being a transpersonal therapist, Maggie owns Esteem Plus, promoting the value of personal and professional resilience. She is an author, publisher and parenting specialist. www.maggiedent.com
Martz Witty Martz Witty is a professional speaker, chartered accountant and author. He has successfully raised two sons as a solo-father whilst personally owning and growing 11 companies of his own together with a myriad of clients’ businesses. Martz works nationally and internationally, giving business owners the lifestyle they thought they were going to have when they started out. His down-to-earth, content-driven talks are
delivered in a humorous manner, carefully laced with true life examples and anecdotes of people he has helped. www.martz.co.nz
Dr Marvin Marshall Marvin Marshall is the author of Discipline Without Stress, Punishments or Rewards: How Teachers Promote Responsibility & Learning. The book teaches how to live a self-disciplined life, become more responsible, increase effectiveness, and improve relationships. It shares how to teach young people to want to become disciplined — both in behaviour and in putting forth effort in their own learning. The book is now available as an e-book at www.marvinmarshall.com
Nancy Skerritt Nancy Skerritt is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in the Tahoma School District. She developed the district’s thinking skills curriculum. She has designed and published a training model for writing integrated curriculum with thinking skills and Habits of Mind as the core.
Ngahi Bidois Ngahihi o te ra Bidois is from Te Arawa and is an international speaker, author and consultant. Book him for your conference or seminar by phoning 021482281 or through his website at www.ngahibidois.com
Patti Drapeau Patti Drapeau is an international presenter, trainer, author, and instructor. She worked in education as a teacher and coordinator for over twenty five years. Patti currently presents at international, national, state, and regional conferences on the topics of differentiation, critical and creative thinking, and gifted education. She also conducts customised workshops and trainings in school districts. She currently serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Southern Maine, USA and is an educational consultant for the Maine Department of Education, USA. www.pattidrapeau.com.
Robyn Pearce Robyn Pearce, a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is the Time Queen ( plus mother of six and grandmother of 12.) She mastered her own time challenges and now helps people around the world overcome theirs. She can show you how to transform your time challenges into high productivity and the life balance you desire. Enroll for your free Top Time Tips – practical advice every two weeks and you’ll get your own free report “How to Master Time In Only 90 Seconds,” a simple yet powerful diagnostic tool to help you identify your key areas for action. You’ll find it at www.gettingagrip.com/ttt/index.asp.
Rowena Szeszeran-McEvoy Rowena Szeszeran-McEvoy has a 23-year career in the fitness industry and is now serious about the business of education. She is the director of the Australian Institute of Massage and the National College of Business, after having served as the head lecturer in both the business and fitness colleges.
Simon Evans Originally from the UK, Simon Evans has been teaching in New Zealand for the last six years. He is an avid supporter of incorporating technologies into the learning environment and the positive result it has on student motivation and achievement. www.breathetechnology.co.nz
Dr Spencer Kagan Dr Spencer Kagan is an internationally acclaimed researcher, presenter and author of over 100 books, chapters, and scientific journal articles. He is the principal author of comprehensive books in four fields: cooperative learning, multiple intelligences, classroom discipline, and classroom energisers. www.kaganonline.com
Tricia Kenyon Tricia has been involved in the field of Literacy for 17 years, firstly as a Resource Teacher:Reading, then as a Resource Teacher:Literacy. She is passionate about books and reading, and feels privileged to be in a position where she can share that passion with students, their parents, and fellow teachers.
Wendy Sweet With over 25 years in the fitness industry, Wendy’s expertise in health, wellbeing and fitness is undisputed. She brought personal training into mainstream NZ by design and developing the Les Mills Personal Training programme in the early 1990s. She lectures at the University of Waikato and delivers workplace training. Her master’s thesis focused on successful personal trainers’ strategies in changing their client’s exercise and nutrition behaviour. Reach her at email@example.com.
Yvonne Godfrey Yvonne Godfrey is a speaker and author with a passion for people. Over the last 30 years she and her husband, Simon, have built a successful business, motivated by a desire to find financial freedom for herself and others. After three decades of success, Yvonne continues to build her organisation, developing leaders in business around the world. Sharing her wisdom is her greatest passion and to date, more than 100,000 people in 20 countries have benefited from her wealth of experience. www.yvonnegodfrey.com
“Learning Talk” to bring about change Communicate clearly and make a difference.
the last issue, we introduced the concept of Learning Talk, the kinds of conversations that educators need to have – skillful and learning focused. With these important talks, we can make the changes that are necessary in education.
Inspired by David Anderson’s work and progress we’ve seen through our work in Australia, New Zealand and beyond, we’re writing a series of practical Learning Talk books to help educators and students do this. The first book, Learning Talk: Build
Understandings, is designed to build a team’s understanding and collective commitment. Below is short extract to get you started: (see page 49 for more info on the book)
Learning Talk: a critical conduit In our increasingly complex and collaborative world, all educators need to know how to skilfully navigate important, learning-focused conversations. This kind of talk we call Learning talk; it acts as a critical conduit to improving and transforming learning for all.
dr cheryl doig
The visible school leader
Set the tone, walk around, and ask questions; it’s part of engaging teachers and students.
Teachers Matter 12
Rob Fyffe, chief executive of Air New Zealand, k n o w s t h e importance of being visible. He visits staff regularly, talks to them and joins them in their work. Recently a surprised flyer tweeted that he had just been served his cup of tea by Rob. With over 10,000 staff, Rob makes this a priority because it keeps him in touch, it builds relationships and it allows him to see whether the o r g a n i s a t i o n ’s
chool leadership’s behaviour provides a powerful message to all about “what is important around here.” School leaders should be visible and engaged in the fabric of learning. This does not mean that leaders must never leave their schools or that they lurk in the corridors, playing fields or canteens. It refers to the ability to be mentally and emotionally present, to be focused on what matters most, and to consider the needs of students both now and in the future. According to Kouzes and Posner, visible leadership is about growing personal and professional skills in leadership, actively modelling these to build credibility and providing clear articulation about what is most important. It involves getting out of the administration area and into the learning areas – the face-to-face leadership that builds trust. That’s where you find out what is really happening and where you can make the greatest impact.
values are being lived in reality. The size of your school does not stop you from being visible; it’s your habits, beliefs and behaviours that do.
“ While leadership does not lay with a single person, school leaders have overall responsibility for ensuring that highquality learning happens and for keeping their finger on the learning pulse.”
Visible leadership in the educational context is clearly focused on learning. In some cases you may be the expert learner, in others it will be other staff, students, parents or wider community that are the visible “ t e a c h e r. ” W h i l e leadership does not lay with a single person, school leaders have overall responsibility for ensuring that high-quality learning happens and for keeping their finger on the learning pulse. The art of visibility is in keeping a focus on the core - learner, expert learner, content and context. Consider the
ways in which these interact and the effect this has on learning for current and future needs. Visible leaders are adaptive systems thinkers and continually grappling with the future of learning at all levels. The Horizon Report 2010: K 1-12 edition highlights some key challenges for the future of education. One of these is that “students are different, but educational practise and the materials that support it are changing only slowly.” In building your leadership visibility to cater for the changing needs of students, consider the following points: • Determine your core focus. What are the beliefs and values that drive your school? If you are working towards changing educational practices, why and how? What common beliefs do you have that will drive this direction forward? What are the underlying assumptions of these beliefs? How does research inform your practices? Develop a focus and inquire into that focus, understanding that what you study grows. For example, in his research on Visible Learning, John Hattie reports on the importance of feedback, in particular the feedback that students give their teachers. The meta-analysis in this area points to
dr cheryl doig
an effect size of .72 – a significant impact. Consider what steps you would take if your core focus included gathering systemic feedback from students and acting on it. In one scenario of a feedback focus, teachers gathered feedback from their students regarding their learning and how the class programme was meeting their needs. Teachers gathered this feedback from students in many different ways, including a plus delta chart, an online survey and oral feedback at the end of a unit of work. Those who were more confident sought feedback regularly. Susan Scott, in Fierce Leadership, refers to this as 365 feedback. It happens every day of the year rather than being a special event. Planning teams were able to discuss the feedback and share ideas on a regular basis and make changes to practice accordingly. Heads of department were visible leaders of the process, and the principal also encouraged conversation around the growth of feedback. This effectively increased the visibility of the feedback focus and modelled the teacher inquiry process. • Protect and model the core. Once you have determined your core focus, be the guardian of the cause. Be relentless in moving the organisation forward. When new ideas, strategies and tools come along, always ask whether they will help move closer to the core or take the organisation further away from its direction. Be courageous enough to abandon the things that don’t work. Build professional learning communities that focus on the teacher inquiry process, seeking to grow from what is already known; identify what you need to learn; and evaluate the effect of interventions to your core purpose. Visible leaders actively model core focus; build systems and structures that move the core forward; design professional learning and development opportunities to grow the core; and take an active role in professional learning and development related to the core. By having a clear, tight focus school, leaders are better able to avoid burn out. They do not try to be all things to all people. In this respect having a completely open door is a myth. It may sound positive, yet without controls it waters down visibility. Suddenly leaders find themselves being interrupted, moving them away from the things that
matter and taking on the work that rightly belongs with others. Visible leaders build capabilities in others by role modelling, delegating effectively and developing school systems and structures that promote self management. • Decide how you will be visible. The learning walk process is one way of being visible in learning areas (see www. thinkbeyond.co.nz for more information). Part of the learning walk process asks leaders to consider what they will look for, what they will ask students, and what they will listen for when visiting learning spaces. Regular, short, focused visits where you stop to ask students questions about their learning allows you to develop a learning picture from their perspectives. Growing your opportunities for hearing diverse student voices increases visibility, develops understanding and builds relationships; acting on their feedback is essential if credibility is to be maintained. Some key questions to ask students could be: • What do you think is important in this school? What makes you think that? • What are you learning at the moment? Why are you learning that? • W h a t h a p p e n s w h e n y o u d o n ’ t understand? How do you get help? Does that work for you? • If you could change one thing about learning in this school, what would it be? • What helps you most with learning here? What gets in the way? Choose one question to inquire into by thinking about what you want to know and why you want to know it. What will you do with the information?
deal about what your school and its leadership are all about. Consider these questions regarding the digital and online visibility of your leadership within your school: • Is our software, hardware, support, professional learning and development, and online environment aligned with the school vision for the future? • A r e l e a d e r s d e v e l o p i n g t h e i r o w n understanding of information communication technologies (ICTs) and modelling their use? • H o w d o e s o u r s c h o o l l e a d e r s h i p communicate with staff and students digitally? • Is that communication effective? How do we know? • Are the school’s ICT systems continually evolving to meet the emerging needs of students, staff and community based on their feedback? • How are we using web 2.0 to enhance learning conversations that matter? In reflecting on some of these questions, leaders can critically evaluate whether what they say and what they do are congruent in both face-to-face and digital learning environments. If the research says “students are different, but educational practice and the materials that support it are changing only slowly” perhaps we need to ask ourselves: “How will my visibility positively influence the needed changes and create new learning opportunities for students?” Let’s lead in a focused, smart and transparent way rather than getting bogged down by the irrelevant and the obsolete.
Understand the importance of technologies Greater collaboration within and between organisations, locally and globally, can be enhanced through the use of digital technologies, online environments and web 2.0 tools. The growth of your digital school presence helps to build visibility, both internally and externally, and says a great
Casting call: Enter the Habits of Mind Look for opportunities to add the Habits in starring and supporting roles.
daughter, Jessica, is an actress. She was recently cast in the starring role of Cinderella and is delighted with the opportunity to showcase her talents. Every actorâ€™s dream is to be the star of the show. However, a musical like Cinderella needs more than a leading lady. Rich productions rely on supporting leads and talented actors to make up the ensemble. Think about the Habits of Mind as actors in a play, and imagine them being cast in every lesson that is taught. Sometimes the Habit is the star of the show, and we present a direct instruction lesson where the Habit of Mind takes centre stage. The
Habit is the lesson objective. Subject area content in these lessons becomes a vehicle for developing a deep understanding of the identified Habit of Mind. The students explore definition, looks like and sounds like qualities, and application. They focus primarily on the Habit just as an audience focuses primarily on the leads. L e t â€™s c a s t L i s t e n i n g t o O t h e r s w i t h Understanding and Empathy as the star in a unit that focuses on the American Civil War and slavery. The teacher has selected this Habit of Mind for multiple roles in the unit because she wants her students to apply empathy to the diverse points of view represented by people in the North and the
South. Today, empathy will be the star of her lesson. She guides the class through a reflective process where the students are first asked to recall what the word empathy means to them. She encourages the students to use mind mapping as a vehicle to draw upon background knowledge and suggests that the students use words and pictures to unpack their thinking. After inviting students to share their ideas, the teacher directs the students to use dictionaries and thesauruses to research the meaning of the word and to compare what they discover through the resources to their own reflections. Together, the class constructs a common
“ While we may not see a character with frequency in a show, we are very much aware of the character’s contribution in the scenes where that individual plays a role. So it is with the Habits of Mind. Habits bring value added to any lesson. ”
and shared definition for this starring Habit of Mind: demonstrating sensitivity and understanding toward others. To deepen the learning, the teacher directs the students to work in trios to develop a list of descriptors for empathy. What would it look like and sound like for a person to demonstrate sensitivity and understanding toward others? After small group work time, the teacher facilitates a process for creating a classroom check list that will be used to find evidence of empathy in stories, historical figures, and human interactions. Empathy has been the star of the show in class today. The teacher has spotlighted the definition and attributes of empathy by maintaining a focus on the Habit of Mind throughout the lesson. Tomorrow, the teacher plans to cast empathy is a supporting lead. This time, empathy will share the stage with a picture book entitled The Tin Heart by Karen Ackerman. This book depicts the conflicts among families in the North over the issue of slavery. Students are asked to use the checklist for empathy developed in the starring role lesson and apply this checklist to each of the story’s main characters. Through this process, the
students discover differing points of view toward the issue of slavery and begin to understand how conflict ran deep during this painful time in American history. While empathy was not the lesson objective, this Habit of Mind was woven throughout the lesson as a tool to support understanding. Students applied their knowledge of empathy to new characters and lear ned an important historical theme: Deeply held beliefs can create divisiveness and conflict. We can apply empathy or sensitivity as we explore different points of view. Rather than rushing to judgement, we can first seek to understand and then form our own opinions. Empathy played the role of supporting lead in this lesson. In this role, the Habit was reinforced throughout the lesson to further the content objectives.
Our skilled history teacher continues to cast Empathy in the lessons that make up her unit on the American Civil War. After teaching a lesson on slavery, she draws closure by asking her students to reflect on how the characters in a picture book demonstrate empathy for the slaves in the South. While the main focus of the lesson is on making inferences from the picture book Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson, the lesson presents an opportunity to reinforce a Habit of Mind. The teacher cast Empathy in an ensemble role and in doing so, adds a layer of depth to the lesson. The Habits of Mind can and should have a role in every lesson. In a few of the lessons over the course of a school year, the Habit should be the star. Students need direct instruction in the Habits of Mind to build conceptual understanding and to practise both identifying and demonstrating each Habit. Habits will also have roles as supporting leads in lessons where they are seen throughout the lesson but in the service of content goals. Any lesson benefits from Habits cast in ensemble roles. These minor references are how habits are developed. They must be practised repeatedly and applied continually to become habitual.
Great productions require quality ensembles to build depth and provide background. Without the support of minor characters a story like Cinderella would fall flat. People need to be at the ball, mice must sew the dress, and footmen have to drive the coach. While we may not see a certain character with frequency in a show, we are very much aware of the character’s contribution in the scenes where that individual plays a role. So it is with the Habits of Mind. Habits bring value added to any lesson by reinforcing attitudes in the student or illustrating characteristics in the content.
School readiness: Helping parents decide A close look at your child – and the school – can lead to the right decision.
Is my child ready to start school?
No matter how much we want our children to be ready to start formal learning, some are not ready when our education system says it would be good. The range of school starting ages, even amongst Western countries, demonstrates the complexity of these issues. In Britain and the Netherlands, like Australia, the school starting age is five years; in Germany it is six years, and in Sweden, Nor way and Finland, children often start school at seven years. In Steiner schools they may start at the same time but for malised lear ning happens much later.
Sometimes children are considered “not ready for school.” Renwick’s 1984 research suggests that boys are more likely to “not be ready for school” than girls. This study found that boys expressed themselves less clearly and had more difficulty writing their names, recognising numbers and letters and tying their
shoelaces. Similarly, de Lemos and Mellor found that it tends to be boys who are still having difficulties in adjustment at the end of their second year of school. As a consequence, delaying the entry of more immature boys has been recommended. New Zealand, Australia and Canada have different approaches to understanding children’s learning in the early years. Essentially, educators have been helping children with issues of delayed readiness for a long time, and they are all trained to do this. The first year of schooling must honour each child’s unique needs and gifts so that they can grow to be ready to meet the demands of the more formal learning that happens in the year they turn 6. The new Australian National curriculum
has proposed to bring more formalised learning to children the year they turn 5 – hoping all children will be writing sentences (even paragraphs), doing phonetics and more early grammar. This will have a disastrous effect on children with delayed readiness. This is an educationally ridiculous decision as formalised learning too soon can turn children away from learning for life. This can have life negating influences on children as many choose to believe they are dumb and stupid instead of delayed! Starting school before a child is ready can create stress and anxiety patterns that can also last for life. There is no race and every child is different – delayed readiness does not mean you have failed as a parent. Albert Einstein was a delayed developer who was not speaking until he was 5. Parents can
oldest son couldn’t write his name when he started school, but heck Michael is a long name. He now has two degrees. My third son is a Halloween baby, 31st October, and I was concerned he may need to be held back from starting school as he was also quite small. His kindy teacher smiled when I asked her advice, “I wouldn’t hold him back as he is the social organiser for the whole kindy!” And she was so right.
help by asking early year’s educators – what areas do you think I could be strengthening before my child starts school? Parents can help strengthen so many life skills that build social and emotional competence before they start school by creating safe environments that encourage play in all its forms in as many different contexts as possible with as many different children as possible. A gifted early year’s teacher was telling me how parents often complain that she is not sending home reader books early in Year 1 (year children turn 6). She said they seem really anxious that there is something “wrong” with their child. When children do not know their sounds, they will not be able to start to read. There is a lobe in the brain that comes online sometime between 3 and 14, and this lobe enables the processing of sight and sound. If this is not switched on, a child will not be able to learn to read. Writing legibly needs other brain integration to occur, and no matter how much we want children reading and writing, it will be impossible for a child to do until he or she is ready.
skills. Children who start school with known friends are at an advantage as friendships smooth many of the early fears of starting in a new environment. In Australia, early years educators look for the following attributes when considering readiness. This is not a prescriptive guide where you tick a box; they are a guide for exploring the many possibilities that influence a child’s readiness for formalised learning that begins in the year a child turns 6. P h y s i c a l H e a l t h a n d We l l b e i n g -
“ Formalised learning too soon can turn children away from learning for life. This can have life negating influences on children as many choose to believe they are dumb and stupid instead of delayed! ”
My oldest brother had to repeat Year 1, and he went on to become an exceptional emergency doctor and many, many children with delayed readiness become clever and capable later in life. Relax, there is so much that needs to be learned in the first six years of life that we are unable to assess – and yet they are crucial to the healthy growth and development of the whole child. Early pressure and stress can impact children quite deeply and ironically impair their early learning journey. Children who have English as a second language – as well as many indigenous and recent migrant children – can be at a disadvantage in terms of readiness on some levels and yet be advanced in terms of their social competence. The Canadian and Australian early years’ indicator assessments are now able to identify community needs in terms of what children need to be ready to move into schooling as positively as possible. This means that communities will be able to address any perceived weaknesses by running additional programmes that build strengths. For example, if a community identifies that the children entering school have lower social competence than expected, the community could then fund additional play groups, group activities in local parks and run free parent seminars that help parents understand how to build social
especially fine motor skills - good health, well fed, well rested, sitting, listening skills, able to grip a pencil, turn pages in a book, build with blocks, able to toilet themselves, feed themselves, dress themselves, some degree of focus to task, blow nose, wipe bottom, wash hands Social Competence - primary need is to be able to get along with other children, cope with stress of new situations and new learning tasks, have healthy assertiveness, ability to play solo and with other children, have pro-social behaviour Emotional Maturity - some ability to self manage their emotions, be able to cope with minimal adult contact in large groups, develop friendships, able to separate from parents Language and Cognitive Skills - basic counting, follow basic directions, basic thinking skills, able to maintain attention in a group setting
maggie dent broad principles are empowerment, holistic development, family and community relationships. These principles are then br o k e n d o w n f u r t h e r i n t o s t r a n d s o f well being, belonging, contribution, communication and exploration. Both approaches are very much holistic and are not just focused on a readiness for formalised learning. Independence - For children with special needs - can they have additional support?
