Transcript of Using SyllabusPLUS at your school

KATHERIN CARTWRIGHT  Welcome again to Syllabus PLUS Maths K-6 for Term 3. Thanks for coming along. Actually, I think it's our fourth series for Syllabus PLUS, and it'll be our last one. So hopefully you've been able to enjoy some of the series. I can see down there from the poll question that many of you have already participated in the previous series. Today, I'm joined by Kerrie Keats. You can't see her. Or Kerrie Spencer, sorry, I should say. She's in here relieving for my old position, the Maths adviser, Australian Curriculum, and so she'll be womaning the chat today if you've got any extra questions during the session. So I thank her for being here today and extend my welcome to everyone else. And just a reminder that this session is being recorded, including the chat and the presentation, and will be shared to everyone via the Curriculum Support web link that was sent out to your school contact, so... That's where all the past recordings are kept as well, and you'll be able to access this one from there from tomorrow. So welcome. So this session today, our Syllabus PLUS K-6 Maths Series 4, Session 1, is actually about using Syllabus PLUS at your school. It's probably something that's come a little bit late in the series. A lot of people have asked about, how do I use this in my school? And so we thought that, even though it's a little bit late on, for some people that might not have participated in any of the previous series or are maybe just starting looking at the Science and Tech and History sessions as well, you might need some information on how to actually use it as part of your TPL in your school. So today, that's what we're going to go through in this session. So I'm hoping it's going to be useful for you today. I found this image in Flickr through the week. I thought it was really interesting. "If I die, I hope it's during an in-service, because the transition to death would be so subtle." Hopefully my sessions aren't too boring for you, but I think it's a really poignant point to make, is that when we use professional learning, or when we conduct professional learning, we don't want people to be bored to death, and definitely not death by PowerPoint. Now, I know that these presentations are online, they're quite similar and they use a presentation format. There's definitely some things that you can do to liven it up if you then are responsible for presenting it to the rest of your staff. So trying to make things not so boring is a really good idea. And it's always great to get feedback around it as well. But I just really liked that poster, so I added it in for today's presentation. So thinking about professional development and moving into that idea of professional learning. So for a while, we've been calling it teacher professional learning, and sort of to see that learning is a lifelong journey, not only for our students but also for our teachers. And this comes from the Professional Learning and Leadership Development Directorate. There's a paper in there that you can read if you want to go to their website. And I've actually put this paper in the pod today, I believe, so you can check it out there. But it's just talking about how research has moved from that idea of professional development to professional learning, and it really...the research brings these five factors in for professional learning. So content focus, active learning - like, sort of engagement - coherence - so that it's got some kind of flow - sufficient duration - so it's over time and is timely - and that there's collective participation. And I think it's really important that we sort of have these at the back of our mind whenever we're presenting to other fellow teachers, and probably to our students as well, that those things are thought about. But they were five things that I thought were quite easy to think about when I'd be using something like Syllabus PLUS in my school as part of TPL. Why Syllabus PLUS? So I guess in the beginning... actually, the secondary team were the ones who started out using Syllabus PLUS first. We thought it was a way of getting a consistent message across the state. So, for me, that was that content focus. So we know that there aren't as many people on the ground anymore to support implementation. This is quite different to how we've implemented syllabus documents before. And so we wanted to make sure that people could access regularly and return to access information that should be the same across the state. So although you might be implementing each of these and you might be running the presentation yourself in your school, you can always go back to the recording and listen to me or other people, and they'll talk about that main message so that we all have a consistent approach across the state. We know that teachers are time-poor, and so we thought 30-minute tasters were a great way to get some professional learning across to teachers. So we thought that was a sufficient duration for our presentations. Obviously, your staff meetings in your school may be longer and then you can open it up to having chat and tasks as well. We thought it would assist the people implementing it in the school, a way to introduce the new syllabus. So, for us, it was a coherence of making sure that the documents were presented the same across the state but also that there was some kind of sequence to how you'd introduce the syllabus. So where should we start and where do we go to from there? Which is what I'll be talking about today. We also thought it was easy to access. The recordings are there for future viewing. And it's also a bit of active learning. So those people that are coming in live today can definitely be part of