Reflections “On the Couch with Professor John Hattie”

John Hattie’s article on AITSL was very engaging. It was great to read his thoughts on how we in our profession can support teachers to teach and lead at our best so that our students learning is maximised.

Hattie went on to discuss high quality teacher education programs on the outcomes that should be achieved by our future teacher graduates. As a recent graduate, it is interesting to reflect on my journey and think about my impacts on the students I had througout my teaching rounds.

I also enjoyed reading about how parents tend to choose schools rather than teachers. It is interesting to think that when we have parents come through, they spend little time watching the teachers teach and speaking to other teachers, but rather looking at the school grounds, the class sizes, and the overall appearance of the school. I believe it would make more of an impact for the teachers to speak to future parents and talk about student learning and the degree of impact we as teachers have on students at school.

Team Reflection

Question 1:  Talk about what you have found out as you have answered the question?

We found that in using Google Drive, we have only a replaced books in the classroom and not using technology in a transformative way. We discovered this halfway through our journey when we joined ICON learning and found out about the SAMR (Substitute, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model and TPAK (Technology, Pedagogy and Knowledge). We realized that we were thinking too “small” when we started with our PARTS project, only focusing on Google Drive. We learned during our journey that technology is so much more than that, and there are plenty of Apps and tools out there that can transform the way we learn in 5/6. But we needed time to get used to the technology before feeling confident that we can use them effectively to help the kids.

We now actually feel that Google Drive is quite limited in its functions and it limits the amount that we can do to transform learning. At the moment, Google Drive only allows us to only reach the SAMR level of Augmentation and Modification which is children collaborating online. But it doesn’t redefine the way the students learn in the classroom.


Question 2: What do you see as being the next steps ?

Our next steps are transforming the way we use technology in the classroom in a way that REDEFINES learning. We will still be using Google Drive as a learning tool as a means of editing, feedback and collaboration. However, children’s work will now be published on an online platform (blog) that will not only connect to other schools in Australia but also classrooms around the world. This is also part of our So What theme, where children are asked to challenge themselves on making a difference with their learning. For example: some of the children have created Show Me tutorials about Fables and presenting it as a teaching tool to other students in the level. They were required to co-operate with each other and help each other learn something new. We are hoping to do more collaborations like this across groups in the level and potentially across global classrooms. We are also hoping to send our Fables to the children in Matutinao.

In addition, we are also providing students opportunities to present their learning to us through various ways such as: Show Me, Imovies, stop motion animation, Power Point, Keynote etc. Students are encouraged to demonstrate their learning in different ways and use creativity whenever they can.

Some of the changes we have made to transform our students’ learning in Level 5/6:

* “So What” blog to present our So What inquiry projects and learning

* Google Drive

* Google Classroom

* Show Me, Stop Motion Animation etc.

* Doing more open ended tasks (Investigations etc.)

* Collaborations between groups across the Level

* Using what we have learned to educate others beyond our classroom

* Making learning more purposeful and relevant by making links with our community… always asking “So What?”


In 5/6 we have identified that we create work that can be of a Modified level in the SAMR model. We understand the Pedagogy MUST match the technology, but the difficulty is knowing the content, as well which technology fits the content (forever changing and evolving).

We have been directly working towards redefining the learning experience for our students. In our units, students are working towards creating show me videos, stop motion animation and posts on blogs to show how their learning can be of meaning to everyone else. Their final question is ‘so what’ how does what I have learnt have an impact on our school, community and wider world. We are working towards connecting our blog to the outside world, including classrooms both locally and globally.

This journey of exploring Google apps has made me realise that Google apps may not actually be the way we need to go. I think google apps allows us to modify learning according to the SAMR model, but to take it to the next step of Redefinition we need to utilise another ICT tool.  Maybe a blog?

our new 5/6 blog !