Another idea Maybe the question should be “Is the school ready for your child?” rather than is your child ready for school. There is a big difference in school cultures and with a positive, caring school culture, children’s transitions can make a huge difference in helping children begin school. Some children with delayed readiness can blossom with an enthusiastic, caring early year’s educator. Indeed the most significant other factor is the classroom teacher and her competence, enthusiasm and capacity to care for all the children in a safe environment. Happy, calm children always learn best – regardless of readiness. Delaying school start time is sometimes not financially possible for many families. This creates an additional challenge for some schools who children with significant delays. It is helpful if the stigma for doing two preparatory years could disappear and especially for boys – let it be OK that they spend an extra year playing in the sandpit.
Final tips for parents • Build an openness for life-long learning from birth • The more play outside with other children - and the more family experiences that build human interaction -- the better • There is no hurry
Communication Skills and General Knowledge - basic conversation skills, manners, ability to communicate needs, understanding of wider world
• Talk with your early year’s educator
In New Zealand the Te Whariki’s (NZ Early Year Childhood Education Curriculum)
• Trust your own instincts – you know your child best.
• Many delayed starters become clever; children are ready to transition to school at different times
Dr marvin marshall
Explaining the difference between internal and external motivation The butterfly can remind students of what they do have control over.
One approach used around the world is the Raise Responsibility System. Four concepts are taught at the outset. When an irresponsible behaviour occurs, the teacher asks the student to identify the chosen level from among the four concepts. If disruptions continue, the teacher elicits a procedure or consequence to prevent future irresponsible impulses. The four concepts comprise a hierarchy of social development. As with any hierarchy, there is a natural desire to reach the higher levels. The levels are explained in detail at http://www.marvinmarshall.com/rrsystem. htm and refer to two unacceptable lower levels as Level A (anarchy), Level B (bossing/ bullying) and two acceptable levels: Level C (cooperation/conformity) and Level D (democracy). The difference between the two higher acceptable levels of C and D is in the motivation — not in the behaviour. For example, if there is trash on the floor, and the teacher asks a student to pick it up and put it in the trash basket, and if the student does so, then that would be Level C motivation. If, however, the student takes the initiative to pick up and throw away the trash, the motivation would be on Level
D. In the former case, the motivation was external (from the outside); in the latter case it was internal (from the inside). In both cases the trash had been picked up. One essential part of the system is that students are constantly reflecting on their motivational choices, internal vs. external. Here is an example of how the levels can be explained to young people above the third grade. (Other examples are used for younger children.) Began by reminding students of their study in third grade of the life cycle of a butterfly. They recall that there are four stages of development: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and butterfly. Talk about how all butterflies are in some stage of this process, but have no control over their movement through the process. Move to comparing the butterfly’s life cycle to that of humans. Humans go through four basic stages as well. We call them: baby/ infant, child/youth, adolescence/teen, and adult/grown-up. Students will agree that humans, like the butterfly, have little control over stages of their physical development. Then look at the four stages of social development in which one human being and/or an entire society operate. Explain what a human and a society in anarchy would look like and how such a situation would be so hopeless. Then talk about what would likely occur to remedy the problems of an anarchy-based society. “Someone would rise up and take control, thereby becoming the boss/bully (Level B).” Look at countries around the world where these levels can be observed. Move on to looking at the level of external motivation (Level C) in a group of friends. The group works together to share control based on what they agree is their mission and that oftentimes this mission and the group control is not even discussed; it is more or less just understood among the group members. From here, lead a discussion of how blind conformity can develop and how
major problem occurs when students exhibit inappropriate behaviour during a lesson. The usual approach for a teacher is to refer to the irresponsible behaviour. This approach oftentimes leads to an escalation of anxious feelings for both the teacher and student. The reason is that anyone, regardless of age, finds it extremely difficult to separate oneself from one’s behaviour. You can prove this to yourself by reflecting on your last evaluation. Was your self-talk something like, “Well, my evaluator is not talking about me — just my job performance”? If you didn’t separate yourself from your performance, how can we expect a young person to do the same, i.e., separate the act from the actor, the deed from the doer, a good kid from an irresponsible behaviour?
this type of cooperation is not necessarily good (e.g., irresponsible behaviour egged on by peer pressure). Now look at internal motivation (Level D—how being considerate of others and cooperating for the right reasons result in a democratic society.) The discussion will lead to doing what is right because we know it is the best thing to do and is on a much higher level of development than doing what is right as a result of outside influence (Level C). Conclude by talking about how we have more control over our stage of social development than we did over our stage of physical development. The thought of being in control over something heightens interest in wanting to be motivated internally, rather than externally.
Mapping the Habits of Mind Use GPS concepts to get your students where they need to go. CALCULATING ROUTE
am driving in a new territory. I have a GPS (global positioning system). The first question it asks is my destination. The map of my route then appears. Next, would I like voice guidance? And finally, it recalculates when I am off course and tells me when I have reached my destination. Imagine if we provided a GPS for our students. Let’s walk through the steps. Naming the Destination When we introduce the Habits of Mind in our individual classrooms, we need to consider the sequence in which we introduce them. We might begin by thinking about where we would like our students to be by the end of the year. We might say that, for this developmental level, the most important habits that we would like to focus on might be listening with understanding and empathy and communicating with clarity and precision. Although we plan to introduce all of the habits to the class, these will be the ones that we focus on. We might say, by the end of this school year I would like students to: Be aware of all 16 habits • S e e t h e b e n e f i t o f l i s t e n i n g w i t h understanding and empathy and apply their best listening skills during group work
• Speak in complete sentences and use descriptive words to express themselves
• Value listening and speaking and see the benefit to the extent that they are using these habits without many reminders Now that we have named the destination, how will we get there?
Mapping the Route Curriculum mapping (Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Mapping the Big Picture, ASCD) offers a way to map a route with precision. The maps are based on a calendar year and are organised by the month. In order to benchmark progress along the way, the road signs are usually essential questions, content, skills. The milestones are the assessments. And, as with the GPS, the map is responsive to the driver’s judgment. Teachers adjust and refine their maps as they interact with their students. So, for example, “introduction to listening with understanding and empathy” might seem to be well placed at the beginning of the year. However, the teacher assesses the students’ response and feels that they need another lesson to help them to become more aware of what it means to be a good listener before developing a lesson on how to become more skillful as a listener. At this point, the teacher can “recalculate the route.” On the other hand, students have had experience with communicating with clarity. The awareness session is reconstituted so that it is focusing
“ A s t h e t e a c h e r continuously monitors and assesses the students’ use of the habits, she recalculates the route and, if necessary, makes a legal U turn.”
YOU HAVE ARRIVED
on becoming more skillful. As the year progresses, alongside the content of the units of study that the teacher has mapped, the habits serve as a driver for more thoughtful work. As the teacher continuously monitors and assesses the students’ use of the habits, she recalculates the route and, if necessary, makes a legal U turn.
reminders, then students need to become self-assessing. They are participants in the journey and can keep track of their progress. In many classrooms, students maintain a map as well as the teacher. They respond to the essential questions right in the map; they are able to assess and obser ve their As with a long trip, the own progress; they can reflect WHEN POSSIBLE drivers may change. alongside the data entries for MAKE LEGAL Imagine if the driver the habits regarding how the U TURN of curriculum might habits have or have not affected change from the their learning. Finally, in order teacher to the student. to get more feedback about the route being Suppose that the student has found an taken, students provide feedback to one intriguing new direction to get to the same another. They do shared assessments in destination. Suppose that, as the student which they observe the habits they have becomes more skillful at questioning and been applying to their learning. They posing problems, the journey is extended. problem solve in terms of what might have Suppose that the teacher, on the basis of worked better. They become a group voice new current events, finds that she must in the classroom. think more flexibly about the best route to take. Each of these suppositions is Although the voice guidance is enormously addressed through a revision of the original helpful, the external voice shifts to an map. Curriculum mapping distinguishes inner voice in which you no longer need between the projected map (that which guidance to know where you are going. describes the route to the destination before Your inner compass directs your actions the trip) and a diary map (a documentation and responses. As a result, you can more of the actual trip that has been taken). readily observe the environment, perhaps even stopping with wonderment and awe Voice Guidance as you see the sun setting in the distance. In this analogy, the question of voice So it is with students who are using their guidance is an interesting one. Multiple well-developed habits of mind to serve as voices need to be heard to be certain an inner compass to direct their learning. that the route is on track. One important They have, in fact, become so confident and clear voice is the teacher’s. Teachers about the route that they are taking that need to make certain that they are they can observe the external environment modelling the habits, providing rich more closely. They may even find a shortcut experiences so that the habits can be to their work as they apply past knowledge practised, provide feedback about how to new situations. Perhaps they are more students are progressing, and monitoring alert to gathering data through all senses. and adjusting classroom practices based In other words, they have achieved such on their observations. Another equally independence that they are able to create, significant voice is the student’s. If the innovate, and become more imaginative in habits are to become internalised, so well their journey of learning. practised that they are used without many
You have arrived It is really affirming when the GPS voice system finally recognises that you have arrived at your destination. Similarly, students thrive on recognition of their accomplishments. If they have been partners in your road map and they know what your destination was, they can celebrate their successes and set goals for next year. They can even provide some guidance for next year’s teacher. In addition, the curriculum map can go on to next year’s teacher so that there is continuity from year to year. Global Position System Now notice, the GPS is not merely interested in the narrowly defined destination. It sees the destination in the context of the globe — the broader context. Curriculum mapping requires the same. When mapping you move from the individual classroom to the building to the entire system and, with a sophisticated software system, you can be connected to other teachers who are mapping all over the globe. The value of this is that teachers are able to share their practices, make certain that they are providing the richest opportunities for student learning and that they are practising their own habits — thinking flexibly, creating, imagining, innovating, and remaining open to continuous learning. The hope is that they will be building a more thoughtful world for their students.
Slip, Slop, Slap – teaching philanthropy Three words can lead to a fulfilling life.
hen we ran our Youth Mastermind programmes for teens in the early 1990s, we assisted young people in developing SOG Esteem:
Others’ esteem is to believe in those around you, looking for their talents and helping them grow their abilities in order for their self-esteem to flourish.
Self Esteem – belief in Self
And the Earth is slowly turning
Others Esteem – belief in Others
Saying “Find your own self-worth”
Global Esteem – belief we can make a positive contribution to the Globe
It’s our choice the way we’re living
This can be some local inner place inside your own brain or heart. Take a moment or 30 minutes each day to calm yourself, to think appreciative thoughts and to breathe deeply. Take three minutes each morning and afternoon to help a class of students discover silence and calm. Do a list at the end of a day of all the things you should be appreciative of in your life.
We wanted our young folk to believe in themself and not live life blaming others. It’s My Choice was a song we wrote for the course participants: It’s my choice, the way I’m thinking The way I am acting, who I am I can choose to live with power
Our giving to this Earth For through believing, we have power To contribute through our love For our choices all combine To create our view of life And the choice we really need right now Is to choose to be alive...
Or I can always just blame them My mother, brother, father, sister Teacher, so called friends I can choose to blame all others Or accept that it’s my choice For my dreams, my visions My actions and my plans
“ We w a n t e d o u r young folk to believe in themself and not live life blaming others.”
When someone else does well To celebrate the journey And to learn from them myself It’s a choice that I choose gladly For in giving I receive This choice of celebration Is a chance to show our World It’s up to all; it’s up to me I believe, I believe, I believe
SLIP can also be about making some positive contribution to someone or something that is geographically close to you. It might be to help a family member or a neighbour. It might be that students from the local school visit older folk in their community and do a good deed. It might be your school putting on a talent show for a local aged community. It might sound a tad old- fashioned but good deeds plant good seeds.
Help students meet Phil Phil Anthropy.
And global esteem is about making a contribution to the planet, in small ways or big, reaching out to the wider world and believing in the ripples that spread.
Philanthropy is the effort or inclination to increase the wellbeing of human kind, as by charitable aid or donations. Some of the noted philanthropists have been entrepreneurs like Andrew Carnegie in the 19th century and Bill and Melinda Gates today. Carnegie used his wealth from the steel industry to build libraries for communities. The Gates Foundation tackles many of the world’s health problems. Have your students study Phil.
The old Slip, Slop and Slap advertising campaign in Australia aimed at helping people remember to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun by slipping on a t-shirt, slopping on some sunscreen and slapping on a hat. As well as harmful rays, the new Slip, Slop and Slap can protect our “SOG Esteem” from harmful ways that could develop when our mental state threatens to crumble.
These big acts of philanthropy are wonderful but we should not see philanthropy as just big acts on big problems. Sometimes the best stuff you can do is to contribute to Some Local Inner Place (SLIP). Have a look at the Inner Circles of your life – your family, friends, neighbours, or community events and do some tiny little act of goodness for someone or something.
To have self esteem is to believe in the unique you. Yes, it’s my choice to say “good on you”
SLIP is to make a worthwhile contribution to Some Local Inner Place.
SLOP Beyond the SLIP is the SLOP – Some Local Other Place.
By contributing to some project beyond your own local area, you extend your reach of humanity and empathy. We all know our own place, but to stretch to someone else’s neck of the woods is to learn about a curve of the globe you might not ever encounter normally. Through the CO-ID (Co-operative International Development) Group and the wonderful initiative of Fred Hyde, my wife Lindy and I have funded the building of a school on Bhola Island in the south of Bangladesh. Financially this is one of the poorest areas of the planet and without COID there would be no schools. Each year we continue to fund the education of 300 girls and boys in our school, and through this we have developed an interest in a part of the globe we previously knew little about. There are bucket loads of worthy possibilities for individuals, classes or schools to contribute to, from sponsoring a child to building a school. Think of the things that can assist a distant place and help educate us in the ways of others.
SLAP The SLIP and SLOP of contributing helps to develop our own SLAP – Some Loving Attitudinal Position. Through contributing to the globe and others we somehow build our self-esteem and the capacity to enjoy and appreciate learning and life. Slip, Slop and Slap really becomes a self-sustaining cycle. Author Gloria Steinem once said she felt she was doing so much for big causes on a worldly scale that she forgot to care for those close to her. Songwriter Phoebe Snow lamented in The Altruist and the Needy Person that her partner was out banner waving for every cause on the planet but had nothing left for her.
SOG Esteem is sustaining yourself and your personal worthiness, and the worthiness of your students, so you can continue to make a positive contribution to others and Earth through your own sustainable energy. Slip, Slop and Slap equals the philanthropy of SOG Esteem.
Sometimes folk make contributions to the planet in order to fill some void, some hole in their soul deep inside. They give and they give until they drop. This is not fully smart, and it is not fully SOG Esteem.
dr spencer kagan
Creating win-win discipline
Figure out what your students need and you both will win in the classroom.
in-win discipline is an effective approach to classroom discipline. It is designed to handle discipline problems at the moment of the disruption with powerful and proven discipline strategies, but more importantly, it targets the root of discipline problems—students’ unfulfilled needs. Let me clarify: Students have basic needs. We all do! There are three probable ways these basic needs play out in the classroom: 1) students’ needs are being met and they are not posing a discipline problem; 2) students’ needs are not being met, but they are handling their needs in a mature and responsible way; or 3) students’ needs are not being met and they act out and become a discipline problem. For the undisciplined student, unmet needs can manifest themselves in a plethora of discipline problems. You know all too well what I’m talking about: You’ve got the energetic student bouncing off the walls; the bored student writing notes or doodling away; the failure- or embarrassmentavoiding student refusing to participate; the prototypical class clown fishing for attention; and the anger-venting student verbally or physically abusing others. When we meet students’ needs or give them respectful and responsible strategies for dealing with their unmet needs, disruptive behaviours drop away. Students win. They get their needs met or learn how to deal with their needs. And we win. We get to focus on teaching and provide for our students a safe and productive learning environment, without disruptions. It’s a win-win proposition, thus the name, “Win-Win Discipline.”
Positions How do we get to this Win-Win outcome? At essence it is simple. Win-Win Discipline is based on the concept of “Positions.” Almost every disruption springs from an attempt to meet needs associated with one of seven positions.
Positions are where a student is coming from. For example, the student who is constantly asking questions, clowning around, has something to add to everyone else’s comment, makes weird noises, blurts out, dresses loudly, and so on, is almost certainly seeking attention. Attention Seeking is one the seven positions identified in Win-Win Discipline.
The Seven Positions 1. Attention Seeking 2. Avoiding Embarrassment 3. Anger Venting 4. Control Seeking 5. Energetic 6. Bored 7. Uninformed Once we see disruptive behaviour as merely an attempt to meet the needs associated with a position, our job as a teacher becomes clear. The student needs to learn non-disruptive ways to meet those needs. When that happens the student wins (gets needs met without becoming a discipline problem; learns responsible behaviour for life) and we, and the rest of the class, win (are part of a smooth running, productive learning community). As Win-Win teachers, we always accept a student’s position. Positions are part of the universal human conditions. All of us at one time or another has: • needed some extra attention, • attempted to avoid embarrassment, • needed to express our anger, • not wanted to be told what to do, • been too “antsy” to sit still, • been uninterested in something, • or just did not know the rules of the game.
“ Win-win discipline is based on the concept of “Positions.” Almost ever y disruption springs from an attempt to meet needs associated with one of seven positions.” There is nothing wrong with being in a position. The question is what we do when we are in a position. Do we have mature, responsible ways of dealing with the needs of the position, or are we disruptive to others? If we do not have mature ways to deal with those needs, we need to learn them. Win-Win Discipline makes discipline part of what we as teachers do best — it makes the discipline process a teaching/learning process.
