Tagged: blogs

Blog of the week | 29th November 2015

This weeks blogs of the week look at challenge and how this can be achieved in various different ways across the curriculum. Both posts nicely summarise what is meant by challenge and ‘challenging work.’ They also provide a number of strategies to use in the classroom tomorrow.

  1. Challenge – success for all: https://classteaching.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/challenge-success-for-all/
  2. Great lessons number 3 – Challenge:  http://headguruteacher.com/2013/01/31/great-lessons-3-challenge/

#neverstoplearning

Blog of the week | 4th October 2015

Following on from Dave Bunker’s great 15 Minute Forum earlier this term which opened up the debate about forming positive relationships with young people and the role of behaviour management in this process, this weeks blog of the week goes to Dave’s post on the matter:

Why telling new teachers to build relationships is bad advice by Dave Bunker.

A great compliment to Dave’s blog is this post by Katie Ashford on the need for high expectations for all students regardless of their ‘issues.’

Give him a break by Katie Ashford.

I have taught too many kids like Palmer, and whilst I still have a lot to learn about building the strongest relationships and providing the best possible support, I am sure about one thing. If you give a kid a break, you reduce your standards for them, and to do so is to allow them to fall to those low standards. We do care, and caring is a thread inseparable from the complex tapestry of teaching. But sometimes, the most caring thing we can do for a child is to raise our standards even higher.

Blog(s) of the week | 20th September 2015

Having spent some time with trainee teachers this last couple of weeks I’ve tried to steer them towards some interesting books that have helped me develop my understanding of teaching and learning. One book in particular that stands out is – Why students don’t like school by Daniel T Willingham. In the book Willingham neatly explains a theory of how we learn and makes the argument that the way schools tend to deliver their curriculum conflicts with the way people actually learn, which may be why schools (secondary in particular) end up trying to ‘get year 11 through’ with last minute strategies rather than addressing the actual problem – are students learning things from year 7 onwards or just covering them?

Just because teachers are teaching does not mean students are learning.

This may be hard to digest, challenging the status quo of how curriculums are traditionally designed. It eeks of the phrase “but this is how we’ve always done it…”

Blog 1: Why students don’t remember what they’ve learned by Joe Kirby

Blog 2: FACE it – a formula for learning by Tom Sherrington

#neverstoplearning

Blog of the Week | 14th June 2015

This weeks blog of the week goes to Chris Hildrew for an older post entitled: ‘Closing the gap marking.’

At school recently we have been discussing why pupil premium is important and looking at things teachers can do in order to ‘close the gap.’ This post gave some real practical advice on how the act of marking and feedback is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal as teachers to enable all students to progress with their learning.

It’s the gap between students receiving the feedback and acting on it that we need to address.

Image via @chrishildrew

How often do we spend a lot of time and effort providing feedback to students but don’t insist on all students acting upon it?

Read the full post here.

Blog of the week | 7th June 2015

#BOTW this week goes to Dan Brinton for his wonderful insight and dissemination of some research into what makes great teaching. As Dan outlines in the beginning of the post:

This blog is a summary of a Practice Guide by Pashler et al. from 2007, which sets out to provide teachers with specific strategies for instruction and study.

I came across it in a roundabout way via this paper by Dunlosky et al cited in the “What makes great teaching? Review of the underpinning research” by Rob Coe et al.

The central tenet of this particular Practice Guide is that learning depends on memory, which can in turn be strengthened by concrete strategies. These strategies help students to master new knowledge and skills, without forgetting what they have learned.

Read the full post here.

#neverstoplearning

Blog(s) of the week | 31st May 2015

Two blogs this week that have helped with reflecting on what great teaching may be…

1. Great teaching – Great teachers by Shaun Allison

If you are looking to reflect upon a particular aspect of your teaching this post by Shaun is a great place to start.

