We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the Marzano’s New Art and Science of Teaching. I think that this is partially because of the recently developed opinions surrounding Bloom’s taxonomy (BT) – there are those who would claim that due to it’s inability to consider the student as a whole human being, it falls down unforgivably.
When thought about, this opinion of BT makes perfect sense. As teachers we are encouraged to use the fanciest cognitive verbs we can conjure up… but if our students are not fully prepared to learn then fancy verbs and expertly crafted lesson plans won’t make much of a difference.
Robert Marzano’s taxonomy is made up of three systems that are critical to thinking and learning. The three systems are;
The Meta-cognitive system
The Cognitive system
The Self-system, as the name would suggest, is a student’s most interpersonal system and is responsible for the attitudes, beliefs and feelings that determine whether or not the motivation to learn exists. Sense of importance, self-efficacy and socio-emotional factors all play a role in the level of motivation a student feels.
The meta-cognitive system is responsible for determining what information is essential and what cognitive processes are best suited to working with that information. This is where goals are set, monitored and, if necessary, adjusted.
Finally, the cognitive system is where the the mental processes work to make use of new knowledge. This system allows students to access facts and processes from their memories and put them to work. Marzano breaks the Cognitive System down into four components: knowledge retrieval, comprehension, analysis, and knowledge utilisation. These components are hierarchal and build upon one another, as illustrated below…
I have a printed (and laminated ❤ ) copy of the above taxonomy / cognitive verb breakdown on my desk so that when I’m drafting new lesson plans it’s within reach – so far I’ve found it to be extremely helpful as it saves me googling the taxonomy for every new learning intention.
How do you feel about the shift from Blooms to Marzano? I’d love to hear some more opinions!
Also – I got a lot of messages last week asking about the watercolour clip art I’ve adopted into my blogging routine ❤ They are all free downloads from Fox and Hazel ❤ They are free to use for personal use (i.e. blogs etc.) but if you’re selling them obviously you’ll need to buy a commercial licence ❤
That’s all from me for now… have a wonderful week lovelies x
Marzano, R. J. (2000). Designing a new taxonomy of educational objectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Schoenfeld, A. (1992). Learning to think mathematically: problem solving, metacognition, and sense making in mathematics. In D. A. Grows (Ed.). Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning, (pp. 334-370). New York: Macmillan.
This week teachers and students in the North Queensland region will return to school after a horrific week of monsoonal rains. Record flood levels were exceeded, crocodiles were roaming the streets and hundreds were forced to flee their homes as they were inundated by flowing water.
The rain started a little over a week ago. At first it was nothing special, a cool relief from the hot muggy atmosphere that is generally accepted as Townsville’s norm. But then it got heavier, and heavier, and showed no sign of slowing down. By Saturday the 2nd of February people were beginning to leave their homes and move to higher ground, many stayed. On Sunday, we heard the first reports of SES boats and Army personnel being called to “rescue” people whose homes were now underwater. By Monday morning the horror stories were circulating – ‘a mother and her 2 year old were left stranded on a roof’, ‘ a husband and wife had to swim from their home to the local shopping centre because nobody would come and rescue them’, ‘an irresponsible pet owner had left their dog tied in the back yard, only to later be rescued, half strangled, in the sweeping tides’. In Idalia, one of the worst affected suburbs, the sewage system collapsed, adding human excrement to the all ready rank, diseased flood waters.
By all reports, the terror of the 2019 floods far out-weighted any natural disaster previously experienced by residents in the Townsville region. Interviews with victims showed them smiling at the distant memory of 2011’s Cyclone Yasi and, for those who could remember the “Night of Noah”, the yet-to-be-named 2019 flood disaster failed to compare.
I’ve put together a collection of photos that attempts to depict the catastrophic extent of the flood. Most were found on facebook and I have done my best to appropriately credit each and every one – however with the share-re-share nature of social media I may have made a mistake. If I have made a mistake, or if a photo is yours and you would like it removed from this gallery, please get in touch so I can fix it up.
I’m currently completing my final student teacher placement and, personally, I have never had to deal with a disaster of this caliber. As stressed out as I am, worrying about my own home, friends and family I know that when I return to school I will need to be strong, put my personal grievances aside and think of my students. Natural disasters are particularly traumatic for children and youth so to make sure that I am the best teacher I can be when school returns I have compiled a list of things to keep in mind (there is a list of useful websites that I used at the bottom of this post if you would like more information!).