Knowing Positions Critical Knowing student positions is critical to implementing a successful discipline programme. Let’s take an example of how knowing the student position is essential in responding effectively to a student who is being disruptive: — Mrs Johnson has just announced the homework assignment: Problems 1 through 20 at the back of the chapter in the text. As soon as the assignment is announced, Jack in the back of the class stands up, slams his book on the floor, and yells, “I’m not going to do those stupid problems, and you can’t make me.” — A discipline problem has occurred. Any student behaviour that disrupts the learning process is a discipline problem. — Mrs Johnson assumes Jack is in the position of seeking control. She responds accordingly, helping Jack see that doing the problems in no way limits Jack’s control.
dr spencer kagan Mrs Johnson says, “Jack, it is your choice. I cannot make you do those problems. Doing the problems or not doing the problems is entirely up to you. Certainly I could not follow you home and force you to do your homework. Homework is always under your control. If you do the problems you will earn the homework points, if not, you won’t. It is always your choice to do or not to do the homework; you are in control.” — Now, if Mrs Johnson is correct in her assumption that Jack is disruptive because h e i s s e e k i n g c o n t r o l , M r s J o h n s o n ’s discipline response is perfectly appropriate and in the long run will be effective. Mrs Johnson has helped Jack meet his need for control and to see that he does not have to be disruptive to feel in control. Jack will probably test some, but over time with the help of Mrs Johnson’s approach, Jack will realise that he does not have to refuse to do the homework to have a sense of control. — Let’s assume, however, that Mrs Johnson is wrong about Jack’s position. Let’s assume that Jack was not seeking control at all, but rather was avoiding embarrassment. Jack feels that if he does the homework he is likely to fail, and he does not want to feel the pain of public embarrassment. So Jack is refusing to do the assignment. But even Jack does not fully understand his own motivation; he is acting out of fear, but could not verbalise that it is a fear of public embarrassment. Unconsciously Jack knows it is far less painful to say, “I won’t” do the assignment than “I’m afraid” to do the assignment. Jack does not admit the fear to himself. He is convinced he simply does not want to do the assignment. He is not just fooling others; he is fooling himself. — Now, if Mrs Johnson does not understand Jack’s position, her discipline response will be ineffective. If she thinks his position is one of seeking control rather than avoiding embarrassment, she will emphasise that the choice is up to Jack to do or not do the assignment. Not having related to the fear of failure and embarrassment, that need goes unmet, and Jack simply chooses not to do the assignment. Telling a student who fears failure and embarrassment that he/she can choose not to do the problems will almost certainly lead to the student simply choosing not to do the problems! Mrs Johnson’s discipline response fails because it does not recognise the position of the student. Efficient discipline responses occur only when they correctly identify and respond to the position of the disruptive student.
— If Mrs Johnson correctly identifies Jack’s position as Avoiding Embarrassment, she will respond accordingly, saying something like, “Jack, I would like to meet with you privately. When they meet, Mrs Johnson would provide some coaching on the problems, reassure Jack that performance feedback will be private, and in some way ensure that Jack sees that he can do the assignment successfully. Mrs Johnson might provide more guided practice before moving to independent practice, perhaps using a cooperative learning structure like Team-PairSolo in which students practise first as a team, then as a pair, before taking on the problems on their own. Having related to the needs associated with Jack’s position, Mrs Johnson’s discipline response has a high probability of success. Notice the same disruptive behaviour (refusing to do an assignment) can spring from very different student positions. Thus a discipline programme that responds only to the disruptive behaviour and not the underlying student position will have a hitand-miss success rate. For consistent success, a discipline programme must identify and respond to the position of disruptive students. This is why Win-Win Discipline emphasises identification of student positions. Win-Win Discipline provides differentiated strategies to respond to different student positions.
The 5 P’s of Win-Win Discipline Knowing and appropriately responding to the position of a student is a critical component of Win-Win Discipline. But the programme itself goes far beyond effective responses in the moment of disruption. Central to the programme are preventive procedures and Win-Win programmes that make discipline problems far less likely. Most of the important components of the Win-Win discipline are symbolised by 5 P’s, as follows: The 5 P’s of Win-Win Discipline 1. Pillars (Philosophy) 2. Procedures (Ounces of prevention) 3. Positions (Places students are) 4. Process (Strategies for the moment of disruption and follow-ups) 5. Programmes (Pounds of Prevention)
Pillars In a nutshell, the three Pillars of Win-Win constitute its philosophy and goals. The three pillars are Same Side, Shared Responsibility, and Learned Responsibility. The Win-Win teacher teams up with the disruptive student, to help the student learn more responsible ways to meet the needs associated with his/her position. Learned Responsibility is the goal of Win-Win Discipline, and it is reached through a process as the teacher places him/herself on the Same Side with the student, and Shares Responsibility for co-creating the win-win solution. Procedures Win-Win has identified scores or procedures which, when used on a regular basis, prevent discipline problems. For example, if a teacher greets students at the door and recognises their effort in special ways, their need for attention is met and they do not have to become disruptive to meet that need. There are many procedures to meet the needs of every position. We think of these as ounces of prevention. Positions We always accept the student position; we do not accept disruptive behaviours. We teach students non-disruptive, mature, responsible ways to meet the needs associated with each of the seven positions. Process When there is a disruption, the Win-Win teacher responds with a four-step process: Identifying the behaviour; identifying the position; responding in the moment of disruption with a carefully selected Win-Win Structure to match the behaviour and the position, and, finally, structuring a Win-Win Follow-up to ensure the three Pillars are in place. Programmes Beyond the procedures and the process, the Win-Win teacher may choose WinWin programmes. If procedures are an ounce of prevention, programmes are a pound of prevention! For example, greeting students at the door is a procedure, adopting a school-wide or yearlong character development approach is a programme. Win-Win identifies programmes that prevent discipline problems. For example, engaging instruction like cooperative learning and/ or multiple intelligences reduce discipline problems dramatically, because an engaged student is seldom a disruptive student.
Double the bang in instruction
ne way of strengthening curriculum deliver y is to look for overlap between proven practices, such as the overlap between Multiple Intelligences and Marzano’s research-based instructional strategies. A segment from a lesson on coastal shipping in the 1950s demonstrates this. The lesson started with a question. “How do you think coastal ships discharged their cargoes before containers came into use?” Marzano’s research tells us that asking such a question causes the student to search for and activate past knowledge. The importance of this is that new learning requires some connection with what is already stored in the brain. There is also a second reason for asking the question. Student past knowledge may not be correct. Recent New Zealand research shows that students will have at least some misinformation or misconceptions, too. These misconceptions tend to be persistent despite new knowledge. They need to be explicitly exposed so that they can be consciously eradicated. Providing answers to this initial question may best be done by using cooperative groups. Marzano’s analysis of the research shows that organizing students in cooperative groups has a powerful effect on overall learning. There is also the practical side that the number of answers is reduced thus making recording more manageable. Cooperative grouping invokes interpersonal intelligence – the managing of relationships with others, which here is interdependent thinking. These relationship skills must be made specific by the teacher. First is good thinking practice, which requires analysis, synthesis and the creation of a conclusion. This is the core process. Second, individual ego is replaced by a desire for enhancing the group, thus team work is emphasised. Finally a collective politeness is developed
to engender collegiality that is not fractured when different ideas are put forward.
Processing the information These group answers are then displayed for the class on the whiteboard in a column with half the space kept for a later column, and thus become part of the lesson scaffold. This second column will be revisited later. Intrapersonal intelligence, the person’s capabilities and capacities, becomes important. This intelligence has already become activated in the group work. However, right now the focus is on the other intelligences and how many of them can be used in order to provide an entry point into the learning for the students as individuals. Initially, verbal linguistic intelligence is engaged as the answers are spoken and written. If the columns have been set up in graphic form, visual spatial is also present even if only to a limited extent. Visual spatial could be further emphasised by using a simple drawing or design to highlight all, or particular items. For teachers who are visual spatially challenged like me, the drawing could simply be a ball, perhaps coloured to give extra intensity, allied to the comment, “You’ve given the ball a good hard kick with that answer.” This comment with the allusion to kicking perhaps enables those students with a highly developed bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence to also engage. For those of you who think this is pushing the use of other than verbal linguistic intelligence, I assure you it is not. However tenuous, the match will have some positive impact. Later as the teacher’s personal capabilities and capacities grow (their intrapersonal intelligence) from actually doing it, a much bigger match can be developed as in the kinaesthetic match beneath.
Combining proven practices in your classroom can lead to greater learning.
Throughout the unit the teacher has to keep the students engaged so that they actively process the information. This is not easy if a one-dimensional approach is used, as students’ capabilities and capacities differ so much. While each student will have all eight intelligences, each of these intelligences will be possessed in differing amounts, in different intensities and in different blends. The match between each student and one or more of their intelligence strengths gives the entry point for the student to enter and engage with the learning. This use of different intelligences must not be just done willy nilly. The use of an intelligence not directly related to the subject matter, the learning, will not serve as an entry point because it will not have relevance. A clear example of this relevance is shown in the use of bodily kinaesthetic to teach the sequence of events in unloading the cargo. The classroom was deemed to be an imaginary wharf with the boat unloading at it. By the door was the hold, next to that was the wharf, and beyond that at the other side of the classroom the storage shed. Several students were deemed to be the gang down in the hold. Their job was to fill the sling with the bags of imaginary flour which was the cargo. Two were designated the winch crew. One was the operator who moved the levers to raise and lower the sling. The other was the assistant who could look down into the hold and signalled when to raise the sling and when to stop lowering it. The trolley crew were lined up on the wharf waiting to load their trolleys with bags of “flour” and push them to the storage shed.
“ The research here indicates that identifying similarities and differences enhances understanding and therefore the ability to use the knowledge.”
Finally the shed crew were assembled to work in pairs unloading the “flour” and lifting it onto the stack in the shed. Once this was all organised the groups acted out the unloading procedure. Clearly this was aligning kinaesthetic intelligence closely with what was to be learned. Following this the students made notes of the unloading process. Marzano’s analysis of the research on note-taking emphasises the importance notes have in test preparation. However, because working memory does not have enough space to both record into notes, and synthesize the incoming information at the same time, without the separation of these activities, thinking time is downgraded into confusion and lack of precision. Therefore the note making is done as a separate activity following on from the instructional sequence, using a teacher-prepared outline designed to include the points which the teacher saw as important. (Example one). Ultimately this teacher-prepared outline will not be needed once this ritual is established.
Example one 1.
the subtopics indented to distinguish them from the main ideas. Finally the details are attached to the subtopics and are further indented. Thus in the test-preparation stage, provision is made for new information to be progressively anchored in the past knowledge of the brain. From a multiple intelligence point of view this structure means that there is logic about the way the notes are organised which links to mathematical-logical intelligence. The indenting gives a shape which means that visual spatial is also involved. Whether the outline only is given or the students have to write their own words, language is involved and that means activating verbal linguistic intelligence. Finally the act of writing is movement and therefore kinaesthetic; the intelligence of movement is there, too. The final act here is for the teacher to display their notes (Example two) and have the students check that they have the points in their versions. In a minor way, this is using another of Marzano’s nine, this time identifying similarities and differences.
……………………………………………… a. ………………………………… i. ………………. b. ……………………………….. i. ……………… ii. ………………. c. ………………………………… iii. ………………. iv. ……………… d. ………………………………….
The way in which the notes above are set out deliberately targets test preparation. The main ideas are learned first, therefore are distinguished to the left. They then become the information on which to attach
Example two 1.
In this unit the bigger picture was to identify differences between the 1950s and the present. By the use of analogy, the similarities and differences can be used to link the two stages, as the diagram shows.
was to Thus the sling (1. a. i.) in the notes becomes: “The sling was to the coaster as the container is to the present.” The final act is to revisit that original column on the board and to dispose of the information that was proved to be incorrect. While the teacher going through with the whole class and simply listing where there are similarities and differences with different colours will invoke both verbal linguistic and, because of the colour visual spatial intelligence is possibly sufficient to erase the original misinformation, the more action there is on the part of students the more the chance of success. Therefore one way of invoking another entry point, kinaesthetic, is for each student to copy on a slip of paper the wrong information and then screw it up and dispose of it in the rubbish tin, thus both physically and symbolically erasing the erroneous.
Unloading the Cargo a. Gang in hold i. load the sling with flour bags b. Winch operator and assistant i. lifts the sling ii. when emptied returns it to the hold for the next load a. The barrow crew on the wharf
The above indicates the scope for intertwining multiple intelligences and the research that Marzano has teased out as that providing i. load the flour bags onto their optimum classroom trolleys performance. However, ii. wheel them into the wharf shed a. Crew in wharf shed stack the flour bags into it is merely a starter. pile Teachers worth their salt will use their own ability to imagine, The research here indicates that identifying create and innovate beyond what is suggested similarities and differences enhances here. Go for it! understanding and therefore the ability to use the knowledge.
Teachers Resources & Lessons
Think of the best things about you. Which Habits of Mind are you really good at applying to problems which are hard to solve. Are you really persistent? Or perhaps you are accurate and precise. Imagine you could put your best qualities inside a jar and sell it to others who need to experience more success in their lives.
by Adrian Rennie
Thinking About Thinking: Metacognition Be aware of the good things inside of you. What quality thinking happens inside your brain. Are you aware of it when it happens?
It might look something like this: Questioning And Problem Posing Ask yourself which Habit of Mind is your best. Ask yourself what it is you do that makes you so successful at it. Ask yourself how could you set out your bottle page so that people would want to buy it?
Stick to it juice, keep going berries, don’t give up sugar, wham the job preservatives, hardly ever stop jelly.
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Do you need some stickability? Give up when it gets hard? Hardly ever finish things? Would you like to wham every problem that comes along? Need to turn that frustrated feeling into persistence?
is for you. A spoon full a day will keep failure away.
Teachers Resources & Lessons
_________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________
by Adrian Rennie
_______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ ÂŠA.Rennie 2010
Happily incompatible! Keeping the home fires burning is possible when you remember these four types and what they need.
saw on the front cover of a magazine, “Un-ambitious husbands, ambitious wives!” In the article, the women were bemoaning the fact that they had married men who lacked drive, direction, and focus. Most nights they would arrive home to see them blended into the furniture, with the remote in their hand. At first, when they were smitten in love, they thought it cute, but over time this position started to get their “goat.” These wives agreed that most often the first comment they greeted them with was, “What have you done today?” Big mistake! These partners want to be known for who they are, not for what they do. They also have to recharge their batteries by doing “nothing” at the end of the day. “Nothing” is not on the radar of those other types: They get home only to get involved in another project. They are the “Doers.” Herein lies the problem: Powerfuls want to be known as a Human Machine, the Peacefuls want to be known as a Human Being! The “Doer” types need to have a “grounded, salt of the earth, easy-going, laid back type” to de stress and bring harmony into their lives to make them more balanced, and equally the Watcher, cruiser types need to have those “gung ho” types bring activity into their world to complete them. Opposites attract. We need each other. My husband and I couldn’t be more different, but understanding how we both see the world helps us better relate.
The proof is in the pudding: We’ve been together for 40 years.
We agree, “Different but not wrong, just different!” Respecting our differences creates harmony. Most often we are attracted to an opposite. Fascinated first, but then over time we can feel frustrated with that opposite, if we don’t see their value.
Over the last 20-plus years I have observed it’s not uncommon for people to have more than one long-term relationship. It’s often because we don’t have the tools to work or understand that different personality type we married, so we go looking for our own kind, which seemingly looks easier at the time! However, that decision comes with its own issues, as you have to work as hard or even harder: Playful that chooses another Playful. Oh there is a lot of fun, parties, socialising and activities, but we have to ask, who does the cleaning, sorting, and running the finances in the relationship? Powerful that chooses another Powerful. These are types that have to be in-charge, so a lot of head butting and trying to take charge would be in this high- octane relationship. Precise that chooses another Precise. These two would be constantly trying to improve on everything and would not celebrate anything, until it was perfect, resulting in an environment that isn’t much fun. A Peaceful type with another Peaceful. Can you hear the conversations at night? “Honey, what would you like to do tonight?” “Oh I don’t know, you choose.” “No, you choose!”
“ Over the last 20plus years I have o b s e r v e d i t ’s not uncommon for people to have more than one long-term relationship. It’s often because we don’t have the tools to work or understand that different personality type we married” Instead of leaving for your type, try giving your partner what he or she needs. This is a great way to keep relationships buoyant: The Playful need attention, affection, and approval. The Powerful need credit and appreciation for all that they do. They require loyalty.
The vacillation would drive anyone nuts. Aaarrrhhhh!
The Precise need sensitivity, space, silence and support.
Yes, these types would “get each other,” but there definitely would be some strong dynamics and frustration.
The Peaceful need respect and value. This is what will get each type out of bed ready to greet the day feeling valued and special. Let’s keep the home fires burning so we are charged, motivated and inspired to find the potential in others and bring it out in them.
Be the community kind Encourage your students to become positive contributors to society.
ommy Swengo was a refugee from Somalia who escaped appalling conditions to come to Australia. The values in his refugee camp were to lie, steal and be violent just so you could survive. Tommy hadn’t long been in Australia when he had an interesting experience on a shopping trip with his mother. As he walked through the shopping centre, he found a brown paper bag. When he opened, it he found $13,000 in cash, a fortune for a recent refugee. Imagine all the things he could buy! Tommy handed the money in to police, and the rightful owner was found. There was all sorts of media coverage, and Tommy became a minor celebrity. A journalist a s k e d To m m y, “What made y o u
hand the money in?” Tommy replied, “A voice in my head told me it was the right thing to do.” The “voice in my head” is a great metaphor for what positive values are all about: embedded thoughts that guide us toward positive actions. “Doing the right thing” is what being “the community kind” is all about. As educators we have the great opportunity to help our students develop both philosophies. Encouraging responsible behaviour When we were developing the six kinds of best concept, we actually played with the idea of having a seventh kind of best “The responsible kind.” After much discussion, we decided that behaving responsibly was part of being a positive member of the community. So, a key part of being “the community kind” lies in
b e h a v i n g r e s p o n s i b l y. We n e e d t o continually reinforce the fact that to have a positive community, everyone needs to behave responsibly, respect authority figures (teachers, umpires, police), follow rules, and be honest. And we have to do this in a way that doesn’t sound like rhetoric to our students. Moving from “knowing good to doing good” Getting students to behave responsibly has always been a great challenge for educators, especially in recent years. The trick lies in moving students from “knowing good to doing good.” You can’t just tell students what they should do and then expect that they’ll do it, and having a poster on the wall won’t change their behaviour. To explain how we can encourage good behaviour, I have developed what I call the “Seven phases of values development.” This outlines a process that students need to go through before
“ A key part of being ‘the community kind’ lies in behaving responsibly.”
positive values are embedded. The seven phases are: 1. Awareness – students become aware of what the value is (but don’t know why it is good to have this value) 2. Discovery – students discover the benefits of applying this value 3. Desire – (the crucial phase) – students actually want to display the value 4. Knowledge – students are taught how to display the value 5. Skills – students are given the opportunity to display the value in real-life situations 6. Consolidation – good values are reinforced in context, i.e. “catch ‘em being good” 7. Habit – the student displays the habit most of the time We are more likely to get positive behaviour if we have strategies in place for each of the seven phases. Making a contribution – a basic need of humans Many years ago I read First Things First by Stephen Covey and loved his spin on the basic needs of humans. He talks about the four basic needs as being physical (food, clothing, shelter), mental (learning, stimulation, resilience), social (to love, be loved) and spiritual (identity, purpose, contribution). In my work with students who are not coping well with school and life, I often find that it is the spiritual need that is lacking. Being “the community kind” helps us fulfill this spiritual need. For example, being involved in a community project helps shape our identity, gives us purpose and allows us to make a contribution. So, by encouraging our students to be the community kind, we are in fact helping them fulfill their basic needs.