2. Teaching better. My pedagogical to-do list by Tom Sherrington

In this post Tom outlines and commits to act on his reflections by listing things he intends to try in order to improve his teaching.

#neverstoplearning

Blog of the week – 26th April 2015

This weeks ‘blog of the week’ has another revision theme and goes to Head-teacher John Tomsett – This much I know about… what really works when preparing students for examinations.

In the post John shares his vast experience of preparing student for exams and enlightens us with some tried and tested strategies.

#neverstoplearning

Blog(s) of the week – 19th April 2015

Two blogs have caught my eye this week that tie nicely into exam revision.

1. Knowledge organisers – specify subject knowledge in meticulous detail – by Joe Kirby.

In this post Joe makes a case for being relentless specific with the subject knowledge that students need to know. This takes the form of one side of A4 – a knowledge organiser. This is not only useful for revision but also at the beginning of the teaching cycle of a new topic.

2. Sequencing lessons in the run up to exams – by Andy Tharby.

Andy’s post outlines his plan for revision in the run up to the exams with memory in mind. He also makes use of Joe’s knowledge organisers idea.

#neverstoplearning

#CPD – 15 minute forum: Positive relationships with staff and students

Sharon Porter | @sporteredu

Sharon Porter | @sporteredu

15 minute forum: ‘Positive relationships with staff and students’ | Sharon Porter | @sporteredu

Date: 12/09/2014

Summary of forum.

Make it a habit.

  • Make an effort at all times (even if you are feeling ‘crappy’).
  • Smile and say “Hello!”, “Good morning!”, “Good day!”  Even if you don’t know that member of staff or even if you don’t teach that student…it can make a difference to someone’s day.

Positive relationships with students.

  • You will need to do the usual text book stuff
    • Praise students
    • Let them know that you are proud of them (verbally or written amongst feedback in books)
    • Make sure that students are aware of your expectations; be firm, be fair be consistent.

Positive relationships with colleagues

  • Make eye contact when you are talking (it might feel a bit strange to start with but it just comes across as rude if you don’t!)
  • Listen.  Really listen.  Try not to sit there thinking about what you are going to say next…you’re not really listening.  Summarise what you’ve heard and clarify this with ‘informed’ questioning.
  • Express yourself; don’t just agree all the time.  Challenge colleagues in conversation and occasionally ask “why?”
    • Why do you think that?  Where did you get that information?…..
  • Give someone a compliment – I really liked what you had to say in that meeting because…; I thought that proforma you produced was really good; I particularly liked….
  • Don’t shoot folks down if you don’t like what they have to say.  Suggest alternatives
  • Offer help – even if you are really busy, can you take on a small task to help a colleague?  There is always someone in a worse position that you.
  • Be positive…it will make you feel better!

#TMNSL 20/03/2014 – Workshop resources: Stop doing I.T. wrong!

Stop doing I.T. wrong! by David Morgan (@lessonhacker)


Stop getting I.T. wrong by David Morgan.

Stop doing I.T. wrong by David Morgan.

Workshop summary.

Digital learning is not something to be scared of or to be worried about.

It’s just learning.

No one called it ‘Pen based learning’ when we moved away from slate tablets, but I’m sure there were a few people reluctant to change their ways, or that didn’t quite ‘get’ the point of pens. In any case, digital learning is here to stay and should be a part of every lesson in some form, if only because it saves you time!

What not to do.

 

We’ve all seen the classic ‘do a PowerPoint’ lesson. *Sigh*. Yes, you know what I’m talking about; it’s the end of term, you’ve got a section of work on something researched based so you say the immortal lines, “Do a PowerPoint on it”… and four weeks later these digital natives have done two slides that make the content appear one letter at a time.
If students *are* digitial natives then should a PowerPoint take four weeks?
@lessonhacker

@lessonhacker

 

There is life after death by PowerPoint, and it’s all about the amazing things you can do with digital learning. In this workshop we covered my top-tips for getting started:

 

1. Get over yourself – you will never be as much of an expert in the technology as a student can be because they’ve got unlimited time to learn it. You have to just plan around that and have strategies for finding out: Classroom Genius: find someone in the class who’s the ‘genius’ at the tech you’re using and get them to be the first port of call for non subject specific questions.

