February 29, 2012

Assignment form for Kindergarten

On request here an example of a week assignment for older children in Kindergarten.

Only four activities because one day the children may plan
a 'free-choice' task.

They can plan with the colour of the day and 'administrate'when they are ready.

The children can decide the following order of the activities themselves.

February 28, 2012

Dalton International

Dalton International looks across borders.
International contacts are necessary to reflect on your own situation. In a modern society cooperation with other countries is so normal that sometimes we forget that we don't speak the same language.
Countries export goods, but in education we exchange good expertise. And that is exactly one of the most important targets of Dalton International.
Dalton International wants to stimulate the innovation of the Dalton education by international exchange of expertise. International Dalton conferences give that possibility.
But such a conference is not the only platform, because training of school staffs, offering Dalton courses on international level, publishing of articles, the exchange of teachers and students, organizing workshops and seminars are also possibilities to improve Dalton education on an international level.
After a training period Dalton International can give teachers an official Dalton Certificat and we can nominate schools that have followed a Dalton training process for the predicate of "International Dalton School".

Last year we could give this predicate to School4Child in Lodz.

Such an audit will take place at the Junior High School “Vogelweide” in Wels on March 23.2012.

A modern teacher creates a learning setting in which children are challenged to take initiatives. The time of only one teaching method is over.
The necessity to work on differentiation is not only connected to children who are lagging behind or leading the group. In Dalton education differentiation also comes from the simple attitude: respect the child.
Modern education is more and more development-oriented education.
This approximation is just the point to give children the space to take initiatives.
International contacts on the level of Universities, vocational and secondary education belong in the meantime to the normal potentialities. And even for primary education the first steps in actual exchange of pupils has taken place in the meantime.
Dalton International wants to stimulate international contacts on every level.
Internet connections are the ultimate chance for exchange of ideas.
Therefore I mentioned yesterday the platform of Dalton International:
‘Webcam classes’.

February 27, 2012

February 26, 2012


The implementation of the Dalton plan is a structural process for the whole team of teachers.
In the Netherlands this process is organized in 12 modules of three seminar/workshop hours during a period of two years. In these workshops the teachers discuss many aspects of Dalton education and they make practical material to use in the classroom.

All teachers who participate in this process make an own 'teacher portfolio'. This portfolio is an obligatory tool and is used at a team presentation during the final seminar.

In schools abroad Dalton International stimulate the implementation during seminars and workshops and later local consultants are taking over the process.

To give an impression of basic Dalton topics:

• a process in 20 agreements
• handling responsibilities
• visualization
• training of 'delayed attention'

• day colours
• household – assignment
• day rhythm structure
• signal for the period of 'delayed attention'
• work– assignment boards/papers
• registration system
• arrangement furnuture
• class-management
• visualization of processes

• selecting subjects and material
• daily or weekly
• planning
• self correction
• registration models / contracts
• integrated free choice assignments
• handling differences
• testing and reports
• portfolio’s

• what do we instruct
• what is the effect of instruction
• balance with independent learning
• focus on the 'delayed attention'
• which kind of interaction
• model for strategic action

• mate model – mentor – tutor
• which criteria for cooperation
• training procedure in development levels
• using roles for the members of a team

• what is the effect of independent work
• recognizing different learning styles
• taking different levels into account
• working with multiple intelligences
• action guides as a school model
• scoring system

• techniques
• systematicly
• self reflection

February 25, 2012

Roles during cooperative learning

When children are working in a team (never use the boring word 'group') it has been proved that they are more active when they have a special role during the activity.
Only mentioning the roles to each of the children is less effective, therefore I stimulate to make buttons with these logo's. Children are proud to wear it and it makes the roles very clear.
Of course you change roles during a next activity.
If you like to have these logo's seperately, please write me an email.

February 24, 2012

Visualizing Dalton

With these posters I am just challenging Dalton schools to do the same.
Visualize your interpretation of the three pillars of Dalton.
Every Dalton school has a singularity and special aspecs to be proud of.
Your "way of living" can be flamboyant with statements and photos from the daily practice.
Make a presentation in a common area of the school, a place where many people can see it.
And if you have made such posters, please send me a photo to publish here in this blog.

February 23, 2012

Blogging in Europe

The next meeting of the participants in the Comenius project
"Blogging in Europe" will take place in week 22.
The host this time is the Loch an Iúir school in Ireland and they expect the guests from Basque Country, Czech Republic, Northern-Ireland and Poland to arrive on 18/19 March 2012.
Dalton International is supporting this Comenius project.