Learning heroes Using “learning heroes” as role models is a great way to teach values. There are some great examples in history of people who have demonstrated what it means to be “the community kind.” These include Mahatma Gandhi with his message of peace, Nelson Mandela with his push for equality and freedom, and Mother Theresa with her care, compassion and fight against poverty. All three are good role models, but perhaps many of our students wouldn’t see themselves making the same self-sacrifices. For this reason, I believe it is also useful to use examples of people who have led relatively normal lives, but have still made a great contribution. For example, Fiona Stanley in health and Fiona Woods in medicine. Perhaps you have some local heroes. I have heard great success stories of students who have been inspired by local heroes who were guest speakers. Inspirational people can help our students in the “desire” phase of values development. Busy, but happy I once read that Buddhists consider usefulness to be a key factor for happiness, and given Covey’s thoughts on the spiritual side of our basic needs, I agree. My favourite response when people ask me “How are you?” is “I’m busy, but happy!” People generally laugh and say, “Well that’s the main thing, isn’t it?”
Key pointers How to encourage your students to think positively and achieve their potential. Encourage your students to: 6.1 Behave responsibly 6.2 Respect authority 6.3 Follow rules 6.4 Be honest and seek the truth 6.5 Show integrity - develop a sense of what’s morally and ethically right, and act that way 6.6 Be useful 6.7 Get involved in the community 6.8 Strive for justice and a “fair go” for all 6.9 Share with and care for those in need 6.10 Support reconciliation 6.11 Contribute to research 6.12 Support freedom 6.13 Strive for peace Download free “Be the community kind” lesson plans at www.sixkindsofbest.com.
Seven ways to teach children to ‘be the achieving kind’ 1. Teach children the “Six kinds of best” affirmation so they internalize the core values. 2. Articulate what “being the community kind” means. See the key pointers. Put up a poster to remind students. 3. Teach lessons on the key pointers from the Values Education Toolkit books. Free downloads available at www.sixkindsofbest.com.
david koutsoukis 4. Use “Six kinds of best” language. For example, if someone is doing the “right thing” or making a positive contribution, say things like, “Thanks Brian, that’s being the community kind.” 5. Catch children acting responsibly or being community oriented. Give them an “I am the community kind” sticker or certificate. Better still, get children to praise each other when they see examples of other children being the community kind. 6. Use an individual or class progress chart to reinforce positive examples of good behaviour or contribution. 7. Create a “Be the community kind” class display.
Ten simple things you can do to encourage your students to be positive contributors to society 1. Organise a money chain to raise money for refugees 2. Do a concert for an old people’s home 3. Have a change jar with all money going to cancer research 4.Have a fundraising project to support a community event such as a telethon 5. Invite a guest speaker from a community service club such as Rotary or Lions
Give your children “Six kinds of best” This article is the sixth in a series of six articles based on the “Six kinds of best” concept. The concept provides a simple framework to help teachers and parents articulate what good values are, and gives students sign posts to point them in the right direction when they get to “crossroad” moments in their lives, times when they need to make important decisions. By teaching the “Six kinds of best,” we are giving our children a simple, consistent and meaningful message that will help them remember what they need to do in order to become happy and successful individuals. The “Six kinds of best” are: 1. Be kind to yourself
6. Write a song about peace
2. Be kind to others
7.Celebrate “Sorry day” or other reconciliation event
3. Be kind to the environment
8. Adopt an older person (visit nursing homes)
5. Be the achieving kind
9. Do a project on local heroes
4. Be the learning kind
6. Be the community kind
10.Have a class citizenship (community kind) award
Values education toolkit resources By David Koutsoukis
Book 1: ages 4 -6yrs Book 2: ages 6 -8yrs Book 3: ages 8 -10yrs Book 4: ages 10-12yrs Book 5: ages 13-15yrs -
RIC-2773 - ISBN 9781741263565 RIC-2774 - ISBN 9781741263749 RIC-2775 - ISBN 9781741263756 RIC-2776 - ISBN 9781741263763 RIC-2777 - ISBN 9781741263770
Teacher resource books including values framework, explanatory notes, lesson plans, blackline masters, certificates and many other great ideas for teaching values. RIC-7065 ISBN (set of six posters) $49.95 Set9321862008074 of 6 Posters (A2 size) $52.00
Available from Spectrum Education www.spectrumeducation.com
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Teachers Matter Yvonne Godfrey
Living with your adult child
How to make it work when you’re under the same roof.
’ll bet you never thought in your wildest bad dream that you would still have your 30- year-old living at home. Did she leave home vowing to never come back but did anyway – or did she just never leave? Did she get involved with the wrong bloke, have his child and then return with grandchild in tow? Did he get into debt, lose his job and had nowhere to turn? Then there is the university student who will be at home for the next four or more years. I can show you families living all of these scenarios. In many cultures, generations of families living in the same home are commonplace. It works really well. But does it work for you? For some it does, but for others it becomes a nightmare of failed compromises and resentments on both sides. In our family, we have shared with our adult children with mixed success. Where we were clear on the boundaries, it worked, and where we drifted into a situation with fuzzy expectations, it didn’t. Start with the end in mind. If it is a temporary arrangement, establish the time frame to allow the young adult to plan his or her future properly. Let’s look at some principles to make it work well: What has to change from the old regime? The relationship gains an additional dimension now that you are flatmates as well as parent and child. However, from a practical living standpoint, the flatmate relationship now becomes number one. You are also both adults, so the child part of the equation is now a bit of a mute point and you become respectful friends. What are you doing for him that a flatmate wouldn’t? The relationship needs to change from Mum, Dad and little Billy to Mum, Dad and Bill as
flatmates. What are you doing for Bill that a flatmate wouldn’t? Many mothers find it difficult to change their thinking. A woman may feel that she is not a good mother if she insists on Bill doing his ironing and cooking a meal. On Miomo (my programme to equip young people for adult life), I challenge the mothers of my students to stop changing the sheets on their boys’ beds and performing other servant behaviour (it doesn’t usually happen for their daughters). Paying board or rent – how much? Adult children who do not pay their way create problems on all fronts. No contribution means no responsibility and definitely no ownership or respect. Determine the board payable on how much the young person earns. Fair could be 20 percent of their take home pay but not less than $50 or more than $200. Work it out. If he is a pleasure to live with, is helpful, and is studying or working his tail off, then your system is working. Beware of the trap of asking for money on payday – always set up an automatic payment. Young adults (YA) who are living at home to study should at least earn enough to take care of personal expenses over and above the basic food that you may provide. School leavers who are not studying must make getting a job a priority. Put a time limit on how long you are willing to let him or her live at home for free, say three months. Without a definite time limit, there is no sense of urgency to get a job. Initially, it can be any job, just so he or she is earning and contributing. Whose house is it? “This is my house, and you will respect my wishes!” doesn’t create the happiest atmosphere. The key to sharing with your adult children is to establish boundaries and to respect territories. If you are not happy to share, then refuse, but don’t be a martyr
making continual snide comments about your sacrifice. Respecting territories and establishing boundaries My mother, 80, has lived on her own or with flatmates since she was 40. Now, because of her ill health, my sister Katie, 53, has recently moved in with her. Initially Katie wondered if it would work but it does. They are having a great time and enjoying one another’s company. My mother has clear rules around spaces. Bedrooms are off limits. They never go into each other’s room without invitation. Before agreeing to an adult child moving back in, a standard of hygiene, cleanliness and tidiness should be agreed on by all parties. You don’t have to be visually assaulted every time you walk past your YA’s room, but neither should you be tempted to go in and clean it. Sharing the workload Divide up the jobs and allocate them to everyone. Just like in a flat, it doesn’t work to let people clean the house when they get the urge. Hardly anyone ever does except the one person who can’t stand a filthy house. The adult child should share the cost of a housekeeper/cleaner if he or she is on a full income. Otherwise revert to your system of pro-rata for the part-time earner. We converted the barn on our five-acre property into a house for our daughter, her husband and our grandson. They are paying rent 25 percent under market value because they help maintain the whole property. This works for both of us. We have created an asset on our property with a reliable tenant. They get the use of the whole property and generous rent, and we get to see our fabulous little grandson every day. So, it can work and be loads of fun: The key to success is in having clear expectations.
He waka eke noa – A canoe that everyone may embark
“ S u c c e s s f u l educators share. They share their views, ideologies, knowledge and expertise.”
In life and the classroom, share what you have.
ou know when you are flying into Queenstown, New Zealand in winter. As the plane descends, there is a buzz of conversation as everyone starts looking out the windows. Even the people with aisle seats are rubbernecking to get a view of the beautiful snow-covered mountains and the picturesque lake. No one reads their newspaper and the air stewards do not have to tell people to put their window blinds up. Unlike other places you fly into where the stewards are walking the length of the plane asking people to put up their window blinds for landing and most people continue reading magazines, papers and books.
I usually have a window seat, and whenever I fly into Queenstown there is a sense that the window seat view no longer belongs to me. It becomes common property and even people on the other side of the plane will try to look out of “my” window. As the windowseated passenger, I can choose to let others see by leaning back or I could lean forward to see more and completely block their view. Education is no different. My master of education degree has taught me that successful educators share. They share their views, ideologies, knowledge and expertise. They allow others to view, taste, learn and experience through educational interactions
in various places such as classrooms, outdoors or lecture theatres. So how is your sharing going? Do people know they can look out of “your” window? Do your educational ideologies, knowledge, experiences and expertise offer views worth looking at or are your learners pulling down their blinds? Outstanding educators clearly fulfill the three key goals of keeping the learner engaged while encouraging learning and ensuring everyone is safe. They understand the Maori proverb – He waka noa – a canoe that everyone may embark.
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student should be deprived of a good intellectual exchange. Intellectual play occurs when students respond to content complexity and depth of reasoning individually, in pairs, in small groups, or in a whole class activity. We know this level of engagement is far more motivating and stimulating than engaging in content at a factual level. Information at this level is often stored in long-term memory rather than short term memory or worse, not remembered at all. Why then do teachers have difficulty encouraging intellectual play – and how can we use interpretation as a strategy to turn this situation around?
Promoting intellectual play through the art of interpretation Exploring the use of interpretation
When trying to promote an intellectual exchange in the classroom, intellectual interference interferes. Intellectual interference is caused by a student who exhibits off-task behaviour by calling out with inappropriate remarks, by not completing class work, or generally causing disruptions. To reverse these situations, teachers need to determine the cause of the behaviour and utilise one of many differentiation strategies to meet the student’s specific needs. If the student is a struggling student, some teachers feel the solution to the problem is to dumb down the curriculum and revert to reviewing facts. This type of learning is slow, tedious, and usually not motivational. Instead, use visuals to hook the student. In a study comparing lessons taught with both pictures and text, students outperformed the students who were taught with just text. As Aristotle said, “Without image, thinking is impossible.” The teacher can provide images and let the student match his own words to given images. If this learner is a social learner, allow him to work with a partner or in a small group. If his interference is caused by emotional reasons, make sure he is allowed to personally connect to the content though problem-based scenarios. In my book, Differentiating with Graphic Organizers: Tools to Foster Critical and Creative Thinking, I give additional information on six ways to differentiate for a variety of learners. A second problem that exists is when teachers think they do not have time to teach in a way that encourages intellectual exchange because they have to get their students “ready for the tests.” For a class discussion to reach a thought-provoking level, it does take more time than
patti drapeau conducting a teacher-directed factual question and answer session. However, just because a teacher covers content does not mean the students have learned or will remember the content. When an intellectual
have had a better relationship? If so, what wise behaviours might have made it better? The students discuss what is meant by wise behaviours. Are wise behaviours universal, time sensitive, and so forth? With this type of
“ When an intellectual exchange takes place, students use content information to support interpretations with evidence and reason. Intellectual exchanges do occur while reinforcing basic content.”
exchange takes place, students use content information to support interpretations with evidence and reason. Intellectual exchanges do occur while reinforcing basic content that students need to know for the “tests.”
learning, there are no final interpretations. Interpretations are only limited by criteria. This means student responses must be logical, possible, defensible and realistic within the context of the story.
Too often teachers c o n s i d e r a l e s s o n taught and students consider content of a lesson learned. This implies there is an endpoint to the learning process. This is a most unfortunate understanding because students think they learned something and that is that. It promotes the idea of finality and certainty. With this type of instruction, teachers can use interpretation as a vehicle for students to come up with “a right answer.” However, these teachers are using a closed interpretation process. Although students do engage in high-level thinking, students’ intellectual play will be minimized by their search for the correct answer.
One way to create interpretative questions is to combine the elements of cues, context, and point of view. For example, the teacher shows a visual of air pollution.
To p r o m o t e d e e p i n t e l l e c t u a l p l a y, I recommend the use of the open interpretation process. This allows students to truly interact with information, integrate prior knowledge, and consider a variety of situations. They look for relationships and patterns to seek ideas that are relevant, plausible, and defensible. Their interpretations are open to many possible conclusions. Teachers can use question prompts to encourage this type of intellectual play. In the following examples, the students have just read the stor y Jane Eyre. The teacher asks the students “Do you like Helen? Could you live by her philosophy?” The class discusses what a philosophy of life means. Does everyone have one, and if so, do they live by it? Another question is, “Could Jane and Bessie
visual and saying, “One step forward, three steps backward.” You can see by varying the elements in the prompt, the focus of the interpretation changes. Any of these questions will lead to intellectual play as students use what they learned about environmental pollution, along with their prior knowledge and assumptions to make logical interpretations and conclusions. Students can even combine their own two or three elements to create their own interpretation question. The 21st-century classroom should be a place where critical, creative thinking and problem solving is encouraged and practised. This can happen in many ways and one such way is to encourage intellectual play. As we have seen, if we want all students to respond to content complexity and depth of reasoning while engaging in intellectual play, we must use differentiation so that all students can be successful. We must not resort to covering content because of time constraints or other pressures. It is worth the time spent to foster deep thinking. Finally, we need to share the difference between open and closed interpretations with our students so that they do not think all learning is about endpoints. Interpretation can foster intellectual play that is an effective way to help our students become informed thinkers and clear communicators.
Point of View
Nonverbal (body language)
Relational (i.e. trust, respect, emotional)
He asks his students to interpret the situation in the picture from their own point of view. This interpretation question combines the elements of a visual, situation, and self. The teacher could change the point of view from self to country. The teacher could show the visual and add the verbal cue by labelling the
The way we communicate
ant to learn a new language and want to communicate – really communicate – with your students? Let’s look at the power and value of words. When I was a young teacher in Ravenshoe, North Queensland, I was given sound advice about the words we use on report cards and how powerful they can be. Words like hard, don’t, must, never, should, try and but. So often I still see those words on student certificates: Cody works hard. Back in those days, I used to write Cody needs (needs!!) to work harder. If you were given the option of doing something easy or hard, which would you choose? No-one would voluntarily choose the hard way – however, our brains may have become wired to choose to do it that way (unconsciously) because of the words used around us. So we were asked to state the positive and stay away from “should,” “could,” “needs” “hard” and “effort.” When teaching pre-natal yoga, I typed a list of rules and directions. It was easy to write them in the negative. Don’t eat for one and a half hours before practising yoga, etc. It took a lot of concentrating and time to change it around to positive. When my son was young, I thought I was keeping things positive but not saying “that’s bad,” and instead saying, “That’s not good.” The negative was still in my language and his mind. I have struggled with the word “good.” What does it mean? “I dunno know!” said an 8-year-old child. What “good” means to you is different from what good means to me. A physical example of this is putting unwanted goods out on the roadside. For some it is trash, for others it is treasure. I believe it works the same way mentally.
What about the word “try?” This word says to me: Easy cop out. It doesn’t really matter. The try I have my students relate to is the one over the goal post. Otherwise the alternative to try is “do your best.” There was a little red book called No Buts. One was to read it, then pass it on to someone else. It said, in no uncertain terms, in all circumstances, leave out the word “but.” “I like your haircut but...,” you would hear. Then you waited for the big cut down. Waiting and knowing it was going to happen. Cut out the word “but,” and replace it with “and.” You will get used to it. It protects the positive you want to say. (If anyone knows of that book – please let me know.) The TV show Undercover Boss, currently showing, had the CEO say how far removed he had become from his employees by using facts and figures along with spread sheets rather than interacting with his staff on a human level. He said, “It is about talking and caring. That is important!” He is referring to the use of real language. So where does this leave us? I had the privilege of attending The Virtues Project training. I then used the virtues – which the Webster dictionary says are “any admirable quality” – in my dealings with students and others, giving me a whole new structure, meaning, and guidance. As a little girl once said, “The virtues are what matters about us.” The Virtues Project came about by experts studying the ancient scripts of all world culture, leaving the religion behind, and bringing the information into a form anyone can use.
Be specific and use words related to virtues.
When brought into every day interactions, virtues can open the heart and bring strength and confidence to your dealings with people. Use them in the classroom to create a more co-operative environment, which is conducive to learning. So with Cody, I wouldn’t say “she needs to try harder.” I might say: “Cody has shown diligence and commitment in finishing her work on time.” I could also use courage, or strength, or friendliness, or truthfulness. The list goes on. Real words with real meaning. Words that lift you, show your worth. As a relief teacher, I’ve found it is critical to bond with each class (do or die!). After an introduction, I have each child select and learn a virtue or positive word. They like this. They hold that word for the day. It helps them feel important, worthy, and accountable. Rather than using words like “cool,” “great,” “fantastic,” “awesome,” they use these powerful words that matter, words that make a difference. CAUTION: Refrain from labelling a person – you are a caring / friendly girl. It is the action we talk about. Not the person. Speak about the action. You can bring the language of virtues into your personal and professional life, and to that of others. The virtues bring clarity, joy, worthiness and confidence and balance to all they touch, turning chaos into order.
â€œ If the statistics are accurate, then why do we need National Standards to tell us what we already know?â€?
