Speed dating takes sharing good practice to a new level

 Good practice

Last week the staff at Upton shared their good practice through the medium of speed dating. Thanks to the excellent PowerPoint provided by the teacher tool kit (http://teachertoolkit.me/2015/01/21/speed-dating-cpd-bring-and-brag-by-teachertoolkit/) which I have adapted for our purposes, see below.

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 Art

Mrs Bennett: I use an App called 123d creature to effectively engage middle to lower achieving boys.  Due to confidence issues I find some students are reluctant to engage in practical tasks such as drawing.  By allowing use of the app (it is a virtual kiln where students can add pattern and colour etc), students are dealing with an interface they are familiar with (virtuality).  The quick and effective results they achieve on the app (used as a starter). Gives the students the confidence to move from the virtual to the physical process of making and problem solving. Below is an example of a sculpture created by a student using the said app.   

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Miss French: I use a minimum work list which boys in particular really like and promotes independence. Click this link to download:Minimum Work List 2014-5

Design and Technology

Mrs Sievers: The aim is to encourage pupils to become more confident, read the recipes, help each other and problem solve. I use this with yrs 7-11. Pupils are given 2 laminated hands at the start of the lesson. The hands can be cashed into the teacher for help during the lesson. However the aim is for pupils to keep both hands, and work with more confidence, read the recipe and help each other, which results in them earning a merit. The pupils seem to enjoy it and often request the hands now. See below:

give me a hand pleaseMr Collis: My Bring & Brag Idea –Use QR Codes to link to website URLs/pictures/text etc. QR Codes work really well for starters/plenary activities.  Students can scan QR codes as soon as they enter the classroom. Students do not need to type in a complicated website address; the codes are very simple to scan.

  • Download ‘QR Reader for Ipad’ from the App store.
  • Use http://www.qrstuff.com/ to generate your QR code (Link from QR code).
  • Add QR codes to worksheets. Alternatively, project QR codes onto your whiteboard.  Students can scan them.qr

English

Mr Crozier: The idea is that it is an entry task which appears not to be linked to the lesson, but might be through themes. It takes no explaining, so I am able to remain at the door to greet stragglers and monitor behaviour while the students can settle down to work. This one worked really well as the students didn’t even realise that they were considering the themes of Romeo and Juliet and this led to a good discussion about the characters. Click on the link for a copy: Personality quiz (1)

Mrs Johns: Evaluating through a Fantasy Five Aside! For revision after reading a novel, students identify five different characters from their text. Organise your five characters into relevant positions (goalkeeper, defenders, attacking midfielder and centre forward. Explain and give reasons for each position/ role you have selected.
Choose a team captain and a player manager. Explain your choices, comparing and contrasting qualities. Reflect on your choices, how does this team relate to characters’ actions in the text? Create a team name and consider the most influential player. See below:IMG_1168

Mr Eunson: Use snakes and ladders to encourage competition between middle ability boys when answering questions. See below

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Mr Waite: My idea involves the use of the app Vine. Vine is a social-networking app that allows users to upload 7 second videos that then ‘loop’ continuously. I use it with KS4 classes specifically when it comes to revision. They can create 7 second summaries of chapters, characters, quotes, etc. that they can then upload to Vine (and can be accessed on phones or the computer). As long as they use a # to enable others to search for their video (for example #heroesnovel) the rest of the class can then share and watch each other’s videos.This can also be accessed on the iPad and watched over AppleTV.

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Miss Farnin:  Unscramble The Words 1. At the end of the lesson I gave my Year 9 boys a sheet with 12 ‘scrambled’ keywords on it. The words were from the chapter of the novel that we had studied that lesson. The boys were given 5 minutes to unscramble them. 2. What the boys didn’t know was that I had made up the last word & therefore it was impossible to unscramble. The boys became very competitive, desperate to win the task. 3. Once the time had run out, I revealed on the whiteboard the 11 words individually. When we got to No.12, the words, ‘YOU SUCKERS!’ appeared on the whiteboard. 4. Now when I set a task like this they never quite know whether I’m lying or not. Are there 15 words to find in the wordsearch? It really is keeping them on their toes.

Miss McKevitt: A strategy I use is to have students come to the front of the class at the end of a lesson to conduct the plenary. This also involves summarising the lesson and questioning other students. This can be effective with middle boys in developing their confidence and leadership skills.

Mrs McCarthy: I have used the idea of a human continuum in discussions and debates to gauge shades of opinion in the class, where students use a space or a line to indicate whether they agree, disagree or are neutral about an issue or a pair of choices. It is also a controlled way of allowing a little bit of movement and thus benefits learners who find it hard to sit down for an hour. Quieter students also benefit because the teacher can ‘walk the line’ and ask students their opinions without them having to speak in front of the whole class.

Mrs McGregor: My idea was related to extended individual writing tasks, which middle boys often dislike. It is to reward periods of sustained focus and production with a raffle ticket every so many minutes – this can vary according to levels of engagement – so that the more they earn, the greater their chances of winning a prize draw at the end of the lesson.

Mrs Owen: ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ I give them list of quotes/information and they have to highlight them in a piece of text. I have a ticking time bomb stop clock on the interactive whiteboard and they record their score, which they must try to improve each time.

Mrs Connor: I use a lot of visual devices, such as maps like the one below. Students read the set text (in this case ‘Wolfbrother’), are able to track the progress of the character in spatial terms (which particularly appeals to boys), predict where the character may venture next and why. This activity then lends itself to producing writing like survival guides, etc.image

Science

Mr Caine’s Key word game:

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Key Word Mind Map Game

Mr Bell’s chemistry models

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Mrs Bradbury: Laminated cards with questions on e.g. I can name the 4 chambers of the heart.  Students are given cards at the start of the lesson they have to put them in three piles. Confident, I think I know, I do not have a clue! These are placed on a laminated sheet .  The task is then completed at the end of the lesson to demonstrate progress made. Students must be prepared to answer a question if they place on confident.

Mrs Scutter: It is called the post it challenge. For a revision lesson, the class gets separated  into groups. Each group gets a different colour post it pack. Pupils can use as many post its as they like but it is in their group benefit to use fewer post its and have more information. They have to work as a group to create very informative post its for recapping a topic ( they have to work together to ensure they don’t all cover the same material). They can use their books or fact sheets provided by the teacher, or even homework/ revision guides or all of the above. The more informative or obscure information on the post it the better as it is a competition. Nearing the end if the lesson each groups shares a post it and sticks it on the board under their group number.( Each group can share a set number of posts it’s not including the trump post it.) Other groups can trump each other’s post its if it covers the same fact/ information and is better ( the Teacher decides which is the most superior post it, the better post it goes up on the board under their group number and the original post it goes in the bin). It has a lot of psychology as pupils try to keep their best post its until last but before they run out of time.  If a post it is particularly fantastic the teacher can stick an extra post up on the board ( to equate to an extra point). The group who wins has the most post its on the board at the end of the lesson and the winners get chocolate. Classes love it as it is competitive and on the board you can visually see who is winning.

Mr Rutter: Genetics with a smile. Click on these links to download:

Genetics_with_a_smile_worksheet

Mrs Risi: Plasticine to model the Earth. Different colours for the different layers then. In this way a 3D model is made which can be cut in half or a segment removed so that the inside detail van be viewed. This idea can be extended to making a 3D cell showing the organelles or making a DNA helix with complementary base pairs of different colours.

Ms Kam: Reinforcing key words and scientific ideas: Apparatus needed ethanol, dropping pipette, Bunsen and splints. Changing state – evaporation, flammability, volatility, viscosity. Draw smiley face or shape with ethanol, show how ethanol ignites without flame touching liquid. pupils to explain what’s happening using key words. Think, share – good answers rewarded by allowing pupils to choose a shape and light the ethanol.

Mrs Woodward: ​Mine was modelling using sweets to demonstrate processes or molecules e.g. skittle diversity – mutations, natural selection, making model DNA from marshmallows and jelly babies, adaptations using plastic cutlery to eat chocolate chips out of cookies etc
Mrs Rogers: Laminated questions related to the lesson objective and green red and amber piles to put them in. Try both at beginning and end to show progression. The second idea was for bottom set small group of boys I have, that as a treat they do some target practice by firing a Toy rocket at the correct answer of three answers on the board.
Mrs DeCosta: It’s the game of guess who to teach pupils how to classify organisms.

