Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

Differentiation for Learning in STEM Teaching

Carol Dweck: Mindset Interview

Carol Dweck: The Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck – A Study on Praise and Mindsets


Recommended Reading
General/practitioner readership
Brown, Roediger, & McDaniel: Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (2014)
Burnett: The Idiot Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head is Really Up To (2016)
Carey: How we learn (2015)
Didau: What if everything you knew about education was wrong? (2015)
Dweck: Mindset How We Can Learn To Fulfil Our Potential (2012)
Hymer & Gershon: Growth Mindset Pocketbook (2014)
Marzano, Pickering & Pollock: Classroom Instruction that Works (2004)
Sousa & Tomlinson: Differentiation and the Brain (2010)
Tomlinson: The Differentiated Classroom (2014)
Willingham: Why don’t students like school (2010)
Wiliam & Leahy: Embedding Formative Assessment (2015)

Technical/academic readership
Dweck: Self-theories Their Role in Motivation, Personality and Development (2000)
Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan & Willingham: Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4-58 (2013)
Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer & Bjork: Learning styles: Concepts and evidence Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 105-119 (2008)
Hall, T., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL implementation Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (2003)

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For the Love of Reading K. Lowe

Readers set goals
“When students ‘own’ their reading goals, they direct their efforts towards accomplishing the goal rather than completing the task to appease the teacher. Satisfaction comes from achieving what they set out to do. They are motivated by their accomplishments, not stars and stickers which fosters little more than dependency and resistance. ”
Teachers need to listen to students read, interact with students to find out their interests and choices to be able to negotiate reading goals which meet student needs.

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For the Love of Reading

Free Voluntary Reading
Students who participate in FVR:
Improve in reading
Increase their quantity of reading
Discover that reading is pleasurable
Develop superior general knowledge
Improve spelling, writing, grammar, reading comprehension, writing style, and vocabulary
Boost their understanding of English
Increase scores on reading tests and other subject matter tests
Become better thinkers
Increase their reading speed
Become motivated and interested in reading

FVR is dependent upon teachers’ trust, student choices, allocated time to read and quality reading resources.

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Putting Faces on the Data

What data sets are most helpful to you in humanising the Faces in your class, school and system?
How does knowing the data have an impact on what students learn?
How do you ensure that each Face counts and is accounted for?
How do teachers know what data sets look like for the whole school and system – beyond their class and school? In other words, do they get to see the big picture,too?

Key points:
1. Begin by knowing the learners
2. Co-plan using student diagnostic data
3. Make learning goals (from curriculum expectations) and success criteria visible
4. Use continuous informal assessment during teaching
5. Deliver ongoing formative assessment and reflect on mid course corrections through formal assessment
6. Provide students with oral and written descriptive feedback
7. Create opportunities for peer- and self- assessments
8. Ensure that summarise assessment informs next steps for students and parents
9. Use the data wall process to see the big picture and the detail – the Faces – so that teachers self-assess and reflect on their teaching
10. Share learning with whole-school collaborative marking of student work.

How am I impacting the learning for all students and teachers?
How do I know?
Do I start with knowledge of the learners?
How do I select what is to be taught?
How do I make the learning goal easily understood to all students?
Do teachers do-construct success criteria with the students?
Are all students and teachers improving?
If not, why not?
Do I give descriptive feedback that is factual and objective and outlines how to improve?
Where can I go for help?

Do students
Set their own individual goals and monitor progress toward achieving them?
Seek clarification or assistance when needed?
Assess and reflect critically on their own strengths, needs, and interests?
Identify learning opportunities, choices, and strategies to meet personal needs and achieve goals?
Persevere and make an effort when responding to challenges?
– Ontario Ministry of Education 2010

5 Key Questions for Students
What are you learning?
How are you doing?
How do you know?
How can you improve?
Where do you go for help?

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Performance Verbs related to 6 Facets of Understanding

Explanation Interpretation Application Perspective Empathy Self- Knowledge
demonstrate create analogies adapt analyse be like be aware of
derive critique build argue be open to realise
describe document create compare believe recognise
design evaluate debug contrast consider reflect
exhibit illustrate decide criticise imagine self-assess
express judge design infer relate
induce make meaning of exhibit role-play
instruct make sense of invent
justify provide metaphors perform
model read between the lines produce
predict represent propose
prove tell a story of solve
show translate test
synthesise use


Action Verbs for Acquisition, Meaning, Transfer

Goal Types Action Verbs









plug in






















adapt (based on feedback)

adjust (based on results)





perform effectively




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Understanding by Design

Important to know what the purpose of the learning is and what the learning will look like.

Verbs – what will students be expected to do, understand, be clear about level of understanding
SOLO – what will students do, say, make and write
Activities must match:

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Understanding by Design 2nd Edition

Chapter 4: The 6 Facets of Understanding
Different aspects of understanding:
Can explain
Can interpret
Can apply
Have perspective
Can empathise
Have self-knowledge – meta cognitive awareness.

Facet 1: Explanation
Look for good explanations by getting students to: support, justify, generalise, predict, verify, prove and substantiate.

Use assessments (e.g., performance tasks, projects, prompts and tests) that ask students to provide an explanation on their own, not simply recall; to link specific facts with larger ideas and justify connections; to show their work, not just give an answer; and to support their conclusions.

Facet 2: Interpretation
Students must have activities and assessments that ask them to interpret inherently ambiguous matters- far different than typical “right answer” testing.

Facet 3: Application
Real life, problem solving approaches are required to see if students can apply their learning. Performance based learning, authentic tasks.

Facet 4: Perspective
Instruction should provide explicit opportunity for students to see alternative theories and diverse points of view. Same important ideas from different perspectives.

Facet 5: Empathy
Look to have students stand in someone else’s shoes to come to a deeper level of understanding.

Facet 6: Self-knowledge
Encourage self reflection, identifying blind spots, seeking to question and explore.

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Fractions: Teaching for Understanding-Fractions as Division: The Forgotten Notion?

Doug Clarke

The Chocolate block task
Ten volunteers are asked to choose which chair they will stand at, knowing that they will share the chocolate with the people who have chosen that chair. Before the last two come on ask audience which chair they would choose and why.
How much chocolate will each person get and how do you know?
Visual model – chocolate lifted in the air so that chocolate – chair the vinculum – people under the chair.

Follow up activities: act out or discuss
1. The case where chocolate is out of the packet and clearly already subdivided. Now using fraction as an operator notion e.g., 1/3 of 24 blocks or 1/5 of 20 blocks.
2. The case where there are more blocks of chocolate at a chair than people.

Three pizzas are shared evenly between seven girls, while one pizza is shared evenly between three boys. Who gets more pizza: a boy or a girl?

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