February 22, 2012

ASCHAM, Dalton school in Sydney

In October 2001 and November 2003
I visited the outstanding Dalton school Ascham. It was a great inspiration for me to observe educational processes and to speak with many teachers and students about the effects of Dalton. The school is mentioned in this blog several times.

The reason to bring here their statements about the Dalton philosophy, is the planned visit of two heads of the school to Holland in May.
The new head of the Junior department Mrs. Elizabeth Neil and the head of the pre school department Mrs. Judy Butcher will visit some Dalton schools in our country.
They are the guests of our Teacher's University KPZ and both will participate in the International Dalton Meeting on May 9. 2012.

From the website of Ascham:
Ascham’s teaching rests on the Dalton Plan, a philosophy of learning developed in the USA and introduced to Ascham by Headmistress, Miss Margaret Bailey, in 1922. The Dalton Plan is used in schools in the USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Germany and Japan.
The Dalton Plan’s key objective is to develop independent learners who take responsibility for their work and their time management. Through training and practice, girls develop skills to help them meet academic and professional challenges with confidence.

The Dalton Plan requires girls to complete weekly assignments for each subject. The weekly timetable provides lesson times and study periods, in which girls complete their work in individual teachers’ rooms under supervision, where they may seek assistance. All teachers have their own classrooms and girls have easy access to every subject teacher.

Students have considerable flexibility to decide how and when to complete assignments by a deadline. This teaches self-motivation, time-management skills and personal responsibility. A close follow-up and support system also assists the students with the completion of their work. In recent student surveys, some of the key features of the Dalton Plan most appreciated by students, are the flexibility and learning advantages provided by the study periods.

February 21, 2012

Tweedaagse Dalton en Management

De afgelopen 5 jaar hebben wij in samenwerking met collega's uit het werkveld een jaarlijks terugkerende tweedaagse 'Dalton en Management' verzorgd.

Het uitgangspunt hierbij is dat de directie plus de daltoncoördinator gezamenlijk de tweedaagse volgen. Ieder jaar staat er een inhoudelijk thema ten aanzien van leidinggeven centraal. Daarnaast is er ruimte voor de actualiteit en het leren van elkaar via het laboratorium.

In 2012 vinden de volgende tweedaagsen 'Dalton en Management' plaats:
- Renesse: 12 en 13 april, docenten: Roel Röhner en Paul Bruijn
- Zwartsluis: 19 en 20 april, docenten: Annemarie Wenke en Hans Wenke
- Renesse: 19 en 20 april, docenten: Roel Röhner en Paul Bruijn
- Soesterberg: 24 en 25 mei, docenten: Annemarie Wenke en Hanneke Drost

Neem voor aanmelding, meer informatie of vragen gerust contact met ons op via dalton@kpz.nl of 038-4257620 .

February 20, 2012

Logos for Multiple Intelligences

In addition on the products
I've made for
I created these logos for
those who like to work with it.

Send and email to order: RL.Rohner@kpnmail.nl

February 19, 2012

New posters for multiple intelligences

The complete serie
of 8 posters
give the children
in Kindergarten
an impulse
to find their
affinity with
one of the intelligences.

Later these will be available in other languages too.

February 18, 2012

DALTON publications

I created a new FaceBook platform
to promote material
the Dalton organization.

February 17, 2012

Dalton in Senegal

Dalton development in Senegal 2

Here the second part from the report of Annette Hooijmeijer
and Caitlin Stoop who worked some months at the new Dalton
school in Dakar.

When we arrived at Espérance Laique there was something going on. Four new teachers without any knowledge of the Dalton principles were teaching at Esperance Laique. Instead of our plan to implement the weekly task, we started at the very first beginning by explaining the Dalton principles. The explanations of the principles were offered every Friday in a Dalton training. After the first explanation, we used a needsassessment to know which principle the teachers really wanted to implement in class. The needsassessment resulted in the principle self-reliance.
During the Dalton meeting we arranged together with the teachers a day where we painted time-timers and traffic lights on the blackboard. The teacher could use the time-timer to indicate the children how much time there was left to finish their work. For example: The teacher indicates that the children can work independently on their history assignment for twenty minutes. After each five minutes the teacher colors a part of five minutes on the time-timer, so the children can see how much time there is left to finish their assignment.
The traffic light indicates if the children had to work individual (red color), together (yellow color) or with the whole class (green color). We used a different approach, however the objective to work on effective apprenticeship and that children are able to help each other without the help of the teacher, is achieved. Other objectives that are reached are to make the four new teachers of Espérance Laique familiar with the three principles of Dalton and that they can implement these three principles in their education.