 Maths

Dr Rees uses the Mangahigh website to differentiate at all levels from primary to secondary:

mangahigh

Mr M. Jones says split worksheets question by question. Then either turn it into a relay race (they must answer one question correctly before they can have the next one. Pair with the most correct answers get rewarded at the end) or dot the questions around the room to keep them moving and active.

Miss Ewing: Pupils are split in teams. Each team has a set of cards that you keep on your desk.  One person from each team gets the first question, they answer as a team and bring it back to you to mark.  If they get it right they get a point and the next question if not they try again.  They race to get the most questions answered in the lesson and there is a prize for the winning team.

Mr B. Jones: Treasure hunt idea- I hide all the questions around the room and students in pairs go around the class finding the answers. Students get very competitive and the Middle boys enjoy it.

Miss Baker: ​In small groups, Top Trumps game. Share the cards between the group. Complete the calculation on your top card then choose the highest value to compete against other students cards. Highest value wins the cards. Winner is the person with the most cards. Click on this link to download: Top Trumps Averages 3levels cartoons

Miss Spencer: Murder mystery- pupils design a revision sheet based on a murder mystery. Each module of work covered is the ‘Who’? where? when? weapon? Etc. for example , the murderer is the person who has not made an error in the calculations given. See the example below:IMG_0313

 Mr Tock: My idea was to take maths out of the classroom outside. There is a maths topic called Loci that is all about the paths and position around points and lines.
For example you place a cone or get a student to stand at a point on the playing field and ask the class to place themselves 2m away from the cone/student. This gives the opportunity for collaborative learning and is kinaesthetic in nature.

Mr Biard: I demonstrated Map Draw, free i-pad app. Students can plot their journey to school either on map or satellite image.  The app tells them the distance.  They can also measure the time it takes.  This data, relevant and real, can be used to make frequency tables of distances travelled to school and speeds.  These can be used to compare groups who walk, cycle, are driven or come by bus. See below:

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Mrs E. Thompson: My idea was to be as practical and make lessons more using hands then writing.  I did a lesson this week with year 9’s that worked well. Instead of giving them data from experiments they did the experiments themselves by throwing the dice or coins. Once they got the data they had to work out the probability of the events.

Mrs Atkinson: Maths blockbusters I use a class activity as a plenary. Click on this link to download: Brackets blockbusters

Mrs Christianson: I have used maths murder mystery games with middle/low ability boys, They like the challenge, competition and team work. It can make some good display work, again motivating. See below:

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Mr Cadman: I have created a treasure hunt to motivate middle ability boys. Click on the following to download.:Treasure Hunt 1 Treasure hunt 2

Media Studies

Mrs O’Brien: Review triangle, useful with middle boys as they often don’t like having to admit they don’t understand and still have questions. I use it as an exit task and then it helps me plan for my next lesson, ensuring I address any questions students I have and looking at what tasks they have enjoyed or that have helped them.(Double click on the image below to make it bigger)

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Mrs Hewitt: Useful idea for revision. Collaborative whole class semantic map of topic studying. The students can then take a picture of it for future use. They can also develop it further in study sessions. This enables all students to get a wide range of facts/statistics/ideas about a topic even though they only have to find one, which works well particularly for ‘middle boys’. Outcome: all students have sufficient, yet independent revision material.image-1 image

Modern Foreign Languages

Mrs Granville: 1.  Bilingual songs for starters. Students enjoy the songs and learn not only key vocabulary and also stances.  I also send the songs to them by email so they can listen to them at home. 2. Bingo – good to learn key vocabulary or used for revision.  Students all have to ask 1 student the question in full sentence in target language and the student will pick one answer and reply with full sentence.  Students take turns till someone has won.  They love the prize.

Miss Elliot: All students have flashcards with French phrase on one side and English on other side. They then take turns to quiz each other. If their partner doesn’t know the phrase they teach them the phrase. When finished they trade the flashcards and move on to quiz or test another person with their new card. An added element is to collect signatures. One signature if they have been a supportive & encouraging coach. Another signature if they knew the phrase and didn’t need to be taught. At end of task, discuss with the class who was a good coach to give peer feedback and praise.

Mrs Trott: In languages I split the class into groups of 4 and one person from each group comes out to collect a strip of paper with a phrase/ word  / tense  and take it back to the group to translate. They then bring it back to me for checking and if it is correct they keep the strip and get a new one to take back to group again. If they get it wrong then I take it off them, but they still get a new strip to take to the group. Once all strips are gone (or after a certain time limit) the group with the most correct strips are the winners. This is very active as students are coming out to the front and very competitive too!

Miss Stedmans: To motivate middle boys I use a variety of competitive style games when introducing / revising new vocabulary structures. Bingo  – with single words in the foreign language or longer phrases / short sentences. Pictionary –  use mini white boards to draw a picture to represent a word or phrase and give points to the winner, either the fastest to draw picture or the best picture to represent the word / phrase. Slam – two students come to the front of the class and compete against each other.  There are pictures on the white board and pupils have to hit the picture which represents the word or phrase I say.  Winner is the student who hits the picture first. Middle boys respond very well to any element of competition and kinaesthetic activities.

Mrs Critchley: My idea was a behaviour / motivation technique.  French football teams: Divide your class into football teams and students ‘score goals’ for positive behaviour and hard work.  Exceptional effort and participation can mean a scoring a hatrick. Equally students can be given a penalty for poor behaviour/lack of concentration.  Team transfers are possible during the transfer season for teams that have performed well.  The team that has won the most number of matches every two weeks wins a prize.  This encourages students to work together in teams and promotes positive engagement and good behaviour.  Students see their efforts recognised and rewarded quickly and regularly.  I have a red, yellow and blue (hatrick) cards laminated and use to replace or support verbal warnings as a visual aid.  Any argument with the referee incurs a further penalty.  This can support any classroom activity and I have used this system for a full academic year before with classes and helps students to make good progress.

Mrs Stanisstreet: I have a SAM Leadership board for my mixed ability Year 11 Spanish group that I display outside of my classroom aimed to create a competitive spirit amongst the middle boys.  I reward movement up the chart.  A middle boy is leading it and a  middle girl is in second place!

Geography

Miss Conner: Photos of my Middle boys ideas from the speed dating. The focus is on kinaesthetic: use of playdoh, Lego, making pop-ups and card sort competitions.

 

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Mrs Mitchell: I have designed a iTunes U course on rivers which can be accessed by the students on their iPads at home and in school. iTunes U provides updates and allows the students to post comments. (Double click on the image below to make it bigger)

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Miss Wragg: My idea is a league table that I use with my foundation boys revision session. They receive a point per mark in the questions we go through in the session. They get very enthusiastic due to the competition and they start to revise and to go to revision sessions. It’s not a fancy table it’s just written on the board and I take a picture with the iPad.

Mrs Oliver: ROW RACE: Used when students need to learn and annotated diagram eg oxbow lake formation, waterfall or longshore drift. In rows/tables/ small groups students collectively draw and label a diagram in rough. A nominated student from each row comes to the board and from memory must recreate the diagram and annotated appropriately. The rest of the row cannot help them at this point.

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Mr Casstles: I had a photocopy of one of my year 10 boys work from when we did Antarctica. A variation on mix and match and card sort format – the idea was a they had pictures, a problem and a solution. The problem was linked to the picture so was more straight forward with some thinking to work out the solution. Ideal for middle boys with no writing required (and it can look neater). Can also be differentiated so colours can be used to sort problems from solutions.

Business Studies

Miss McLean: I use key word chop to motivated the middle ability boys. Click on the link to download the Powerpoint slides: Key Word Chop WOW v2

History

Mrs Vianello: I use cymbals to quieten the class, control behaviour and move pupils on from one task to the next.  When I use the symbols to quieten class they have 2 dings to be quiet if I have to do a third ding then those talking will be in a break detention – I rarely have to do 3 as the rest of the class encourage each other to be quiet.

