Tag Archives: Data

Being Creative

19 Jan


Creativity  happens when people take risks with innovation, problem solving, and actions. If creativity is encouraged in schools, then the leader’s job is to create the conditions where it can happen.

The key question is though what are these conditions?

In an effort to understand the students we serve and the role of teachers in creating spaces where learning can happen, we created a list of what we believed these conditions were:

  • Knowing our learners (creating learning plans)
  • Creating a safe community of learners
  • Having something meaningful for students to learn about
  • As teachers we have to have a deep understanding of the content, the learner and instructional practices
  • The notion of teacher as learner and actually doing the risk taking, being open to make mistakes

Can you think of any further?


Blended Learning

25 Aug


Blending learning is a new and often misunderstood pedagogical term. The best blended learning teachers understand that blended learning is student-centred and based on data. I emphasize that “three Ps” should guide how teachers approach student driven blended learning:
  • Students choose their own path: By empowering students to pursue the topics that interest them in formats that best suit them, blended learning is appealing, engaging, and personalized. What’s more, it helps students feel a sense of ownership over their learning, while teachers provide expert guidance.
  • Students work at their own pace: By customizing the pace of instruction and learning to meet individual student needs, blended learning enables students to spend their time more productively. Students can focus on improving skills that need work and skip past material that they have already mastered, which makes instruction more targeted and responsive to the differentiated learning levels in a particular class.
  • Students choose the place where they learn: Because so many useful and engaging resources are available online, students can learn from home and on the go, as well as in more traditional classroom spaces. This means that learning can happen any-place and any-time.The classical flipped classroom.

What have been you experiences in the Flipped environment?

5 Points for Curriculum Leaders

9 Aug


  1. Keep Your Goals to the Forefront

 “All learners benefit from and should receive instruction that reflects clarity about purposes and priorities of content” (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006, p. 6).

  1. Curriculum Development Is A Process

You know that I often write about process. Curriculum mapping is an ongoing process which asks teachers to develop curriculum goals, identify essential content, skills and concepts, and reflect on the taught curriculum.  When teacher teams become satisfied with the product, then the process is at risk.  Curriculum development is “an ongoing process that asks teachers and administrators to think, act, and meet differently to improve their students’ learning”

(Hale, 2008, p. 8).  

  1. Communication Is Essential

Curriculum gaps create a barrier for student learning and have a detrimental effect on students’ opportunity to learn.  Gaps are created by a lack of communication among educators, varying implementation practices, available resources, and decisions about pacing.

  1. All by Myself

Empowering others is one of the main roles of curriculum leaders.  If you are feeling lonely at the top, take a moment to reflect on why no one seems to be following.

  1. Data

Curriculum leaders understand that curriculum alignment consists of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  Without a method of measurement, then it is highly unlikely that the curriculum will be implemented across classrooms. Use your data to drive where you want to go.

Read this article then go to Middle Leaders on TKI.


Anderson, L.W. (2002). Curricular Alignment: A Re-Examination. Theory into Practice, 41, 225-260.

Hale, J.A. (2008). A guide to curriculum mapping: Planning, implementing, and sustaining the process. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Steller, A.W. (1985). Forward. In Beane, J.A. (Ed.), Toward a coherent curriculum. The 1985 ASCD Yearbook. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  

Tomlinson, C.A., & McTighe, J. (2006). Integrating differentiated instruction and understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Lesson Objectives

4 Aug


This year I have been privileged to observe teaching pedagogy by teachers in classrooms in my school in departmental review and appraisal situations. One of the indicators of effective instruction is that each lesson has a clear learning intention stated up front to the students in the class. In many classrooms I visited the learning intention was also written for students. In the flipped classroom situation many students knew this before the lesson had even begun.

I was able to ask some students about why they learning this lesson and was puzzled by what I saw as a gap between students knowing the learning intentions and understanding the purpose of the lesson. This is not an uncommon problem.

After lots of reflection and some reading it appears to me that lesson intentions that focus simply on the skill/s being taught the connections or concepts students need to learn to apply these skills in new settings.

The following piece of research sums it up better than I:



22 Jul

In my NAPP inquiry this year we have been tracking the process of the Maori and OPI learners at the College. We have taken steps from Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success

  •  Hei Whakaaro: Thinking: What is the strategy about?
  •  Tutukia: Explore & investigate the evidence (that is the data)
  •  Mōhiotanga:  Understanding and connecting
  •  Whakamahi: Putting it into practice

Best practice in professional learning suggests evidence based data and not anecdotal is successful in improvement and measuring impact. Data from different sources can be used to determine the content of teachers’ professional learning and to design and monitor the impact of professional learning programs.

I am finding and research suggests evidence of hard data, rather than anecdotes, that is collected regularly is more useful. Student journals, for example, can be analysed to identify areas where students are struggling or how students are progressing from one month to another.

Data can be used to measure and improve the impact of professional learning. Formative evaluations allow teachers to make mid-program refinements and corrections, while summative evaluations measure the effectiveness of professional learning activities and their impact on teacher practice, knowledge and student learning

Data should be seen as complementary to the relationship between student and teacher.  At its very heart, learning is a relational process and quality learning depends on the strength and depth of the relationship since it involves building trust based on mutual respect.  How do you measure these sorts of domains?  How do you report on these?  If we only rely on quantitative data, we are doing a grave disservice to the learning and teaching process.

I believe data gives us the best indicator of where students are struggling; it will never replace the responsibility of teachers in asking why and how based on the mutual respect. Our focus as a SLT has been to help the entire community understand data so they can challenge their own learning communities to ask why and how.

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