Blog of the week goes to an excellent post from David Didau who provides a useful summary of a recent research report into learning called: ‘Learning about learning: What every teacher needs to know.’
The research picks out 6 things teachers can do to make a difference:
Pairing graphics with words. Young or old, all of us receive information through two primary pathways — auditory (for the spoken word) and visual (for the written word and graphic or pictorial representation). Student learning increases when teachers convey new material through both.
Linking abstract concepts with concrete representations. Teachers should present tangible examples that illuminate overarching ideas and also explain how the examples and big ideas connect.
Posing probing questions. Asking students “why,” “how,” “what if,” and “how do you know” requires them to clarify and link their knowledge of key ideas.
Repeatedly alternating problems with their solutions provided and problems that students must solve. Explanations accompanying solved problems help students comprehend underlying principles, taking them beyond the mechanics of problem solving.
Distributing practice. Students should practice material several times after learning it, with each practice or review separated by weeks and even months. This is sometimes called the ‘spacing effect’
Assessing to boost retention. Beyond the value of formative assessment (to help a teacher decide what to teach) and summative assessment (to determine what students have learned), assessments that require students to recall material help information ‘stick’. This is usually referred to as the ‘testing effect‘.
Read David’s full post here: http://www.learningspy.co.uk/psychology/learning-is-liminal/
Read the full report here: http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/Learning_About_Learning_Report
This weeks #BOTW comes from Matt Davies a secondary MFL teacher who describes how he is setting the bar high for all students and supporting them through scaffolding. Here’s a snippet from Matts post…
But challenge is difficult. I am the first to admit that I get things wrong, gauging work either too hard or easy at times. But I would like to think I am flexible and can adjust in these circumstances. The key thing though is that the bar is high always regardless of the students starting point. As Andy Tharby and Shaun Allison discuss in ‘Making every lesson count’, to not set the bar high is to disadvantage students who might be deemed less able (for example) and it is therefore about how we scaffold tasks and make them more accessible.
Read the full post here: https://mrdavismfl.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/challenge-and-scaffolding/
#BOTW this week goes to William Enemy’s post called: Knowledge organisers- more clarity than learning objectives and great for building retention.
In the post William talks about how he has used knowledge organisers in Maths and his post details the practical application of them (which can be applied across curriculum areas).
This weeks blogs of the week focus on deliberate practice and its essential role in facilitating learning.
Middle leaders are the engine room of school improvement.
This weeks BOTW is a selection of posts that focus on middle and wider school leadership. The posts below outline some of the qualities of successful teams and ask some reflective questions about leadership.
- Leading a winning team by Shaun Allison
- Middle leadership by Dr Dan Nicholls
- Difficult conversations by @LeadingLearner
“The only thing that matters is what students do with it. No matter how well the feedback is designed, if students do not use the feedback to move their own learning forward, it’s a waste of time. We can debate about whether feedback should be descriptive or evaluative, but it is absolutely essential that feedback is productive.
Add to that concept a second related principle: Feedback should be more work for the student than it is for the teacher. Teachers who internalise and practice feedback based on these precepts will be well on their way to teaching that improves learning.”