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Miss Suter: I use a take away homework with year 7. Click on this link for a copy: Takeaway homework Year 7 student copy

Mr Mulhall: This can be used for any topic / subject. Good for boys because it involves movement around the class and talking to each other.Group Revision Activity

Mr Doherty: My idea was for a year 7 History lesson. Students have to recreate their own interpretation of a Medieval town or village. Instead of using “traditional” methods, they use Play Dough instead. They love using something different like that in a lesson.

Miss Main:  The idea is that you put an important activity in the middle and a range of activities around the edge. Students have to complete a straight line through the middle. Pros for middle boys. 1. Personalisation of learning – allows students to complete a challenge which best fits their skill set 2. Students often feel they have been successful at “playing” the system as they may have picked homework they feel is easier (whereas each of the liens is judged equivalent – the placing of options is quite deliberate) 3. The homework tends to have a high completion rate and this high completion helps narrow the gap for students. This homework would last 6 weeks. Click on this link to download the resource: Year 9 Tic Tac toe WW2

 Religious studies

Miss Summers:Reaping rewards: Students can offer to help someone that doesn’t know the answer by volunteering as tribute, they should say this to alert the teacher they would like to attempt to earn an extra credit to be placed in the reaping bowl. Students earn credits throughout the lesson for contributing either when targeted by the teacher or when offering an answer. When a student earns a credit they will have their name written on a card and these should be placed in a male and female reaping bowl. The Reaping Plenary:At the end of the lesson the reaping is acted out for students to win a reward, you can go as far as you like with this, even having the students ‘battle to the death’ in a quiz etc or it can be as simple as offering the students a merit for contribution to the lesson. For more information click on this link: The Hunger Games rewards

Mrs Smale: 1.Revision Catch Ball , numbered ball students pick number as it it thrown, question is asked, competitive for middle boys.  2. Review bingo, again competitive . Bingo cards, can be key words, either just read out the definition then students cover the word or read the word, then in order to cover it , students have to give you the definition.

Mr Petty: The ideas are on slides 6 to 10. Slide 6 was used to provide the key ideas. Slides 7,8,9,and 10 contained the same pictures with a different picture missing on each one. It is a Powerpoint Kim’s game. It was to help mixed ability boys focus on a list of points to allow them to build up a detailed knowledge:

How do Buddhists worship

Miss Clarkson: Name: flashy ball : Props needed: flashing ball : The idea is to promote developed answers from middle ability boys. The ball flashes for 25-30 when they catch the ball they have to give an answer that lasts the entirety of the time the ball flashes. This means no one word answers.

Mrs Benson: Competition activity for middle boys. It is called the elimination game. This can be used as a starter to recap, plenary or a mini plenary during the lesson to assess learning.
Every student is given a number between 1 and however many are in the class but they are not to share this with anyone.  All students remember their numbers and stand up.  The teacher asks the class a question and the first person to raise their hand will be chosen to answer (any student that raises their hand before the question is finished will not get to answer).  They have to answer within 5 seconds of the question being asked otherwise they are eliminated and sit down out of the game. If they get it correct they get to choose 2 numbers and the students with those numbers are eliminated and sit down (teacher will cross off the numbers on the board that have been said). The game continues with the same process until only one person is left standing -this is the winner. A prize of some sort is given to the winner.  This could be a merit or I use a lucky dip bin with a variety of prizes, like quirky stationary. Quite often the boys get very competitive and are desperate to answer the questions.  The teacher then has flexibility to ask students to extend their answers when they have been chosen.  If you ask a bonus question with more challenge and no one left in the game can answer, the question can be opened up to those who are out. If they get it right they can join the game again.

ICT

Mrs Larkin: I got the students to do the Hockey Cocky.  This was to teach a new concept.  Students broke the instructions down to write an algorithm and then, due to the repeating nature of the song, we then put it to subroutines which we repeated in a loop.

Miss Stanley: These are 2 sheets that I have developed for middle boys. The Race Car Feedback is used half way through the unit and then Game feedback is after they have created their own game. Click on the links below for the resources:

Mrs Welsh: 

After discussing it with other schools, for practical work we produced a Pseudo Task for them to complete, this was a similar but different task that enabled us to teach them exactly what they needed for the actual controlled assessment. When we started the controlled assessment I produced a work sheet that guided them through the construction of the program and then another to help with the write up. Click on the link to download: breakdown (1)
Mrs Evans:“Family Card Games” Resources – Several packs of cards, tailor made to topic.

The cards will have either:  An image, A word, A description/explanation/definition. The students can be sorted into pairs/small groups.

Game 1 – Snap : Aim – to end up with all the cards.  Images can be snapped with the same image, the word or the definition. This can be used as a starter or plenary.  It could also be used during the lesson as a fun way to test progress to date.

Game 2 – Chase the Ace: Aim – Not to end up with the ace. Or in this case Virus! –  this could start a discussion of viruses, Trojans, worms etc.

 Game 3 – Happy Families : Aim – To collect all the “Family” . This could be parts needed to build a computer.

 **The cards could also be used as flash cards or guess what we are doing today cards.  A card could also be dealt out to each student at the start of the lesson which could enable questioning/researching/prize giving at random. You could basically adapt any card game you already know, run through the rules with the students and away you go.

Mr Windsor: I completed a word search with my year 10 Computer Science class. The key words were based on database terminology. Students had to give definitions for at least 10 terms and then create a word search. Please see some attached documents that they completed. Click on the links to download: WORD search Andrew Webb Wordsearch and Key Words Jamie Russell

PE

Mr Wearden: Key Word Knockout – Divide the class into even teams of about 4 students per team. One person comes forward to represent the team. Using a tennis ball, or other similar item, the person holding the ball has to say a key word or term from the current topic or previous lesson. When they have said their word or term they pass the ball to another player, then this person must remember another key word or term. If anyone hesitates or repeats a word or term already used then they are out, to be replaced by another member of their team. When a team has run out of players then the whole team is out. The winning team is the one who does not run out of team members.

Mr Owen: I have been doing multiple choice style exam questions as a starter to my GCSE lessons which engages middle ability boys.

Miss Downs:  First is speed dating – so in GCSE dance and a level PE I set a 10 mark question and then they pair up in a line. They have thirty seconds to discuss one point they would put in the answer and then move on to another person. With the next person they share an idea and then try to gain an idea. Works quite well. Second is something I got from the TEEP champions a few weeks ago that really works. I have renamed it ‘What would Downsy say?’ Rather than teach talk about as I felt it was then more personal to the students. So I put an exam question on the board and then ask the students to bullet point what I would say if I was answering the question. I will then say my answer and they either get a point if it is right or gain knowledge if it is wrong. Its group work as well so they can all learn from collaborative learning.

Mrs Collinson: I use a tennis ball within my theory lessons to throw at those people that don’t like to answer questions. I use the term “throw at!” because that is the case…it makes them answer!

Performing Arts

Mrs Tobias: Laminated questions related to the lesson objectives with green red and amber piles to put them in. Try both at beginning and end to show progression. The second idea was for middle/low ability boys I have, that as a treat they do some target practice by firing a toy rocket at the correct answer of three answers on the board.

Mrs Thompson: I use this to start a conversation about performance technique. This is the info I then share with the students. In the TV series Futurama, a holophonor is a musical instrument that is also a hologram projector, but the catch is that you have to play it well to produce holographs. Harrison Krix made this fictional instrument a reality. He converted an old clarinet by adding 54 LEDs and various other parts to get the look right. You see it here displayed as being held by two robot devil hands.

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Mr Tierney: I uses humour and controversial images  to engage and motivate middle ability boys.

Miss Stevenson: Keyword bingo. The cards are laminated and on one side there is a keyword and on the other side there is a definition to another word. Pupils have to match the keyword to the correct definition. Click on this link to download: year 7 unit 1 keywords

Social Sciences

Mrs Quinn: Role play: Task to consolidate learning of ECT in line with the specification. Includes AO1, 2 and 3.

