Shared resource document

Luke Mooney and I sent this shared document out to others via Twitter, seeking: what advice do you have for engaging students in the lower primary years in STEM, specifically through rich literature? Luke and I have a few ideas of our own so we thought it would be great to share these AND collect some ideas from other's with similar interests. Feel free to look, copy, share and maybe even add your own ideas to the list below :)

Direct link: bit.ly/STEMK2

K-2 STEM Resources

DT Curriculum

It feels like there is still a lot of uncertainty about the new DT&D Curriculum; less about the need for it but mostly about how to teach it. It's still such a new thing that I believe teachers shouldn't be so hard on themselves about whether they're getting ti exactly right or not. All things worth doing take time.

I am co-facilitating this upcoming workshop, in the hope that we can cultivate a room full of great practitioners with already great ideas and 'tease out' and refine our existing ideas together, building towards a greater conceptual and practical understanding of the DT&D Curriculum.

It would be great if others could bring along a 'trick' to share with others, as it's always great to see another teacher's approach to aspects of the curriculum within their own context.


PL Bingo

Professional Learning: everyone wants it and everyone needs it. But the when, how and what can be difficult to achieve for a your entire staff, let alone a group of teachers you have never met before. I really love curating and creating staff PL events: it gives me the chance to connect with, share amongst and learn from other teachers. They can be super-informal, like watching a TED talk and having some discussion or watching a film with some pizza and reflecting on the lessons to be learned from it within our own contexts (see 'Whiplash' - one of the great films of the last five years IMO).

Whatever and whenever it is, finding out what staff need should be your starting point. The image below and to the right is an example of a PL matrix, combining things I thought teachers would like to learn about and things that were suggested to me by other teachers. It has been produced as a 'PL Bingo' sheet, an idea that seems quite popular amongst other teachers who provide training for their staff in schools. There can be prizes given for getting five in a row, etc., providing some extrinsic motivation for staff to come along to the sessions. However, the aim is for the sessions themselves to be valuable enough for staff to come on their own accord. Some are quite intensive, others are relatively carefree. Depending on the content and aim, I can often provide NESA registered PL for staff, which is great for accruing your necessary hours to maintain accreditation. Some are as informal as watching a film and just having a chat without too much cognitive drain. The aim is to provide content that provides genuine interest and motivation, opportunities for learning and the chance to to communicate and collaborate with others.

I'd like to keep building these matrices and developing the idea further. Current ideas including have staff choose a cell each and provide an idea for a topic and build in some more fun extrinsic motivators. Feel free to copy and make your own variations of the PL Bingo matrix.

'PL Bingo' matrix, created with Google Sheets

App Smashing

Our Apple/Cider PL event will combine multiple aspects of excellent pedagogy and digital tools to bring to you an event with plenty of take away and application in the classroom. We will be app smashing to develop digital literacy, exploring project-based learning for real-world application and using design thinking approaches to navigate the creative process.

The evening begins with some hands-on work at the Apple Store, Civic. Here we will develop our skills around movie creation with iMovie and Stop Motion apps. From there, we move to our designated meeting point for a cider or drink of your choice (first shout is on us!), where the design provocation will be revealed. We will then briefly outline the design thinking process to help guide your planning in developing your projects. Lastly, in groups of three, you will have a set amount of time to venture into the Civic area on a journey of self-discovery through Project-Based Learning. Afterwards, we'll vote on a place to eat (dinner's your call) and showcase our wonderous creations. Following a group vote, our winners and wooden spooners will be awarded their just rewards!

All funds raised by The INNovator's Network goes directly back into creating more awesome professional learning experiences for teachers looking to be INNspired. We can't wait to see you there!