How Can You Help Students Stay on Task for Longer?

By Maddie Witter, education consultant and author of Reading Without Limits: Teaching Strategies to Build Independent Reading for Life

Anyone can improve their concentration stamina – from a wiggly toddler to a daydreaming university student. It’s a necessary, lifelong skill for success.

In a school context, teachers can help students learn to concentrate and sit still for longer by consistently including a daily independent reading block at school. Building independent reading is one way a school can effectively build concentration stamina. This stamina leads to significant gains in student literacy achievement and should be coupled with a robust literacy program. It also develops students’ thinking muscles so they can persevere and concentrate in other contexts.

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An exploration of Positive Education in Australian schools

Interview by Chris Dawson, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

Chris Dawson sat down with Marita Hayes-Brown, CEO of the Positive Education Schools Association (PESA), to discuss all things positive education, including exciting developments in this space and four key actions that schools can take to start incorporating a positive education approach.

Continue reading “An exploration of Positive Education in Australian schools”

Yarning to create a better future

Berry Street’s Take Two service is working to reduce the impacts of developmental and intergenerational trauma with some of our most vulnerable children.

Belinda Blundell is a member of Take Two’s Aboriginal Team and works with children in East Gippsland.

Continue reading “Yarning to create a better future”

Stories of Impact – Doveton College

Interview by Jack Greig, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

Located in South-East Melbourne, Doveton College is the first government school designed to meet the needs of children from birth to Year 9 and their families. The College offers adult education programs, as part of its focus on building a stronger community for the benefit of its students.

 Thadd Rimer is an Assistant Principal (Years 5-9) and the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) Leader at Doveton College.

 In this interview, Thadd reflects on the way a common BSEM language and implementation approach has contributed to shifting school culture and lifting student expectations.

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Sharing Power: how to improve student motivation and teacher effectiveness

Building our understanding of the power we hold as teachers is a vital first step in helping students understand how they can develop a sense of control in their lives. This is especially true for young people who have limited opportunities to see or experience socially acceptable expressions of power and control. Without appropriate and considered modelling and explicit teaching, young people may use confrontation, aggression or other anti-social forms of expressing power.

Continue reading “Sharing Power: how to improve student motivation and teacher effectiveness”

Kids Need to Be Independently Reading More in School

By Maddie Witter, education consultant and author of Reading Without Limits: Teaching Strategies to Build Independent Reading for Life

Students who can read for longer periods have a higher literacy achievement.

There is no greater predictor of reading and literacy achievement than how much time a student spends independently reading. It’s intuitive – students who read 40 minutes a day compared to students who read 15 minutes a day make significantly higher gains in their reading.

Continue reading “Kids Need to Be Independently Reading More in School”

Why a baby’s mental health really matters

By Dr Nicole Milburn, Infant Mental Health Consultant & Jen Willis, Communications Consultant, Berry Street – Take Two 

As a community we often discuss the poor mental health of adults and young people, but rarely do we really look at the mental health of babies. This is unfortunate because it is the relationships and environment a baby experiences during infancy that often set the conditions for that baby’s mental health during later adolescence and adulthood.

What is mental health for a baby?
There are three key factors that define early mental health and wellbeing. Continue reading “Why a baby’s mental health really matters”