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 And the winners are…

1st Place: Miss Clarkson from the RS department with Flashing ball

2nd Place: Mrs Spencer from the Maths department with Murder mystery

3rd Place: Mrs Johns from the English department with Fantasy Five Aside!

Well done!

 

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Differentiation: ideas and resources on it and for it!

Brain food

Do we have fixed intelligence and ability?

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Click on the link below to find out more about Michael Jordan:

Differentiation tool kit diagram

Article of the week:

DIFFERENTIATION – WHAT and HOW? by Geoff Petty

A few decades ago the world of education was very exercised by the forerunner of differentiation which was called ‘mixed ability teaching’.  Then people began to realise it was not just ability that could be “mixed’’ and that teachers had to cope with a plethora of differences: learning style, age, motivation, prior learning and experience, gender, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and so on.  Consequently the term ‘mixed ability’ began to be replaced by the less vivid term: ‘differentiation’.   But what does differentiation mean exactly?

Differentiation is an approach to teaching that attempts to ensure that all students learn well, despite their many differences. Catch phrases which go some way to capturing this concept include:

‘Coping with differences’.

‘Learning for all’ or

‘Success for all’.

There are a number of common misconceptions about differentiation.  Some believe that it is something ‘added on’ to normal teaching and that it just requires a few discrete extra activities in the lesson. In fact, differentiation permeates everything a good teacher does and it is often impossible to ‘point’ to a discrete event that achieves it.  It is not what is done often, but the way it is done that acheives differentiation. For this reason differentiation may not show up on a lesson plan or in the Scheme of Work.  However some teachers try to show their intentions to differentiate by setting objectives in the following format:

All must….

Some may…

A few might…

This may help novice teachers to think about the diversity of their learners, but having such objectives does not guarantee differentiation.  It is the strategies, not the objectives that achieve differentiation, and this should be the focus of our interests.

Differentiation is not new, good teachers have always done it.  However, it does chime with a new conception of the teacher’s role.  Once we teachers taught courses, subjects and classes.  But no more.  Now we are teaching individuals.

Once education was a sieve.  The weaker students were ‘seived out’ and they left the classroom for the world of work, while the able students were retained for the next level.  ‘Drop outs’ were planned for, and seen not just as inevitable but as desirable.  Put bluntly, the aim was to discover those who could not cope, and get rid of them.

But now education is a ladder, and we expect every learner to climb as fast and as high as they are able. ‘Drop outs’ are seen as a wasted opportunity, for the learners, and for society as a whole.

Underpinning these conceptions of education as being a sieve or a ladder, are assumptions about the capability of learners and the nature of learning.  Once learners were thought to have a genetic disposition for learning, or not, which was measured by their ‘IQ’.  This placed an upper limit on their possible achievement.  Some students were thought to reach their ‘ceiling’ after which further teaching would be in vain.

This is no longer thought to be the case.  Experts on the brain and on learning now stress that everyone can learn more, if they are taught appropriately, whatever they have previously achieved.  A vivid illustration of this is provided by the work of Professor Reuven Feuerstien.  He teaches learners with what we call ‘moderate learning difficulties’, using a very special and unusual programme involving intensive work for one hour a day every day.  Four years later these learners have ‘caught up’ and are found to have an average ‘IQ’.  They can live independent lives, learn normally, and are indistinguishable from average members of their societies.*

Needless to say, remnants of the ‘ceiling’ model of learning can still be found in many teachers’ conceptions of teaching and learning.  These ideas need to be tackled.  Luckily in most colleges examples can be found of students who entered the college on a level 1 programme, and progressed well, eventually leaving for university.  These are persuasive role models for other learners and for teachers.  Teachers can make much greater differences than they themselves realise, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible.

Click on the links below for more information

how to do differentiation

1BloomsTaxonomycopy2

2Methods2

3Helpingwriting2 (1)

4Decisions-Decisions2

Recommended Reads

1) The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners Paperback by Carol Ann Tomlinson (Author)9781416618607

Drawing on nearly three decades of experience, author Carol Ann Tomlinson describes a way of thinking about teaching and learning that will change all aspects of how you approach students and your classroom. She looks to the latest research on learning, education, and change for the theoretical basis of differentiated instruction and why it’s so important to today’s children. Yet she offers much more than theory, filling the pages with real-life examples of teachers and students using-and benefitting from-differentiated instruction.

2) Differentiation for Real Classrooms: Making It Simple, Making It Work, Edited by Kathleen Kryza, Edited by Alicia M. Duncan, Edited by S. Joy Stephens

With their characteristically joyful and conversational tone that celebrates learning and diverse students, Kathleen Kryza, Alicia Duncan, and S. Joy Stephens offer teachers dozens of pract9781412972475ical strategies for designing and delivering differentiated lessons to reach all learners. “Differentiation for Real Classrooms: Making It Simple, Making It Work” is a ready-to-go resource for creating lessons that allow all students to take in and process new information and teachers to assess their learning. It includes abundant illustrations, vignettes, sample lessons and units, and adaptations for ELLs and students with special needs.

Resources/articles/apps/videos

1) 5 minute essay plan

5 minute lesson plan

2) Differentiated algebra

Algebra 1.6 factorising linear differentiated

3) Differentiated Food tech

worksheetcook off answers

cook off work sheet

cook off

4) Differentiated learning mats – from TES resourcesDifferentiated learning mats 2 Differentiated learning mats

5) Evaluation and reflection

Effective plenaries

6) Differentiated literacy mats

Literacy mat whole school

7) Mock exam reflection from the TES website

mockexam reflection

8) Strategies for EAL students from TES resource area

strategies for EAL students

 

9) A link to methods of differentiation in the classroom

http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/MethodsofDifferentiationintheClassroom.aspx

10) 80 strategies and techniques for differentiation

https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/The-Differentiation-Deviser-6233159

 

Progress grows through DIRT

Good Practice at Upton: DIRT continues to develop

Geography:Dirt being used with Year 7 in a decision making exercise

 Geog1 Geog2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in Geography using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson plan – Dept Review L6 2015

English:DIRT being used with Year 7 for extended writing, and Jet pack Joyride!

Eng1

 

eng2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in English using the TEEP planning cycle:

English Lesson Plan by SJO

History: DIRT used withYear 7 and Year 10 GCSE on sources

History2history1

 

history3 history4

Food Technology: DIRT used to improve recipes and skills

D&T1D&T2D&T3D&T4D&T5

 

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in Food Technology using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson year 10 Lasagne

 Art: DIRT used in learning conversations

Art1art3

 

 

Maths: DIRT used for homework

Maths dirt 1 maths dirt 2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan and PowerPoint in Maths using the TEEP planning cycle:

sequences lesson plan KSP

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan and PowerPoint in Business Studies using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson plan: bussiness ethics Lesson Plan   PowerPoint: the only way is ethics

Science: DIRT being used at KS4

Science Dirt 1

 

Science Dirt 2

MFL:Good practice with DIRT

mfl1 mfl2 MFL3 MFL4 MFL5

Brain food:

How to help students on in their learning:

moving on map

Too small to read? click on the link to download:

ta1-18-moving-on-maps

Using Lego to show population size and growth:

Brainfood1

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Article of the week: We are not the only school doing it!!

Marking – Effective, Developmental & Time-Saving

A teacher marking a exam paper

Raise the profile – Power to the Students!

Put the students in the driving seat, after all, we love to recognise their hard work so why shouldn’t this become a reciprocal arrangement? Hence the ‘Purple Pen of Power’ A simple, yet effective way to engage and empower students to secure progress. I’m not saying this is unique in our school, because it’s not, however, offering frequent opportunities for all pupils to ‘have their say’ in making progress is proving highly successful.

Purple pen of progress

Pen-holders-e1415964255340The strategy of dedicated improvement and reflection time (DiRT) is a much talked about and covered topic which is proven to be highly effective in encouraging students to play a more active role in your marking of their work and the work of their peers. In essence, it creates an element of accountability for all parties involved in the process. In fact, the purple pen is so loved it’s created quite a stir, as enterprising students have taken it upon themselves to create ‘purple pen holders’ and sell them to teachers, with great success I might add – who would’ve thought DiRT could generate such a buzz!?

