Monday, March 25, 2013

Highlighting some useful resources for Student Services

Children with Tourette syndrome: a parents' guide 
edited by Marsh, Tracy Lynne. (2007)
Families with newly diagnosed children find answers to their most pressing questions about this neurological disorder, as well as coping strategies and emotional support. It includes new information about the effects of Tourette syndrome at different stages of development from childhood into adulthood; coexisting conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, Asperger syndrome and learning disabilities. It provides an overview of the biochemistry of TS, what to expect from a medical workup and a discussion of more than 30 different drugs used to treat TS and related conditions. There are strategies for coping with the challenging characteristics of TS such as impulsivity, obsessive thoughts, attention and sleep problems and difficulties with sensory integration.  

Ready set remember: short- term auditory memory activities 
Mense, Beatrice. (2006)
This book helps teachers identify children with auditory difficulties in the age-range 5-8 before referring them to an appropriate health professional. When the child returns to the classroom, the book provides strategies and activities to encourage children's confidence and improve the ability to efficiently and effectively remember auditory information by practicing listening and sequencing tasks.

Skillstreaming the elementary school child: new strategies and perspectives for teaching prosocial skills
McGinnis, Ellen and Goldstein, Arnold P. (1997)
Addresses the social needs of students who display aggression, immaturity, withdrawal or other problem behaviours. It offers information for implementing the Skillstreaming approach, which utilises modelling, role-playing, performance feedback and transfer (homework). Students develop competence in dealing with interpersonal conflicts and learn to use self-control. Containing 60 skill lessons and including five skill groups: Classroom Survival Skills, Friendship-Making Skills, Dealing with Feelings, Alternatives to Aggression and Dealing with Stress. 

Social skills training: for children and adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and social-communication problems  
Baker, Jed E. (2003)
70 of the skills that most commonly cause difficulty for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and social-communication problems. The presentation of each skill consists of a reproducible skill handout, as well as activity sheets listing ways teachers and parents can demonstrate, practice, reinforce the skill in the classroom and at home. 

Talkabout: a social communication skills package  
Kelly, Alex. (2001)
This easily photocopied manual provides professionals with a framework for the development of social skills. Piloted on adolescents with mild learning difficulties, it can be also be used for children and adults. Beginning with a basic assessment procedure to evaluate the client's and others self-awareness.

Treating anxious children and adolescents: an evidence based approach  
Rapee, Ronald M. (2000)
This handbook offers mental health professionals clear, detailed guidelines for effectively treating children and adolescents suffering from anxiety disorders.

Dr. Tony Attwood presents: Asperger's diagnostic assessment  
Attwood, Tony. (2007) 
2 DVDs (4 hours) + guide (76 p.)
Features of the DVDs include:
• A live interview with Brett who was undiagnosed and a separate interview with his parents
• Diagnostic Characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome
• Girls and Asperger's Syndrome
• How to explain the diagnosis with the child or adult
• Dealing with adult diagnosis

Bill Rogers managing behavior series - Consequences  
Rogers, Bill. (2004) 
1 DVD (42 min.)
Answers questions commonly asked by teachers: What about frequent offenders? How can a school address bullying? What consequences can be applied to swearing and other offensive behaviours? How to exit a child from the classroom? What to do if a child runs out of the classroom when they are corrected? How to use cool-off time?

Bill Rogers managing behavior series – Prevention  
Rogers, Bill. (2004) 
1 DVD (53 min.)
Explores: The four R's of classroom management, noise meters, class meetings, and models the skills of peer negotiation, rehearsal, reframing, planned encouragement, communicating calmness and collegial support. 

Bill Rogers managing behavior series – Repair & rebuild 
Rogers, Bill. (2004) 
1 DVD (53 min.)
Focuses on: restitution, mirroring, follow up meetings, hard class syndrome, attention deficit disorder, student motivation, playground management, re-entry after suspension and apologies.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Investing in Professional Capital is an Investment in Student Learning

In their book “Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School” Hargreaves and Fullan, believe we are at a crossroads in education reform that requires leadership to invest in developing the capabilities or ‘professional capital’ of teachers as individuals, as teams and as a profession.
This book is available to borrow from the Learning Exchange email 

On Friday 21 September 2012, educational expert and author, Professor Andy Hargreaves delivered the 2012 Parramatta Dicoese Catholic Education Ann D Clark Lecture to over 300 educators on education leadership; what works in school improvement; investing in the teaching profession; and building teacher capacity to improve learning outcomes for students.  Read more at 'Hargreaves asks do we want our teachers to be maestros or enthusiasts'.

