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Range of Services

Whole-Day Workshops
Workshop Title Description Target Audience Duration
1.  ‘Creating the Thinking Classroom’
or
‘Engaging The Learner’ or
‘Higher Order Thinking’ Workshop
Offering a range of cognitive and cooperative thinking strategies to match questions or activities designed by the teacher. This aims at promoting Higher Order Thinking and offering the tools to make this possible from the learner’s point of view. Participants are requested to nominate a target group and topic, eg, ‘Year 10 Science and Energy and Change’ or ‘Year 4, Social Studies and Investigating our Community’. Thereafter, opportunities for reflection and transfer on each strategy are built in on a regular basis especially in relation to the nominated topic. Teachers, Co-ordinators of Gifted and Talented. Administrators and teacher aides.
NB Some maths teachers may find this workshop of limited value
5–6 hours, eg 9am–3pm (or till 4.30pm) or 3.30–8.30pm I can also offer 3 times 90-120 minute sessions to different groups during the day, repeating each session or modifying the thinking tools presented depending on the faculty or teaching area.
2.  Broad Brush Unit Planning for ‘Creating Challenging Units’ Similar to Creating The Thinking Classroom but with an emphasis on a Broad-Brush approach to Unit Planning, focussing on the following steps. 1. Formulating a challenging title 2. Fixing the length of the unit 3.  Determining assessment items (product), 4. Listing all skills and learning indicators desired for that unit 5. Linking the skills and indicators to each of the products 6. Deciding on the broad content focus for each week and linking cognitive and cooperative thinking skills to these content areas 7. Linking the skills and indicators to the major content focus of each week. Teachers will commence developing a challenging unit, to be completed at a later date. All teachers 5–6 hours (9.00am-3.00pm or longer)
OR
When I am teaching in a school once teachers have completed the initial workshop (No 1), I can facilitate the development of a broad brush unit in a 90 minute session (See No 7)
3. ‘What Sort of Question is That?’ This workshop is aimed at first year teachers and focuses on an awareness of how we Ask questions or design activities in the classroom. It intends to make workshop participants more aware of the purpose of learning tasks in terms of learning outcomes in the context of Bloom’s taxonomy and the value of attaching certain thinking tools to those activities. The curriculum context is that of ‘Our Town’ which is sufficiently generic to cover all curriculum areas New teachers and student teachers. This would also be useful for mentors of new teachers and teacher trainers 5-6 hours (9.00am-3.00pm or longer)
4.    Engaging Teachers at Staff Meetings’ This workshop was designed in response to a request from certain principals who wished to look at the issue of specific thinking tools in staff meetings. There are two purposes. One is top ensure that staff become engaged in purposeful discussion and the second is to model the use of these thinking tools to encourage teachers to transfer these to their own teaching and learning classroom practice. All people in senior management of a school or those who conduct meetings in the government sector and private enterprise 5-6 hours (9.00am-3.00pm or longer)
5.Strtegies for Cooperative Thinking Synergy is about increasing results from working in teams. Team work also promotes other positive learning behaviours such as listening, speaking with purpose, considering the other point of view, affirming each other, being honest yet sensitive and most importantly, in delaying gratification In this workshop, participants will experience a range of team or group strategies where the energy of the team will lead to greater results. They will experience the Silent Card Shuffle to decide what really went on in the jungle, the See Saw with RAS Alert to improve student data retention, the TRIAD to encourage active listening and the 1:4:P:C:R to process a problem leading to a solution or simply for any design project. If there is time, we will use a Problem-Solution strategy designed by Sydney Parnes. All teachers 5–6 hours (9.00am-3.00pm or longer)
5.    ‘Getting More out of Meetings’ Participants are offered a range of strategies to involve everyone in meeting discussions or debate. Strategies include KWL, PMI, SWOT Analysis, Round Robin, Hot Potato, Jigsaw and Decision Making matrix Anyone involved in meetings such as educators, parents and students 120–240 minutes
6.    Broad Brush Unit Planning In this session, Participants are introduced to a simple method of planning any size unit, from three days to ten weeks. Major areas of focus are Student product, Skills and Indicators of Learning, how these relate to the product, the major content focus for each week and the use of an appropriate thinking tool for each week and how these relate to the Skills and Indicators. This session will empower ALL participants to do the same. This is a simple method to incorporate any learning outcomes or repertoires of practice. Anyone involved in curriculum and unit planning. 90–120 minutes for one teacher or one group of teachers at a time. If a group, they need to be focussed on the same unit.
Shorter workshops
Workshop Title Description Target Audience Duration
7.    ‘Strategies for Creative Writing and Design’ Participants will work through a range of challenges using strategies such as Y-Chart, Random Input, Round Robin, Plus, Minus, Improve All educators and students Educators — 90–120 minutes.
Students — in class for one or more lessons
8.    ‘Creating a Lateral Thinking Mindset’ or ‘Thinking outside the Square’ Participants will experience a series of hands-on problem solving situations. They will then employ an appropriate thinking strategy to solve that problem.
Use of KWL, Whole Brain Thinking, Y-Chart and Random Input
All teachers and administrators. This workshop can also be conducted with 30–100 students. (Years 5–12) Teachers — 90–120 minutes.
Students — 120–180 minutes
9.    Strategies for Critical Thinking Participants will work through a range of strategies including PMI, SWOT Analysis, KWL, Decision Making Matrix and the Tournament Prioritiser All educators and students Educators — 90-120 minutes.
Students — in class for one or more lessons
10. Strategies for Co-operative Thinking Participants will experience a range of team or group strategies where the energy of the team will lead to greater results. They will experience the Silent Card Shuffle to decide what really went on in the jungle, the See Saw with RAS Alert to improve student data retention, the TRIAD to encourage active listening and the 1:4:P:C:R to process a problem leading to a solution or simply for any design project. If there is time, we will use a Problem-Solution strategy designed by Sydney Parnes. All educators and students Educators — 90-120 minutes.
Students — in class for one or more lessons
In-Class Demonstration Lessons
Workshop Title Description Target Audience Duration
11.   ‘The Reconciliation of Goldilocks and The Three Bears’ An in-class demonstration of thinking strategies based on my book of the same name. This concerns the events of the original story and my sequel. 32 students work in groups of four to assist Goldilocks to seek reconciliation with the Bear family as well as observe her attempts to atone for her youthful indiscretion. 32 students from Years 3-6 with teachers and parents observing and assisting with the writing component.
An option is to bring students and teachers from neighbouring schools to create collegiality and share costs.
32 students from Years 3-6 with teachers and parents observing and assisting with the writing component. Either 9am-2.30pm OR 9am-12.20pm
12.   Island Survival An in-class lesson demonstrating the use of a range of thinking tools in a curriculum context. 32 students work in teams of 4 tackling problem-solving skills to overcome hypothetical adversity. Strategies covered include Round Robins, Tournament Prioritiser, Y Chart, SWOT Analysis, 1:4:P:C:R, Decision making Matrix and others 32 students from Years 6-8 with teachers observing. 32 students from Years 3-6 with teachers and parents observing and assisting with the writing component.. Either 9am-2.30pm OR 9am-12.20pm