I’ve been inspired by the insightful work of David Didau ‘The Learning Spy’ and this is where I came across this very useful feedback flowchart, I recommend reading his blog on this topic. if you haven’t done so already:

Screen-Shot-2013-10-14-at-21.00.51

Developmental and effective = Progress

What does marking look like when it’s effective and secures progress for all learners and of course, how do we achieve the marking nirvana that is; Demonstrating progress over time? or to rephrase the question: how often do you set aside time in your lesson for DiRT and what is the ratio between the time you have taken to mark a students work in comparison to the time they have taken to formulate a response?

DIRT - CPD (1)

Time, workload and having a life!

Talking to staff informally, nationally (usually on twitter), locally (usually at various teachmeets) and of course in my own school context, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that time and work life balance always features highly in the topic of conversation. Marking can be a beast, soaking up hour upon hour and if you’re not careful, one that will catch up with you if you take your finger off the pulse. My opinion is that working smart, and not necessarily hard with your marking will go some way to managing your workload.

So with this in mind, what can we do to ensure that marking remains a high-profile element of the teaching and learning backbone? Firstly, we don’t make excuses for not doing it, instead we work together in an open, supportive forum to develop time-saving and effective strategies which will hopefully reinvigorate that love of marking. Here are a couple of quick snaps I’ve taken to try to capture effective teacher feedback where I feel it strikes the balanced ratio of teacher:student workload. What becomes obvious is that the myth that every piece of work needs to be marked, has been dispelled; yes work has been acknowledged but not necessarily in receipt of feedback which is a token gesture. The reason? because it wasn’t relevant for this particular piece of work, and I think this is the fundamental error that some teachers make – remember it’s okay to simply tick certain pieces of work where feedback isn’t appropriate, don’t make up feedback for the sake of it!

Marking blog

Here is evidence of our staff recommendations in action; teacher marking is in green and student response in purple. Consider when detailed feedback is needed, and ask yourself; does it always have to be you that does it?

In summary:

In an educational landscape where teachers workloads are ever-expanding, we mustn’t lose sight of what’s really important in our role, ensuring all students make progress and marking is a crucial aspect in this process. I think that opening up a creative whole school dialogue, in a non-judgemental and supportive culture is essential in ensuring that marking doesn’t become the elephant in the room. And don’t forget, peer and self-assessment are every bit as important as ‘traditional’ marking.

I’d also like to thank Ross McGill (aka @teachertoolkit) for his relentless and quite profound blogging on this topic, offering such practical resources such as this, the ‘5 Minute Marking Plan’ – helping claw back valuable time with our ever-increasing workloads.

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Recommended Reads

1. Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning by John Hattie

In November 2008, John Hattie’s ground-breaking book Visible Learning synthesised the results of more than fifteen years research involving millions of students and represented the biggest ever collection of eviddownload (1)ence-based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning.

Visible Learning for Teachers takes the next step and brings those ground breaking concepts to a completely new audience. Written for students, pre-service and in-service teachers, it explains how to apply the principles of Visible Learning to any classroom anywhere in the world. The author offers concise and user-friendly summaries of the most successful interventions and offers practical step-by-step guidance to the successful implementation of visible learning and visible teaching in the classroom.This book:

  • links the biggest ever research project on teaching strategies to practical classroom implementation
  • champions both teacher and student perspectives and contains step by step guidance including lesson preparation, interpreting learning and feedback during the lesson and post lesson follow up
  • offers checklists, exercises, case studies and best practice scenarios to assist in raising achievement
  • includes whole school checklists and advice for school leaders on facilitating visible learning in their institution
  • now includes additional meta-analyses bringing the total cited within the research to over 900
  • comprehensively covers numerous areas of learning activity including pupil motivation, curriculum, meta-cognitive strategies, behaviour, teaching strategies, and classroom management.

Visible Learning for Teachers is a must read for any student or teacher who wants an evidence based answer to the question; ‘how do we maximise achievement in our schools?’

Useful links/videos/resources/apps

1) Examples of how to populate the TEEP cycle in History

how-i-have-populated-the-cycle-in-history

2) Becoming a TEEP ambassador school

freebrough-academy-teep-ambassador-school

teep-ambassador-roles-and-responsibilities-2014-final

3) Success is: feeling that tingle of excitement about what you do, sticking with what matters through hard times, living a life you can feel proud of in retrospect. These talks say it all.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/redefining_success 

4) Need a burst of inspiration? Wildly creative thinkers share ideas, strategies and warmhearted encouragement to let your genius out.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/the_creative_spark

5) Top 10 apps from Gary King

See. Touch. Learn.  You can build custom picture card lessons and automatically track students responses. Includes a starter set of stunning, high-quality images and 60 exercises.

EarthViewer. What did Earth look like 250 million years ago? Or 1 billion years ago? Or 4.5 billion years ago? EarthViewer is an interactive tool for tablet computers that allows you to explore the science of Earth’s deep history.

The Phrase Verbs machine.  Here you can find animated illustrations of 100 phrasal verbs set in the circus world of ‘Phraso’ and his friends. Frequently, phrasal verbs can have more than one meaning.  You can find an example sentences in English and the translation into five different languages. Also  included are other meanings when they are useful or necessary to fully understand the phrasal verb.

Flipboard. Flipboard is your personal magazine, filled with the things you care about. You can curate the content to and catch up on the news, discover amazing things from around the world and connect to the people globally.

Orbit Architect. Orbit Architect allows you to interactively design and explore satellite orbital geometry through the multi-touch interface of the iPad. You can manipulate a satellite orbit using pinch and rotate multi-touch gestures, see the effects on the orbit and its ground track in real-time, and animate the results. As you change the orbit, dynamic diagrams will illuminate the meaning of each orbital parameter. Finally, the results can then be emailed to yourself or to a friend. Great for Science lessons!

Solve the Outbreak. Fantastic for global awareness learning. Students get clues, analyse data, solve the case, and save lives! In this fun app they are the Disease Detective. Do they quarantine the village? Talk to people who are sick? Ask for more lab results? The better their answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly they’ll save lives. Students start out as a trainee and can earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.

Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries. Students can soar through the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope, exploring discoveries from dark energy to colliding galaxies. This highly interactive eBook features video, image galleries and more to reveal the record of scientific breakthroughs behind Hubble’s stunning images of the cosmos.

Comics in the classroom. This is an interesting approach to teaching history to children through digital comics, with topics including Pearl Harbour, Florence Nightingale and Jack the Ripper. Children fill in the speech bubbles to prove their understanding of the subjects. Three comics are included, with additional ones available as 69p in-app purchases.

Hakitzu: Code of the Warrior. This entirely-free app wants to teach students to code using the JavaScript language. It’s presented as a game where they build robot warriors and use their coding skills to control them in battles against friends, or in the single-player mode while honing their abilities.

Bump. Lets students and teachers exchange  information, files and videos by touching two devices together. Great for collaborative learning both within and outside the classroom.

6) A presentation on Growth Mindset:

http://prezi.com/mwew0mm3yusy/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

 

Challenge them and change their mindset

 Good Practice at Upton :

Below is a photo of Hannah and Lauren, Year 8, receiving their certificated from Mrs Dixon Headteacher. They took part in delivering a work shop on Feedback using iPads for learning at the SSAT national conference. Well done!

FullSizeRender (9)

In Science Year 7 have been learning about specialised cells and have produced some fantastic models and cakes for a homework task. The photographs are from Mrs Bradbury, Head of Science.

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 Level 1 TEEP training. Presentations on the TEEP journey below by Upton staff, 12/1/15

the journey

journey2

Brain food:

mind1

mindset responses

 

 

waistcoat

 

Learning that tastes good, and gives us that sense of satisfaction after a good meal.  What might the ingredients be?