The teachers also created own ideas, like madame Sy of CE1. She incorporated all three Dalton principles in a reading assignment. She said: ‘Co-operation, children can help each other with reading. Freedom, the child is responsible to control if the reader is reading the text correctly. Self-reliance, when the child can read a text independently.’

February 16, 2012

Meeting with Nestor Diatta

What a pleasure to meet Nestor again and to make agreements for further co-operation.

Location 'Dalton school Pieterskerkhof Utrecht'

Dalton development in Senegal

Nestor Diatta

Caitlin Stoop

Annette Hooijmeijer

Great Dalton team in Senegal

I mentioned the activities of two Dutch students in Senegal some time ago here in this blog.
I've met Annette yesterday and I will have a meeting with Nestor today.
For me enough reasons to give an impression of their activities.
I took a part from the report the students made.

During our internship at primary school Espérance Laique school, located in Grand Mbao, Senegal. We, Caitlin Stoop and Annette Hooijmeijer, worked together with the school team of Espérance Laique to take the first steps to make the education more Dalton oriented.
Before we began with our internship we thought that the teachers knew about Dalton education and his three principles: freedom, self-reliance and co-operation. There was also told that kindergarten, called prescolaire, works with a Dalton board. By receiving this information, we wanted to continue the development of Dalton by implementing the weekly task. We wanted to implement the weekly task in all groups of primary school, except kindergarten. We thought that the weekly task was a great solution to stimulate effective apprenticeship. Helen Parkhurst, thought of a weekly task to keep the children busy during the day. It was her idea that every child has to work independently, until the teacher could check their work. To succeed this plan she had to make sure that the older children were able to help the younger children (co-operation). We wanted to achieve that the children would help each other during their tasks without any help of the teacher. The main goal was, that children had the freedom of organization and execution of their work.With this information in our minds and our intended activities we went to Senegal.

To be continued.

February 14, 2012

Dalton congress

No new message or article tomorrow because I am invited to give 4 times a workshop about Multiple Intelligences during this Dalton Congress.

Valentines day

And all who love Dalton too!


February 13, 2012

Practical guide made by practical teachers from Poland

This practical guide is made by three young colleagues of the first official Dalton school in Poland.
Many tips and action guides developed in their school practice.

Available at www.plandaltonski.pl

February 11, 2012

Portfolio, last example

This is an example to show that a portfolio has to be more than the collection of worksheets.

A portfolio is the pride of the pupil.

Click on the picture
to enlarge.

February 10, 2012

Manager of the week

Trying to make teams of teachers enthusiastic by sharing my Dalton expertise with them is a great job. During workshops the interaction with teachers, or listening to their discussions during one of my assignments, is very inspiring.
Sometimes I discover a brilliant idea. I share this one with pleasure with you all.

Once I admitted to a group of colleagues that it was sometimes difficult for me to be consequent in handling the agreements in the classroom.
The more independent the children were, the bigger the risk that I forgot the phase of ‘process evaluation’ at the end of the period of independent work.
As long as children demonstrate that they know what to do, that they solve their problems and cooperate in a pleasant way, there is apparently no reason to evaluate the process.
And this is a big risk, because a strong group of workers deserve the compliments for their attitude. It is always good to memorize what happened during the period after the planning and the start of the work. Before you realize a kind of nonchalance has crept into the routine. And I finalized with the statement:
“Never forget the process evaluation”.

One teacher from the Kindergarten department of the school admitted this problem and she told me that she gave a special role to one of the children every week.
She gave it the title ‘Manager of the week’.
“The children are very proud to have this role and to play the game with me”, she said.
The task of the manager of the week is to keep an eye on the colour-clock and to give a signal to the teacher 5 minutes before the end of the work period.
A signal to memorize that she has to start the important process evaluation.

We normally forget this crucial teaching strategy especially when our children are working well.

I promote to use buttons for special roles or functions the children have.

Last period I designed many of these logos for buttons.

They can also be used at the board where all the tasks of the children are visualized.

February 9, 2012

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Portfolio workshop

Many Dalton schools in Holland want to change the traditional reports.

I created a workshop for teams of teachers.

Together with all teachers we make the first steps in the process of introduction and development of a portfolio.

Action guide

This action guide
is a tool
the children can use
to make
'Report about myself'

Click on the picture to enlarge

Portfolio, report about myself

Ask children to write a report about themselves.