The alternative to National Standards Let’s focus on solutions instead.
uch of the vested interest debate about National Standards in NZ primary schools results from the politicising of education. The government stated before the last election that they would bring in National Standards if elected. They were! They have! The Minister of Education often proclaims that we need National Standards because one in five schools are failing or twenty percent of children are underachieving. You rarely, if ever, hear it said that four out of five schools are succeeding or that eighty percent of our learners are learning. If the statistics are accurate, then why do we need National Standards to tell us what we already know? Surely the money and effort being spent would be better used fixing what we already know isn’t working for some of our students. I presume the failure statistics come from ERO, who state during school visits that their mission is to ‘find it’ not ‘fix it.’ Using their methodology, they find some of what’s wrong during their school reviews but they do not stay in the school and lead the actions which are necessary to fix what they find are barriers to educational achievement and good practice. If and when we can raise the achievement levels and performance of our bottom twenty percent of learners, our comparative achievement levels with other OECD countries will significantly improve and our school system will get the kudos it mostly deserves. It is my view that we would do better for the under achieving learners of New Zealand if we spent the monies allocated to National Standards on credible teams who could help a school, its teachers, its children and its community to fix their barriers and lift achievement. I challenge anyone to produce the evidence showing a country or educational system where the imposition of National Standards has significantly raised achievement particularly but not exclusively in the lowest twenty percent. Teaching is no different to any other profession. There are poor teachers and poor
schools. ERO finds them but takes no real responsibility for fixing them. If you identify the problems but leave the same people to fix them, chances are that they won’t get fixed. Something has to change and something has to be done differently. Failing or underperforming schools need guidance, support and strong leadership which stay and work inside the school to ensure it improves. To have any credibility or educational standing ERO or another credible body needs an arm which ensures real improvements are made otherwise they are just “measurers.” If a school can’t or won’t improve, close the school or replace the “blockers.” Schools exist to benefit and improve the learners not to employ staff. One of the problems with all this though is that the quality of the learning in a school is determined by many things, not just the quality of the teaching though of course the teaching is a very significant determinant. It seems to most teachers that almost all of the reviews and audits seem to focus almost entirely on making the teaching and teachers accountable for failure which is unbalanced. If National Standards are so effective at improving achievement perhaps it’s time we had them for parenting. A worrying number of children arrive at school on their 5th birthday with a mental or developmental age as much as two or two and a half years below their chronological age. Although I’ll probably be attacked for saying it; boys, Maori, Polynesian and children from low socio economic groups are over represented in the groups of children who arrive at school developmentally delayed. Too many of these children quickly become frustrated, fall behind and are disruptive, distracted and disengaged. Some of these children catch up, many don’t and it’s no coincidence that they become the under achievers and failures the Minister talks about. It is schools and teachers who get the blame. There are children in this “over represented” group who are achievers so we need to find out what it is that their parents do which enables their children to succeed so others can learn from them. Perhaps if we
had National Parenting Standards to identify under achieving parents, we could intervene early, fix some of the problems schools have to deal with and be accountable for problems they don’t actually cause. Rather than being entitlement based, perhaps welfare could be incentive based. As a “needy parent” you would get a very basic entitlement but by being an effective parent there are financial incentives or bonuses for those who nurture their children before they come to school so they can for example count to 10, know their colours, know how to hold a book the right way up knowing the front from the back, know their alphabet names and sounds and know the difference between a letter and a word etc. etc. Just thinking out loud really, but I can’t see any politician running with any of this stuff. Our combined efforts have to go into fixing the real problems where they exist. National Standards will really only tell us what we already know. What we need is strong, inspirational, pragmatic, informed, inclusive leadership which will work in and with learning communities to fix the problems and raise achievement, but be aware, be very aware, “fixing” is much easier to say than do. Effective teaching and teachers add value and make a positive difference. Decile 8, 9 and 10 schools often have excellent results compared to Decile 1, 2 and 3 schools but this doesn’t prove their teachers are better or have added the same or more value to their students despite what politicians will tell you. Beware of League Tables as National Standards are embedded. It’s the kids who count. We all know there are problems. Let’s abandon the political rhetoric, the political expediency and the politicising of education and let’s put our combined energies into working together to come up with real solutions about how to fix the causes of underachievement while at the same time being quick to build on, to acknowledge and celebrate the real strengths we have in our schools as well.
WOW TV – Students taking charge of the learning Child-centered learning leads to great things for both the school and the community.
tand by, quiet, lights, camera, action! The WOW (World of Weymouth) TV Station comes alive.
After four years of planning from an initial idea, teachers and students of Weymouth Primary School in Auckland have embraced the concept, and WOW TV was launched on the 1 st September. After a VIP morning tea and a passionate presentation by Principal Janice Vermeulen and Deputy Principal Michael Fletcher explaining the background and vision of this project, the eagerly awaited first programme was viewed. Wednesday 10:45 a.m. saw all classes stop and tune into their own TV station. They saw their fellow students sharing their own successes and learning.
Students at all levels of the school were asked what they would like to see on their own TV station. Responses included showing my art, reading our stories, showing what we are learning in maths, jokes (with sock puppets), winners of competitions and one boy suggested it might be a great way to share weekly notices, “instead of over the speaker!”
So that’s exactly what they did: A celebration of learning and students’ successes. The vision is not only to broadcast this weekly programming in the school, but to take it national and then international. Principal Janice Vermeulen shared how vital this is not only for the students but the community as well: “There is no church or shopping centre at the heart of our community – so the school is the pulse and sharing learning and success outside our school boundaries is important.” “I think, I learn, I help, I care – The We y m o u t h Wa y ” i s t h e m o t t o o f t h e school. Students are at the centre of all that happens at this school and this was obvious. They are in control of all aspects of WOW TV, planning, fronting the programme, researching material, filming, editing and
ensuring the smooth running of the weekly show. Students from Emma Martin’s Year 5/6 class were quick to take advantage of the fact that they had important guests in the school, none of which escaped being interviewed for future shows!
Well done Weymouth Primary! – a wonderful example of child-centred learning in action.
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Teachers Resources & Lessons
by Adrian Rennie
Sketch three ideas for way out, amazing and creative hat designs, one in each box. Give each hat a theme or object that you wouldn’t normally see on a hat.
Creating, Imagining and Innovating You can wear almost anything on your head! Get creative and generate a range of new ideas for hats. Try for things or themes that you’d never expect to see on someone’s head.
Features of my hat:
Challenge: MAKE YOUR HAT! What materials do you need? List them here.
_____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ ________________________
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Answe rs: WHAT A M CAT RID I: A match DLE: H ek WH n A e T w A th M e I: A bla ckboard cat was the .
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Self-belief: How to build it in our students Keep young students’ confidence alive with these simple ideas.
you remember your first few days at primary school? There may have been some anxiousness, excitement and hopefulness, butterflies in the tummy, maybe even a bit of nausea, and that was just your parents.
deemed necessary to read. As bizarre as it may seem, despite being born with the same brain capacity as their peers, and armed with our trained educators’ comprehensive teaching strategies, this personal self-belief is real and clearly a potential for disaster.
Generally speaking, both new students and their parents have great hopes for a smooth transition to the structured school environment, and expectations for success and happiness are high.
As time goes by, this lack of self-belief manifests in their minds, transferring to other academic areas. Then, if “trying harder” doesn’t work, the negative result adds perceived proof to their newly acquired belief system: Extra learning support is sought, and before they know it, 20 to 25 percent of our young students are placed in Reading Recovery programmes by the age of 6. As further time passes, this continued negative belief system becomes a habitual way of thinking, which is destined to ensure that significant potential will be limited, or untapped altogether. What a waste! By the time our young people reach 20 years of age, 95
Unfortunately this positive hope and anticipation does not always last. James Chapman and Bill Tunman’s research at Massey University discovered that some children begin doubting their own abilities sooner than we may presume: by the end of their first year. For example, some children are telling themselves “I cannot read” when they compare themselves with others. Chapman notes that some children do not believe they have the skills and abilities
“ How do we ensure that children sustain that initial sense of positive anticipation; regularly energise the will to succeed throughout the following 7 years; and fulfill the desire to move on to high school confidently?”
chris kerr percent of their belief systems are hardwired into their thinking processes.
that we can take to feed our younger minds with positive self-belief:
• Speak positively about our own school experiences.
Keeping in mind parents’ desires for success at the beginning of their child’s formal education journey, I researched who parents wish their children to become by the end of Year 8. Surprisingly, little research has been completed on parents’ views such as this in New Zealand. As educators we often tend to focus on meeting the requirements from the ERO and the Ministry of Education, only to presume that we know what the parents (maybe our most important clients) want from schools. My research project, “Forms of assessment and reporting procedures which matter most to parents” (published 2005) specifically, “What are your desired outcomes for your child, on completion of their primary education?” Results revealed that confidence, good social skills and independence were viewed most important by parents. Having a healthy attitude, the ability to cope with the transition to high school and being wellbalanced with social, physical and academic development, good time management and study skills followed in importance. Clearly, parents are seeking a holistic approach to their children’s success.
• Tell them how amazing they are, several times a day, because they are. This feeds their minds positive self-esteem and, in time, builds sustained confidence.
• Model our genuine belief in others, so all children in our care will seek to support each other with praise and encouragement.
• Remind them what they have achieved in the past; the message here is that because they have been successful in the past, they can be successful again, perhaps in a different way. This is a great tool for building personal power and resiliency.
• Encourage feeding the body well. This also feeds the brain and spirit in healthy ways as well.
• Focus upon what the child can do rather than what they cannot (yet) do. This is an example of energizing the will to succeed, and quickly children puff out their chests in pride. • Check that the child compares himself to only himself, and not necessarily to others. This is where human nature’s concept of comparing and contrasting ourselves with others can destroy one’s self-efficacy.
• Model a healthy self-belief of our own by doing all of the above for ourselves. If we each focus upon one of the actions above for a period of time, we will create each action as a new habit for our own thinking. In time, I believe we will be able to ensure that we deliver to all young people the truly holistic primary education they deserve.
• Accept phrases such as “This is too hard” or “I can’t do it” as an exciting challenge; show them this thinking is an incentive for them to learn so much more.
What to do? So if this is our aim, how do we get there? How do we ensure that children sustain that initial sense of positive anticipation; regularly energise the will to succeed throughout the following 7 years; and fulfill the desire to move on to high school confidently? The answer is embedded in how students perceive themselves, their skills and abilities. The bottom line is how they demonstrate their personal self-belief.
Our precious children and teenagers are growing up in a different world. Despite our busy lifestyles, teachers and parents need to be aware of how we can proactively influence children and young people’s thinking. Here are some simple daily actions
Twenty-first century research on how we think shows that our mind is powerful in deciding how we perceive ourselves. Dr Kerry Spackman, NZ neuroscientist and author of The Winner’s Bible, states that the foundation of our potential adult mindset is formed in our childhood and teenage years, so surely it is paramount that we sustain positive mindsets in our children and teenagers, no excuses! • Deliver “Why” and similar type questions with the response, “How can we find out?” and let them do the thinking; this gives the students empowerment and ownership of their learning.
Help, I’m struggling to identify and sort priorities Five steps to taking charge of your time.
“I find simple tasks like doing the school newsletter, which for my part would probably take 60 to 90 minutes uninterrupted time, will take a whole day, due to interruptions, e.g. a behaviour issue, teacher or parent concern, various people who want a piece of your time, email / Min of Ed. demands…”
If you can identify with this cry for help, there is a solution. The good news is you
1. What time do you start the day? Everyone has different biological patterns. However, the ones who consistently get a jump-start on the day by getting up early and working on something of high proactive value are the folk who make fastest progress. (That doesn’t mean catching up with the emails!) Of course there are times when you need to cut a swath through routine matters, especially if you’ve been away from your desk for a day or two. After all, if we don’t attend to the needs of people who rely on us, we’re quickly labelled as ineffective and who wants that? But if you can regularly do the “early bird catches the worm” routine,
arriving at your desk ahead of your normal noisy “interrupters” (either colleagues or students) and pitching straight into highvalue work, you’ll be amazed how good it feels and how fast you tick off higher-level projects. A few angles to keep in mind: family circumstances; your natural biological rhythms (are you an owl or a fowl?); and, when do you go to bed at night? Tired young parents might find an early rising too tough. Hang in there, guys. This too will pass! (Spoken with authority – try acquiring six kids in nine years!) Or, you might be a night owl. Look for ways to work your commitments to suit your biology and claw yourself back some “high-energy” time for proactive and highly productive work. And – what’s your normal bed-time? We can’t get up early if we don’t go to bed early. I find it better to leave things at night
“As a new primary school principal this year, I am still struggling to really identify and prioritise what needs to be done and how to record the various deadlines in an effective way.”
are the one who determines your outcome. And the bad news is you are the one who determines your outcome. Here are the suggestions I sent Susan – I trust they’ll also be useful to you.
ere’s a question that arrived in my mailbox a few months ago.
when I’m getting tired, let the sub-conscious work on them whilst I sleep (hey, that’s got to be efficient, don’t you think!), and in the morning I find I’m at least ten times faster. Plus the lack of interruptions gives me a clear run at anything a bit complex. 2. Block out “non-interrupt” time at the time of day you feel freshest and (if possible) when you’ll get the least interruptions. Let’s assume you’re now at work and all the normal “stuff” is rolling in. Ask yourself “when do I get my best work done?” A principal has teachers and other staff to organise and the beginning of a school day tends to be frenetic. Get everyone else underway with their work first and then go into your office and shut the door for at least an hour. Give your secretary permission to be a dragon. Only let people interrupt you if there’s a real crisis.
It’s not that people mean to be rude – they just want to know when you’ll get back to them. Or they’re seeking reassurance that you will indeed respond in a timely way. Or, they fear they may not get another opportunity to catch you. Also, people treat us in the way we allow them to. They can be politely educated to change.
Once you’ve written your list, focus only on the top five priorities - even if you’ve got 20 items on the list. To decide your Top Five for the day, use the following questions as filters:
4. Prioritise the “to do” list. Many people make extensive “to do” lists. However,
If the list of “absolute must dos” still seems too long, jot down beside each item an
• What is the best use of my time right now? (As Brian Tracy says.) • What will make a long-term difference?
“ We can’t get up early if we don’t go to bed early. I find it better to leave things at night when I’m getting tired, let the sub-conscious work on them whilst I sleep, and in the morning I find I’m at least ten times faster. ”
3. Let people know you’re unavailable and when you’ll get back to them. You might like the strategy the senior staff at a large private school near Auckland adopted with great success. The middle school principal had asked me to run a series of one-on-one coaching sessions not only for him but also his three deputies. It was jaw-droppingly astounding to observe the number of people (other staff as well as students) who seemed to think a shut door meant nothing! Time after time people barged in, saw me sitting there with the person they’d come to see, said “sorry” and carried right on with their “very important” question. Solution? A post-it on the doors with the following statement was amazingly effective: “I’ll be available at …… (time). Please do not interrupt – don’t even knock. If you wish to leave a note here, I’ll get back to you when I’m free.”
not many effectively prioritise those lists. Commonly they say to themselves, “There’s too much here – I’ll do the things I can get quickly off the list.” It’s a common solution, but it’s the wrong solution – and those that use it will stay in struggle mode. Their days flash past, filled with a plethora of “work” but with an albatross of discontent and incompletion hanging round their neck. Effective prioritising works in reverse; I think of it as counter-intuitive. Start with the big things, and you’ll be amazed how much more you fit into your day, plus you’ll have a much higher sense of accomplishment. For most of us, the things that make the long-term difference and that will in time reduce the “urgent by default” items are not urgent but they are important. The most effective way to tackle them is by putting them at the top of your daily list. Another alternative is to allocate a specific amount of time, and treat it as an appointment - with yourself. Then, at the beginning of the day, do something on that long-term activity, even if it’s only 30 or 60 minutes. You may not finish, but if you’ve moved the project forward, over time you’ll make a difference because you’re operating from a long-term, more strategic focus.
estimate of how long it will take. This simple technique will: • Clear the mind clutter. • Focus your attention on what’s really important. • Keep you realistic about what you really can do. • Help you realise that, almost always, the issue is what’s in your head, rather than what’s on the list. Our mind plays funny tricks! It’s amazing how quickly you get through the work once you push the anxiety away, and there’s almost always enough time. 5. Clear a backlog of small tasks. Every now and then, forget the long-term projects. Give yourself permission to have a catch-up day. It feels as great as cleaning out your desk. Some people make Friday the “miscellaneous” day.
Getting tough on exams Developing students’ and teachers’ mental toughness can help them in the classroom and beyond.
A Teachers Matter
ccording to Ewen Callaway, writing in New Scientist, “Psychologists have long known that intelligence isn’t the only predictor of scholastic achievement and that intellectual confidence does as good a job of predicting grades as well.”
Research shows that there is a clear link between a young person’s mental toughness and their educational attainment levels. The higher the MT, the higher the confidence and the higher the feeling of self worth (control). These students approach classes and learning (and exams) in a positive frame of mind. These studies consistently show that around 25 percent of the variation in a person’s performance in exams is explained by their mental toughness. Also, there is a clear link between a young person’s positive behaviour in school and their mental toughness. Negative behaviour is typically demonstrated by low
participation in lessons, poor attendance, and poor response to teachers/tutors. A Halewood College study published in January 2008 looked at the performance, behaviour and career aspirations of students in secondary education. Analysis of MTQ48 scores showed that in every case – verbal ability, non-verbal ability and quantitative ability – there was a direct, almost straight line, correlation between mental toughness and ability. Analysis showed that the patterns were virtually the same for males and females with non-verbal and quantitative abilities. With verbal ability, there were two straight lines, almost in parallel, showing that females consistently scored higher at each level of mental toughness. Mental toughness can be defined as: The quality that determines in large part how
individuals respond to stress, pressure and to challenge, irrespective of prevailing circumstances. Dr Peter Clough from the University of Hull has developed the concept. Its origins lie in clinical psychology (resilience and hardiness), sports psychology (developing winning mind sets) and occupational psychology (CBT, NLP, etc). In order to apply the concept, we need to assess those pupils who would benefit from mental toughness development; not all of them will. In fact, some individuals have plenty of mental toughness/confidence (sometimes too much, to the extent that they are self-confident, despite that confidence being misplaced). We need to find out which pupils seem to be less mentally tough or low scoring in one of its significant components. In 2003 Dr Clough and Dr Keith Earle
developed the world’s first valid and reliable measure of mental toughness – MTQ48. The MTQ48 is a 48-item questionnaire that measures the four aspects of Mental Toughness, called the 4C’s — Control; Challenge; Commitment and Confidence. They combine to form a measure of Overall Mental Toughness: CONTROL Individuals who score high on this scale feel that they are in control of their environment. It has two subscales: CONTROL (EMOTION) Individuals scoring highly on this scale are better able to control their emotions. They are able to keep anxieties in check and are less likely to reveal their emotional state to other people. CONTROL (LIFE) Individuals scoring higher on this scale are more likely to believe that they control their lives. They feel that their plans will not be thwarted and that they can make a difference. COMMITMENT Sometimes described as “stickability,” this describes the ability of an individual to carry out tasks successfully, despite any problems or obstacles that arise whilst trying to achieve the goal. An individual who scores at the high end of the scale will handle and achieve things to tough unyielding deadlines. CHALLENGE Describes the extent to which individuals see problems as threats or opportunities. Some will actively seek out challenge and change and will identify these as ways for self-development. Others will perceive problems as threats. CONFIDENCE Individuals who are high in confidence have the self-belief to successfully complete tasks, which may be considered too difficult by individuals with similar abilities but with lower confidence. Less confident individuals are also likely to be less persistent and to make more errors. It has two subscales: CONFIDENCE (ABILITIES) Individuals scoring highly on this scale are more likely to believe that they are a truly worthwhile person. They are less dependent on external validation and are generally more optimistic about life. CONFIDENCE (INTERPERSONAL) Individuals scoring highly on this scale tend to be more assertive. They are less likely to
be intimidated in social settings and are more likely to push themselves forward in groups. They are also better able to cope with difficult or awkward people. As mental toughness is a state rather than a trait, it is possible to develop individuals and enable them to handle stressful situations better. The kinds of interventions that work well here are well documented. Many have their roots in sports psychology where there is plenty of evidence of their success. As Dr Clough puts it, “using a variety of techniques – many of them very simple – we can increase an individual’s level of mental toughness.” As part of one study, parents and teachers were taught a range of different interventions used to build mental toughness. It is impossible to be prescriptive about development interventions. Each person is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Most effective interventions, however, fall into six areas: • Positive Thinking • Visualisation (including guided imagery)
andy ralphs other local schools, all using interventions including mental toughness training. Mental toughness has applications in junior, secondar y, further and higher education. Studies show there are direct links between mental toughness and: • Performance – in exams, tests, class work, assignments, etc • Perceived Bullying • Student wellbeing • Positive behaviour – engagement with school and with class • Gender discrimination • Employability of graduates and student aspirations A useful feature of the MTQ48 is the Distance Travelled report. It allows a coach to clearly see in which areas an individual
“ As mental toughness is a state rather than a trait, it is possible to develop individuals and enable them to handle stressful situations better.”
• Anxiety Control (traditional stress management techniques) • Attentional control • Goal setting (the GROW and OSCAR models are examples) • Biofeedback (measuring the physiological impact of stressors pressure and interventions). There are materials available to support many of these activities, although in most instances, teachers and coaches will already have appropriate materials of their own. The version of MTQ48 normally used within secondary education generates, among other reports, a coaching report. Also, a workbook is available to support the process and open or tailored training sessions can be provided. In 2009 the Liverpool Echo reported that, “the number of Knowsley (Liverpool, UK) pupils achieving five GCSE passes at marks A* to C – rose 4.5 percent during the previous year and that similar results had been achieved in two
has progressed and in which he or she might need to be targeted with further specifically designed interventions. In further education, MTQ48 has proved to be very accurate at predicting which students are most at risk of dropping out or failing to complete courses of study. This enables pastoral care services to be directed to those in need. Developing psychological or emotional resilience and mental toughness is an important life skill. As one director of children’s services in the UK put it, “Not only can we, in many cases, enhance a young person’s performance, these particular skills are useful for just about everything else that person is going to have to do in life.” Finally, the concepts are not just applicable to students; staff can benefit, too. Facing a class full of kids, and other job pressures, can be a test of mental toughness at times and the tool (and interventions) can be used to assist teachers and school management staff in their day to day roles.
stuart dr jason fleming fox
The nine necessary aspects of exam mastery Learning to pass an exam is different than learning to study
ontrary to popular belief, exam skills are not study skills. And while study skills will definitely help, they’re not enough to ensure exam mastery. You see, teaching study skills means helping students learn how to learn. But teaching exam skills means helping students learn how to apply what they’ve learnt (within tight and challenging parameters). There’s a big difference.
Glenn Capelli, one of my learning heroes, once taught me that, as educators, we need to have a good balance between content and methodology. You can have great content, but deliver it in a way that disengages learners. Many university lecturers do this. Likewise, you can be a dynamic presenter that truly engages with learners, while giving them nothing real to learn. It’s a lesson that holds true in exams. Many students get caught up studying the content of their subjects, without ever developing an effective methodology for applying their knowledge in exams. And this can seriously affect their performance. If you’re looking to help your students perform their best in exams, here are nine things to keep in mind:
1. It’s not about goal setting – it’s about goal getting
Rather than do a token lesson on SMART goals at the start of the year, develop a fortnightly system within your classes to help students identify their wins and share their challenges. If facilitated well, you can establish a collaborative network amongst the students where everyone works to their strengths to help each other out.
2. Study timetables are so last millennium It’s not about time management anymore. It’s not even about time efficiency. To do well in exams, students need to have great time efficacy – the ability to situationally determine their most effective use of time in relation to their objectives. Rather than leaving study till the last minute, help students learn how to manufacture their own sense of urgency, to complete important tasks earlier.
3. Pressure (or lack of) is dangerous We often forget that there are two sides to the pressure/performance coin. On one side, we’ve got the students who have been identified as “academically at risk.” Often a key issue here is that they haven’t been generating their own positive pressure to improve their performance. These students tend to get most of the attention when exams are looming. On the other side, you often have students with a great academic record who generate far too much pressure for themselves, which negatively affects their performance. These students tend to fall in a neglect area when exams are looming, as it is simply assumed they’ll be fine. The key is to recognise that different students need different approaches. Simply telling your whole class to “not stress” or “put more work into it” might make things worse for many students.
4. We all have selfsabotaging stories Human beings are profoundly adept at getting in their own way – especially during exams. Perfectionism, procrastination, being busy, choosing difficult circumstances, over committing – all of these behaviours operate
without us being directly aware of it. At the same time, they help to provide a convenient alibi to excuse poorer performance. “I would have done better, but I didn’t have enough time” or “If my parents weren’t renovating the house, I would have been able to study better” or “My teacher is so boring; if she had made it more interesting, I would have learnt more.” A common characteristic of these selfsabotaging scenarios is that a story is created to offset responsibility, so that we appear to be a tragic victim. Getting students to recognise their stories is the first step to undoing self-sabotage.
5. Their study needs to stick It happens to almost every student – at some point in their exams, they’ll come across a question where they’ll experience a memoryblock. They know they know the answer to it, but it just won’t come to them. There are two aspects to this: First, your students need the skills to make their study memorable. They may be effective at studying for assignments, but how will they fare when they don’t have access to their books? Secondly, they need methods to assist them in recalling the information they know. There are various thought-games they can play; they can switch learning-channels or use pegging-systems – but they need to be aware of them first.
6. Their brains live in their bodies Our mental performance is inherently linked to our physiological state. The food we eat on the day of our exams, our level of sleep, our posture – all influence our ability to perform. We all know this at some level, but too often we take this knowledge for granted. And
stuart fleming dr jason fox
the result of this sees students enter exams with little sleep and full of sugar, all geared up for unclear thinking and energy slumps. Students can’t simply be told that they need a good diet and lifestyle, they need to experience it.
7. Remember to revise to remember
rush the second half of their papers. Again, a great many of these issues can be ironed out with a solid revision programme. Enjoy exams What I love most about exam time is that despite all the hidden elements that emerge to sabotage performance – be it negative attitudes or inhibiting beliefs, lack
of motivation, exaggerated pressure, rabid perfectionism, the skewed relationships, and so on – exams are really the ultimate opportunity for students to step up and become the masters of their own performance. It’s not about testing how much a student knows, or how much they’ve studied. It’s about how they rise to the challenge.
Revision is a lot like studying, but instead of exploring new grounds, your students need to also focus on making connections, recognising priorities, and encoding their knowledge to make it stick. In my programmes, I encourage students to start on practice exams early. It’s good practice to purchase or somehow obtain as many practice exams as they can, and to “sit” each practice exam as if it’s the real thing. While completing the exams, they’ll learn more about the gaps within their exam methodology. Then, when marking their own exams, they’ll identify revision priority-areas (avoiding the emotional bias we have when revising–that is, to spend more time on the stuff that’s easier).
8. Write right I’ve marked hundreds of university exam papers, and one of the biggest issues is when students don’t answer questions legibly. As teachers you’ve all experienced this. But when you’ve been marking the same exam question across dozens of papers, your patience can wear a bit thin. Students need to practise the art of writing for sustained periods of time. When students revise, it’d be a good idea to suggest they do so on paper (in addition to, or instead of on the computer). This will save them marks!
Students need to understand that the assessors of exams are looking to give them marks. They don’t need to make it difficult by hiding the best bits of their answer amongst waffle, or presenting a great answer that doesn’t correlate to the question. Exam assessors will often have a marking key, and will scan papers for key words or phrases. Timing is also an issue–a lot of students start strong, but
9. Answering the questions
Thoughts can overcome trepidation How to talk to yourself when you’re fearful.
hen was the last time you felt real fear? Many people would say that it was just before they gave their last presentation, but it can happen to us at all sorts of times. Fear strikes different people in different ways, some only get worried just before doing a bungy jump and others fear making a simple phone call. No matter how safe we “know” the activity is, no matter how much others tell us that “everything is fine,” no matter how many books we read about overcoming our nerves, the fear remains real and affects the way we behave.
Outside of events like sky diving, which involve physical danger, lots of people avoid fearful situations because they don’t want to fail or perhaps, more accurately, they don’t want to be seen to fail. Failure itself isn’t what bothers many people, it’s the idea that others will see them fail that causes the fear. Public speaking is one of the most common fears in modern society but how much real physical danger are people facing on stage? I suppose you could be hurt by the rotten vegetables, but in truth most people are scared of what the audience might think of them.
The athlete who is nervous about his performance faces the same challenge: If he was certain that no matter what he did he couldn’t lose the race, then he’d have no nerves but this situation never exists, so the athletes train themselves to use the fear rather than let the fear use them. If we let the fear use us we will run away, but if we can harness the fear and use the power that it provides then we can do an amazing job. The ability to use the fear is what we call confidence, and fortunately it’s a skill that everyone can develop. It isn’t genetic,
Fear or trepidation is based on limiting self belief and, contrary to popular thinking, this is extremely common, although many people wouldn’t admit it. Consider this: If you have complete and total belief that you are capable of a task, that you’ll be able to complete all the necessary steps however
stressful the conditions become, and that you can handle whatever is thrown at you during the task, why would you be fearful? Many fears aren’t based in truth, they aren’t rational or logical, but nevertheless they exist and they can easily stop us in our tracks and prevent us from taking action.
something that only a chosen few are born with, it’s a skill anyone can learn as long as they are prepared to face their demons and attempt the thing they fear over and over again, accepting that failure is a necessary part of the learning process. Action cures fear – nothing else. It’s interesting but most top athletes will tell you that the fear never goes away, they just get better and better at using it to help them perform. As many people have said, the butterflies in the stomach will always be there, however, with practice, we can get them to fly in formation. So what thoughts should we fill our head with when we face that fear and we want to overcome it? Obviously we need to have high levels of self belief and convince ourselves that we are capable of achieving the task, so positive self talk is important. I suggest saying something like the following (as long as you believe that it’s true):
You can feel the fear and the failure contained in these sentences and, at best, the person is being tentative. As Anthony Robbins says, “When you are tentative, you have no power; if you want to succeed, you need to exude certainty.” Your self-talk must be strong and powerful even when you don’t physically feel that you have complete control. It’s worth taking the time to plan what you are going to say to yourself next time that fear rears its ugly head and attempts to take over. We need to ensure our children are able to deal with fear in a positive manner, to make sure they are prepared for what they will face in life and that they are equipped to take on any new situation with confidence
and this is something that both teachers and parents can work on. I have just come back from judging Year 7 speeches at my son’s school and the differences between the children in terms of confidence and, thereby, the ability to perform, is marked: The child who was outstanding was also the one who gave a warm greeting, a firm handshake and made great eye contact. He may have had nerves, too, but his posture and his attitude all allowed him to overcome them and give a brilliant speech. Let’s put effort into teaching our children to face and override their fears, so they can all perform at their peak; this will be one of the most useful tools they will have in their adult life.
• I can do this. I’m well prepared, I have everything that is required and I know I have the capability to achieve what I want. • If Fred Smith can do this, then there is no reason why I can’t. I’m just as good as he is and probably better prepared. • I’m powerful, strong and in complete control; this success is mine for the taking. All I need to do is relax, concentrate on the outcome I’m looking for and stay focused. Unfortunately many people have a negative self talk conversation like: • Well I’ll give it a go and hope for the best.
“ Action cures fear – nothing else.” Alejandro Duran
• Perhaps I’d be better off putting this off right now and waiting for a better time.
• I’ve never done this before and I’m not very talented at this type of thing.
Put spring on the table
The bounty of vegetables this time of the year makes for easy and delicious meals.
Asparagus and Pea Soup Salmon Parcels with Citrus Dressing Fresh Baby Greens with Citrus Dressing
Asparagus and Pea Frittata Homemade Lemonade
Lemon Yoghurt Cake really loved putting these spring recipes together for you. A trip to my local farmers’ markets inspired me. This time of the year it is bursting with vivid colours and an appetizing bounty. I picked up some asparagus, peas, spring onions, crispy salad greens, lemons and free-range eggs. A bottle of avocado oil was my treat for the day. On the way home I stopped at the local fish shop for some fresh salmon. Once home I whipped up these light and fresh recipes. A bright bunch of daffodils revitalized my kitchen counter and doubled as beautiful table décor for a casual lunch for family and friends. …and best of all, these recipes are so fast and easy!
Salmon Parcels with Citrus Dressing Preheat oven at 160ºC fan bake or 180ºC normal bake You will need: (per person) 1 salmon fillet 4-5 spears of asparagus 5-6 peas in the pod or 1/2 cup of frozen peas 1 spring onion salt and pepper zest of 1/2 lemon 1 teaspoon olive oil Baking or parchment paper
Asparagus and Pea Soup
You will need: 500ml good quality chicken or vegetable stock 2 bunches of asparagus (15-20 spears) 2 cups of fresh peas 1 bunch of spring onions, chopped 1 clove of garlic, crushed salt and pepper 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese Slices of bread (you can use any bread you have on hand) extra parmesan cheese
Heat some oil in a saucepan and sauté spring onions and garlic until translucent and tender. Add stock and bring to a boil before adding chopped asparagus and peas. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, and then blend into a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper and add parmesan cheese. Toast slices of bread, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and grill until golden. Cut into triangles and serve with hot soup.
For the Dressing: This will make up a small bottle and will last in the fridge for several weeks. Juice of 1/2 lime 1/4 teaspoon of fine lime zest juice of 1/2 lemon juice of 2 oranges 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest juice of 1/2 pink grapefruit 1 tablespoon of honey 1/2 cup of avocado oil (or a good quality olive oil) salt & pepper 1 small clove of garlic, crushed some chopped chives To make the dressing: place all ingredients in the blender and blend until you have a thick creamy dressing (If you don’t have a blender, place all ingredients in a jam jar, screw on the lid and shake vigorously.) Refrigerate. To make the salmon parcels: Place a large piece of baking paper on the kitchen bench. Place your asparagus spears in the middle, place your piece of salmon on top. Season salmon with salt and pepper and lemon zest. Sprinkle your chopped spring onions and your shelled peas over the salmon. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of dressing over everything and then fold the baking paper over the salmon to form a sealed parcel. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your salmon.) Serve with baby salad greens and extra citrus dressing.
Refreshing Lemon Cordial Lemon Yoghurt Cake Preheat oven at 150ยบC fan bake or 160ยบC normal bake
Fresh Asparagus and Pea Frittata You will need: 1 bunch of Asparagus cut into two cm lengths (about 12 spears) 1 cup of fresh peas 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved 1 bunch of spring onions 1 clove of garlic, crushed 6 eggs 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped mixed herbs (whatever you have in the garden) Salt and pepper Fresh baby salad greens Grated parmesan Cook your fresh peas and asparagus for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and cool under cold water. Heat oil in a non-stick fry pan and fry chopped spring onions and garlic until tender, then add the peas, asparagus and tomatoes. Beat the eggs, add salt, pepper and herbs and pour into the fry pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until almost set. Transfer to a preheated grill and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until lightly brown and cooked through. Cool slightly and cut into wedges and serve with baby salad greens and parmesan.
You will need: 125g butter softened 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest 3/4 cup of caster sugar 3 eggs 1 cup of spelt flour (you can use normal flour) 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/3 cup thick creamy yoghurt (i.e. Greek yoghurt) 1/4 cup icing sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice
You will need: 8-10 spray free lemons 2 cups of sugar 1 cup of water zest of 2-3 lemons Place water, sugar and lemon zest into a saucepan and bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Pour into sterilised bottles and refrigerate. To use add a little syrup into a glass and top up with soda water.
Unless you use silicon bake ware, grease your non-stick baking pan(s). Cream soft butter, lemon zest and sugar together. Add one egg at a time, whisking until just combined before adding the next egg. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir in yoghurt. Stir together. Spoon mixture into prepared bake ware and bake in preheated oven. Baking Times: Muffins/Mini Cakes: 15 Minutes Loaf: 50-60 Minutes Once baked, cool cake(s) before taking out of bake ware. Dust with icing sugar or drizzle with a thin icing made from icing sugar and lemon juice. Baking Tip: for best results, use butter, eggs and yoghurt at room temperature.
Game on: When students take charge Passion and teacher guidance propel self-motivated students to new heights.
I make my way into the centre of Christchurch, I’m unsure what to look for and what to expect. The busy, bustling high street is the last place I expect to find a school. But this is the address I’ve been given, it has got to be here somewhere. I make my way up and down the section of the street, it slowly dawns on me that I have to look a little more carefully at the passers-by – students, a steady stream coming from that building with “Unlimited School” above the door. I head up the staircase, too keen to await the arrival of the lift. I notice the students a little more. Sure they’re teenagers, but most appear to be moving with a little more enthusiasm than I ever remember from my high school days. There seems to be a little more purpose in their stride.
Unlimited School works out of three main campuses: Southern Star House, Northern Tower and The Basement. It has a look and a feel that I imagine the Google building to have, with large open work areas and colourful, stimulating office and classroom spaces. It has come a long way from the 40 foundation students and seven staff of January 2003. Since founding director Vince Dobbs was lured across the ditch in 2008, the school has not suffered from the loss of its dynamic and enthusiastic head, but instead continues to flourish. It’s a school with student-directed learning at its centre with its “Ten Tenets” offering diversity of learning, flexible space and innovative learning opportunities.
Unlimited’s dedicated digital media arm, “UPT” within the “Southern Star House” campus, is charged with bringing industry standard learning opportunities to students. These include music production, computer animation, game design and computer programming. It is this game design and computer programming that led me to Renea’s class.