it, and also, you can still use the presentations actively in your school. A fair few of them have points where you could stop and ask questions and have further discussions. And also, they were online and interactive, and that was something that was the real sort of future way, I guess, of working with professional learning. Obviously, face-to-face professional learning still is very vital and has a lot of benefits, but online interactive, it provides a bit of collective participation from more than one school, and I think that's really good too. And even if it's just that everyone is saying, Yes, I agree," and, "That's the same thing for me," I think there's some merit in that, particularly if you're from a really small school or a really remote school and you don't often get time just to meet with a larger group of teachers. This is one way of doing that. So that's sort of why we have Syllabus PLUS. If you're not familiar with the AITSL website - if you're a new-scheme teacher or someone on maintenance, you might be very familiar with the AITSL website - fantastic site. They even have an app now for your My Standards, if you haven't had a look at that - just on the side. But that link there is to a document about the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning for Teachers and School Leaders, and I really liked this quote in there. It said that teachers are to "take responsibility for, and actively engage in, professional learning in order to build their capacity and that of others". And that, to me, in a nutshell, is what professional learning is, and we're trying to provide that from here, but it's just, I guess, a drop in the ocean. What you bring to that at your own school and your own context to build your capacity is really important. A lot of the curriculum leaders that I've been training up as part of a number of small schools, I still recommended they, one, access the Syllabus PLUS and, two, presented it to their staff so that they could build the capacity within Mathematics. So the question today, for me, is... quality professional learning is what? So in the chat pod, one-word answers or a couple of words, what is quality professional learning? What does it need to include for you? Thanks, Nerida. I saw you were first back there. Relevant." Yes. "Consistency." Thanks, Neil. "Practical. Engaging. Up-to-date. Current. Purposeful. Engaging. User-friendly. Fun. Ongoing. When it's needed." Yes! "Inspiring." Yes. "Collaborative." Yes. "Meaningful. Sustainable. Worthwhile." These are great. "Thought-provoking. School-appropriate." Excellent. Must be about your context. "Aha moments!" Excellent. "Short." Yes. "Challenging." All of those things. And now, not every single professional learning experience that you've probably had in the last year marries to all of those. In fact, it might not marry to any of them, and they might not marry at all the same time. So I can see someone's mentioned "Hands-on" there. "Easy to implement." There's certain professional learning you do for certain specific purposes. Obviously, for something like learning how to do CPR, hands-on is absolutely important, and definitely I like hands-on tasks in my presentations. Sometimes it's not always possible online but that's where the way you implement these in a school is going to be really important. And I love that "Student-focused" came out. Sometimes we forget about the students, but our professional learning is about improving student outcomes, always. "Whole school." Thank you for those. Here's just a few of the things that I thought about. And they link perfectly to the answers that you gave, so we're all on that same wavelength. It's about students, meeting individual needs. Reflective. Continuous. Structured. Engaging. Linked to classroom practice. These were the things that really resonated for me, not only from research but from my own idea of what I want people to get out of the professional learning that I lead, and we need to think like this when we're presenting professional learning in our school. On the Victorian Department of Education and Training's website, they have a paper and some information about the seven principles of highly effective professional learning. You know, there's seven principles of everything, I think. But I quite liked these. And one of them in particular that I quite liked was that idea of...this Principle 2, where it's focused and embedded in teacher practice. So it's not disconnected from the school, and someone mentioned about school context. So sometimes for me when I'm sitting in here in Oxford Street, my link to your specific school might not be the same as how I would link to another school when I think about context. And so for you, if you're going to use Syllabus PLUS in your school, it's really important that you bring that to the TPL that you're leading. So it still needs to be broken down into - what is it going to look like for us? So you need to take ownership of it and it needs to meet the needs of your teachers for your classroom contexts. So that's just some more background information as well that you might be interested in reading about. So how do we use them? I asked some schools that I know that are already implementing and using the Syllabus PLUS sessions, and this is just a few. You might already be using them in a different way as well. Live interactives. So people like yourselves today are in here, watching them live. Sometimes you might want to stop and complete the tasks yourself. Sometimes I ask you to stop and complete a task at a couple of them that I've done in the past. And you could always continue the discussion after the session. So it's only 30 minutes. If this is your staff development afternoon - generally