1. Remain calm and reassuring
Kids are like sponges, they easily absorb the energy and vibes of people around them, especially older people they look up to (aka. teachers). There will already be a lot of unrest around the school yard, emotions will be high and, not surprisingly, performance is expected to decrease for a period of time. Take a deep breath, and remember that they’re not giving you a hard time, they’re having a hard time!
2. Plan shorter lessons, go at a slower pace and give less homework
After a natural disaster student’s socio-emotional wellbeing has to come before their academic standing. Robert Marzano believes that if a learner’s self and metacognitive systems are not healthy then the cognitive system (where the learning happens) will not work to its full potential and students won’t learn. If you can, a quick whole class meditation session, can do wonders for classroom atmosphere and student wellbeing.
3. Acknowledge and talk about students experiences
Allowing students to talk through their experiences allows them to release negative, pent up, stressful energy and often they’ll find that one of their classmates has gone through an extremely similar experience. Don’t forget about your school’s counsellor – if a student shows signs of depression or anxiety the most qualified person to give them the guidance they need is the school counsellor.
4. Be careful of what you say
It is important for teachers to be able to relate to one another and talk through their experiences with their colleagues, however when there are students near by it is important to be careful what you share because your words could easily make students more anxious than they already are.
5. Don’t forget about yourself
It is important to be strong for your students, but it is equally as important to stay in tune with your own vibes and make sure that, if you need to, you take time for yourself. Talk to your school administration (or the university administration if you’re a student teacher like me), don’t make any big decisions and don’t over do it – whatever the mess is… it will still be there tomorrow.
Some of you might remember that last year, in the my series “The Student Teacher Diaries” I mentioned my upcoming trip to Cambodia. The entire thing was inspired by one very adventurous friend at University (she appears several times in the vlogs) and I’m not sure if I ever really thanked her for the amazing job she did planning our trip, booking our flights and making sure that we made the absolute most of our time abroad.
Thank you Miss Cloudy! You’re an absolute potato gem and I am very lucky to have a friend like you constantly encouraging me to stretch to my full potential ❤ ❤ ❤
True to my word I did manage to vlog (most of) our incredible Cambodian experience. However due to the shear quantity of footage I am going to break this series down into parts. I’m aiming to make each episode around 20 minutes long (because let’s face it the upload time on anything more than that is just ridiculous!), so I think there will be 3, maybe 4 episodes in total.
I do want to stress that I gained explicit permission from everybody involved (The FutureSense Foundation, children, teachers and guardians) before filming or photographing anyone, and I made it clear what the footage was going to be used for.
I’m so excited to share this incredible experience with you. Working with the FutureSense Foundation was incredibly rewarding and I can’t wait to travel to one of their other hubs and do it all over again!!!!
I hope you enjoy watching my adventure as much as I enjoyed having it ❤ ❤ ❤
If you have any questions about volunteering with FutureSense, Cambodia or my experiences over there please don’t hesitate to send me a message! AND if there’s anyone out there who has done some time at a different FutureSense Hub please let me know!!
I am currently completing my fourth (and final) student teacher placement. Part of this final professional experience is the completion of our GTPA (Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment) – a gruelling 5000 word assignment which is basically a compilation of everything we have learnt over the last 4 years.
To support our claims within the GTPA we need to provide evidence, such as lesson plans, that demonstrate our ability to align curriculum, pedagogy, legislation, policy and theory. To make this entire process a little easier on myself I developed this lesson plan template…gtpa_lesson plan_template ❤
The entire plan is VERY EXPLICIT and I would not recommend using it UNLESS you are completing the GTPA yourself. On a regular day-to-day basis there is just TOO MUCH there, and as a teacher you would not have anywhere near enough time for that..
The post lesson reflection section has a total of 50 potential questions, explicitly linked to the sections of the QCT Evidence Guide to help when putting together the final assessment piece. It was never my intention to answer every single one of those reflection questions following each lesson, I would simply pick and choose the ones I felt related the most and use those as the basis of my reflection.
Do you have a different method of collecting lesson plan data during student teaching? I would love to hear what you’re doing! My methods are constantly changing and evolving as I learn more about the practice of teaching so I am always interested to find out what other people are up to ❤
So this year I have decided to do something a little different with The Student Teacher Diaries. Last year, as many of you know, I recorded my experiences and created a series of Vlogs. This was a lot of fun… but VERY VERY time consuming. I am considering creating a seperate series of Vlogs, perhaps to discuss smaller day-to-day issues faced by student teachers, but as far as The Student Teacher Diaries is concerned, from now on I will be creating one blog post per week, similar to a journal, which lists my daily lesson reflections, thoughts and difficulties.
