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Create a plan of attack from now (yes, this week) until the day of the examination. Break your study up into manageable daily chunks. Keep spending a little time regularly practising and studying. This could be as simple as updating vocabulary lists, or re-doing a question you couldn’t do in class. Study one subject at a designated time.

Teachers should not take the powerlessness that students may feel because of perceived deficit for granted. This may, indeed, colour every aspect of their engagement with education and schooling.

In this blog, we discuss survival strategies for secondary students.  Strategy One  Use tape to divide a whiteboard into the 10 weeks of your term. Write the due dates of Assessment and exams in the appropriate week. Backwards map from these dates to draft dates, plan dates, finished research etc. Put all school check dates in the appropriate place.

In this blog I will discuss the company for whom I have decided to work as a home educator, and why I chose to work for this company rather than others. Consequently, I acknowledge that this blog is based upon my own experiences as an educator rather than more traditional independent research.

We often hear the word ‘leaning gap’.  When a child is struggling to understand content or falls behind in academic areas, we refer to learning gaps as a reason why they are having trouble in the classroom.  But what exactly are learning gaps and how do we fix them and get our students back on the right track.

Parent teacher interviews are usually held at the beginning of Semester Two to maximise the time a student has to improve. While it is usual for parents to attend, it is probably more effective if older students can also attend, as it is they who must implement the advice offered.

The question of what makes an excellent teacher is a significant one, given the depth of research suggesting that the quality of teaching is one of the most, if not the most, significant factors in student learning.

It doesn’t matter what subjects you study at school or what you want to do when you are finished school, developing a good habit of learning is an essential tool for success. There are no holidays from learning!

Full Spectrum Education’s Holiday Workshops provide a range of programs for students of all abilities and ages to develop their skills, interests and creativity. 

10 STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING THE 21st CENTURY LEARNER: Part two.  Try using Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats to examine a task using different thinking styles and modalities.  Introduce "hats" one or two at a time and have students approach a question from these particular perspectives.

Inquiries designed to provide differentiation must be designed to offer support for those learners at risk while challenging those who require extended learning opportunities.  Through a differentiated inquiry, the teacher can explore similar contexts with all learners, but challenge students to achieve different levels of outcome depending on the students' individual abilities.

Teaching empathy to children is one of the most important lessons we can give them.  Empathy is the awareness of the feelings and emotions of other people. It is the ability to see things from others perspective and it compels us to relieve another person’s suffering.  

Vygotsky would argue that full development during the "zone of proximal development" (ZPD) depends upon full social interaction.  Vygotsky states: "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (inter-psychological) and then inside the child (intra-psychological).

Andrew Seaton argued in 2002 that research into educational innovation in Queensland reveals that” little of significance [had] changed” (2002: 33).  While new schools, especially those with purpose designed middle schools may be on the road to a successful transformation of education for young people, the reality is that older, conservative schools (particularly many private schools) have changed little over the past decades despite the significant cultural changes which have radically transformed our society and, consequently, the needs of learners in the twenty-first century. 

A core philosophy which drives recent initiatives in pedagogy is a developmental responsiveness to the learning needs of adolescents in the middle years of schooling (Beane, 1999:5).   Cummings has described this period as “a phase of schooling that bridges the conventional primary/secondary divide with a view to responding more effectively to the specific developmental needs of adolescents” (1998: 5).

Certainly, Educational digital learning management platforms have become a lucrative business this century- it is a shame that professional learning for teachers in how best to organise effective teaching and learning experiences in this environment seems less a priority.

Now that exams are over and the term is winding up, it is time for students who are series about academic success to reflect honestly on their approach to their studies ad to plan the way forward next term. This blog contains ideas about strategies you can use to focus yourself on behaviours designed to maximise your potential.

Test anxiety is a psychological condition experienced during testing conditions.  It is an intense worry or fear of failure during an exam.  While some degree of nervousness is normal and can actually be helpful making you feel both mentally and physically alert, test anxiety can hinder learning and cause poor test performance.  