it's for an hour, if not longer - you've got time there to have a further discussion. Maybe it's recorded and interactive. So you watch the recording as a whole staff. You stop the presentation and complete tasks that you've created as you go that are more for your context or where you're at on your journey. Maybe it's flipping the staff meeting. So maybe it's that teachers have viewed a particular session in professional learning time by themselves or with a partner or in a stage group, and now we meet as a whole staff to further discuss it and see what those implications are for our stage. You might combine and modify. I've got a couple of schools that say, "We actually pull all your presentations apart, Katherin, and mash them back together to suit us." And I said, "That's fine." They're up there, free for you to use, and that's a great way of making sure that you're catering for the needs of your teachers and their staff, and there's nothing wrong with doing that. You could use it as a support for professional learning. A few schools I know that are presenting various parts of it, something like the vocab or Working Mathematically, and then following it up with the Syllabus PLUS presentation. So they already do something around their PL session that they had planned, and then, as an add-on, the Syllabus PLUS actually, like, consolidates that learning. So it's not the first port of call. It's something that supports the professional learning that's already happening in the school. So looking at a session as a recording and discussing any issues that also arise and that are relevant for the school. You could also use our presentations as professional reading or as a resource. I've got a couple of schools that say, "Oh, we actually print off paper copies of the presentations and have a file of them for teachers to come and access whenever they want." So it's not necessarily sitting down and listening to me talk but just looking through the presentation and getting some ideas from there. So that's another way you could use them. You could use the lesson resources to begin your implementation of the syllabus. So on most of the Syllabus PLUS sessions in the file pods, you can download lesson ideas. And on a sidenote for that, if you've been actively involved in Syllabus PLUS with me for a while, they've done an update in the school holidays, which was why there was a bit of an outage. But when you get to the file pod today, you can actually select all the files at once and download all of them to your computer. You don't have to do them one at a time anymore. Can I hear people clapping? 'Cause I certainly am clapping. 'Cause I used to have to remove them one at a time as well, so... I think that's awesome change to Adobe Connect. Yes." "You beauty!" Today, I haven't got 50 million of them, though. I maybe should have put a whole lot in just so we could feel that, the sensation of downloading lots at the same time. Anyway, sidenote. I'll get back onto it. Maybe something like the making connections mind maps and scope and sequences that I've shared. Maybe you're using those to plan and program for next year. The creating curriculum leaders. So I mentioned before that I've been working with some leaders at schools and community of schools. We use them as part of that training. It was their responsibility to go and lead that in their school as part of becoming a Maths leader or a Maths sort of, you know, mini expert in their school. So that's another way you could use it. Where do I start? So there are so many Syllabus PLUS sessions, particularly for Maths, I know. I've made a few. Where do I start?" Well, for me, in the words of Julie Andrews, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start." If you have not seen any sessions before, this one, this is a very good place to start today. So maybe you skip right down to Series 4 and this is the one that you have a look at first to get a bigger picture of how all the other sessions fit together. A lot of the sessions that I produced were either in reaction to people's feedback, which was excellent, and also mingled with what I felt that people would need support with with the new syllabus, which means that some of them are in a lovely sequential order and some of them maybe not. I've got a little image of the PD time line there, which is in the file pod today, the interactive copy of that, where I've sort of set out the current Syllabus PLUS sessions along with some of the courses we have and the building capacity resources into four kind of columns that you could possibly work through. So that's another way that you could look at all of the different packages and courses and resources that we have on offer from the DEC to help you with Mathematics. But today I'm going through some more specifics about how to use, particularly, the Syllabus PLUS. "The file pod" - sorry, I will answer that question while I'm reading the chat, 'cause it's easier than poor Kerrie typing the answer. When I go to the conclusion screen today at the end of the recording, one of the little windows will have files in it, and it's interactive even if you're watching this as a recording. You can click on the documents and save them to your computer. So I will point that out at the end of today's session, so... I will help you with that. So I sort of thought to myself, "If I had between now and the end of the year to look at Mathematics," which a lot of schools are in the position of doing. Mind you, you're also looking at Sci/Tech. I understand that you're not just going to be looking at Mathematics for your TPL. But there are six big areas that I would want to look at over a number of different staff meetings or TPL sessions, whatever you'd like to