TLC is framed around the needs of teaching in an Australian remote indigenous secondary classroom.  It assumes you are using Lit to immerse students in literacy and ACB to manage behaviors.

Content should be negotiated with local clans but be based on ILC & ACARA.



Every child is welcome, calm and confident.

·         Students feel welcome when;

o   The teacher greets them by name

o   Their teacher takes an interest in their life

o   Their contributions to the class are respected

·         Students are calm when they;

o   feel safe

o   feel heard

o   feel respected

·         Students are confident when they;

o   know where they are in their learning.

o   know what comes next.


Teaching teams; 

·         collect assessments and work samples.

·         provide feedback to students.

·         celebrate class progress.


We celebrate Effort, Engagement and Evolution not ability, aptitude or achievements.

Children oversee their own progress.


Each class has a process for students to give feedback, to each other and to the teacher.

There is natural justice in our behavior management system.


Both Indigenous and visiting teachers lead the classroom activities.

Student achievements and targets are displayed.

·         Attendance, reading, behaviors, learning intentions, success criteria, word lists, work samples.

Resources are clearly accessible to all students, and it’s clear who will collect them.

Visible classroom routine,

·         Learning groups, daily routine, behavioral expectations, common activities,

Teacher’s name is written on the board.


Classroom Management:

Have clear expectations, acknowledgement of correct behavior, appropriate correction.

Establishing expectations, giving instructions, waiting and scanning, cueing with parallel acknowledgment.

Encouraging body language encouraging, praise by describing behavior.

Selective attending, redirecting to the learning, giving a choice, following through.






The teaching/learning cycle builds on the notion of ‘scaffolding’, a process that adults use when assisting children to learn something new. An essential component of scaffolding is that of shared experience and shared attention where:

●     Meaning is jointly constructed by a the teacher and the children

●     The teacher provides models for the children to learn by doing

●     The teacher makes very clear to the child what the teacher considers important, and what counts as significant knowledge in the task, focusing the child’s attention on what is to be learned

●     The teacher gradually withdraws support as the child gains control of the task

●     The teacher expects the best attempt of which the child is capable


Building the field of knowledge

When building knowledge of the field, teachers and children develop a shared knowledge of the topic or theme. As many resources as possible, including community people, are called on so that children are introduced to and given opportunities to hear and use the ways that the particular topic is talked about in their world. This includes learning the vocabulary, language patterns and structures embedded in the topic through which its concepts are explored. It is important that children have the opportunity to broaden their experience of the world through engaging actively with the resources presented. Some ways of building up children’s knowledge of the field are:

●     Print walks - material the teacher and children have found/constructed and placed around the classroom walls

●     Excursions

●     Guest speakers – community members, other students, teachers

●     Brainstorming’ sessions

●     Reading as much as possible about the topic



This step involves a number of things teachers do, to show children how to do activities. It also shows them how the language associated with those activities works. Modelling activities include:

●     Telling children about aspects of language

●     Showing children examples of language in big books and wall charts

●     Having children reassemble sentences and whole texts from parts

●     Cloze activities that focus on particular language patterns



Joint construction

The joint construction step is important because the teacher helps the children to do what they cannot do for themselves at this stage.

●     Teacher and children jointly construct language through participating together in constructing some kind of text or part of a text

●     The joint construction may involve oral or written language, e.g., a story or event can be retold, with the help of pictures or a story map

●     The teacher discusses with children and uses questioning techniques to encourage children’s recall of the important information or steps in the process. In this way, the teacher helps the children to become aware of the important concepts that are embedded in the topic, and of how these are expressed through language.


Guided practice

This stage of the teaching/learning cycle is the point at which:

●     Children practice and consolidate their learning with the support of the teacher and other children

●     Children work individually, in pairs or small groups to develop skills and knowledge introduced and taught earlier in the cycle

●     Children work on activities from ‘building the field’, ‘modelling’ or ‘joint construction’


Independent construction

●     At this stage, the children have the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills they have learned during the previous stages.

●     At this stage of their development, they cannot be expected to have learned everything they need to Know. They are practising what they have learned, and may still make errors.

●     This is where ‘conferencing’ with children is useful. As teacher and child talk through the work, the teacher supports the child in what they are trying to do and say. S/he moves around the room and spends time with individuals or groups about their work, and what they can do to achieve their goals.

●     At this stage, children can usefully apply the writing process, which involves drafting, revising and publishing.





Model lesson

Gain Student Attention by managing entry & behavior. Settle the class.

Introduce what, why, how.


Consolidate, with a brief activation of prior skills and knowledge.


Check the prior knowledge of all students, give immediate specific feedback leading to correct responses from individuals and choral responses.


Introduce learning intentions and success criteria clear. Ensure opportunities for every student, give a clear timeframe, overview of new learning, what, why, how, connections to prior learning, keep an appropriate pace. Explicitly break-down tricky English


Modelled practice. (I Do) - Clearly explain/demonstrate step by step, concrete examples.

