Tagged: school

Blog of the week | 6th December 2015

This weeks blogs of the week focus on deliberate practice and its essential role in facilitating learning.

  1. Practice files: A culture of practice by Harry Fletcher-Wood.
  2. Practice makes perfect but only if you practice beyond the point of perfection by Daniel T Willingham.
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#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.

#neverstoplearning


#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

‘Quick wins’ #16 – SLANT – Building habits in the classroom.

Why? I’ve struggled to get 100% attention from students 100% of the time. Quite often when I instruct students I’ll use the “3,2,12 technique to get students attention, which works well. But I then struggle to retain attention. This is made especially difficult when teaching in a Computing room – the lure of the computer screen can be too much for students. A typical instruction will have to be halted within seconds to address students who’s eyes have wondered back to their computer screen.

Possible solution. I needed a routine to retain student attention. I started my research by looking at Doug Lemov’s excellent collection of videos for his ‘Teach like a Champion’ book. I came across the video below.

It was during the video I saw a poster on the wall of one of the classrooms with the word ‘SLANT.’ Further investigation led me to discover the meaning of this term. SLANT is a strategy used to get students to pay attention not only when the teacher is talking but also when a student contributes to a discussion. An overview of the strategy can be found below…

Sit up: What is the right posture to sit in the classroom? Is it to rest your head on your hands, sit slouched in your seat or put your head down on the table? These are all positions that will put students to sleep. In order to develop attentive listeners, it is essential to encourage students to sit up straight with their back against the seat, feet placed firmly on the ground and hands on the table. This is the optimal position to ensure good learning and processing of information.

Lean forward: Another position that is critical to promote active listening is leaning forward. Students should be taught to lean forward during a lesson. It may also help teachers understand the interest level of the class and fine tune their presentation to make it more interesting for the students.

Ask and answer questions: This component can liven up the classroom and encourage students to be active in their learning process. Encourage them to clarify their doubts, answer questions, and discuss or debate on ideas. These question and answer sessions can help activate their thinking, encourage critical analysis of the content and strengthen their understanding of the lesson.

Nod your head: Nodding one’s head is a form of nonverbal communication to indicate that the lesson has been understood. When a teacher observes a student nodding his/her head, they may proceed with the lesson. On the other hand, failure to nod will signal that the student has not understood the lesson and the teacher may need to clarify or explain further. “N” can also stand for ‘noting down and naming key information’ which enables students to retain the information and makes learning stronger.

Track the speaker: The attention span of every student is different. Tracking the speaker is a visual cue to be attentive. Students should be encouraged to track both the teacher and other students who are presenting in class. The conscious effort to track the speaker will help students to be attentive at all times and prevent them from getting lost or daydreaming in class.

Taken from Professional Learning Board.

Resources.

SLANT poster for the classroom [PDF]

SLANT

SLANT

Outcome. I am in the early stages of trialing this technique with Year 7, 8 & 9 students. I have found ‘Track the speaker’ particularly useful as a cue for students to pay attention to whoever is speaking. At the time of writing it has taken a lot of hard work to embed the routine but I am beginning to see more students listening to instructions and positively engaging in class discussions. Other teachers in my department have also started to embed these commands and the initial feedback from them is positive. One restriction at the moment is that students are only exposed to the routine in my classroom for 50 minutes a week so they don’t get to practice as often as I’d like. This means I have to continually remind them, but I believe the effort I put in is worth the outcome.

Post submitted by:

Stephen O’Callaghan

Blog.

@MrOCallaghanEDU

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘SLANT – Building habits in the classroom’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.

#TMNSL – Micro presentation – ‘Learning Lunches’

#TMNSL - 5 minute mirco presentation

#TMNSL – 5 minute micro presentation

As every school does we wanted to improve the quality of T&L and I am a firm believer in doing this through the sharing of good practice, as we have, and had, loads of great practitioners in school in lots of different departments. To share all of the ‘gems’ that everyone had in their toolkits we put together ‘Robert Blake’s Best Bits’ which is a collection of all the bits that make our teaching great. We asked every member of staff to contribute at least one idea that could be used generically by other staff in other subjects around the school, all of which were completed on a common format of a powerpoint slide. These were then collated, organised into different sections and shared with staff. Immediately we had helped create a culture where people were more open about sharing their teaching and helping others. The off-spring of this was we had more staff doing learning walks to see these gems in action in the classroom and T&L took on a greater priority with staff.

Resource. NSL TeachMeet presentation (PDF)

From this we wanted to further embed the culture of sharing T&L so we created the ‘Learning Lunches’ where every fortnight we would put on a buffet (£1.50 per head!) for teachers where 3 ideas from RBBB would be presented and explained. This led to a huge uptake in the ideas and the resultant conversations that were generated as a result of seeing the idea. Our SENCo then developed the idea for LSAs (as we couldn’t fit all staff in our food room where we have the Learning Lunches!) as they have a Learning Breakfast every fortnight, during PSHE lessons, to share their best practice.