call them. So I've mentioned there on the right as well that I had lots of great feedback about the sessions, but, again, people wanted a bit of a clear picture of how it all fits together. So here it is. So these are my top six. I had five, then I had to put a sixth one in because it just wasn't working for me. So I've got the bigger picture, the big picture, what's new, changes to pedagogy and practice, making connections in teaching and learning, and "What will it look like in my classroom?" So this is kind of how I would manoeuvre through the Syllabus PLUS sessions. The bigger picture. So we are talking about Syllabus PLUS today, but there is one of the courses in our suite of courses for the New South Wales new syllabuses that I think is vital. And that's 'Your School and the...' And today it's '..Mathematics K-10 Syllabus'. So there's one of those for each of the four phase... so there's Science and Technology, the History, under the umbrella of HSIE, and the English one. There's a course for each of those. These are all registered courses. Five hours. And one of the greatest things in that course is, apart from just going over the syllabus in general, up the top right there, I've got a screenshot of it. They have an audit, a self-audit. They have one for primary and for secondary within this one course, and it helps you decide where you're at with your understanding of different aspects of the syllabus. It's just a two-page interactive PDF that you can complete as a staff, and then you can have a look and compare with everybody else and see, well, "Who has expertise? Who needs more help? Where do I need to go to from here?" So you can access that course. There's a picture of what it looks like. There's Chris Francis in the middle. From that website link just there at the bottom. You can look at that course without registering it. You don't have to do the five hours registration if you don't want to. Most schools do do that, but you can run through it yourself and you can even go through to that third tab and just click on the audit and look at the audit itself. So, yes, I've already linked the audit PDF to the file pod today, in case you get a bit lost finding where that course is. But it is a really good one to start at the very beginning. Now just the big picture. So even if your teachers are at different points around the syllabus, it's still really important to look at it as a whole school so that you get a shared understanding. So you might know some, you might know lots, you might know none, but it's sometimes still good to look all together. So I'd commit maybe one staff meeting and combine those sessions there. I suggested the Series 1 Session 1, which is 'Understanding the new syllabus', and Series 3 Session 1, which is 'The numeracy continuum and the syllabus', because I think those are quite important and link together really nicely. Those images aren't linked today. All of the recordings are all on that same Curriculum Support website that you got in the link today. Everything is on there, so you don't need to go to different places anymore. So I think that's really important just to get an overview together, even if you're at different points. So a couple of tasks that I use, either in between tasks or with those particular ones in the beginning, is a similarities and differences task. This task, blackline master, is in the file pod today as well. Just nutting out and having a look at what similarities and differences there are between the current and the new syllabus. Just...even the cover's different. The pages look different. Whatever you write down... This might be a task that you want to use with your school. So... This is supporting that big-picture idea. And also comparing current to new content. So actually just getting out both documents, either online or in hard copy, and looking at - OK, what's the differences for outcomes? What's the differences for content, language and structure? Just for the way it looks. Just as an overarching... Not down to the content detail yet. But just the way it looks, the way it's presented, the structure of the document itself is really, really important to have a look at. So they're just some ideas that you could use to support those couple of Syllabus PLUS sessions that give you that bigger picture of the new syllabus. Then I'd move into the 'What's new' section. So... Although just looking at what's different with the content... It's not necessarily the main focus of implementation, but it's still important for a number of different reasons. One, it's going to waylay people's fears. When you first see a document, even when I first saw it, as a finished copy, it was like, "OK, I've got no idea how to manoeuvre myself through this. I'm used to the way my old syllabus is structured. I know where everything is. And now I've got to have a look at something new." So to waylay people's fears around that, it's really a good idea to get in and look at the things that are the same and the things that are different so that we're not fearful of using the documents, so that's really important. You want to have a look for familiar aspects. So, what is it within the syllabus that's still the same for me? And some of that might be structural as well. And then getting used to the new structure and layout. So the fact that it's represented in stages, not in strands. So things like that. So there's those three Syllabus PLUS sessions that I would use around looking at new content and what's new. So it goes through the three strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability. So I would look at those in comparison with the current syllabus. Some of the tasks that you could also do that rely and work around new content is