My 2011 edu-dreaming …

After a significant mental hiatus from all things ‘edu’ related, I have found myself swamped by ideas, plans, must-dos, visions, inspiration and … of course – reality! As a means to cope with my heat oppress’d brain I aim to write a list of edu-dreams. Things that in an ideal world (one that involves absolutely NO administrative hurdles that I must o’er leap and fall down upon) I would love to try-out with students. Each edu-dream will be a mere dot point as dreams themselves are often sketchy and hard to grasp – so too will be my list. I guess in 12 months time I can come back to this post and see if I managed to conquer reality with my idealism – even if just one dream is realised. OK, here goes …

1. Create an indigenous sister school in Wilcannia – students in Years 9, 10 and 11 given opportunity to connect via video conference unit, edmodo and in person.

2. Introduce google docs to my senior classes

3. Have Year 9 participate in the Red Room Company’s ‘Papercuts’ program. Facilitate and inspired creative experience like this one.

4. Design and run 1-1 enhanced PBL experiences for Years 9, 10 and 11 – ideally one per term if possible. Project-based learning connects students to the real world.

5. Make spelling and vocabulary development relevant to each unit.

6. Bring Shakespeare to life – create a Globe Theatre (or at least the stage) and have students act out scenes of play being studied.

7. Present/celebrate student creativity and critical thought in as many ways a possible. Each unit needs to end with some form of celebration of learning.

8. Include debating (formal and informal) in all units.

9. Set up parent edmodo accounts and encourage active parent involvement in classroom – find specialists and harness these talents to enhance student learning. Include parents as ‘audience’ for learning celebrations.

10. Ensure all learning goals are displayed clearly for students each lesson – preferably projected onto whiteboard.

11. Student and teacher generated individualised learning plans created at the beginning of each unit. Active and continued completion of KWL tables.

12. Use google calendar to organise my edu life.

13. Set up and introduce edmodo ‘school’ domain to staff. Help Math dept see benefit of edmodo.

14. Each class must have an ‘experience’ at least once a term. An ‘experience’ is connecting with a class from another school (national or international), visiting somewhere outside of school, meeting someone amazing or having him/her speak to them. Most likely relate this to PBL.

So that’s just my dreams for now … I’ll be buffering them out next week as I actually plan my lessons for 2011. I’m really looking forward to it.

What are your edu-dreams for 2011? Can you help me achieve mine? How can I help you to achieve yours?

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16 thoughts on “My 2011 edu-dreaming …

  1. Wow, each year I try to come up with my own goals as well. I get the feeling I might be able to help achieve yours, particularly the sister school, I hope ours will be Menindee Central http://www.menindee-c.schools.nsw.edu.au/. Maybe think about a connection between your partner primary schools, that was one of our aims last year and now we’ll move on to the sister school idea. I love the debating idea as well; so vital. I’ll be back with more of an idea about my aims once I get some prep for As You Like It and Belonging out of the way!

  2. Thanks Troy :0) I actually have the email of a teacher at Wilcannia thanks to Paula, I just have to actually send the email! Even better I have the support of my principal – yay! Oh dear to belonging … pretty stoked I’m done with it although I know I have to actually cover the reading section. HSC is so low on my priorities atm, lol.

    I just realised that PBL would allow me to pretty much cover most of my edu-dreams … kinda.

  3. Great list of edu-dreams, Bianca. I also think many, if not all of them, are achievable. One problem – my contact at Wilcannia has been posted back to the Hunter but I can ask her for another contact point for you..

    I have classes eager to have experiences via video conferencing so keep Coffs in mind for any of your adventures.

    My edu-dreams include similar concepts but as you have said on Twitter – I too will be more regular with my blog and this will be a great place to start.

    • Oh no – that is so sad about Wilcannia – but still very keen if she has some connections still!

      I’ll definitely be calling on your classes to connect. I’m pretty excited about my classes and I feel a little sorry for them cos they don’t know what they’re getting. I’m 100% dedicated to them this year, it’s all about me and my classroom in 2011. I’m going for the positive modelling approach – haaha!

      :0)

  4. Don’t give up on the Maths faculty! I’m going to be seeing what can be done in my mine this year. Had good initial results last year, will be ramping up this year!

    • It’s difficult for them as there have been significant staffing changes and the HT is relatively new to his position. Other things are priority for the faculty, so I can see why I’d be viewed as a nuisance suggesting something else is taken on board. Still, I firmly believe that edmodo as a student to student and student to teacher communication platform actually decreased teacher workload and improves results. I guess I need to get some hard evidence to confirm that though, lol.

  5. Great dreams! No.10 was a requirement of our teachers for a while, but as with many of our inititives after time more requirements are put in place and people let go. We even had magnets on every whiteboard to remind teachers but they are either dirty and worn or gone altogether. Still, I do it when I remember and it is very useful to point to when you want students to focus on why they are doing what they are doing.

    • Hey :0)

      I can imagine that would be an initiative at your school – very well-meaning! Of course it is difficult for me to do this using the ‘official’ outcomes from the syllabus as I am an infamous door-handle planner and therefore my learning outcomes come from my mind, lol! Well-meaning but hopelessly disorganised 😉

  6. Love it! Very inspiring. Haven’t thought about planning yet, postponing the thinking about it till next week. But have been thinking about PBL since the conference end of term 4. Would love to do that with my year 9 and 10PDH classes. How to go about it, any suggestions? Do I need to enlist Dean into it?

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  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE the sister school idea- tell me how I can help (I won’t be too much help during term 2 but I think I can help from home after that!)

    • Of course you can help! Your first task – find a contact person at the school cos my old one moved, lol! And I only have until August because Rod said he’s support the idea – gotta get in before he goes!

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