While the use of ICT tools in schools is potentially one of the most significant changes to face education in the 21st century, it appears to be a change for which many schools are ill prepared. London School of Economics Academic, Sonia Livingstone pointed out recently that, “children [are] often the ‘canary in the coal mine’ – experiencing life in the digital age before parents, teachers or governments have caught up.” (2019).  Given that the internet is now 30 years old, making it the same age as the key formulation of children’s rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is timely to evaluate and discuss the significance challenges and opportunities posed by learning in the digital age.

Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to anything else. Simple as that.” .Recently, I read some wonderful advice from blogger Ryan Holiday about how to ‘punch above your weight’ when it comes to reading. As someone who understands the value of reading, I thought I would pass this along to you with my own ideas thrown into the mix.

HOW CAN TEACHERS HELP STUDENTS FIND THEIR ZONE?  Explore collaborative learning with your students.  According to Vygotsky, students learn best in socially rich environments which provide them with opportunities to explore subjects with their teachers and peers. (Zimmerman & Shunk, 2001, p.220) Such an environment may be created using collaborative learning models where, research has shown, such learning environments are conducive to learning higher-order cognitive tasks such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and problem solving.

HOW CAN TEACHERS HELP STUDENTS FIND THE ZONE?  Begin with pre-testing of students.  In his seminal text, Basic Principles of Curriculum and instruction, Ralph Tyler pointed out as early as 1949 that “Without knowing where the students were at the beginning, it is not possible to tell how far changes have taken place “(p. 106). He further argued that, “It is clear that an educational evaluation involves at least two appraisals-one taking place in the early part of the program and the other at some later part so that the change may be measured.”

We all want to raise responsible children. After all, it’s a vital trait for success in school and in life. As they learn and develop, children want and need responsibility.  It’s an important part of their growth and development.  The primary and pre-teen years are a prime time for children to acquire the skills to plan, meet deadlines, follow through on promises and make sensible decisions. 

Educational research often makes much of Vygotsky's theory that the potential for cognitive development is limited to a certain time span which he calls the "zone of proximal development" (ZPD). Furthermore, Vugotsky claims, full development during the "zone of proximal development" (ZPD) depends upon full social interaction.

It is a disappointing fact that for many academically able students, Primary school offers little if any challenge. Many students cruise through primary school achieving high grades with little if any effort. It might be thought that this was a good thing for such students. Nothing could be further from the truth! In particular, where primary school has required little but rote recall and compliant behaviour of students, such students are ill-prepared for both higher education and the real world.

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI), a worldwide coalition of educators, researchers, technologists, professional development providers and education leaders, are committed to flipped learning and explains its key principles as: “Flipped learning requires a radical redefinition of the role of the teacher, the student and the best use of time between them… Successful implementation of flipped learning requires a mastery of the pedagogy and best practices of the flipped classroom.”

Effective feedback requires teachers to be alert to both learner behaviours and ready to respond in the most appropriate manner. Most effective teachers have moved well beyond behaviourist models of punishment and reward and towards more constructivist models of targeted feedback. This requires developing within the learner a sense of personal agency and the development of a growth mindset.

Starting the new school year brings a mix of emotion for both parents and kids – from the excitement over the promise of new beginnings to anxiety over the fear of the unknown.  No matter how your child faces the new year, you can help him or her to make the most of the experience.   Now is a great time for parents and kids to start getting set for success in the classroom. 

As one school year ends and we wait for another to begin, every student risks summer learning loss.  Research has shown that children can lose their mathematics and literacy proficiency in the long summer break, meaning the first few weeks of the new school year is spent catching up.  So what can you do to stop all of that hard work from being wasted?   Whether your child loves to read, play outside or get 'techy', there are many exciting but effective ways to promote learning over the holidays.

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