Greg Whitby,  Executive Director of Schools, Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta  also expands on this premise of focusing on building teachers capabilities on his post on Bluyonder 'Building Professional Capital'

For further reading on Fullan and Hargreaves work on Professional Capital see Reviving Teaching with 'Professional Capital' M. Fullan and A. Hargreaves in Education Weekly, 2012
Available from Michael Fullan's website 2012 Articles
See Hargreaves work also at his website Andy

Another useful resource that explore this issue:

The Missing Link in School Reform
By Carrie, R Leana, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2011,
In trying to improve American public schools, educators, policymakers, and philanthropists are overselling the role of the highly skilled individual teacher and undervaluing the benefits that come from teacher collaborations that strengthen skills, competence, and a school's overall social capital.

Friday, July 6, 2012

iRead, iLearn, iShare

On Thursday 5th July, 50 participants attended a Teacher Librarian Meetup at the Children's Bookshop Beecroft.  
Organised by Julie Walter from Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville, it  was a very popular day.

 Topics shared were:
QR codes
Augmented reality
Childrens Book council Award events
Discipline ideas
National Simultaneous Storytime events
  Library Makeover ideas

A key session was Paul MacDonalds 'Shortlisted Books and Trends'

Participants shared ideas, raised questions, networked and then had time to enjoy lunch and browse the wonderful Children's Bookshop.

QR/Ar presentation by Lisa Nash Learning Exchange

CBCA NSW - presented by Mary Anne Cartwright, St Marks Drummoyne Discipline in the Library - presented by Neil Donovan, Gilroy College
Discipline in the library
View more PowerPoint from lnash
NSS - presentation by Julie Walter, Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville refurbishment - presentation by Julie Walter, Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville Shortlist Books and trends 2012 - presented by Paul Macdonald, Children's Bookshop Beecroft.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

National Simultaneous Storytime in our schools

In this National Year of Reading 2012, our schools celebrated National Simultaneous Storytime by sharing a Readers Theatre  Presentation of the picture book, "The Very Cranky Bear" by Nick Bland. 

On Wednesday 23rd May a group of teachers from Good Shepherd Primary School, Plumpton presented a Readers Theatre version of the book.

Their performance was streamed live via video link on LEXTV, bringing delight to many excited audiences in our K-2 classrooms across the Diocese.
 The Diocesan Learning Exchange facilitated the broadcast and photos are now available on The Very Cranky Bear photo gallery

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Schools and Social Media

Educators worldwide recognise the needs for students to be active participants in the highly connected world in which we live.  The use of social and mobile technologies to communicate, connect, collaborate and learn are now a standard part of the lives of our community.  However, schools are grappling with how to balance this with the concerns from the school and its community over possible issues around online bullying, security and distraction of students in using this media.

A few resources for our schools to help utilise social media effectively:

 Available from the Learning Exchange Library.

Communicating and Connecting with Social Media,
by William M Ferriter, Jason Ramsden, Eric Sheninger
Bloomington IN: Solution Tree Press, 2011

Blogs, Wikis, Podcast and other powerful Web tools for classrooms.
by Will Richardson, California: Corwin press, 2006

Web based resources

Using Mobile and Social Technologies in Schools, NASSP

Tweet Smarter:

Top 10 Social Media Tips For Teachers:

3 principals promote learning with mobile devices and social media

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Learning Leader

Our strategic focus at Catholic Education Parramatta in 2012 is 'Learning by Inquiring'. To help guide us in this focus we will be using Douglas Reeves book 'The Learning Leader'
Douglas Reeves, author of The Learning Leader says ‘the best analytical leaders are not masters of answers but rather persistent questioners.’
Learning Exchange has access to both the print and eBook version of Learning Leader as well as many other articles written by Douglas Reeves.

The Learning Leader: How to focus School Improvement for Better Results.

Electronic book version
This book introduces the Leadership for Learning Framework, which gives readers a tool for measuring and understanding how their own actions influence student achievement.

