Monthly Archives: December 2012

Have you flipped yet?


Well we are heading into the silly season when calendars become jam packed, people start to crowd into shops stockpiling like the zombie apocalypse is about to hit and I start to look a bit like I’m crawling rather than running towards the finish line of December -so asking if you’ve flipped yet might seem like a reasonable question. What I’m talking about though is your classroom – have you flipped it yet?
Despite the fact that the end of the year is drawing closer, at this time of year I always start to think about next year- what will I do to make my classroom a better learning environment for my students? What is it that I want to experiment with – what things have caught my eye over the course of 2012? Yesterday I decided that classroom karaoke will go on my ‘to do’ list for 2013. Today I’m thinking about flipping my classroom and about using paperslide projects as a learning activity in my tutorials and in the classes I’ll be teaching at school next year as well. If you haven’t come across Dr. Lodge McCammon  yet check out this brief introduction:

Maryann and I were talking about ways we might play around with the ‘traditional’ lecture format in one of our classes and use the lecture time for more seminar based work – flipping our classroom might be a good thing to experiment with in order for this to happen. I’m also interested in experimenting with the paperslide projects for differentiation in the tutorials and my school classes to see if adolescents and adults respond differently to this kind of task. You can find out more about flipping and about the paperslide projects by visiting the FIZZ website:


I’m planning, plotting and getting ready to flip – what about you?

Sing like you don’t need the money…..

One of my all time fave songs is a country song ‘Come from the heart’ written by Richard Leigh and Susanna Clark, and I’m a big fan of the Weddings, Parties, Anything version and will sing it loudly and off-key whenever it is on my ipod. If you don’t know the song it goes like this:

You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money,

love like you’ll never get hurt,

you’ve got to dance like nobody’s watching,

it’s got to come from the heart if you want it to work.

Today I’m thinking of this song after reading Sarah Baker’s (2012) article on Classroom Karaoke (Youth Studies Australia, 31(1), 25-33). I love this idea of using classroom karaoke as a strategy for academic scaffolding and relationship building with university students, and I’m thinking ahead for the ways I can use this idea in my Young People and their Worlds course with my students in 2013. I think the idea of using the songs as a way of scaffolding students into understanding concepts is a great way to engage them early on, to introduce them to the topics we will examine and to begin to develop the threads for some of the theoretical frameworks we will cover as well. I might also discover the next “Voice”  or “Australian Idol” in my classroom as well – who knows? It might be uncomfortable, it might be awkward but I’m sure in the classroom it will be better than me belting out a version of “Big Bad Leroy Brown” in a local pub as a first year uni student (this may or may not be a true story – it’s up to you to decide)…

So who else is up for a bit of classroom karaoke?

Getting excited about 2013

indyon paper

Here’s my dog Indy helping me to work on my new project! I’m an old school kind of worker when I first start something and I need to be able to have it fleshed out on paper to see the interconnections before I can tackle it on screen. Maybe it’s the teacher in me – I have an unhealthy love for scrawling ideas on butcher’s paper  (and in creating my own version of this with A4 and sticky tape when I have no butcher’s paper to hand – just call me Sharon paper MacGyver). Anyway I digress …

I’m nearly ready to launch my brand new adventure (aka pilot project) for 2013. I’m interested in ways that we can create meaningful learning and teaching opportunities for PSTs, for teachers in schools and for those working in teacher education. So in this pilot I’m going to be based  in a secondary school in our region and based as a lecturer at UB. The model will enable PSTs to be involved in an enriched pre-placement and placement experience where they are able to learn more about the school community and become involved in a range of projects. They will also be involved in working with me in the school using the Instructional Rounds model prior to and during their placement in the school. The pilot will also involve looking at ways we can better mentor our pre-service teachers during placement and unpack the learning that is taking place for them. I will also have a role as a hybrid academic – working in a teaching role with some Year 7 French and some Year 7 English classes, and linking my work in those subjects and the school more broadly back to the courses I will be teaching next year at uni. It should be an interesting journey! Stay tuned for more updates in the next couple of weeks 🙂

VC Citation Day!


On Thursday we had the Learning and Teaching Conference for 2012 where I was presenting a paper with Maryann entitled “If you can teach, teach teachers”. This is a version of a paper we presented at the ATEA conference in July where we examine the puzzle pieces of our work as teacher educators and the learning of our students.

After a keynote on the nature of our students and our future challenges in learning and teaching it was time for the presentation of the Vice-Chancellor’s awards for contributions to student learning. I was excited to receive a citation For promoting and modelling a scholarship of learning and teaching principles, to build teacher capacities and encourage a school-wide culture of learning. Here I am with my award and with Rohan who came along to see me receive it – it was a hot day and our curly hair is struggling to be tamed!