  • Staples: learning from the teacher – direct instruction; formative feedback in some form;  learning from books; reading aloud; think-pair-share; asking questions; solving problems;
  • Variety: making videos or websites; teaching part of a lesson; making a model or a composition; acting out a role-play; experts and envoys; peer assessment; debates and discussions; designing your own experiment; pre-learning material from online video tutorials; using ‘ExplainEverything’ to produce a short presentation for the class.
  • Tastes: Having the option to respond in a variety of forms; or to choose the topic; or to work at a pace that suits; to create learning independently; to work collaboratively with a group of my choice; to learn through extended open-ended projects with opportunities for doing some things in depth over time.

Pitch It Up. Aim High. Expect Excellence. Demand It.

It’s not one strategy…it’s more a frame of mind; the cumulative effect of the many micro-strategies that result in higher levels of engagement, longer periods of concentration, wider use of vocabulary, better explanations, deeper learning and stronger performances. Click on the link below and watch the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjbL7zW-Wig

The TEEP planning cycle: Common misconceptions

It has been a while since your 3 days of training and since you revisited the planning cycle. Click on the link below to dispel those common misconceptions.

1-Common_misconceptions_about_TEEP

Article of the week:

Using Tests Formatively by

The goal of summative assessment is most often to measure student learning at the end of a topic or unit by comparing it against some ‘standard’ – i.e. a grade or level. Summative assessments – tests, exams, final projects etc. – are often high stakes and ‘one-off’, and in many students this can lead to a ‘fixed mindset‘ approach to them.

On the other hand, the goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning by providing ongoing feedback that can be used by students to improve their learning. This process should help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work, and in the process help teachers identify where extra support/teaching is needed.

What if we could do both at once? Do we have to choose? Isn’t that what the growth mindset is all about?

Possibilities for using a mock exam formatively:

  • Revisit questions answered incorrectly – students go back and improve, then remark!
  • Break questions down and attempt as a rally
  • Get students to mark / coach each other
  • Agree as a class what is required for the marks in advance
  • Use previous papers to help recognise the type of question and the style of answer
  • Identify common misconceptions to address with students – build this in to D.I.R.T
  • Reflect on one’s own teaching of problem areas to identify gaps in teaching /learning
  • Co-construct a WAGOLL by taking the best student answers from each question – groups have ownership of a ‘perfect’ model paper
  • Incorporate quick strategies like a ‘5 minute steal’ or use question tokens during the exam – students can ask you questions but it will cost them a token!

If you’re going to set a mock exam, you might as well make it work for you. I strongly recommend getting into a habit wherever possible of marking mocks quickly enough so that students can act on your feedback in the next lesson, therefore planning your next lesson for you. If this isn’t practical, why not get them to mark their own/each others in class? Some teachers would recoil in horror at the idea (“what if they cheat?”) So what! Let them ‘cheat’ if it helps them learn! After all, we can never go back in time, all we want our students to do is to do better next time.

How do we ensure that students do better next time? Give them the time and opportunity to improve – D.I.R.T or ‘MAD time’ next lesson. Here’s an example of the guidance given to Engineering students the lesson after their recent mock exam:

Summative Assessment used formatively

They then had a good chunk of the next lesson to ensure they went back and improved their score by at least ten marks. Simple, no bother formative assessment leading to progress for the students.

Recommended Reads

1) The Secret of Literacy: Making the implicit, explicit by David Didau

literacy

Literacy? That’s someone else’s job, isn’t it? This is a book for all teachers on how to make explicit to students those things we can do implicitly. In the Teachers’ Standards it states that all teachers must demonstrate an understanding of, and take responsibility for, promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy, and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject. In The Secret of Literacy, David Didau inspires teachers to embrace the challenge of improving students’ life chances through improving their literacy. Topics include: Why is literacy important?, Oracy improving classroom talk, How should we teach reading? How to get students to value writing, How written feedback and marking can support literacy.

mindsets2) Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci

When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students. Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, Mindsets in the Classroom provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential. The book includes a planning template, step-by-step description of a growth mindset culture, and “look-fors” for adopting a differentiated, responsive instruction model teachers can use immediately in their classrooms.

 

Useful links/videos/resources

 1) Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.

2) Execellent examples of starters and plenaries.

https://rgslearning.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/mini-teachmeet-5-starters-and-plenaries/

3) Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

4) What Twitter offers teachers: The evidence

http://www.aare.edu.au/blog/?p=564#comment-3920

5) Blooms Taxonomy revised and high order thinking

teep_a_Blooms_Revised_taxonomypres

Behaviours of effective teachers and learners

Brain food:

Effective Learner Behaviours:

PEEL: Project for Enhancing Effective Learning (www.peelweb.org)

They identified a list of Poor Learning Behaviours

frustrationWhat frustrates teachers most about the way students approach their learning?

Rarely contribute ideas Don’t think about the meaning of what they read or hear
Don’t link different sessions/units Don’t think about why or how they are doing a task
Don’t learn from mistakes in assessment tasks Won’t take responsibility for their learning
Dive into tasks without planning Have no strategies when stuck
Don’t link learning/assessment work with real/work life Don’t believe that their own ideas are relevant
Are reluctant to take risks in creative tasks Are reluctant to edit or check their work
Existing beliefs are not easy to change

They asked teachers what they would like students to be doing instead?

enthusiastic

Seeks assistance e.g.·Tell teacher when and what they don’t understand·Checks work against instructions, correcting errors and omissions Reflects on their work e.g.·Plans a general strategy before starting.·Explains purposes and results.
Checks personal progress e.g.·When stuck, refers to earlier work before asking teacher·Checks personal comprehension of instruction and material.  Requests further information if needed. Links to beliefs and experiences e.g.·Independently seeks further information, following up ideas raised in class.·Seeks links between non-adjacent activities, ideas and between different topics and subjects.
Plans and anticipates e.g.·Checks personal comprehension of instructions and material.  Requests further information if needed·Anticipates and predicts possible outcomes and results Assumes a position e.g.·Suggests new activities and alternative procedures.·Expresses disagreement,  justifies opinions and offers ideas, new insights and alternative explanations

PEEL Procedures aim to:

  • Share intellectual control with students.
  • Look for occasions when students can work out part (or all) of the content or instructions.
  • Provide diverse range of ways of experiencing success.
  • Promote talk which is exploratory, tentative and hypothetical.
  • Encourage students to learn from other students’ questions and comments.
  • Build a classroom environment that supports risk-taking.
  • Use a wide variety of intellectually challenging teaching procedures.
  • Use teaching procedures that are designed to promote specific aspects of quality learning.
  • Develop students’ awareness of the big picture: how the various activities fit together and link to the big ideas.
  • Regularly raise students’ awareness of the nature of different aspects of quality learning.
  • Promote assessment as part of the learning process.

Guy Claxton: Expansive Education at IoE, May 2012: 

A comparison of learning habits in schools (red) and attitudes for the real world (green) indicating that if we wish to prepare our learners with 21st century skills we need to give opportunities to nurture and develop these attitudes.

Guy claxton

Article of the week: Effective Teacher Behaviours: SSAT

Prior Research on Teacher Effectiveness

In the 1960s researchers began to look at the actual behaviours of teachers, using classroom observation in the main, together with surveys asking teachers what they did in the classroom.

Most research has been done in the USA, in the 70’s and 80’s,e.g. Evertson, Brophy and Rosenshine. Studies in Europe include Westerhof,1992, Creemers 1994, Mortimore et al, 1988,Reynolds 1996 .

More recent researchers and writers have reinforced earlier findings on what makes effective teaching e.g.Hay McBer 2000 Research into Teacher Effectiveness: A Model of Teacher Effectiveness pub. DfEE; Hattie, J.A. 2003 Influences on Student Learning; Marzano, R. J. 1998 A Theory-Based Meta-analysis of Research on Instruction; Petty, Geoff 2009 (2nd edition) Evidence-based Teaching pub. Nelson Thornes.

DeBonos HatsFactors associated with higher student achievement

  • Opportunity to learn
  • Focus on teaching/learning
  • Effective behaviour management
  • Effective classroom management
  • Effective direct instruction
  • Individual and small group work
  • Structure
  • Effective questioning
  • Variety of strategies
  • Classroom climate
  • Student achievement

These factors can be grouped under the following headings:

1.Classroom Climate

2.Interactive Teaching

3.Range of Teaching and Learning Approaches

4.Classroom Management

What does this mean in practice?