Learning lunch at @RobertBlakeSC

Learning lunch at @RobertBlakeSC

The beauty of RBBB is that any one person can initiate and develop the idea. As a class teacher you can create your own ‘best bits’ then begin to share with other people, hopefully making the scheme whole-school. The Learning Lunches can happen informally without providing lunch for staff but putting on the buffet is hugely appreciated by staff who value the school’s commitment to developing T&L.

Post submitted by:

Greg Morrison

Deputy Headteacher

@MrGMorrison

#neverstoplearning

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

 

#TMNSL 20/03/2014 – Workshop resources: ‘Differentiated homework’

Differentiated homework by Sharon Porter (@sporteredu) & Tom Leahy (@MrTLeahy)


Differentiated homework by @sporteredu

Differentiated homework by @sporteredu

Differentiated homework by @MrTLeahy

Differentiated homework by @MrTLeahy

Workshop Summary.

The workshop on Differentiated Homework came about due to us considering the differentiated lesson.  “We differentiate in lessons so we should differentiate homework…right?” Right!

How can we as teachers insist upon differentiating our classwork but then feel justified in giving the entire class the same piece of homework?  It can become boring for the more able, consistently annoying for those who are finding the work challenging and it can be boring for the teacher too!  To an outsider, it may seem strange that we are not differentiating homework, so what’s happening?  Why are we all giving our students the same homework?  Let’s consider the “Why? How? & What?” of this homework scenario

Why do you want students to complete homework?

o    Practice? 10000 hrs makes perfect (Malcolm Gladwell)

o    To cover more content? The flipped classroom (Bergmann & Sams)

How do you want them do it?

o    Paper based or On-line?

o    Weekly, Bi-Weekly?

What are the next steps?

o    How can you maintain this level of homework?

o    How much effort are you putting in when setting and marking the homework?

o    How can you ensure that your students learn from the homework and not end up with lots of pretty displays? What level of feedback/marking is the most effective (#Takeawayhmk – how can you fairly assess the homework…  S. Porter is currently researching this.)

Knowing the current approaches that are taken with homework and the completion rates, the following is a list of different homework that can be tried with classes – Differentiated Homework

  •          Two sided worksheet / laminated card

o    Basic questions on one side and an extension of the concept or a problem solving task on the other side.

  •          On line homework (SAM Learning, MyMaths, ShowMyHomework, etc)
  •          Concept Cards – some staff made their own in the workshop
Concept cards.

Concept cards.

  •          Choice Boards

Alternatives to Traditional HW

  • Suggestions by the students of Kathleen Cushman “Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery
  • Takeaway HW (from “100 teaching ideas for Secondary  Teachers” Ross Morrison McGill aka @TeacherToolkit)

Related blog post.

Presentation slides.

@sporteredu & @MrTLeahy on Twitter.

#neverstoplearning


#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

#TMNSL 20/03/2014 – Workshop resources: ‘Solo taxonomy’

Solo Taxonomy by Mat Pullen – @Mat6453


Mat Pullen delivered a workshop at #TMNSL on 'Solo Taxonomy.'

‘Solo Taxonomy’ by Mat Pullen.

Workshop Summary.

I have been thinking about SOLO taxonomy for a while and the impact it can have on student learning in PE. I have also looked at ways to make it easier for students to access.

Guide to Solo Taxonomy

Guide to Solo Taxonomy

I have previously blogged about Project Based Learning here and the feedback has been really positive. both staff and teachers are engaged in this approach to co construction of the curriculum and lots of teachers are telling me about their plans for embedding it in their schemes.

To move things on a bit I wanted to look at ways of supporting students to create their own learning models. To help facilitate the process of finding out what they need to improve on and where to find out how to do that.

That is where the link with SOLO comes in. I have used SOLO to great effect in practical sessions and students are really showing great progress in lessons and more importantly they kbow what they need to do to keep progressing.

In order to support this further I have created posters that I can use in sessions that allow the students to acces some visual cues to support them in their construction of lessons. The posters trigger augmented reality links to images and videos to help students check on technique and to assist in giving detailed feedback to each other.

The process is fairly simple, I created a poster on my iPad using Comic Life. Add this image to Layar.com in their creator section, add in video and images to the relevent sections and voila, augmented reality posters. The students can now access these with any device with the Layar app installed.

So now in a session, we start with students looking at a problem that they need to solve, they look at the skills they will need to develop to support them in overcoming the problem.  Around the hall are posters with links to images and videos to help support their learning.  They integrate numeracy to support their understanding of success, they use literacy to improve communication and feedback and they can see how they can progress using the SOLO stages.

This is a real change in lesson structure but really engages students to be active whilst learning a whole wealth of key transferable skills.

Related blog post.

Presentation slides.

@Mat6453 on Twitter.

#neverstoplearning


#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

 

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