Clear speedy transition from opening to I do, link new to known concepts, reteaching these if necessary, demonstrate, describe and model, give feedback on errors, be clear, consistent, concise and prepared. Refer back to learning intentions and success criteria, explicit breakdown of English words and phrases.


Guided practice (We Do) - Teacher modelling with student involvement.

Clear speedy transition from I do to We do, Tell them what to do, Ask them,


Remind them with physical prompts, verbal prompts, visual prompts, re-teach if necessary, check understanding of all students, maintain a positive tone, give feedback leading to correct responses, seek student feedback, refer back to learning intentions and success criteria .


Independent work, small groups or learning from each other.

Clear transition from We Do, check for understanding, tasks reflect task practiced and learning intentions, ensure you engage, differentiate, challenge, extend & include all.


Review the main concepts. Review critical content, students demonstrate success criteria met, preview the content of the next lesson, re-check for understanding, assign independent work.


Retain work for assessment and feedback.


Concrete Abstract Evidence Exhibit.

English is a foreign language to our students so our lessons must move from concrete & tangible or well-known examples before students can internalize the concepts and use abstract symbols to embed their knowledge.

As students are easily distracted and often absent it’s important to have workbooks or journals of achievement to record their efforts and allow asynchronous progression.

To encourage our students with feedback and evidence of their progress we need to exhibit their results on the walls of the room, with achievement charts and work samples.

Teaching Teams


Such an approach to team teaching encourages the development of stronger working relationships between team members and best enables improved student outcomes. 


Many if not all of your students are suffering from direct or vicarious and intergenerational trauma.

Common triggers for trauma-exposed children and adolescents include:

●     a perceived loss of control

●     anxiety around changes in routine

●     fear of disappointing or upsetting others

●     unexpected events, sounds, sights and activities.


Principles of trauma-informed care


Belonging, engagement and attachment

Behavior-specific praise (using the child’s name, naming the correct behavior and prompting the child to behave in that way in the future), as well as the principles of unconditional positive regard, consistency and empathy between learners and educators are used to improve a child’s sense of safety and security in the school setting, and to limit triggers associated with the fight-or-flight stress response.


Emotion identification, regulation and expression

The approach of emotional awareness and regulation targets the capacity of children to identify and regulate their own emotions, and also their capacity to identify and notice the impact of their emotions and behavior on others.

Learners who have been exposed to trauma require more neutral and less punitive prompts to help them to identify their own emotions and the emotions of others, and to identify and use specific strategies that will help them to regulate their emotions in learning settings.


Predictable routines, rhythm and consistency

Creating routines, rhythm and consistency in the educational setting is achieved through:

●     using visual schedules and verbal reminders around these visual schedules

●     instructing and prompting learners during transitions

●     using reward charts and token systems

●     allowing repetitive activities and self-regulation through movement.

Modelling, practice and behavior-specific praise around routines are also important.


Development of strengths, identity and choice

Children and young people who have been exposed to trauma are more likely to have impaired self-esteem and negative views about themselves and the safety of the world and those around them.

The principle of collaboration and choice provides these children and adolescents with the opportunity to have some control of their environment and to develop their identity and sense of achievement.

Collaboration involves developing well-defined and achievable short-term and longer-term goals which the child or adolescent can approach one by one and step by step. These goals are typically incremental and consider the delayed cognitive, social and emotional development, and psychological concerns of children and adolescents who have been exposed to trauma. 

Inquiry-based learning

Inquiry-based learning is an education approach that focuses on investigation and problem-solving. Inquiry-based learning is different from traditional approaches because it reverses the order of learning. Instead of presenting information, or ‘the answer’, up-front, teachers start with a range of scenarios, questions and problems for students to navigate.

Inquiry-based learning prioritises problems that require critical and creative thinking so students can develop their abilities to ask questions, design investigations, interpret evidence, form explanations and arguments, and communicate findings.

How does it help?

Students learn key STEM and life skills through inquiry-based learning. Inquiry-based learning also promotes:

Social interaction. This helps attention span and develops reasoning skills. Social interaction encourages students to generate their own ideas and critique in group discussions. It develops agency, ownership and engagement with student learning.

Exploration. This allows students to investigate, design, imagine and explore, therefore developing curiosity, resilience and optimism.

Argumentation and reasoning. This creates a safe and supportive environment for students to engage in discussion and debate. It promotes engagement in scientific discussion and improves learning of scientific concepts. It encourages students to generate questions, formulate positions and make decisions.

●     Positive attitudes to failure. The iterative and evaluative nature of many STEM problems means failure is an important part of the problem-solving process. A healthy attitude to failure encourages reflection, resilience and continual improvement.

How do you do it?

●     UNESCO recommends a four-step process:

○     set a challenge for students

○     encourage active student investigations

○     make generalisations

○     reflect

●     For more information on inquiry-based learning and examples of classroom strategies. Griffith University has prepared a useful resource.

Common models used in schools:

●     Telstar

●     Action research

●     Design Thinking

●     5E’s

●     Kath Murdoch Inquiry approach

●     Walker learning

●     Victorian Pedagogical Model

○     High Impact Teaching

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