Effective teacher behaviours are significant: they explain the majority of variance between classroom test gains. Holding all other variables constant, being taught by the most as opposed to the least effective teacher increased a student’s scores by 18% (one to two levels or grades). If the effective behaviours and strategies can be developed in all teachers, then the impact on attainment would be significant.

Effect of a school Vs. A Teacher on Student Entering at 50th Percentile

graphkey

Robert Marzano’s research on classroom management.   A child goes into school at the 50th centile (absolute average in America): if taught by A is still at the 50th centile 2 years later; if taught by B is at the 4th centile; if taught by D is at the 90th centile after 2 years!   This bears out experiences in challenging schools where effective teachers get good results. Expectations and belief are very powerful.

(Robert Marzano 2003, “A quantative synthesis of research on classroom management”)

Recommended Reading

1) Teaching Backwards by Andy Grffithteaching backwards

In an era when schools and teachers often seem to operate at one hundred miles an hour, Teaching Backwards offers a more reflective and measured approach to teaching and learning. Where many teachers focus on delivering content in a linear fashion, those who teach backwards start with the end in mind. This means that they know in advance what levels of knowledge, attitude, skills and habits they expect their learners to achieve, they define and demystify ambitious goals, and they establish their students starting points before they start to plan and teach. Teaching Backwards ensures that learners consistently make great progress over time, and offers a practical, hands-on manual for teachers to further develop their attitudes, skills and habits of excellence both for themselves and for their learners.

This book is the follow-up to the best-selling Outstanding Teaching: Engaging Learners. It is based on the analysis of thousands of hours of primary and secondary lessons, part of Osiris Education s Outstanding Teaching Intervention programme over the last seven years.

2) 100 Things Awesome Teachers Do by Mr William Emeny (Author)

Number 1 bestseller in the Apple iBookstore Education books and Professional and Technical books sections in March 2012! What are other people saying about 100 Things Awe100 thingssome Teachers Do? “I would heartily recommend this book to any teacher – whatever subject you teach, whether you are new to the profession, or if you are looking for new ideas and a chance to reflect on your existing practices.” – Craig Barton is an AST from Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton. “William Emeny’s ‘100 Things Awesome Teachers Do’ is a fantastic book, crammed full of wonderfully unique ideas to engage learners, improve learning and create that buzz about your classroom. The book is separated into 10 key topics, each with 10 innovative ideas. It is thoroughly enjoyable to read and can easily be dipped in and out of as required. As a trainee teacher on the GTP, I have found the ideas Emeny presents invaluable and his passion for teaching shines through in every idea. Every teacher wants to be an awesome teacher; how many of Emeny’s 100 things are you currently doing?” – Paul Collins, Mathematics Teacher New to teaching and want some good ideas? Been in teaching a while and looking for some fresh things to try? 100 Things Awesome Teachers Do is like a breaktime chat between teachers who share things they have found work for them. The book is split into 10 sections including, lesson planning, motivation and engagement, learning environment, learning styles, independent learning and more. Each section has 10 ideas for you to try out. This isn’t a book that focusses how to pull off a single outstanding lesson to please the requirements of a formal lesson observation, although it does help with that! This book is more about getting excellent learning happening in your classroom everyday, day-in day-out. The book is full of tried-and-tested ideas that teachers have learned both from academic research and The University of Life and Experience. Bursting with ideas about things awesome teachers do, this book should give both newbies and seasoned pros something new to try out!

3) Outstanding Formative Assessment: Culture and Practice by Shirley Clarke download

Shirley Clarke provides a wealth of high quality ideas, practical strategies, classroom examples and whole-school case studies for teachers in primary and secondary schools.The most comprehensive of Shirley Clarke’s titles includes extensive examples and realia, in full colour. The book is clearly structured around the ways in which teachers actually teach, with QR coded web video clips to illustrate key points in action.

– Helps teachers create an environment for pupils to be active learners, constant reviewers and self-assessors

– Ensures teachers start and finish lessons effectively by initially establishing their prior knowledge and capturing their interest and finally encouraging pupil reflection to find out what has been learnt and what still needs to be developed

– Develops learning by helping children articulate their understanding and focusing on constant review and improvement

– Focuses on whole-school development including lesson study, assessment policies and stories from outstanding schools

Interesting articles/videos/resources

1. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset:the impact on student progress

2. Green shoots at the grassroots will grow a better profession

http://thenferblog.org/2014/12/16/green-shoots-at-the-grassroots-will-grow-a-better-profession/

3. Thirty Words CPD in 30 Seconds – some great ideas

http://teachertoolkit.me/2015/01/04/thirty-words-cpd-in-30-seconds-by-teachertoolkit/

4. Seating plans: the first link is a video on the importance of seating plans. The second link is a PowerPoint showing how we can identify students by ability, FSM, Pupil Premium, target grade, current grade etc.

https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Seating-plans-6344141/

seating plans_secondary mixed ability groups

DIRT for boys, active learning and differentiation

Good Practice

Dedicated Improvement Reflection Time (DIRT) Resources by Mrs Johns

English Dirt

My Year 11 did a ‘Lego Movie’ ‘Good Cop/Bad Cop’ DIRT response today. Students then ‘Build upon their work’ with the Lego builder Emmit! (See the PDF below- It is still a work in progress!)
Above is a students work as an example, as he is a classic borderline C/D student.
Mrs Johns

Formal Letter DIRT (1) (1)

Click on the links below to see other DIRT resources created by Mrs Johns:

DIRT self assessment

DIRT Peer assessment

DIRT self assessment KS3

Brain Food
Poster by Nana Adwoa Sey. Contest winner.

learningpyramid4

Differentiation – Making it Happen:

Five steps to improve teaching   Explore -> Experiment -> Improve -> Celebrate -> Embed

Explore:Explore the context: Given our course and our students etc, what are the key issues and problems in ensuring success for all? Explore present practice: How do we differentiate at present? Explore the pedagogy :What other learning and teaching strategies could we use to differentiate better?

Experiment:Plan Experimentation and implementation: Decide as a team and as individuals how you will differentiate better.

Improve:Improve and ‘coach-in’ strategies: teachers develop strategies for themselves and the team, while receiving support and coaching from the team and others.

Celebrate:Celebrate Success: Teachers report on their experiments and share their strategies.

Embed:Embed practice: Schemes of work, assignments, worksheets, lesson plans etc are changed to embed the changes

Remember!

  • Only teachers can change teaching
  • Changing teaching is itself a learning process
  • Learning requires support, practice, and feedback

Article of the week: 

Active Learning Works: the evidence by Geoff Petty

“Active Learning? You must be joking, there’s no time for entertainment – I’ve too much content to cover.”

We have all heard such views in staff rooms, yet in official circles active learning remains the orthodoxy. Professors queue up to insist upon it, inspectors require it, and conference speakers chant its praises. Many of us also remember long lectures about its effectiveness during our teacher training! Yes, we all know the theory — but does it actually work in practice? 

Many researchers have asked this question, and have tried a ‘let’s suck it and see’ approach to answer it. These are rigorous control group studies with real teachers in real schools and colleges.

Hundreds, or even thousands of students are divided between:

  • an ‘experimental group’ which is taught with active methods and
  • a ‘control group’: which is taught the same material without active methods.

The control and experimental groups are carefully composed to be identical in their mix of ability, social background, and so on. The control and experimental groups are taught for the same length of time, by the same teachers, or by teachers of the same ability, and the students are tested to see which group has learned best. In study after study of this type, active learning produced much better learning.

Never mind the theory – does it work in practice?

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Active Learning adds a grade and a half to achievement.

Professors John Hattie and Robert Marzano have independently used careful statistical methods to average the findings of many thousands of the most rigorous studies on active learning. Their findings show that, for the best active methods, if you put a student in the experimental group, then on average, they will do more than a grade and a half better than if they had been placed in the control group.