This week our team decided to create a new blog for our 5/6 students ! we thought that just having a blog that was to display students work was great, but how could we make it more meaningful for students, and for the wider community ! So, naturally we came up with a “So what?” blog ! Our so what blog is a creative outlet for students, who can not only display their work to the wide world of blogging, but show others how meaningful what they are doing at school is, and how they are helping others through their work. For example, students from one group have created “show me” videos on explanation texts that will be posted up so other students can learn about how volcanoes erupt, earthquakes etc. and learn something from it too! We can also share our learning in terms of raising money for our sister school in the Philippines, and discuss our journey along the way. Students will now have a global scale on which they  can share their learning, and how it impacts the world around them!

Today we were discussing our Christian mission, and how we can live what we believe through the work of Jesus Christ. at school, home and in the community. Students spoke about the work they are doing to help our school in the Philippines, the donations we make to charity, the homework club and  nursing home visits, and how we treat people with respect at school. It will be great for students to share this amazing work on the blog, and how that we are not only learning at our school, but we are doing it with purpose, and helping others along the way !


This is the post we published on our Google community page !

At St. Elizabeth’s, we know that all three (Content, pedagogy and technology) must be present to transform learning to provide authentic and purposeful opportunities for all students to learn.

We know the content – we know the pedagogy! We need to learn to use technology to redefine our practice!

How can technology impact on our practice moving forward? Having discussed TPACK has given us the opportunity to explore the purpose of publishing students’ writing on Google Drive. In order to give children a more purposeful experience in their writing and use of technology, we have decided to publish their work on a global platform and create mini videos of lessons for children in other communities.

Is there anyone out there who would like to collaborate with our children through a blogging system to enhance student learning?

Click the link for more information

Google Survey Results

So last week I created a survey through “survey monkey” on the use of google drive to publish their writing. I tried to use Google Forms, however, after almost an hour of trying, and creating the form, for some reason I just could not get to the point where students were able to answer the questions, so I gave up and found Survey Monkey! (I will have to ask Bec where I went wrong and give it another go ! )

Anyway, lets get back to those results !

question 1: do you like using Google Drive to publish your writing ?

an overwhelming 26/28 students said yes, because they enjoy receiving feedback from their peers, and they get ideas from them that they can use next time. Its also fun, and they like that they can edit their work and receive constructive feedback from one another. 2 students said that they preferred writing in their books, as they didn’t enjoy typing !

question 2: Does using Google Docs help with your writing ? How ?

25/28 students said yes ! they felt that getting feedback from other students helped their writing, and that seeing their spelling underlined when its spelt incorrectly is helpful as it is immediate feedback ! the few students that said no, felt that it does not help their handwriting, and that it was just another way of using Microsoft word.

Question 3: Does editing/commenting on each others work help? If so, how ?

27/28 students said yes ! they liked that you can get ideas from other students, other people give you advice, I loved that one student said it makes them feel proud to see other people say nice things about their work ! another student said that it encourages them to keep writing !

Question 4: How does reading others comments on your work help with your writing ?

students said they get more ideas, they can check spelling, tells me things I need to work on ! other people motivate me to do better, and I know what to do next time

question 5: do you prefer using Google Docs to writing in your books?

26/28 said yes !

Question 6: do you prefer getting feedback in your books or on Google Drive ?

26/28 said they prefer getting feedback on Google Drive as its quicker and more effective

Collecting data

Last week, students completed writing alliterations (which they loved) and posted them on Google Drive. Once students posted they were able to get feedback from each other on their alliterations and received great feedback from their peers. This week however, I got a great idea from the amazing Miss Lim, who created a survey for the students in her group asking them how they felt about the use of Google Drive in terms of their writing. Previously, I just asked students and we discussed how they liked using Google Drive and how it impacted their learning, but through the use of Google Drive, you can create a survey, which then collates all the data so you can see all the evidence clearly and in forms of tables and charts. Once students have completed their reports, I will get them to complete a survey which will help with our collection of data and further evidence for our PARTS.

The possible questions that I will pose to my students are:

do you like using Google Drive ? Why/Why not ?

How does Google Drive effect your writing ?

Do you think its beneficial to receive feedback from your peers ? Why/Why not ?

How does commenting on each others work help your learning ?

