Tagged: Educators

Here’s to the crazy ones… You are AMAZING. #TMNSL

If we want are students to amaze us we must first amaze them with our relentless, endless pursuit of learning. The role of a teacher offers the greatest opportunity in the world coupled with a complex set of responsibilities. The moment we stop reflecting on our practice, the moment we settle, is the moment we veer dangerously close to mediocrity.  It’s the commitment we make as teachers to never stop learning that will build good habits, develop great teachers and ultimately move the lives of the young people in our care forward.

Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.

The above quote from Dylan Wiliam was one of the reasons that led me to start Never Stop Learning. I wanted to encourage colleagues to reflect on what they were doing and offer some help in doing that. So I founded this idea upon the following principles (via Jamie Smart):

postcard ver 1

Last night at the first annual Never Stop Learning teach-meet #TMNSL over 150 teachers from around the south-west (and beyond) volunteered for the opportunity to exercise and experience the above three principles to deepen their understanding. When remarkable people congregate in one place with a shared vision for improvement, something magical happens that is difficult to measure but very much experienced.

The people who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do.

The evening began with a truly inspirational keynote from Hywel Roberts. I’ve seen Hywel speak at a few events and he never fails to send his audience away with lots to think about and a renewed vigour for teaching great lessons. He speaks at a very personal level which is engaging, heartfelt and also very funny – a perfect way to start any teach-meet! Hywel is perfectly summed up in his website address – Create | Learn | Inspire – please pay it a visit.

@HYWEL_ROBERTS

@HYWEL_ROBERTS

The keynote was followed by a series of 10 workshops offering a wide selection of opportunities from leading whole school change to differentiation to using video for CPD. All workshops were planned and delivered by teachers committed to making a positive change, spreading their influence beyond just the school in which they teach. The typicality of comments coming from people who attended followed this theme…

nsl tweet

 

Click here to read tweets from #TMNSL

The crazy ones responsible for delivering expert workshops at #TMNSL were:

Chris Hildrew – @chrishildrew – ‘Great teachers.’

Amjad Ali – @ASTSupportAAli – ‘Creativity in the classroom.’

David Morgan – @lessonhacker – ‘Stop doing IT wrong.’

David Bunker – @mr_bunker_edu – ‘Teach like a champion.’

Dr Dan Nicholls – @BristolBrunel – ‘Leading change in schools.’

Chris Moyse – @chrismoyse – ‘Differentiation.’

Mat Pullen – @mat6453 – ‘Solo Taxonomy.’

Kate Heath & R Escourt – @artedu_kheath – ‘Practical ways to show progress over time.’

Sharon Porter & Tom Leahy – @sporteredu & @MrTLeahy – ‘Differentiated homework.’

Steve Gill & Jason Dayment – @mrgillenglish & @mrdaymentmaths – ‘Whole school oracy & numeracy.’

@chrishildrew delivering his workshop on 'Great teachers.'

@chrishildrew delivering his workshop on ‘Great teachers.’

The workshops were followed by further opportunities to connect with others and share discoveries through a series of micro presentations, opened up by the powerfully motivating Action Jackson – @ActionJackson (leader of the FixUpTeam). This was a remarkable second half to the evening with lots of teachers still going strong at 19:30 on a rainy Thursday evening in the middle of March. What followed was a series of short presentations that included lots of tips, ideas to think about and consider coupled with motivation and encouragement to continue to explore the role and practice of teaching.

The crazy ones responsible for presenting were:

@ActionJackson – You are AMAZING!

@edubaker – The behaviour triangle.

@hrogerson – Confidence grids.

@theheadsoffice – Improving writing through blogging.

@ASTSupportAAli – Teaching tips & tricks.

@sporteredu – The ace of… spades, clubs, diamonds or hearts.

@leading_in_pe – Plenaries – voting with your feet.

@mrgmorrison – Robert Blakes best bits & learning lunches.

@lessonhacker – Mid-term lesson planning.

@cgould6 – Working with newly arrived EAL students.

5 minute micro-presentations.

5 minute micro-presentations.

There was a great buzz and atmosphere throughout the evening which was down to the excellent calibre of speakers / presenters and the amazing audience who supported and engaged throughout. The evening was captured brilliantly through the artwork of David Jesus Virnolli.

The artwork of David Jesus Virnolli.

The artwork of David Jesus Virnolli.

#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

Next steps…

Thoughts have already entered my mind for the next #TMNSL. Over the coming weeks I will endeavour to share, in more depth the ideas from the workshops in a series of shorter posts. Whether you attended #TMNSL or not I implore you to take time to reflect on your practice, re-visit your moral purpose regularly and make a pledge to never stop learning.

#NeverStopLearning

#NeverStopLearning

Thank you to our sponsors for the evening!

Crown House Publishing

Crown House Publishing

Western Computers

Western Computers

 

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‘Quick wins’ #8 – Differentiated question cards

Differentiated question cards.

Differentiated question cards.

Why? To ensure that students are aware of the key questions that need to be asked and answered in a learning topic, and that pre-planned questions are appropriately pitched to the right students in a very mixed ability class (grades A through to E at A-level). Also, when questions are chosen carefully to have an appropriate level of challenge for each ability, this resource makes it easy to demonstrate the progress students make within the lesson.

Possible solution. As they walk into the lesson, provide each student with a slip of brightly coloured card with their key question on it and some space to write their answer on the card later on. Questions which are more open to interpretation can be repeated with different students. Students should keep their question card on their desk in front of them throughout the lesson as a visible reminder of the key question that they are seeking an answer for. Either use these questions punctuated throughout the lesson to draw students attention to what they have learnt so far after each activity, or use as a plenary at the end of the lesson.

Resources.
A set of pre-planned and differentiated questions, a couple of pieces of coloured card.

Outcome. The key questions keep students intently focused throughout the lesson seeking the answer to their question. Student responses to these questions, and further questioning that develops from their responses, enables the teacher to demonstrate the progress made within the lesson. Pre-planned questions which are more open to interpretation enable the teacher to ‘basketball’ the questioning to develop a depth of response from a range of students.

Post submitted by:

Domini Choudhury

Assistant Principal

@DominiChoudhury

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘differentiated question cards’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.

‘Quick wins’ #3 – ‘Roll a plenary’

roll a plenary grid

‘Roll a plenary’ grid – great way to engage students in reflecting upon what they have learnt in a lesson.

Why? Plenaries should be one of the most important parts of a lesson where the teacher assesses the progress students have made during the lesson and begins to plan the direction of future lessons. Sometimes we just run out of time and plenaries end up being a quick round of questioning before the bell goes. How do teachers plan for more rigorous plenaries that examine the learning that has taken place whilst empowering students to work independently and lead their learning?

Possible solution? ‘Roll a plenary’ grid:

A grid of different plenary activities that students select by rolling dice. All you need to do is…

1. Get a class set laminated.

2. Get some dice.

3. Ask students to roll dice over grid to select a personalised plenary.

Resources.

roll a plenary (PDF)

roll a plenary editable (docx)

Outcome. Allows students to take ownership and feel empowered to show what they have learnt during a lesson. This grid can be further developed to include differentiated tasks using blooms stems/solo levels. The grid supplied is generic but the editable version can be tailored to any subject.

Post submitted by:

@ASTsupportAAli & @tombrush1982

@ASTsupportAAli’s Blog

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘Roll a plenary’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.