In the classroom While I chat with Renea, her students are huddled around numerous machines. Some playing games, some talking, all busy and independent of teacher direction. The games they are playing are those which their fellow students have written. They are now peer reviewing the work and offering feedback. Using a program called Microsoft Visual Studio, students programme their games using source code, revising, editing and reviewing as they go. Whoever says that computers would dull the senses, stifle creativity and kill higher-order thinking have yet to visit UPT Digital and see these students in action. Some students enjoy building virtual worlds and then populating that world; others take delight in the challenge of character generation, the way they look, move and interact. With the way these students are encouraged to follow their passions and work collaboratively, the results are reflected not only in high-quality products but in their development of understanding and knowledge of process. Classes here are deliberately vertically streamed. With this vertical approach, there is greater flexibility to allow the students to follow their passions. They may select from a wide number of subjects and progress academically at a rate more suited to their individual needs: receiving NCEA credits at year nine or ten. The primary rationale behind this system is that students of different ages and stages are there to support one another, both academically and socially, which allows students more control over their education and develops intrinsic motivation. There had been growing interest in making games for quite some time. The school used to have a wonderful set up in the basement called Downtown Digital. It was run by programmers and designers, people who knew their stuff. The school faced another challenge, those designers and
programmers were leaving to pursue careers in games development and television. So how do teachers support this complex type of learning without being experts themselves? Renea Mackie was perfect for the job; keen and willing, she set out on her first journey into the world of computer science. When she took up this challenge, she had no idea what .NET and Xna frameworks
Ten Tenets 1. Students are central in directing their own learning. 2. Students follow their individual interests and enthusiasms. 3. Curriculum and qualification needs are met through a student’s chosen path, not a prescribed route. 4. Learning experiences extend beyond the boundaries of place, time, age, methods of learning and areas of study. 5. The entire community is the learning environment. 6. Families are vital and active partners in the holistic learning for students. 7. We encourage, nurture and celebrate creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and challenge. 8. The individuality of each student is valued. 9. We are a high trust community, treating each other with mutual respect and kindness. 10. Everyone is a learner and everyone is a teacher.
were. One of the students decided to run a class to give everyone some idea of how a 3D game was put together in Visual Studio. The programming was complicated, but the students didn’t seem too fazed by the challenge. It soon became evident that their passion for making games was much greater than the learning obstacles that lay ahead. By the end of the five-week class, Renea had identified what was needed to support the learning and she then turned to the experts for guidance.
The path that works best CUBE was to be the measure for success, but as much as jumping in the deep end was interesting, would it not be better to start off with some basic programming skills? The lead programmer on CUBE was 15 and had been using Visual Studio for a few months while other students coming into the experimental programming class were as young as 10 with little or no previous programming experience. They had tried diving straight into game making and some students found that difficult. It was time to try a more traditional approach. The goal as Learning Advisers is to find the path that works best for the students. The first experimental programming class was dedicated to working through a set of 2D game tutorials on a DVD from Microsoft. Some students were natural programmers, while others struggled. Even with the intellisense menus, it was difficult for some to get the syntax absolutely right. Through a course driven by the University of Canterbury’s Moodle-based “Learn” site, the class’s interest in self-paced learning was aroused. They tried an already-prepared “Xna game making course” that came complete with class labs and tests, but it proved limiting. Yet they had learned a lot about themselves and how they preferred to drive their own education. Their most powerful learning occurred when they were given choice and were not bound to a linear framework. That was when they broke away. As a class, they were looking for a richer, more meaningful experience. Teams were expected to meet on a regular basis to discuss game designs and make sure all members were on task. This model worked well. The class built up their skill levels through using software such as Visual Studio, Xna Game Studio, Maya, Blender and Photoshop. They continued building resources and adding to the repository on the Moodle site. This was a critical point for the team building necessary for the latest evolution - UPT DIGITAL.
Building on success Indy Liu, Thinking Cactus director, visited as a mentor and was quietly surprised that the students had taught themselves. The students were in the class because they wanted to be there and were learning rapidly. Indy noted that there was a good mix of programmers and modellers within the class and wondered about working on a main class project. He introduced the class to the “Unity 3D game engine” as a way of collaboratively working and dove tailing all the different aspects of game design, programming and modelling the class were working on. In Unity, you create 3D objects within a three-dimensional grid, and think about how each of those objects is going to act within the environment. It’s visual with a well-designed, intuitive interface. Within a few days, Year 9’s were building their own worlds, making waterfalls, playing with physics and lighting, and importing models they’d made in Maya and Blender. Unity integrates with Visual Studio, Adobe Photoshop, Blender, and Autodesk programs such as Maya. The name – Unity – said it all. It was the unifying component the class had been looking for. With Unity, the students
decided to work toward creating a schoolbased games development company, namely UPT Digital. From that point, the class productivity exploded. Students now take ownership and are in the process of creating their first 3D game for market. There are game designers, 3D modellers, programmers, animators, texture and concept artists, a web team, a network and hardware team, level designers, producers, project managers, and a business team. Now Renea and her colleagues are looking at ways to integrate a broad range of NCEA credits into the company project to create a real-world learning and educational achievement model. Unlimited welcome other learning advisors, teachers, students and parents to make contact if they would like to know more about this incredible journey. Resources and information can be accessed on the website: www.uptdigital.com. “I am constantly amazed at the learning experiences going on around me,” says Renea Mackie. “One element really stands out as I reflect on this process and that is the high-energy team dynamic the students have developed and their passion and drive to excel, to take on the world in an industry that is just starting to find its feet. We have exciting times ahead.”
Learning at Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti Key points from the “Look of Learning” document by Director John Mather To make our ten tenets live, we have developed a number of unique practices that are an important part of the Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti way: • A focus on learning, supporting learning, and building learning capacity with facilitated support from Learning Advisors who consistently work in a close and positive way. • A personalized approach to learning through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) negotiated and monitored three times a year plus regular (usually weekly) one-on-one meetings with a Homebase Learning Advisor. • Flexibility and choice for learners through our distinct “Look of Learning,” which includes student-initiated inquiries and Learning Advisor-facilitated learning, as well as the opportunity to be part of authentic holistic learning plus intensive and inspiring experiences often led by other students and/ or parents. • Our open approach to students being able to explore learning without restrictions of age. • Our commitment to always seeing and supporting students as capable learners always “at potential.”
A nerd’s guide to childbirth and the aftermath How technology helps me in and out of the classroom.
hree weeks back at work after six months maternity leave and I am wondering what pearls of wisdom I have to offer in regards to educational technology. There is no point denying the fact that pretty much all of my recent interactions with technology have been baby-related. However it has been a good reminder of how I used to approach technology when I was in the classroom. Being “fit for purpose” was probably uppermost in my mind when I assessed a new technology, with pedagogical application a close second. By “fit for purpose” I don’t mean ease of use necessarily. Some technology that I found invaluable in the classroom had a steep learning curve and would involve a significant amount of time to master, but this process could often take place outside of the classroom, not interfering with precious learning time. In my babyoriented world, I could play in front of the TV whilst poppet slept. Rather, the deciding factor when in the classroom and now again in my time-starved world is the ability of the technology to perform when and how I want it to, at a precise moment, with no messing. S o h e r e i s a n e r d ’s g u i d e t o s o m e technologies that are “fit for purpose” and have classroom potential. Alternatively, if you happen to be expecting, forget the classroom and regard this list as the top five technologies to get you through childbirth and the aftermath. Good luck!
Smart Phone Applications (“apps”) It all started in February when I went into labour. The first bit of babyrelated technology that performed admirably was the contraction timer app which I had downloaded onto my Smart Phone. Without either of us having even looked at it prior to that moment, it managed to keep my partner on task timing the gap between contractions and the length of each contraction. As an added bonus, it kept him entertained with an endless stream of statistical reports analysing the data he had so painfully collated, whilst the midwife and I got on with the serious job of delivering the baby. Unfortunately, I have to say that particular app proved useless when I was dilated 8cm, everything came to a grinding halt and the knives were brought in. Yet the Smart Phone and the amazing array of apps continued to prove useful. Was poppet really big enough to justify the knife? My body certainly thought so, but my partner required proof of a more research-based nature and lo and behold the baby percentile app informed him that, yes, a 9lb 10oz girl was over the 97th percentile and thus potentially warranted a bit of intervention. Out of hospital, the Smart Phone maintained its number-one spot. Although let down by my baby feed diary app (I used it once - it was easier to keep records in the notebook provided by the midwife), the weight log apps for both myself and poppet were wonderful. I could quickly and easily graph her weight gain and monitor my slightly less-dramatic weight loss. Both proved very reassuring.
Many Smart Phone applications are developed by regular people who need an app to do a single job. Therein lies their beauty: simplicity. When you search for an app on your phone, you get a list of the apps available and a rating based on user reviews. You can quickly skim read the reviews and make a decision if it is the app for you. Download it and away you go. Here are some off-the-wall apps that might have a place whilst out and about with your students: • Looking at the stars? You can download Google Sky Map for your phone, take a photo of the sky and it will tell you what you are looking at. • Looking at art? You can download “Plink,” take a snap of a work of art and if it is in their database, it will be identified and all the information on that piece of art and artist will come straight to your phone. • Looking at your locale? Welcome to augmented reality. Try “Goggles” or “Layer” and you can overlay the road or place that you are looking at through your phone’s camera lens with information of your choice; for example apply the history layer to find out about years gone by. Fit for purpose rating: 3.5 stars – varies from app to app so take advantage of the reviews provided.
Forums Back to life after the birth: My mum left, and we were on our own with a newborn. That was when I fell in love with forums. These are anonymous online environments where you can ask weird questions in the middle of the night and other similarly preoccupied people are there to answer them immediately. My partner mocked me to begin with, but he now regularly suggests that we should just ask “the girls on the boards.” There is a world of expertise out there as well as the reassurance of not being alone.
In terms of school, have you been asked to develop a new course on the American Slave Trade? Are you leading an inquiry on New Zealand native trees and you come from South Africa? Is there an air show in the offing and you have had zero interest in warplanes? I just successfully Googled and found three great user-friendly forums that cover all of these topics. Either use the forum for background information to gain ideas on approaching the subject – or best of all, support the students to access the forums themselves, although as always consider cyber safety. Fit for purpose rating: 4.5 stars – I never failed to get an answer but there is the potential for weirdness.
Photo sharing Then came the requests for photos from family and friends. The quickest way to share my photos (editing was a thing of the past) was Facebook. For friends and family on Facebook, they were immediately notified that another 90-odd pictures of poppet had been uploaded. For the rest, Facebook kindly provides a link that you can use to share your albums. Tagging meant that I could quickly alert people that they were the subject of a photo and it also provided an environment where they could comment and keep in touch. And via my Smart Phone which runs Facebook, I would be notified that someone had posted a comment and could quickly reply whilst I sat in traffic (totally stationary of course) and maintain some semblance of friendship. Facebook is of course not available to children under 13 but a group of Kiwi entrepreneurs are backing the development of MiniMonos, initially developed by a Kiwi mum to provide a safe “facebook-like” environment for children that has a sustainability and ethical living focus. Also, many Managed Learning Environments that schools are currently rolling out are also offering “facebook-like” components. Fit for purpose rating: 4 stars – due to bandwidth issues I sometimes did have to add an extra step and compress my photos before upload.
Video sharing/preserving I could potentially have used my Smart Phone for this too but here I’m afraid it failed its fit-for-purpose assessment. Yes, I could take video on my phone and upload it straight to Facebook and You Tube, but to actually save it in some editable format on my PC, I had to perform some kind of a conversion that I just never had the time to unravel. Consequently, I popped my Vado camera in my change bag and was able to upload to Facebook, You Tube and save on my PC for future posterity. (Editing currently is a thing of the past, but I harbour delusions that one day I will produce a fantastic video record of poppet’s early years). The Vado – or equivalent – is a must for the classroom. No set up required, just point, shoot, download, share, and if you need to you can edit, but in many cases you just simply play it back and discuss, evaluate and treasure the incredible amount of learning that can take place when the learning moment is not overshadowed by the technicalities of taking video but itself remains paramount. Fit for purpose rating: 5 stars - faultless
The phone is no longer sufficient. Family and friends actually no longer want to talk to us but rather ogle and make funny noises at poppet who unbeknownst to them is only smiling back because we have glued her favourite toy to the top of the monitor. Seriously, though, by using Skype as consistently as we have been since the birth, interaction with friends and family has been enriched. The visual dimension has added so much to the conversation, not only by seeing the expression on their faces but with the guided tour around my friend’s new flat, being introduced to the new dog and my niece showing me all her birthday presents.
We all know Skype can enable student interaction with other schools and experts that they might not otherwise be able to meet. However try adding a visual showand-tell element to these conversations for extra enrichment. Fit for purpose rating: 4 stars – if not already set up, it may require some “faffing” but once up and running, it is seamless and indispensible.
Conclusion Apologies for the “me-post” as they say on forums when you just write about yourself and fail to answer anyone else’s queries, but I have a heap of exciting projects to look forward to over the next few months so I will be sharing lessons learned in the classroom as opposed to the nursery. Oh and a P.S., probably of little educational application, but undoubtedly invaluable as a new mum: I’d have to add a sixth - My Sky. Live pause is a godsend.
tricia kenyon and barbara griffith
Title: A Child’s Garden A story of hope Author/Illustrator: Michael Foreman ISBN 978-1-4063-2588-1
Lessons in hope
Children see that a simple plant can represent perserverance, beauty and community.
his book tells the story of a small boy living in the ruins of a village torn apart by war. His home has been reduced to rubble, and a barbed wire fence now separates him from the streams and hills he once visited with his father.
One day the soldiers come and destroy it. The boy is devastated and spends the cold winter months heartbroken. In the spring the boy begins to feel hope again when he finds the vine sprouts on both side of the fence. The boy and a small girl on the other side of the fence tend to the plants. Both plants grow from each side of the fence and intertwine and grow together with children playing happily on each side.
In the rubble he finds a speck of green “peeping up toward the sunlight.” He nurtures the tiny plant, collecting rainwater for it and shading it from the sun. It grows into a beautiful grapevine, which covers the high barbed wire fence.
Birds, butterflies and other children are attracted to the vine, and they play happily around this sea of colour in the bleak environment in which they live.
In his illustrations, Michael uses stark drawings of the boy’s bleak environment. As the vine grows and flourishes, he introduces light and colour. When the vine is destroyed, he reverts back to the black and white illustrations until the springtime comes again.
What message is the author trying to portray by his use of both black and white and colour?
Choose what you think are the story’s six main events and do a small stick illustration to show what was happening at this stage in the story. Add some text to help tell the story. You could add some speech bubbles showing what the boy might have been saying or thinking.
tricia kenyon and barbara griffith
Descriptive language Together the pictures and phrases in this stor y create a metaphor, which helps to portray a wider message. Discuss the following phrases in the story and decide upon a possible wider message: • The tendrils of the vine spreading across the bleak landscape (bringing promise). • Soldiers tear down the vine but that doesn’t stop it sowing seeds on the other side of the barbed wire fence so that it will grow again. • The two vines, one from each side of the fence, intertwine and grow together with children playing happily under each side.
• How did you feel about the soldiers destroying the vine? • What was your long-term dream? Will it happen?
Other topics for discussion • Where might this story be set?
• Could it have been in Palestine?
• Why did you start tending the plant?
• Are there any other places it could be?
Soldiers • Why did you destroy the vine?
• Children can sow seeds across adult barriers and make a big difference.
• How did you feel after you had finished?
Discuss this statement. Is this possible?
The Children • What did you say to each other through the barbed wire fence?
Vocabulary Rewrite the following phrases from the story in your own words.
In my words it means
The boy’s world was a place of ruin and rubble, ringed by a fence of barbed wire. A speck of green, peeping up toward the sunlight. Tiny specks of green peeping from the rubble where his garden had been. Roots are deep and seeds spread.
Ask some students from the class to role-play the story’s characters in a panel discussion. The role players sit at the front of the room wearing a nametag. All others in the class are the audience and ask questions of the characters. (It works better if most of these questions have been planned in advance.) Those playing the characters answer as they think their character would have answered.
This book is dedicated to Dr Martin Bax. Research who he is and suggest why you think the book may have been dedicated to him? Why has Amnesty International been mentioned in the dedication page?
Some possible examples of questions: Boy • How did finding the plant and caring for it make you feel? • Why do you think this? • What was it like living in a country ravaged by war? How would you see life? • When the plant began to grow on your side of the fence, what message did you get?
Kids need – and want – active and involved teachers Become an even better teacher by taking time to connect.
recently did a survey through a radio station asking listeners: “If you could have anything from your school, what would it be?” You might be surprised that teens don’t want the latest technology or laptops in their classroom. Not even been allowed to play with the latest cell phones in class rated high, although the latest iPod scored a few votes. The overwhelming response was for teachers to take an active interest in their lives. Our kids want you in their life. Go figure. Most teens are happy to back chat you, moan about you and complain that you are boring, yet they actually want teachers to take an active interest in them, to get personal. One of the teens who called the radio station told a story of making their national touch rugby finals, and his school never mentioned one word of encouragement to him. Many teachers tell me they are so focused on teaching their students and in the next breath say how hard it is to communicate with teens. I recently had a teacher at a teenology workshop say, “I was there for my kids but I was never there.” Although he felt he was a dedicated and competent teacher, he admitted he just wasn’t involved in his kids’ lives and he had realised that his students were missing out because he was buckling under the weight of work and life pressure. I have also witnessed too many sporting games that have enthusiastic kids but hardly a parent to be seen. Our kids are crying out for adults to take an active interest in their lives.
Medicine, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the behaviour of 552 adults aged between 19 to 90. They found 45 percent were video-game players and did little or no exercise, with men accounting for 56 percent of this group. The researchers found that the men who played video games weighed more and women who played video games reported greater levels of depression and poorer overall health than non-gamers. The researchers reported a higher body weight and a greater number of “poor mental health days.”
“ Most teens are happy to back chat you, moan about you and complain that you are boring, yet they actually want teachers to take an active interest in them, to get personal.” The best way to get involved in your kids’ lives is to become active in your own first. Science backs up what I’m saying. When we do exercise, our body is flooded with endorphins (happy hormones). Exercise also elevates the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our brains. These chemicals alleviate depression, create feelings of calm and happiness, make us laugh, create a sense of belonging, and aid in positive interactions and confidence. Movement and exercise helps to strengthen the memory and your functional muscles and boost the immune system.
Here are two strategies to help:
Adults need these positive hormones just as much as Teens.
Get involved in your students’ sports or activities. It allows you to have common things to talk about. You also get to see what’s happening outside of the classroom. Your kids will love you for it. More than 40 years later, I still remember my dad being involved in my sport. It means a lot to me.
So if you currently do little to no exercise, here are some sobering facts. Video games might be regarded as an obsession for youngsters but the average player is aged 35, often overweight, introverted and often depressed, according to a U.S. study. In the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive
Become an exerciser instead of a all-thetime video gamer. The teacher I just spoke of joined a cycling club and really enjoyed it. His mates have challenged him to join them in a cycling race later in the year, and he’s really excited about it. And here’s the spin off: He told all of his kids his personal goal and his students have got in behind and encouraged him. His students are genuinely excited for him and even give him grief if they catch him eating junk food. Class room learning has significantly gone up, teenage aggravation has gone down, and communication has vastly improved. Bottom line: You can’t engage fully with a teen by sitting on your butt or allowing work to over run your life. Teens need teachers to be fully engaged to help guide them through the mine field of adolescence. Do exciting things outside of class and school time and get personal with your students. This will help you to be actively involved in your students’ lives and is probably the best way to open communication lines. You will enjoy your students more, and they will love you for it.