In addition, I also felt that this time around, it may be beneficial to give students a role when commenting/giving each other feedback on their writing. For example, a group of students may be given the task to look out for structure and making sure students writing is in paragraphs. Another group may be in charge of checking spelling and grammar, another will be in charge of determining whether or not a story/report engages the reader, and explaining how the piece of writing does so, or suggests other ways in which they could improve next time. It may also be a good idea to ask students after they have read each others reports, what they learnt from it, and what new information they have gained from reading the reports.

I’m looking forward to getting students responses from the survey, and will share them with you next time 🙂


First week back in Term 3 !

Its so exciting to be back, and get back to work with the kids after having two weeks off to recover from camp! Students had a great experience using Google Drive last term, and loved being able to receive immediate feedback from their peers and teacher. Last term we used it to get feedback on our narratives, how we structured them, how we used descriptive words, setting, characters etc. and students enjoyed the learning process. This term we are once again using it during our writing time, but as we are now more equipped with the skills to use Google drive effectively and proficiently, so hopefully the process will not take as long as last term, and therefore we can see the effects of getting feedback a lot quicker than before.

This term we are focusing on a little but of poetry, report writing and fables. It will be great not to be facing the technical difficulties we did last time, and focus on writing and receiving feedback from one another. We are also going to be looking at integrating the chrome books, and seeing how students respond to them, and how they help them with the writing process. Some students found the writing a bit time consuming as some were typing them on their ipads, so this term we will focus on the chrome books and see how they impact our writing, feedback and editing process.

Another key focus this term will be on editing, last term we focused more on feedback, so this term we will be discussing how we can ensure we are using the correct structure, punctuation, grammar and spelling. We will also talk about how the use of Google Drive helps this process, or hinders it. It will be interesting to see what the students think about this, and how they feel about using Google Drive again.

Looking forward to starting a new term !

Week 8 – Editing & Feedback

Over the past couple of weeks, students have finished writing their narratives in their books, and have published them onto Google Drive successfully (although there were some hiccups along the way!). The next stage in our process was for students to read and give each other feedback on their narratives. Before we started this next stage, it was important that we discussed what feedback was, what was appropriate feedback to give, and how to deliver our feedback in an effective and respectful way! One of the sentence starters we came up with as a group was, “I like the way your said ____” but another way your could put that is ___ ,” or “another great way to start your story could be ___ .” In addition, we also spoke about the editing process, and how it was important to highlight someone’s grammatical error, and not correct for them.

We went through a sample narrative together as a class, gave feedback and edited it all together as class, and then students went through the process themselves. It was great to see students get so involved in the process, and see comments like, “that was such an entertaining story” or “this sentence is good, but it might make more sense if..!” Students enjoyed reading each other stories, and loved being able to comment on each others work. It was so encouraging to see students engaged in their work, and giving each other valuable feedback in such a respectful way. It gave students ideas for their own stories, and allowed them to see how other students use sentence starters, or describe their characters in different ways. It was also interesting to see that some students could pick up on other students grammatical errors, but when it came to their stories, they couldn’t pick up any mistakes.

Once students had completed this process over a couple of lessons, they went back and read comments left on their stories by their peers. They seem to realise after reading the feedback that perhaps they could’ve put a statement differently in their story, or that there was something they did really well that students had commented on like setting the scene, or describing a character.

While students were giving each other feedback, I gave feedback on students work too, and it was interesting to see that things that I might have pointed out to students about their writing, another student had beat me to it ! I agreed with a lot of the feedback students gave to each other and was so pleased that we could all work together to assist each other in the writing process. I look forward to using Google Drive more in the future, and work with my students to determine the effectiveness of online learning tools.

Week 7 – Team Discussion

Last week was a shortened sessions due to briefing, our team just discussed our  journey in PARTS thus far. As we are all in different stages of our project, it was interesting too see how each group was going with their journey and where they are headed. As each of us have different groups varying in ability, it is important that we all work at our own pace in terms of this project and allow students to experience online learning and its tools fully so that they can judge its effectiveness properly.