I would like to offer a massive thank you to everyone who has been a supporter of The Student Teacher Diaries (you know who you are) ❤ and I promise you I’m not going anywhere – I’m just changing it up a bit ❤
So without further a-doooo …
Week 1 (aka Planning Week), 2019
Today was bananas. For most of the returning teachers it was their first day back for the year and the staff room was chaotic. I loved the energy and the excitement I was feeling as a little student teacher was very closely mimicked by many of those around me. There was a mixture of people in the room, teachers from all different disciplines, backgrounds and experience levels were all thrown in together, creating an uplifting atmosphere of egalitarianism and comradery.
Our day was broken into 3 sessions. The first was prayer followed by the annual workplace induction.
I have never experienced prayer in such an open group setting before, and I found it to be a very peaceful way to start the day, especially after leaving the slightly over-crowded staffroom.
The middle and final sessions were focused on professional learning practices, or PLPs. Each teacher had an existing PLP from the previous year, incorporating individual goals for their personal pedagogy, curriculum and whole school ethos. I created my own PLP, based on my experience as a student teacher and I hope to use it as a reflection tool in the coming weeks.
We began the day by discussing Growth Mindsets and what it meant for students (and teachers!) to have good wellbeing. After lunch we went over the Code of Behaviour and classroom expectations and values. The remainder of the day was spent coaching the teachers who were new to the school on how to use assorted computer programs and functions. I found this really informative and took a few notes.
Today we revisited the school’s mantra for the year … Gratitude. There was a guest speaker in attendance who coached us on the “attitude of gratitude” and illuminated a few key wellbeing factors that were key to running a successful team. This session was slightly awkward at first, because as a pre-service teacher I was (by definition) the most temporary member of the team – however the teachers around my quickly took me under their wings and it didn’t take me long to get wrapped up in what the guest speaker was saying. The day went very quickly.
Today was amazing!! We began by going over the school pedagogical framework (PF) and discussing what it meant to be a part of a Professional learning community (PLC). Marzano (The New Art and Science of Teaching) and Hattie (Visible Learning) were both key players and discussed in depth (I think I’ll do a seperate blog post / summary on both of these frameworks). After lunch we had a presentation by the head of inclusive education and revised why it is so important to have a classroom that supports and fosters all students, regardless of socio-emotional, physical or cognitive ability. I spent the afternoon planning and getting my timetable in order – and I think I’m going to spend the evening getting a head start on my lesson planning. I developed a new lesson plan template – specifically to meet the requirements of the GTPA data collection brief – I will upload it HERE. PLEASE do not use this template unless you are preparing for your own GTPA – it is very in depth, has a lot of writing and is definitely NOT PRACTICAL for everyday use!!! (But if you need to collect evidence for your GTPA it is fantastic ❤ ❤ ❤ )
Lucky last day of week one!! We began the day with a whole staff Mass followed by morning tea. Mass was lovely and a really positive way to start the last day of planning week. The remainder of the day was spent in meetings with various heads of department and Pastoral leaders. My SBTE’s and I decided on which classes I was to teach and I did a quick outline of my official week 1 tasks.
Overall this week was incredible. It was so useful for me to attend all of the different PD’s and get a taste of what planning week is like. Not many student teachers get a chance to experience the hustle and bustle of school on day one of the year – I’m excited for next week to get here! I’m going to spend the weekend lesson planning and GTPA prepping ❤
Wowsers… so I had another hectic week last week and unfortunately my body could not keep up with my brain!!
I got what I think must have been the worst flu of my life… it was so bad I couldn’t even move from my couch for 2 days 😦
Something I didn’t go into very much in this video (but I think I’l talk about this week) is how hard it is, not only working full time AND being a full time university student, but being the partner of a FIFO worker. Normally I can handle Scott being away and it only affects me slightly but this week I really noticed his absence. It isn’t easy (if you watched last week’s blog you’ll know all about the pressure it puts on us) but we work really hard at our relationship and I’m so so soooo lucky that I found a man that loves me even when I’m crazy ❤ ❤ ❤ If you have any questions about how Scott and I keep balance in our relationship, please don’t hesitate to ask!
So without further a-do… here is this week’s Vlog ❤
That’s all from me this week guys,
I’m still recovering from my flu and, given my bed-ridden weekend, I’m also behind with my studies so most of this week will be spent playing catch up 🙂