The top nine fashion mistakes that are also very bad manners Looking good is often about being neat and clean.
ike it or not, argue with it or agree, try to change it or accept it, by ignorance or arrogance, what you wear screams to the world what kind of person you are. The following are things that people who do understand good clothing manners would never do. Ignorance will no longer be an excuse because after you read this list, and you still choose to have bad clothing manners, you will need to accept that there will be people who judge you as having bad manners and as being disrespectful. 1. Wearing a hat or sunglasses inside – even if the sunglasses are on the top of your head. Fashion statement or expensive does not change the fact that both are bad manners and disrespectful to the other people in the group, room or restaurant. 2. Wearing a short dress to a black-tie event – Ladies, regardless of how pretty the dress, black-tie means a long dress.
8. Dirty shoes – For both guys and girls, dirty shoes say you lack discipline, you are lazy and you can’t be bothered. Even the cheapest shoes look better if they are clean and a $1,000 pair of shoes will look cheap if they are dirty. Never, ever, ever leave
9. Unironed, faded, dirty, smelly or “pilly,” uncared for clothes – Once again, all say you are a lazy person. Whether you can afford nice clothes or not, there is no excuse for not caring for the clothes you have. And if you don’t care what you look like, great, but please accept the fact that other people will judge you. You will have to accept less opportunity for career promotion, less chance of attracting well-mannered, well-dressed people into your life, less chance of great customer service in stores, and some establishments will simply not let you in. You may wish people did not judge you by the way you look, but they do.
“ Never, ever, ever leave your house with dirty shoes. Even your sports shoes.”
4. Cleavage showing or wearing a very short dress to a wedding – The bride is the person everyone should be admiring at a wedding, not the woman who needs to show off her assets. This disrespectful act screams low self-esteem and not a very nice girl. 5. Leaving your shoes on – Whenever you go to another person’s house, even if the floor is dirty and even if the owners have their shoes on, always offer to take your shoes off. It is just good manners
7. A cheap tie because you can’t be bothered – Guys, investing in a goodquality silk tie says that even if you are not of means, you have taken the dress code seriously. A good-quality tie, shirt, shoes will put the spotlight on your superb taste in accessories, and you may get away with a less expensive suit.
your house with dirty shoes. Even your sports shoes. They come up like new if you wash them regularly in the washing machine
3. White socks with long dark pants – Guys just don’t do it! Better to wash your last pair of dark socks and wear them wet than to wear white socks with your corporate pants.
6. Wearing / buying fake designer label clothing – This is called stealing! If you were a designer and you had the talent and drive and commitment and discipline to create such beautiful things, how would you feel if people copied your designs or worse, bought cheap copies? This is not a form of flattery to the designer. It is stealing, plain and simple, and it is wrong!
Resistance exercise really does matter Encourage overweight and obese youth to do more “pushing and pulling” in everyday activity.
hat health and PE teachers may do better than any GP or health and fitness professional is to be able to educate their “at-risk” overweight youth on the importance of understanding the factors associated with energy balance. For it is the teacher’s relationship with an overweight or obese youth student, as well as the teacher’s daily contact time with the student(s) over the entirety of a school year or number of years, that is most unique. And from the student’s perspective, success or otherwise in losing weight or controlling further weight gain may occur due to this unique relationship. The PE teacher is often perceived as an “expert” in health issues. He or she may therefore be better placed to allay the underlying confusion that evolves from the many and varied weight loss messages and approaches, as well as “engage” overweight students in the longterm behaviour-change journey that must be undertaken in order to attain and sustain a more healthy weight. So this article is written for teachers who are exposed to mentoring and supporting
overweight and obese youth on a daily basis. The intent is to increase your knowledge and expertise in understanding the complexities of energy balance. Hopefully you may then use this knowledge to inspire and educate our youth on how to attain and more important, maintain a healthy weight throughout their life. I call it Energy Balance 101 – it’s complex and confusing, but to understand basic weight management, it’s important.
Energy Balance 101 Energy balance, as many of you already know, is the combined processes of caloric intake, caloric storing and caloric expenditure. When all are in-sync, body weight stays relatively stable. If caloric intake is high (food intake) and caloric expenditure is low (no or lowered exercise), then for many, weight starts to increase. But we all differ in our genetic makeup, so for some, a high intake of food and low activity output may not cause any change in weight as a higher “metabolic rate” has been genetically coded. Confusing isn’t it? But genetics (hormonal influences), resting
metabolism, level of activity and of course, the quality and quantity of nutritional intake, all combine to each play a part in the body’s weight-regulation mechanisms. Some factors we can manipulate, whilst others, such as genetics, we can’t. So, let’s take a closer look at the variables that can be influenced when it comes to understanding the complexities of losing or maintaining weight. ENERGY BALANCE = ENERGY INTAKE + ENERGY OUTPUT We’ve all seen or heard of this equation, and it is simple enough. However, there is more to this equation than meets the eye and to really understand the basis of weight loss, this equation needs to be peeled back as a host of other variables influence each component of this formula. Let’s start with “energy output” or as it is referred to in physiology – total daily energy expenditure. Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is of interest to health and weight researchers the world over. Why? Because this is the term used to describe how much energy is used
TDEE is made up of three primary components: 1. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) 2. The thermic (heat generating) effects of exercise and physical activity (TEPA), and 3. The thermic effects of feeding (TEF) Therefore, the more specific equation which underlies the energy balance equation is: TDEE = RMR + TEPA + TEF Understanding each component of this formula is critical for those assisting others to lose or maintain a more healthful weight. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): Understanding RMR has become increasingly important in weight loss because an individual’s metabolic rate at rest accounts for around a whopping 60 to 75 percent of all calorie-burning in the body. RMR refers to the amount of energy required and used by the body to maintain organ systems and body temperature (homeostasis). Because muscle tissue is the largest tissue in the entire body, there is a now a lot of interest in how RMR can be manipulated upwards through the development of more muscle. It is for this reason that resistance training is now included in many weight loss programmes.
Very simply, by overloading muscles (like hanging on the bars in the play-ground or doing resistance training), muscle fibres are stimulated both metabolically and neurologically. Over time with enough increased “load,” they tone up and for postpubescent testosterone-ridden young males, these muscles also hypertrophy (gain size).
But here’s the most important key: With regular and progressive “loading” of the different muscle groups (along with aerobic exercise), the muscle fibres are stimulated to gradually increase their mitochondrial density. Mitochondria are the most important structures for weight loss as it is in these organelles that fatty acids are oxidised (broken down) to produce ATP. If you’ve ever heard the saying “fat is burned in muscle,” then this is what it refers to.
The most critical issue then for weight loss, is that those people who develop and grow more muscle tissue become more effective at “burning” more calories at rest than those who have mainly fat tissue. This becomes important for youth students who, in reality, spend around six hours daily at a desk and however many more hours sitting at computers or television sets. Even better, if we can get overweight youth into some form of light to moderate “pushing and pulling” exercise that overloads muscle groups early on in their high school years, muscle tissue already developed (from primary school activity for example or from child-hood sports participation) is maintained, thus slowing down the weight gain typically seen in pubertal years. Thermic Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity (TEPA): Structured exercise (e.g. walking for 60 mins) as well as non-structured activity or “snactivity,” (e.g. doing household chores, walking the stairs, cycling or walking to school etc), accounts for another few calories expended or “burnt.” In fact, most research shows that 15 to 30 percent of total daily energy expenditure is accounted for by the energy required for structured and un-structured daily activity. It’s another reason why health messages targeting those who don’t do any structured activity or exercise concentrate on getting the ‘snack-tivity’ message across. Most recently, this non-structured movement has been given the acronym “NEAT.” It stands for “non-exercise a c t i v i t y thermogenesis” and is the increase in temperature we gain from our lifestyle a c t i v i t y, w h i c h in turn, along with BMR, also significantly influences our metabolic rate. A n o t h e r m o r e controversial issue, though, i s t h a t by increasing intensity of effort, more calories are expended. The intensity debate has been around for a while now, but essentially, the harder you work for a sustained period of
time, “calorie-burning” continues long after exercise ceases. This is generally acknowledged by physiologists as the “paying back” of oxygen debt after harder exercise. In other words, the metabolism takes longer to return to homeostasis (resting levels), so the “energy cost” of doing harder activity increases metabolic rate for longer. Turning up the intensity of planned workouts contributes to greater TEPA, and this is now acknowledged in the revised exercise guidelines from the American Heart Association. For people or students pressed for time, it’s now recommended to exercise more vigorously on some days (about twice weekly). Simply put, your heart rate, blood pressure and temperature are elevated higher during a more vigorous workout, causing your internal metabolic rate to remain higher for longer after the workout. Even better, by doing structured exercise in the morning prior to getting o n w i t h t h e d a y, metabolism generally stays elevated for longer as the nonstructured effect of activity kicks
(or how many calories are “burned”) by an individual during a 24-hour period. With obesity-related lifestyle diseases on the rise in many Westernised countries, you can see why interest is emerging in being able to better understand the influences on energy expenditure.
in. Many successful exercise specialists and trainers know that manipulating calorieburning for clients means making the client work harder for longer doing both cardiovascular and resistance exercise. It’s all about intensity of effort, and this is what inevitably gets great weight loss results in the longer term.
are actually slowing down their metabolism. Very low-calorie, nutrient-poor diets often fail because there are not enough calories and/or nutrients consumed to fuel daily physical activity. This underfeeding therefore leads to a diminished metabolism. In fact, some research has shown that restrictive diets are not only tough to maintain, but actually trigger mechanisms in the brain to suppress the body’s usual resting metabolic rate by as much as 20 percent. So the “take-home” news from this is: To speed up your metabolism you have to eat little and often, whilst remembering that the type of food and these days “why” we eat are equally important considerations in long-term weight loss management.
“ The PE teacher is often perceived as an “expert” in health issues. He or she may therefore be better placed to allay the underlying confusion that evolves from the many and varied weight loss messages.”
This intensity issue is controversial, however, and must be addressed r a t i o n a l l y. T h e counter argument is that overweight and poorly conditioned individuals haven’t developed the joint and circulatory mechanisms or motivation to tolerate harder exercise. This means that from a practical stand-point, a gradual exercise progression is paramount to increase the student’s tolerance to higher-intensity exercise. It is also part of the argument for resistance training in overweight populations. Resistance training interspersed with short bouts of cardio (as in circuit training) is often tolerated and sustained more readily for overweight people than joint-taxing exercise such as jogging or walking.
Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF): The final component in the energy expenditure equation relates to food – what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat. TEF refers to the energy required for digestion, absorption, transport, metabolism (energy transfer) and storage of consumed food. In other words, it’s the internal energy required to move the muffin eaten into energy for movement or, for those not moving much, to convert the components of the muffin (fatty acids and glucose) into fat storage areas. This act of converting the food we eat into either energy or storage accounts for approximately 10 to 15 percent of daily calorie burn. It’s also the rationale behind the fact that people who don’t eat much, e.g. go on extreme diets or very low-calorie diets,
But wait – there’s more! Despite the simplicity of the Energy Expenditure equation (TDEE = RMR + TEPA + TEF) unfortunately there is more. Throughout our life stages, a host of factors influence metabolism. Pregnancy and puberty are two life stages that cause weight gain. Another is getting older and becoming less active. Physical inactivity contributes to a loss of muscle over time and it is this aspect that researchers attribute an additional drop in RMR of two to three percent per decade. Finally, we cannot discuss energy balance, metabolic rate and calorie-burning without mentioning some specific hormones. For those people under some degree of stress, including youth populations experiencing poor sleep patterns and insomnia, weight loss becomes harder. It is this aspect that is gaining momentum in youth obesity research. It’s the same for all of us, when we don’t get enough sleep, hormonal levels of cortisol increase. This hormone accumulates and acts as a “stress hormone” over time. Unfortunately, when levels of cortisol increase, fat is retained in fat storage areas making it hard to lose weight. The other problem for some overweight
students is that they may well be using “quickfix” energy drinks to give them “energy” when they don’t get enough sleep. The caffeine in these drinks stimulates the adrenal system to increase heart rate and “energy.”A combination of increased adrenaline levels as well as the accumulating effects of fatigue increase cortisol production further. It becomes even harder to shift fat stores. Endocrinologists also know that too many energy drinks, poor nutritional choices and low or no daily exercise, cause some overweight youth to commence down the slippery slope of becoming “resistant to the normal role of insulin” (insulin is a carrier of glucose to working muscle). When insulin mechanisms are interfered with, the glucose literally bypasses normal muscle metabolism and gets carried to adipose (fat) tissue. Without a doubt, weight management for the youth market is a complex issue. No-one has all the answers. As well, a multitude of supposedly “effective” interventions are being advertised daily, confusing individuals everywhere. Encouraging, educating and supporting all students into more healthful activity are always the intent of PE teachers and overweight or obese youth should be no different. By advising and supporting the following behaviours, teachers can and possibly will make a difference to these youth in their pastoral care: • Increase daily activity (planned and unplanned) – to increase TEA • Get good quality sleep • Drink at least 1.5 litres of water daily (not energy drinks) • Increase the intake of good quality protein (to increase the TEF) • Increase the intake of fruit and veggies to get vital anti-oxidants • Do some “pushing and pulling” daily or every two days to increase muscle density (to increase Resting Metabolism (RMR) • If possible and if practical, allocate these youth to do extra light-moderate resistance training in the school gym area (refer to the revised guidelines for youth resistance training on the website of Fitness NZ). These are still the best undisputed strategies for building daily energy, boosting metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight for life.
Change – for good There’s always a way to improve your life and business.
I’m not suggesting change for change’s sake, but rather a good, old-fashioned check up across every aspect of yourself and your business. To accept the current is to accept mediocrity going forward.
here’s a wonderful old adage that goes something like, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
As a business developer working with small and medium-sized businesses up and down New Zealand, I am often confronted with people looking for something different, a change, and yet they seldom want to actually do anything differently. The definition of insanity should read, “To do the same thing day in and day out and pray for a different result.” Nothing is surer. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. Akin to this is the fact that if we don’t change, then we will get run over by the competition as they come crashing along behind us and eventually overtake. It is naive to think for a moment that everything we do is being done the very best it can be. We can all improve in many aspects of our business and personal lives. Perfection is a myth, and I would suggest that to live in a state of perfection would become boring quickly.
Here’s a good example: When I started work back in 1980 there weren’t blogs and, of course, there wasn’t even an Internet, and the only computers t h a t I remember were as big as a room and only for the rich. Imagine my amazement when my office upgraded from a normal typewriter to an electric typewriter. I was convinced that the white ‘auto-erase’ ribbon that could white out any mistake that I made while I was typing was clearly the best that we could ever aspire to. The IBM golf-ball typewriter wasn’t broken, but thankfully somebody decided it needed fixing. The next step was personal and micro computers. It took me a while, but when I finally found out how to use Spellcheck to my advantage, I could concentrate on the thoughts that I wanted to get down and stop worrying about errors on the page. The point here is that I concentrate more on those red squiggles after I’ve written out a blog or article. Knowing that I can go back and fix those things after allows me to write the way that I’m supposed to, from start to finish concentrating on getting the whole idea down. The mistakes and typos can wait until after. Then we can turn to the Internet itself. I still love the library, and I don’t think that the Internet will ever replace those fantastic buildings for the relative comfort of sitting
down in a cozy environment with a good book. The smell is instantly recognisable, too! I’ve written two books and have three more on the way. Whilst they are available on the web and in all good bookstores, I still like to see them sitting on a library shelf. Suffice to say that the web has some distinct advantages when it comes to research. I never imagined that one day I’d have all this knowledge at my fingertips, and I can certainly be more productive than ever before. Now let’s turn to your own business. Maybe you feel that there’s nothing new to be done or had in your business. I beg to disagree. Even in something as simple as marketing, there are always new ways of doing things. Have you explored the myriad of new social networks out there? Are they housing (hiding) prospective clients for your business? We’ve all read that a referral is always a hotter prospect than a cold call, and the social networks really take personal referrals to a new level. Personally I fought joining Facebook, Linked-In, Speaker-Site and others. Eventually my clients kept inviting me; who was I to go against the recommendations of my own clients? They wanted me there, and business is booming. It’s a new discipline, but then so was learning to type on an electric typewriter, and then later a computer. Being awake and alert to new technologies and ways of doing things is exhausting. Popping one’s head in the sand is an easy answer, but it’s not the right answer. Arguing “it isn’t broken” is not the answer either. Objectively looking at everything with fresh eyes and choosing to fix it, improve it and make it even better is the way ahead. I use students for this regularly; they often haven’t been in the real world yet and so are not constrained by conditional thinking. Their insights are invaluable.
the last word: Karen Boyes
The importance of visual arts Boost maths and reading ability with a variety of visual arts.
he visual arts are a universal language and help students construct meaning. Abraham Maslow once said, “the arts are far closer to the core of education than are the more exalted subjects.” So what are visual arts? They include design: art production, paper and canvas work, photography, drawing, illustrating, painting; technical theatre work: costume design, make-up, lighting, props, scenery; technology: film-making, visualising, computer graphics, editing, shooting, print making; and architecture, visual thinking, graphic organisers, mindmaps.
Students in secondary school classes have reported that drawing complements the writing and thinking process by enabling them to clarify their ideas, which leads to improved comprehension. There are many different visual arts tools. Concept mapping identifies the micro and macro elements of a topic, and conceptual graphs can help capture expert knowledge. Mind-mapping can stimulate creativity and enhance recall. Clustering groups of similar items can improve comprehension, idea fluency and organisation. Webbing helps the learner link prior knowledge to current knowledge.
Abraham Maslow once said “the arts are far closer to the core of education than are the more exalted subjects.”
Howard Gardner states that visual artists need strong spatial senses and possess a high form of intelligence. Doing art is a way of thinking and demonstrates the product of thinking. Drawing allows our fertile imagination to create meaning.
Nikolaus Bezruczko and David Schroeder suggested in 1996 that the benefits are greater when the visual arts are started early. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Visual arts improve reading and maths scores. One study took 96 pupils in eight, year-two classes. Four classes were given an arts-enriched programme while the remaining four classes acted as the control group with a standard arts curriculum. After seven months, the students in artsenriched classes averaged 77 percent on reading and maths tests while the control group averaged 55 percent.
Practical ideas for the classroom • Allow students to doodle, illustrate or mindmap in class. • Use colours and draw symbols to recall easily.
• Give students choice in using visual tools. One day, they might use a mindmap and the next a flow chart. • Give students a chance to create their own future. Allow them to create a blue print of their life. • Study the art from different cultures. • Set goals and cut out pictures from magazines to make a poster of these goals. • Ask students to demonstrate what they have learned in many different ways using graphic organisers, pictures, and murals. Eric Jensen maintains that visual arts represent a way of thinking and expressing oneself. He continues to say, without this, students are forced to think the way teachers want them to think, reducing creativity and expression. Unless students have access to stimulating arts activities, they’re cut off from many ways to perceive the world.
• Encourage students to colour code work and ideas. • Ask students to visually represent an event, how they feel about themselves or a self review. • Bring in examples of art you enjoy and share it with your students. • Make comments about the sheer beauty and joy of visual displays, pictures and other work. • As early as possible, involve students with visual tools. • Give students ways to use visual tools creatively.
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