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  • Writer's pictureGary Darma

Work it! How worked examples can prevent overload!

Our year long focus on High Impact Teaching Strategies will continue with an in depth look at worked Examples.

A key component of a teacher’s repertoire a worked example demonstrates the steps required to complete a task or solve a problem. By scaffolding the learning, worked examples support skill acquisition and reduce the cognitive load for learners.Usually, the teacher presents a worked example to students and explains each step. Later, students can use worked examples during independent practice, and to review and embed new knowledge.

This post summarises some of the work we are embarking on with worked examples and outlines the Professional Learning model we will use to ensure our learning is purposeful and give us the best chance of effectively using worked examples in our daily practice.

Go slow to go fast

In a time where everything seems to evolve faster and faster, it is easy to get stuck feeling that we need to hurry. All the time.Even the leaders of the past who made great achievements knew the importance of going slow. The founder of the Roman Empire, Augustus, would use the Latin phrase “Festina Lente.” This translates to: “Make haste, slowly.” It served as a reminder for Augustus to perform activities with a proper balance of urgency and diligence.

When we start to move too fast, we often do not see what we need to see. It is important to move slow enough to make the necessary corrections as they come up. If not, we end up spending more time because we need to go back fixing things that have gone astray. We tend to forget that we can actually increase our speed dramatically if we first slow down a bit.

With this in mind we want to ensure our work on Worked Examples is slow enough for us to be able to embed it effectively.

Week One

This first session provides us with an introduction to worked examples. Outlines what they are and what our current practice is. Check below for the introductory worked examples slideshow.

Week Two

This week we dive a little deeper into some of the research of worked examples. We read, reflected, shared and synthesised our learning from a number of related readings. Access them here.

We have also spoken a lot about ‘Bump it Walls’. Here is blog post about it, you can find plenty of other information on Bump it walls all over the Internet!

After discussing our learning we set goals in teams. These goals were likely to come from the continuum of practice from the HITS document This commitment is part of the learning that we will share in Week four of the cycle. Here is the continuum as it relates to excellent practice of worked examples.

Week Three

The next session is dedicated to observations and learning from each other. We will conduct a session of Learning Walks in teams across the school to see how different teams have embedded learning walks across the school. By starting this session in the school day during collaborative planning time we will be able to conduct a Learning Walk in at least one year level’s classroom. Each team has been designated another team to check out. Once this is complete our year level teams will be able to ‘walk the school’ learning from worked examples.Learning Walks Schedule Focus: Worked ExamplesDate/TimeWalkersViewingMonday 17/6 11:20Year Six TeamYear Five teamMonday 17/6 12:20Year Five teamYear Six TeamTuesday 18/6 10amYear Four TeamYear Three TeamTuesday 18/6 9amYear Three TeamYear Four TeamWednesday 19/6 9amYear One TeamFoundation TeamWednesday 19/6 10amFoundation TeamYear Two TeamTuesday 18/6 12:20Year Two TeamYear One Team

Week Four

The aim is that student learning outcomes are improved by us using worked examples we will be reflecting and sharing stories of success (and failures) with each other. We will answer the questions

What have we learnt? Where are we now? Where to next?

We hope that this model gives us every opportunity to embed worked examples effectively and allow us to meet and exceed the .57 effect size that Hattie suggests Worked Examples have on learners.

As a reflection tool we can answer the questions above in the blog comments section.

What have we learnt? Where are we now? Where to next?

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