actually getting down and unpacking it in stage groups. So maybe you meet as a stage group after viewing some of those sessions, or as part of viewing those sessions, and you look at listing new content focus. What the ideas and concepts are. What's the prior knowledge required? And what would be the next step in learning for a student? So sort of take your teachers through a learning sequence from a student's perspective. So unpacking content is really important. If you want to drill down and focus on some of the new content... This one's an example from Stage 3. I've just written out some of the areas that are particularly new in our syllabus and the concepts that are coming out, and then what I've had teachers do is complete this little drilling-down task. Again, it's in the file pod today, is looking at Number and Algebra. Drilling down - there's whole numbers, properties of whole numbers, highest common factor, lowest common multiple. OK, what's the new knowledge? There's a little example there. But what's the prior knowledge? So it's making those connections as well as looking at what's new at the same time. So that's a task. There's a Number and Algebra and a Measurement and Geometry example in the file pod today, but you could obviously create your own versions of that for other areas and other stages of the syllabus as well. 4. Changes to pedagogy and practice. Now, this is probably number one, but I want to waylay some of those fears first, so I've put it down at four. But, again, you can change these. This is just my suggested way of working through Syllabus PLUS. So this is by far the most important aspect, that we want teachers to embed Working Mathematically, teaching the 'what' of the content through the 'how' of the Working Mathematically components. Absolutely number one thing that's important. We want to create classrooms that are rich in questioning, grounded in real-world mathematics and supportive of multiple strategies. That's what we're doing. That's what our mathematics classrooms should be looking like. So this is where I'd look at the Working Mathematically sessions. Now, as you can see, Series 4 Session 4 hasn't been on yet. It was the one area of Working Mathematically I hadn't covered yet. So for me to feel that I've created a whole package for you to be able to use, that's coming up later this term. So if you get this far down this process and I haven't presented that one yet, you might want to look at the other two first. But I've just put them in order of how they're presented in the syllabus, as the outcomes are written, but it wouldn't matter which way you looked at those. But it's really important that people get their head around how I use Working Mathematically in the classroom. This is just a table I want to share with you. It was created and shared by Anne Prescott. If there's people out there from Clemton Park community of schools, you'll have seen this on staff development day. So she showed us this little table. And it's sort of higher-order questioning for higher-order thinking. And it was really simple. It wasn't some crazy rubric that I'd have to create. It was just very simply looking at the questions that are kind of getting more complex, along with the higher-order thinking that's getting complex as those arrows go out. Now, I've put a couple of examples in there. She showed us the sheet that was blank. And this is where teachers could create those questions that link those two together. So when I look from 'why' and look at the 'is', so I'm reading it like a two-way table. I don't know if you can read that. It's a little blurry today. So, "Why is 11 a prime number?" And then in another spot up there, when I'm looking at the 'how' and the 'did', I might ask my students, "How did you solve that problem?" And then I've got the 'where' and the 'would', and I've said, "Where would you use fractions?" And then I've got an example for the 'what' and the 'will' - "What will happen when you multiply an odd by an even number?" So they're just suggestions. Now, your students can make up the questions. You know, get them to pick two areas along those two axes to answer as part of their Working Mathematically. So...but I'd just have that poster up on the wall, even, with nothing in the middle, and know that at some point during my lesson I want to be asking questions that combined both that vertical and horizontal axis. It's really going to get some higher-order questioning for higher-order thinking happening in my classroom, so... I thought it was really useful. Making connections in teaching. It's all about making connections. Really, really important. Again, up there with Working Mathematically for me. Spend time developing your knowledge of the concept links. That's important - that you know where those concept links are within and across the substrands, and then that should guide your students to discover and explore them from your teaching. So your teaching needs to show those links so that students can find them as well. And so I would look at looking at all these four sessions together, about making connections and key concepts and key language. Now, I've put a little asterisk there. You might want to use those key concept ones as part of the bigger picture. Up to you. But I think they sit here nicely as well. So the more that you can make connections, not only is it going to be less that you're focusing in on separate outcomes - because we want to try and assess more than one at the same time - but it's making those links so the students can see the purpose and relevance for Maths within Mathematics and within the real world. So an example is... That's one of the mind maps that I've used in the past Syllabus PLUS sessions. That one's