Category Archives: professional development

IB History IA workshop, Day 2

Work in progress! These are my notes from a three day workshop for the IB History IA (New course), held at Wesley College Melbourne, on June 25, 26, 27, 2016.

My notes for Day 2 will be shorter because there was far more reading of sections and more discussion about marks awarded.

Day 2, Session 5: Section 3 – Reflection

The reflection is not in terms of content, but in terms of process. The student is the historian.

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Section 3: Reflection

This section of the internal assessment task requires students to reflect on what undertaking their investigation highlighted to them about the methods used by, and the challenges facing, the historian. Examples of discussion questions that may help to encourage reflection include the following.  Continue reading

IB History IA workshop, Day 1

These are my notes from a three day workshop for the IB History IA (New course), held at Wesley College Melbourne, on June 25, 26, 27, 2016.

Day 1, Session 1: Introduction and overview

It’s a full room, about 25 people, mostly Australian but also a few people from the Asia Pacific region. The workshop is led by Rajesh Kripalani, a highly experienced IB educator and an invaluable member of the IB and history teacher community, both online and offline.

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Cultures of Thinking PD program, with Ron Ritchhart

I have become part of a semester long professional development project called “Cultures of Thinking”. It is lead by Visible Thinking and Harvard Project Zero researcher Ron Ritchhart. It focusses on creating an environment where “a group’s collective as well as individual thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted as part of the regular, day-to-day experience of all group members.” a.

One of the key components of this program is class observation – not to evaluate the teacher but to learn and become more aware of your own habits, cultures and teaching strategies. Our first day consisted of two sessions, in the morning we were introduced to the cultures of thinking program and questioning techniques. The second was a plenary session in which teachers from four schools came together to learn about how to objectively and non-judgmentally observe a lesson and how to record data so that it is useful for the person/school being observed.

My notes and relevant resources are below.
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  1. See more at: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/projects/cultures-of-thinking#sthash.Lw4Gagmy.dpuf  (back)

What is ‘understanding’?

I was tweaking our Year 10 unit (Geographies of Human Wellbeing) using the KUD criteria (Know, Understand, Do). This scaffold, created by differentiation guru Carol Tomlinson, has been around for a while.

  • Students will KNOW: (often represented in bulleted forma
    t) facts, dates, definitions, rules, people, places, vocabulary, information.
  • Students will UNDERSTAND : (best stated as a sentence which includes concept-based thought), Essential questions, theories “Big” ideas, Important generalizations, thesis-like statements
  • Students will DO: (represented with verbs), basic skills, communication, planning/organisation, thinking skills, evaluation, working collaboratively, skills of the discipline: mapping, graphing, collecting data, show p.o.v.

ICapturet was a really interesting exercise to represent the unit in a mindmap, it focussed my mind on what it was exactly what I wanted the students to understand from the this unit. The concept ‘understanding’ is hard to pin down.

David Perkins in “Teaching for Understanding” (1993) defines understanding as follows:  Continue reading

Differentiation

Please-climb-that-tree1Despite the efforts of the Individual Needs Department at my school, I still usually see Differentiation as a difficult to incorporate add-on.

I’ve been looking into the work of Carol Tomlinson and she has the following refreshing perspective on Differentiation;

Differentiation is not a set of  strategies, it’s a way of thinking about  teaching and learning Strategies are tools to accomplish the goals of differentiation. They are no more differentiation than a hammer and a saw are the house they help to build. a

Here is a good summary of approaches to teaching and learning which will enable all learners to succeed: Continue reading

  1. http://www.caroltomlinson.com/2010SpringASCD/Rex_SAstrategies.pdf  (back)

IB DP History Workshop Melbourne: the New Guide 2017

From the 2nd of May to the 4th of May 2015, I attended a three day IB DP History workshop in Melbourne. It was a very busy and well attended event, with over 300 hundred participants in total and 35 history teachers from all over the southern hemisphere in our workshop.
Below are the notes I’ve taken for each day:

  • IB DP Workshop Day 1, A general overview of the changes in the new course. How to construct a course. Big changes to Paper 1: Four instead of five sources, new OPVL, new question specific mark schemes.
  • IB DP Workshop Day 2, overview of changes to Paper 2, new mark bands. We did a lot of trial marking. Grades were often higher than we expected. There is more ‘positive’ marking.
  • IB DP Workshop Day 3, IA has been completely overhauled, three sections now. Also looked at approaches to teaching and learning.

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Personal Project, IB MYP workshop, Day 2

Two day workshop, Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th of April, 2015, led by Gary Green.
The Personal Project is an independent research project that a student produces in Year 10. It is a creative endeavor of the student’s choosing that demonstrates the skills the student has learned in Approaches to Learning. Assessment of the Personal Project is based on a set of 8 specific criteria that are normalized to a scale of 1–7. The Personal Project is designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to organise, create, and complete a significant body of work.
(Source) Also see notes from Day 1.

Criterion D: Reflecting

In the personal project, students should:
i. evaluate the quality of the product/outcome against their criteria
ii. reflect on how completing the project has extended their knowledge and understanding of the topic and the global context
iii. reflect on their development as IB learners through the project.

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Personal Project, IB MYP workshop, Day 1

Two day workshop, Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th of April, 2015, led by Gary Green.
The Personal Project is an independent research project that a student produces in Year 10. It is a creative endeavor of the student’s choosing that demonstrates the skills the student has learned in Approaches to Learning. Assessment of the Personal Project is based on a set of 8 specific criteria that are normalized to a scale of 1–7. The Personal Project is designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to organise, create, and complete a significant body of work.
(Source) Also see notes from Day 2.

 

myp_eng

The essential structure of every lesson and every personal project is:

  • Know (knowledge)
  • Understand (think about)
  • Do (skills, processes)

The personal project is the one time in which students set their own course completely.

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