Staff and teachers at Catholic Education Parramatta can access an electronic copy of 'The Learning Leader' book via our Ebook library. This can be be viewed online or downloaded to your Desktop. Or you can download it your iPad via the Blue Fire reader app. Scan the QR code on the left to take you to the Ebook Library version.
(You will be prompted to login to Staffnet.)
Use your smart phone QR code reader to read the QR code pictured adjacent. Try Qrafter for iOPad or ScanMee for iPhones or use Google to locate other QR code readers for other smartphones. Many smartphones come with their own QR code reader/scanner.

Print Version
Available for loan from Learning Exchange

Other resources authored by Douglas Reeves
Ebooks from the Ebook Library via Staffnet

In their groundbreaking book, Renewal Coaching, Douglas Reeves and Elle Allison offered coaches, managers, teachers, and consultants a research-based, sustainable approach...

Providing real-life examples of leaders who have successfully met the challenge of change, distinguished author and researcher Douglas B. Reeves shows educational leaders how they can create the conditions...

School improvement expert Douglas B. Reeves proposes a new framework to promote effective and lasting change through teacher leadership and action research.

(Contact Learning Exchange for access to the following articles)

Leadership for Student Empowerment.
By: Reeves, Douglas B.. Educational Leadership, Nov2008, Vol. 66 Issue 3, p84-85, 2p
The article discusses how school superintendent Sheldon Berman increased self-efficacy of students in the Hudson Public School district in Massachusetts and the Jefferson County Public School district in Kentucky. The author discusses a service learning program Berman implemented in the Hudson Public School district that requires students participate in community service and encourages student involvement in school management and decision making. He discusses the adaptation of the program to urban schools in the Jefferson County Public School district and the use of inquiry-based mathematics instruction, reading interventions and a different history curriculum.

Challenging Inequity, Insisting on Excellence.
By: Reeves, Douglas B.. Educational Leadership, Oct2008, Vol. 66 Issue 2, p85-86, 2p
The article discusses conflicting methods of reducing achievement gaps for students of different races and socioeconomic contexts. The author notes an method supported by the Efficacy Institute, an educational organization, that emphasizes high educational standards for all students, the promotion of motivation and self-efficacy in students and curriculum reform based on student feedback.

CRAFTING Strategic Plans.
By: Butler, Kevin. District Administration, Mar2008, Vol. 44 Issue 4, p36-41, 6p, 2 Color Photographs, 1 Illustration
The article offers information on the key principles to enhance K12 leadership at school districts in the U.S. Douglas Reeves, founder of the Leadership and Learning Center in Colorado, mentioned some simple principles that can help K12 leaders be more effective in creating and communicating objectives to staff and improving accountability. Reeves added that teachers and staff bring about change by seeing and buying into benefits of new initiatives.

Accountability at a crossroads.
By: Reeves, Douglas B.. Leadership, Nov/Dec2004, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p12-37, 6p
Abstract: Argues that the United States needs school leaders who will make accountability decisions that are grounded in research, not popularity. Effective leaders as architects of the boundaries; Motivation of students by choice and empowerment; Legitimate criticisms of standards; Building on strengths; Searching for strengths; Drawing meaningful influences; Adoption versus implementation.

Video resources
Educational Leadership with Dr Douglas Reeves (interview by Kris Needham 4:45 mins)
Discussion around relationships betweens School leaders action and student outcomes

Monday, October 10, 2011

Virtual learning and libraries with QR codes

Learning Exchange has recently utilised QR code technology in two different ways to extend learning and access to digital resources.
Firstly, we have implemented a virtual library resource stand external to the library for clients who physically can't access our library easily.

This mobile resource stand displays QR codes that point to selected ebooks.

Each QR code comes with a small blurb about the book and instructions about using the QR code.

For more information see the media release on the Catholic Education Parramatta website.

Secondly we developed a' QR Code Learning Quest' to demonstrate how QR codes can be utilised in learning via libraries.

Participants from a range of our school libraries took part in the quest using our iPads.  Participants found the quest fun, engaging and they also got to know more about the resources in the library.  I have included a preview to the facilitators instructions and participant worksheets via a flipsnack book.  Not all pages are available via the flipsnack book.

or you can download the whole document here.