Australian National Day of Mourning

A short video to be read by students (or the teacher for younger students) to explain the purpose of the National Day of Mourning to honour the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

Posted by Nicola in News, Slideshows

Science Week 2019

Hey it’s Science Week. Here’s a junior primary video that I created based on the theme. I’ve snuck in some learning science strategies – spacing and retrieval – to active that prior knowledge and retain some new knowledge. Let’s build those schemas! 

You Tube Version:

Teacher Tube Version: “”></iframe>

Posted by Nicola in News

Phonics, principals put schools ahead

From The West Australian 9/12/15

Once again the research indicates that a structured synthetic phonics program produces excellent student results …

The article:

“A focus on teaching phonics and good leadership are key to improving school results, an Education Department report reveals.

The department commissioned former University of WA education dean and deputy vice-chancellor Bill Louden to investigate teaching practices at nine public primary schools which showed consistent improvement on national literacy and numeracy test results.

The report found three characteristics common to all nine schools.

They included reading programs based on explicit teaching of phonics — the relationship between letters and sounds — in the early years, well-developed school improvement plans and stable, long-term leadership with principals averaging 12 years in their school.

“All of the schools were using synthetic phonics and 10 years ago that wouldn’t have been the case,” Emeritus Professor Louden toldThe West Australian .

“I think there is a lot more phonics taught these days than there was before but from my point of view, there is no excuse not to begin with synthetic phonics with small children, otherwise you’re just waiting for them to fail.”

The report said most of the schools in the study had developed school-wide plans on what and how to teach, instead of leaving those decisions to individual teachers.

Almost all the schools had implemented explicit instruction methods for teaching reading, spelling and maths.

Many were using tightly-scripted direct instruction programs using text books and other supplied materials so that teachers could focus on their teaching instead of lesson planning.

Many of the schools had also made significant investments in teachers’ professional development.

Statewide services executive director Lindsay Hale said the project was designed to give the department a better understanding of the conditions in place at high-achieving schools and provide case studies for other schools to examine.

Mr Hale said director-general Sharyn O’Neill had long called for teachers to use explicit teaching approaches and for phonics to have a key place in students’ literacy learning in the early years.

“This report shows those methods are working well among the schools which Professor Louden investigated,” he said.”

The West Australian

Posted by Nicola in News, Research

Teachers Urged to Adopt Targeted Teaching

Dr Goss with Nicola Carr-White

Schools are urged to embrace “targeted teaching” to improve student knowledge according to the findings of the latest education report from the Grattan Institute “Targeted Teaching: How Better Use of Data can Improve Student Learning” by Dr P. Goss & J. Hunter.

What a pleasure to discuss the new Mastery Learning Folder strategy with Dr Goss recently. The strategy  provides a safety net for students through individual remediation of foundational classroom learning whilst providing an organizational format that facilitates a tailored learning load and pace of learning. As a homework tool, the folders enables all students to receive targeted remediation through harnessing the power of parents – see their feedback below.

I welcome further discussion – please get in touch or a add a comment below!

Lunch with Dr Pete Goss

Related Articles:

Video: What are Mastery Learning Folders?

Teachers urged to adopy target teaching to address curriculum – The West Australian

Teaching the Digital Natives – Australian Financial Review

“… our daughter LOVES her Mastery Learning Folder and is always eager to retrieve it to practise her words every night. We’ve been pleasantly surprised with how well her reading has come along since using the  folder and would definitely recommend it to others. Thanks for letting us be a part of your trial and good luck with what has proven to be a great program :)” Christine, Parent

“We absolutely love the folders that you have created. The children and the parents are finding them most useful for the kid’s flashcards. What we also find very helpful is that the pockets are wider and the design of them is brilliant  especially the hard back cover so that no spills can soak through to the work and also because you can see where the children are up to and what they have achieved with the pockets being labeled and the children can also see what they have achieved.” Lisa, Parent

“The learning experience was very enjoyable. My daughter enjoyed moving the words along in the folder and could see her progress. Also she loved the stickers on completion of each day.” Lorena, Parent

“We did the big test on the girls’ words today and they both got 100% for the first time. Happy days!!!  Thanks for creating such a great tool.” Leanne, Homeschooling Mum

Further Feedback

Posted by Nicola in News, Research

Dr Pete Goss Grattan Institute

Today I had a wonderful lunch at the Riverbank Estate, Swan Valley, with Dr Pete Goss, researcher and leading authority on targeted teaching (see article links below). I am very pleased to share that he recognised my new Mastery Learning Folder strategy as a valid remediation intervention for foundational learning concepts.
I went through my history of using the strategy from starting with the same content for each child in the old manilla folders through to the modified strategy of differentiated content, learning load and learning time facilitated by the new mastery learning folder design. I also shared the results of the first pilot school study being conducted this year. He suggested several avenues to pursue for research opportunities and kindly offered his support in this process – very happy with that!


Dr Goss with Nicola Carr-White

Recent articles related to Dr Goss:

“Targeted Teaching: How Better Use of Data can Improve Student Learning” by Dr P. Goss & J. Hunter.

Targeted Teaching in the news:

The West Australian
Newspaper Clipping
Online Version

Australian Financial Review
Online Version

Posted by Nicola in Endorsements, News, Research