This is a very simple tool to stimulate the self reflection.

This page can easily be added to the traditional report.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Portfolio, the justification of choices

A portfolio is an instrument for self reflection.

In addition to a normal report it gives much extra information.

Some selections can be supported by this tool, because it focuses the attention on the fact that a portfolio is not just a collection of worksheets.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

February 8, 2012

Reading books

This tool can be used
in the portfolio of a

It is meant to stimulate
the reading of books.

Click on the picture
to enlarge.

February 7, 2012

Portfolio, a tool for self-reflection

The coming days
I like to bring here
some aspects of
portfolio development.

Click on the picture
to enlage.

February 6, 2012

Nestor Diatta from Senegal is in Holland

We were so kind
to wait with the snow
till he
arrived !

Dalton start in Ukraine

Evgen Miroshnichenko from Kiev, Ukraine is a psychologist and teacher.
He works in the Open (alternative) education and he took the initiative
to start a Dalton Kindergarten in Kiev.
He wrote to me:
We plan to open a small preschool in September 2012. We want this to be the start to open a primary Dalton school. Now there is an active building of new school and we wait for decision about what kind of methodological content will be used in it. We really want it to be a Dalton technology.
To realize this, we want to organize a detailed familiarity with the existing schools. So I would like in March or April to make some educational journeys.
In the near future the intention is to actually visit the current Dalton School and carefully review the principles and techniques of training. It is desirable to immerse ourselves in the process, to get an experience. Advise, how to do this?

Of course I was very enthousiastic about this initiative, because in one of my seminars three years ago in Warszawa I've met a group of 12 teachers from Ukraine.
This can be the follow up.

My answer to Evgen:
Good to read all your activities and initiatives.
There are many possibilities to visit Dalton schools in several countries and of course the best one is the original: ‘The Dalton School’ in New York!
In Holland we stayed very close to the original model of “The Dalton Laboratory Plan”. It’s very simply summarized by Helen Parkhurst herself when she writes “Dalton is a way of living”. In Holland we have complete Dalton Schools in primary and secondary sphere.
During our participation in implementation processes in the centre of Europe, we discovered that the courage and possibilities to change the educational characteristics depends on the loyalty of school boards and the education inspectorate. Also the local tradition in education influences the processes.
But educational reform depends most of all on the potency of educational leadership of the head teachers. Some schools are using only Dalton elements and didn’t change the pedagogical structure and teaching strategy. In some schools some traditional teachers are blocking educational experiments of advanced teaching.
Many schools in Czech Republic have implemented Dalton elements.
The Dalton development in Austria, Germany and Poland is more consequent in staying close to the origin of whole school development.

I keep you informed here in my Daltonblog about this great inititive.
Delegation from Ukraine during an OMEP conference in Warszawa 2009

February 5, 2012

February 4, 2012

Checklist for creating an assignment

This checklist only gives suggestions to balance the structure of assignments that reflect individual differences.
This checklist can be extended with elements suitable to the own situation.

0 is it possible that every pupil can make this assignments independently
0 is this assignment stimulating the co-operation
0 is this assignment connected with the level of the student
0 have you taken into account multiple intelligences
0 is it possible to practice the skills for independent learning
0 does the pupil knows the target of this assignment
0 does the student knows how the final product should look
0 does it involves an exploratory or a processing task
0 is self correction possible when the work is finished
0 does the pupil knows how the assessment is taken place
0 does the pupil has enough strategic recourses to make this assignment
0 is this assignment suitable to the work tempo of the individual pupil
0 is it clear what shall be done at least or up
0 is there any space for own creative solutions
0 are action guides available
0 is it clear what kind of answer is expected :
-only the answer
-a motivation of the answer
-is memorizing expected
0 which kind of recourses are available
0 is it clear when additional instruction will be given
0 is there variation in open ended questions and closed questions
0 is there in your planning enough time to evaluate the assignment
0 is there any time for process evaluation
0 are there regularly surprising aspects in your assignments

February 3, 2012

Special functions in your classroom

There are always questions how to involve children in the classroom organization and to make them proud to participate.
Therefore I promote the use of buttons.
This has a context in my statement that Dalton is visualizing the organization.
I got inspired by the button idea in the 'Rehoboth Dalton School'.
I have made many of these in English and in Dutch versions.
Available on request by Email.

February 2, 2012

Dalton explained by Helen Parkhurst

In my opinion the most important text about Dalton education is written by Helen Parkhurst herself.

Read it here.