Helen Timperley reminds us that when we make pedagogical change, we must make sure that the changes are based on evidence. We must look at the factors that make a difference in acquisition of learning, and the shift in progress of the child. We can get caught up in new ways of teaching and assume that they are making a difference when in fact sometimes they are not.
I have come from an Year 4 extension class who were independent and motivated. They worked confidently with GAFE to learn, create and share. This year my class of Year 2 students have some high learning and behavioural needs. My expectations for them have consequently been very high, but this has at times caused tension between what I expect of them and what they are reasonably able to produce.
In many ways, these students have taken like ducks to water with the introduction of iPads. However many activities that I have diligently created to extend their learning and help achieve accelerated progress have been too difficult for an independent task.
I have found a tension not only with my expectations of the children, but a tension between the desire and need to give the children activities that are highly cognitively engaging and the absolute necessity to have some quiet time to teach my groups.
Consequently, I have been spending a lot more time teaching with the Explain Everything activities. This has changed the way I teach as I am spending more quality time on the follow up activities. This has become part of my micro teaching programme.