Documenting Learning in New Zealand

Educators in New Zealand have a number of qualitative ways to document student learning, from infants onward, including “Learning Stories” and more.

Examples of Documenting Learning

Anecdotal evidence, gathered from observations, evidence from formative assessment tasks, student or parent voice – all are valid ways of identifying areas where students may need modified instruction.

Gathering evidence about student achievement serves two roles in a teaching inquiry. It helps to identify who the students are, what their learning needs are and which modifications to teaching and learning approaches might work best, against which you can monitor and measure the actual impact on different students, and adjust and adapt practice accordingly. 

 

The impact of “I love to watch you play!”

A recent blog post by Rachel Macy Stafford on Huffington Post turned me on to this simple but powerful sentence:


I love to watch you play.


Reporting on another article about 30 years of research about parents of college athletes, Rachel Macy Stafford states,

“… college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: ‘I love to watch you play.’

The life-changing sentence came at the beginning of an article entitled, “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent and What Makes a Great One,” which described powerful insights gathered over three decades by Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching LLC. Although I finished reading the entire piece, my eyes went back and searched for that one particular sentence — the one that said, “I love to watch you play.”

The phrase does not judge children’s performance. It does not go into evaluative detail.  It does not offer advice.  It simply lets them know you are glad to be part of their lives as they are living them.  It can apply to all kinds of situations:

I love to hear you sing.
I love to listen to you read.
I love to watch you build with Legos.
I love to see you help your grandmother.
I love to watch you jump.
I love to watch you sleep.

 


By the way, the remainder of “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent and What Makes a Great One,” is worth a read, as it goes into brief detail on five signs of a nightmare sports parent and five signs of an ideal sports parent…

FIVE SIGNS OF A NIGHTMARE SPORTS PARENT

  • Overemphasizing sports at the expense of sportsmanship
  • Having different goals than your child
  • Treating your child differently after a loss than a win
  • Undermining the coach
  • Living your own athletic dream through your child

FIVE SIGNS OF AN IDEAL SPORTS PARENT

Let’s hear it for the parents who do it right. In many respects, Brown and Miller say, it’s easier to be an ideal sports parent than a nightmare. “It takes less effort,” Miller says. “Sit back and enjoy.” Here’s what to do:

  • Cheer everybody on the team, not just your child
  • Model appropriate behavior
  • Know what is suitable to discuss with the coach
  • Know your role
  • Be a good listener and a great encourager

 

 

 

VoiceThread Redux

I think I mentioned VoiceThread before – the marvelous web site that lets you present a slide show and record comments, captions & doodles. The other innovation of VoiceThread is you can invite others to comment as well, creating a visually guided dialog about… well, anything. One of my favorites: …

ATMac – Assistive Technology for Mac OS X Users

ATMac is a blog that offers news, reviews and opinions on assistive technology for Mac OS X, by Ricky Buchanan who is himself an avid Mac and AT user.  Organized by type of user, for example “text-to-speech users,” or “deaf users,” or “primary switch users,” and by audience (“content producers,” …

More Podcasting Links

Create Your Own Podcast – A step-by-step tutorial on podcasting from About.com Educational Podcasting – Extensive list of podcasting resources, from Gary Stager. Links to tutorials, articles and tools. PoducateMe – Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education Gcast – Create your own audio broadcast online, where you can easily record …

Podcasting Workshop – Resources

I’m leading a workshop on Podcasting in the Classroom, and have started to gather some tips and resources on my wiki.  Stop by to check out the presentation as well as my podcasting links.

Artcyclopedia – Fine Art Search Engine

Art cyclopedia: The Fine Art Search Engine – Search or browse by artist, work or museum. 8,700 artists, 2,600 art sites, over 100,000 links! Also, Art News, masterpieces and more. This seems like a great resource for students of all ages.

Get Started with Podcasting

In preparing for a podcasting workshop this week, I’ve been collecting new podcasting tutorials.  Some helpful finds: How to Podcast: Four Basic Steps – Plan, produce, publish, promote… How to Podcast – from Podcasting Tools Howstuffworks “How to Create Your Own Podcast” Make Your First Podcast How to Create Your …

How to access audio books from RFBD

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic – For 60 years, RFB&D, a national nonprofit, volunteer organization, has produced accessible educational materials for students with disabilities that make reading standard print difficult or impossible. Titles available in every subject area and grade level from kindergarten …

More on Publishing

With student publishing projects in mind, and my own projects as well, I was recently reminded of one very cool site, Lulu.com , which lets you self-publish your own books in a way that books are produced and shipped ‘as needed.’  I have a dream of putting together many of …