about 2D Space and where it links to other substrands, including its own substrand, and then in the outer circles is the key ideas from the Key Ideas posters. So that's just an example of how I made the connections that then lead to my programming that then lead to hopefully getting students to make those connections as well. Sorry, I'll answer that question. So, "What..." "Will you put that in the file pod?" Oh, the questioning matrix. Well, you know what? I'm going to have to get back to people on that because I took a photo of it on staff development day, and I know we were sent her presentation, but I couldn't find it right now, so it's just in there. So you might need to make up one yourself or I will email Anne Prescott and get her to send me another one. But I'm sorry, it's not in the file pod today. So sorry about that. It wasn't too hard to make. I made my own in about five minutes. So... And it didn't have any information in the middle, so I didn't think that was too hard. The last one - "What will it look like in my classroom?" And this is really, really important as well. They're all really important, but... This is really good for your school context, OK? So..."What is it going to look like in MY classroom? Not just in THE classroom or A classroom but MY classroom." So creating...using these sessions as discussion starters for how you're going to reflect on your classroom practice around the new syllabus. And I think part of this professional learning that you're using the Syllabus PLUS for in your school should also be linked with things like trialling of lessons, team-teaching, lesson study, reflection on work samples, all to assist in gaining an understanding of what now are our student expectations at each stage of learning in the syllabus. Have they changed? What are we now expecting our students to do? On a sidenote up in the right-hand corner there is a link to the Australian Curriculum website. They've got a new website up and running now to support the Australian Curriculum. Obviously, our syllabus outcomes are not necessarily linked there, but they have a whole lot of work samples now for each year grade, and they've sort of...they've coded them and they've had a look at them and they've reflected on these student work samples and put them at working towards, working at, working beyond. Now, that's different to how we use our grading system in New South Wales, but I think it's still a really good discussion starter, because they're work samples that are based on the Australian Curriculum, so it's new content, which we do cover in our New South Wales Syllabus. Noting that we don't necessarily have to grade individual assessment tasks, but knowing whether you think they're at about stage or above and below, I think, is a really good thing to have a look at with new content in particular. So that's a really great website to go and have a look at as well. And then I've just got those other Syllabus PLUS sessions there that I think help you see, what will it look like in your classroom, about embedding those learning across the curriculum areas, the general capabilities and also that assessment and reporting, so that consistency of teacher judgement I just mentioned there. Final comments. In general, about the syllabus, don't get caught up with the amount of content. We always focus on where our students are at. Focus on the progress and the process that you're going to go through to help them move along that. OK, along the learning continuum. So always focus where your students are at. Create opportunities for students to do those Working Mathematically processes - communicate, reason, problem-solve. And integrate, wherever possible, outcomes together. And for the TPL, for your teacher professional learning, make your sessions interactive, pace the learning over the few terms and even into next term. You don't have to stop at Day 1 next year. Set some in-between tasks and reflect on your practice. They're the really important things I wanted to mention from today. They're my details, if you need to contact me for any reason. Just a reminder on the side that our new issue of 'Mathematical Bridge' is out. It's in the file pod, but it's also at that web link. If you click on that word 'here' on that screen right now, you'll be able to access that. I'm going to go to my conclusion slide now... ..which you can see the files below there in the file pod. Remember, you can download them all at once now. I'm pretty sure if you... I might even do it at the same time. If you click on one and then right-click on your one, it should...prompt you to save them all. Or you might need to...to go to the right-hand button. I'm not sure if you have that little right-hand button on the top like I do, but I know I can download them all at once. So I'm hoping that you can too. Fingers crossed. Thanks for joining today. As I said, this was sort of a session that I probably should have done right up front, but I wouldn't have had all those wonderful ideas from schools about how they're using Syllabus PLUS if I had have done it at the beginning. So I'm hoping that this will give you some idea of how to utilise Syllabus PLUS. Kind of get you on a path of implementation for your syllabus. So I'm hoping that that was useful today. The next session is in two weeks time, on Tuesday 5 August, and that's where Colleen's going to be our guest presenter talking about the MoneySmart Teaching program. That's around Financial Mathematics. So, yeah, I hope that was good for you today. Thanks again for joining in. I hope you have a lovely afternoon. I will stay online if you've got any extra questions. Otherwise, enjoy your afternoon. Thanks

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