 

2. The connected student – they’re being pinged all the time by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Why not leverage the fact they’ve trained themselves to respond quickly to notifications by doing that yourself? Using a tool like edmodo to push out work and ask questions turns simple things into pings that use the same action-reward mechanism that replying to a tweet does; and most importantly, it gets things done!

 

3. Print on Demand – I’ve covered this in my blog [http://www.lessonhacker.com/print-on-demand-for-better-learning/] but essentially it boils down to getting custom printed exercise books so you can force student to improve skills you want them to focus on.

 

4. Blur your classroom – Use a VLE of some kind for taking in work (I wrote about this in the most recent Teach Secondary magazine) and then mark using your mobile device whenever you’ve got some down time. Stood outside Next waiting for your other half? Whip out that phone and mark one or two. Waiting in the car for the football crowds to let out? Your mobile is your friend for quick marking. This means that your work life balance gets much better because whilst you might be marking more often, you’re doing it in ‘dead’ time and suddenly you don’t need to sit down and mark in an evening anymore.

 

5. Record a learning dialogue – using many online tools it’s easy to record the feedback and conversations your having about work and display the progress over time to that tricky Ofsted lot. One piece of kit I’m enjoying at the moment is Kaizena [https://kaizena.com] which allows you to record audio annotation over a Google doc. This is the quickest marking ever because you can highlight a section, click record, then just speak your feedback. Wowzers.

 

6. Record everything – use the video camera in your phone (or something fancier if you have it) to record anything you think is useful, even yourself. This gives more flexibility in the type of lesson you can teach because if you spend five minutes recording yourself work through a particular exam problem then you can reshow that video almost indefinitely. Take a look at my youTube channel for some more examples of where you can take a lot of the repition out of your teaching. [http://www.youtube.com/lessonhacker]

 

7. X-Factor your lessons – Why not use instant poll software like PollEverywhere [http://www.polleverywhere.com] to allow X-Factor style text voting in your lessons. AFL has never been so much fun. It means students can reply anonymously so closed questions work better, but it does have a free text response option which all updates live as a student texts in. Pure magic.

 

8. Plan for epic fails – so what’s going to happen if the computers don’t work? Make sure you’ve got a second strategy, an offline ‘go-to’ just incase because the very worst thing you can do in a lesson is wait for the IT guys to come along to fix things, you’ll lose your class’ attention almost instantly if they have any downtime, have something to do that requires dead-tree-tech so you can jump to it in an emergency. This doesn’t have to be well planned, just planned.

 

9. If you use new tech, use it more than once – because let’s face it. You’re probably not a Computing teacher, so if you do us a favour and teach a bit of software use then why not get a good return on your investment? Use the same tech three of four times, at least, which means that students stop asking you how to use it, and ask you what to use it *for*.

 

10. Sometimes you can do too much – I once had a year 13 student ask me, exasperated, if they could “just do things on paper today sir?”; so please don’t imaging that I expect every lesson to be an all singing, all dancing digital learning machine. No. What I’d like to see is more teachers using tech day-to-day and not worrying about it.

At some point we’ll forget we ever called it digital learning and find the very idea that we differentiated between eLearning and Learning as a bizzare artifact of a bygone era. When even the most old fashioned teacher in the class thinks nothing of slapping on a pair of video-recording glasses and rocking out an epic lesson.

If you’re interested in finding out more then head to my blog [http://www.lessonhacker.com/] or read my book, which coincidentally has the same title as my workshop [http://www.stopgettingitwrong.com/] .


Blog.

Buy David’s book – Stop doing I.T. wrong!

@LessonHacker on Twitter.

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#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus