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Meaningful learning experiences

By Howrah Primary School

TEACHERS at Howrah Primary School regularly meet in professional learning communities to research, plan and design teaching and learning sequences that engage students and provide meaningful learning experiences.

With the aim of improving student outcomes, teachers work in grade teams to engage in frequent formal and informal discussions about pedagogy and teaching practice.

Since the implementation of this planning structure, the focus on targeted, explicit teaching has lead to improved student results.

In term four, grade three teachers have planned a learning sequence for their students on measurement.

The learning sequence provides students with a range of hands on learning experiences to develop their understanding of measurement in areas such as weight, length, capacity and money.

Senior teacher Shelley Millhouse, who leads the grade three planning team, said the focus was on “what we want our students to know at the end of the learning sequence.”

“Using this information we plan a range of authentic experiences so we can find out what our students already know,” she said.

“These results help teachers formulate learning intentions for differentiated groups and share with students criteria for success, so they can monitor how they are progressing with their learning.

“We understand that students have individual learning styles and require support and encouragement to achieve to their full potential.”

Grade three student Lily Kay said she enjoyed learning about measurement.

“Learning in grade three is lots of fun,” she said.

“We spend lots of time learning in groups and talking about our learning with other people in our class.

“Sometimes we use technology like videos from the internet to help us understand what we are learning so we can learn in that way too.

“Teachers are helpful but there are lots of other ways to find things out too, like talking with a friend or using things like books or the internet to help find out more. We are asked to think to find out the answer for ourselves.”

Max Dwyer, also in grade three, said: “When learning about measurement we were given a box that we had to measure using centimetres and millimetres.

“We also measured the weight of the box, each 10 grams of the box cost $2 to post ,and then we had to start thinking about money as well.

“There was a really fun activity that we did where we had to draw a really big helicopter on the netball courts with chalk and measure each part of the helicopter with a one metre length of string.

“The rotors on the helicopter ended up being eight metres long … We have also learned about measuring liquids using millilitres and litres by measuring different sized jars.”

Caption: From left, Howrah Primary School grade three students Lily Kay, Max Dwyer, Ariana Reeve and Ellen Westgate.