In week 3 of term 1, 2017, sessions for site based leaders of the ELL project kicked off at Flinders View Primary School. The presentation for this session is below. All links used in the session preparation and links for further information, can be found at the bottom of this post.
In the morning session we looked at the ELL results video for 2016 and gave the teachers an opportunity to provide any feedback. We also looked at the purpose of the sessions for the year in relation to their role in assisting their site to spread the work further than the focus teachers. We spoke about ways of approaching this through coaching, resource development and training for staff.
Next we looked at the announcement at the partnership staff meeting that the ELL project will continue in the region for an additional 3 years (including this year). Therefore as a collective group we have until the end of 2019 to have the project implemented in a sustainable manner across all sites in the Port Augusta/Quorn Partnership.
The bulk of time in this session was however spent on looking at an audit of the project across the PAQ partnership. Audits were done in sites a number of years ago near the beginning of this work. However 2017 is a good year to look at auditing again as it will be an indication of how far we have come, and also where we need to focus our attention both this year and into future years. We discussed the need to look at different levels off auditing which includes a site level, educator level and student level to get a full picture of the effect of current ELL activity on each of those stakeholder groups. We also talked about the need for diversity in who we are collecting information from. The views and opinions of those staff and students not directly involved with the ELL project is just as important as the opinions of those who are involved as it signals how well the message is getting out to others. However the diversity we are seeking is also in relation to gender, Aboriginality, schooling levels and previous achievement.
We spent time looking through different audit tools that came out of the Leading Numeracy Improvement Course that leaders attended a few years ago, As a collective group we decided on an appropriate audit tool that could be used at a site level, one that could be done with individual teachers and one that would focus on individual students. The aim would be to gather the views and opinions, as well of achievement data, of a diverse sample of these groups early in the year and again late in the year to look for any movement.
The remainder of this session was spent looking at the 'Quarter the Cross' activity that was on tables at the partnership staff meeting.
This session focused on the coaching aspect of their role. Initially this session looked at deciding who to work with in this capacity. We talked about the factors that will maximise the success of the coaching process in that very early stage. Next we looked at the concept of what a coach is and what a coach does in an attempt to unpack and understand what they need to know, do and be in that role. Finally in this session we looked at the notion of coaching heavy and coaching light and my reflection on this as a framework for looking at how we support staff as we work with them, but also ensuring that we maximise the growth out of the time we spend with them.
Session 3 looked at how we can begin to make the pedagogy we are in examining in ELL more visible across the sites. In 2016 it was proposed that people entering a focus teacher's class to look at a lesson may come with their own ideas about what quality maths instruction looks like, but may have limited understanding of how we are approaching maths instruction through ELL. However we want these staff members visiting the maths lessons of focus teachers the classroom observation section of ELL has been an important factor in getting people on board early.
The #observeme framework is a useful one in making visible to others what we are trying to achieve through our teaching, but also provides a good way to get informal feedback on how others believe we are progressing towards those goals. We went though the #observeme process to look at what it entails and also looked at some of the issues that have emerged, and have been rectified with the process as it has spread across the globe. Such fixes have included the careful structure of observation and feedback prompts, the use of pineapple charts and the promotion of the #observeme process across the site.
They were then given time to design their own #observeme sign and feedback sheet, or observation tool with a particular focus on ELL so that anyone visiting their class will know what to look for, especially in maths instruction. They are aiming to have their sign up as well as working with experienced ELL focus teachers to also have their sign up to help promote this work in their sites.