The time the teacher has to teach the topic is not a factor here. Remember that the groups taught with active learning methods were taught for the same amount of time as the control group. While the experimental group was engaged in the active learning methods, the control group was receiving more content and fuller explanations from their teacher. But the control group learned less.

Many teachers say active learning would be great ‘if they had the time’. But the research shows that if you make the time for effective active learning by doing less didactic teaching, then your students will do better. It may seem strange not to be able to say everything you know about the topic you are teaching, but it won’t help if you do. You know too much!

Active learning works best at every academic level. Peter Westwood, summarizing research on how best to teach students with learning difficulties argued for highly structured, intensive, well directed, active learning methods.

What active methods work best?

Any activity will not do. We need to set activities that require students to make their own meanings of the concepts you are teaching, and that get them to practice important skills. Ideally the activity is highly relevant to your goals, is an open task, and is challenging. Lets look at some examples of methods that have done particularly well in these rigorous trials.

‘Same and different’: Tasks that require the learner to identify similarities and differences between two or more topics or concepts, often one they are familiar with, and one they are presently studying: ‘Compare and contrast viral and bacterial infections’

 Graphic organisers: The student creates their own diagrammatic representation of what they are learning, for example in a mind-map, flow diagram or comparison table. They get out of their place to look at other students work, to help them improve their own. Then they self-assess their own diagram using a model diagram provided by you.

 Decisions-Decisions: Students are given a set of cards to match, group, rank, or sequence. For example: ‘rank these advantages of stock taking in order of importance, then sort them by who benefits, customer, business, supplier, or investor. Students are asked to reject your ‘spurious’ cards that do not describe an advantage of stock taking.

Feedback: There are many feedback methods including self assessment and peer assessment. Ask students to decide on what was done well, and what they could improve.

 Hypothesis testing: You give students a statement that is partly true, but partly false: “The more advertising the better”. “Cromwell was religiously motivated”. Then you ask them to work in groups to evaluate the statement. When the groups are finished you get one reason in favour of the hypothesis from each group in turn, continuing until all their reasons have been given. You nominate the member of the group to give the reason and to justify it: ‘why did your group think that?’. When a reason has been given say ‘thank you’ but don’t agree or disagree with it. Repeat for reasons against. When all the reasons are in, ask the class as a whole to try and agree reasons for and against. Then give your thoughts on their ideas.

I expect you can guess why these methods work: they force students to think, and into making sense of what you are teaching them.

Let’s not confuse good explaining with good learning. The delivery of content does not guarantee its arrival. In the end it is perhaps no surprise that students only get good at doing it — by doing it!

References

Hattie, J.A. (2009) ‘Visible Learning a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement’. London: Routledge

Marzano R. Pickering, D. Pollock, J. (2001) “Classroom Instruction that works” Alexandria: ASCD

Petty, G. (2009) ‘Evidence Based Teaching’ 2nd Edition. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes See also www.geoffpetty.com

Westwood, P. (2003) Commonsense Methods for children with Special Educational Needs. 4th Ed. London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Recommended Reads

secrets of teenage brain

1. Secrets of the Teenage Brain: Research-Based Strategies for Reaching & Teaching Today’s Adolescents  by Sheryl G. Feinstein

“Teachers will relate well to the many observations and vignettes about teenagers and will see many of their own students in these descriptions. The science and research-based evidence is explained simply and in easy-to-understand terms with connections to teen behavior clearly established. Readers can easily appreciate how the strategies described in the book link to the neuroscientific findings and research. The newer research, ideas, and supplementary material greatly enhance the book—particularly the new stories, vignettes, and other teaching strategies.” (Barry Corbin, Professor of Education, Acadia University 2009-01-23)

9781408504154 2. Teaching Today by Geoff Petty

This is the best selling teacher training text in the UK because it is so practical. Lots of detail on all the common teaching methods, classroom management etc. Lots of ideas for established teachers not just NQTs.

3. Make it stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown

make it stick

Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the author offers concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners. Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never before encountered and drawing inferences from facts already known. New insights into how memory is encoded, consolidated, and later retrieved have led to a better understanding of how we learn. Grappling with the impediments that make learning challenging leads both to more complex mastery and better retention of what was learned. Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another.

Useful links

1. 5 minute lesson plan

https://www.5minutelessonplan.co.uk/try

2. Blogging for teachers

http://teachertoolkit.me/2014/08/09/10-tips-for-blogging-teachers-by-teachertoolkit/

3. 101 great teachers to follow on twitter

http://teachertoolkit.me/2014/11/30/101-great-teachers-to-follow-on-twitter-by-teachertoolkit/

Literacy, iPads, Middle Boys and much, much more

Brain food

This diagram explaining how to encourage boys to read was designed by Justine Short.

boys-reading11

@Justine1412

You can find lots free and innovative of teaching materials, like the one below, on www.teachingideas.co.uk

Untitled

 Middle Boys Geography Activity by Beth Conner

Just did an activity with my Year 10 focused at middle boys – to say the middle boys enjoyed it would be an understatement! They made headland features out of playdoh, labelled them to understand the process then completed an exam question on it! I’ve taken pictures as evidence for their books. Attached are some of the Middle boys examples.

headland erosion cycle

headlands 2

Article of the week: iPads better for boys?

 DECEMBER 3, 2014

After recently seeing a report on BBC news I found an article published in the Daily Telegraph (1st December 2014) suggesting that iPads could be the “vital new weapon” in improving literacy among boys.  Currently boys consistently achieve lower grades than their female counterparts in exams.   Following examination results in August 2014 the Guardian suggests that although “boys are getting a higher share of A* grades, they continue to fall behind across the board.” (http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/aug/21/gcse-results-2014-biggest-gap-11-boys-and-girls-a-c-pass-rate)

When we look at the A*-C pass rate between boys and girls since 1989 we can clearly see the gender gap:

Boys vs girls exams

However, when broken down into subject specific results the gender disparity is minor for Maths.

Maths

But larger for English

English

In my experience (and this is just my own opinion) the boys that I teach are more practical and hands on.  While the girls are happy to write neatly in their books and read aloud to the class, the boys are fidgeting and wanting to move around the room.  Also, they love to use their phones or gadgets.  So, fast forward to a report from the National Literacy Trust and they actually suggest that “children read for longer and have a better vocabulary when accessing touch screen technology.”  They also found that 24% of boys read stories on screen for longer than they read printed books, compared to 12% of girls.  Although there are warnings from the British Journal of General Practice that we are causing children to be dependent on technology” and weNewspaper article could end up differentiating based on gender performance, could iPads be a part of the solution to close the long debated gender achievement gap?

Original article from the Guardian:

 Recommended Reading

ideas

1. 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding Lessons

In his first book, Twitter phenomenon and outstanding teacher, Ross Morrison McGill provides a bank of inspirational ideas that can be picked up five minutes before your lesson starts and put into practice just as they are, or embedded into your day-to-day teaching to make every lesson an outstanding lesson! In his light-hearted and enthusiastic manner Ross guides you through the ideas he uses on a daily basis for managing behaviour, lesson planning, homework, assessment and all round outstanding teaching. Whether you are an experienced teacher or someone who has little practical teaching experience, there are ideas in this book that will change the way you think about your lessons.

Ideas include: Snappy starters, Open classroom, Smiley faces, Student-led homework, Monday morning mantra and the popular five minute lesson plan.

2. Perfect ICT Every Lesson: Mark Anderson
downloadTechnology is at the heart of learning for all of us and every teacher needs to be using social media, mobile technologies and transformational digital learning opportunities as an integral part of their range of strategies for helping students make the maximum progress. In this book in the Perfect series, Mark Anderson, the ICT Evangelist, takes the technology-related elements of all the recent subject reports from Ofsted and using them offers clear and practical strategies that are proven to be successful in classrooms and offers up ideas for how they can be turned into a daily reality for all teachers. The key subject is the use of ICT, however many other subjects are covered, i.e. the book is applicable to all subject areas across all key stage areas and readers will learn about how ICT can be used in every lesson across both Primary and Secondary phases. Includes: Practical advice and examples set against backdrop of real life examples,practical advice on how to cope with the Esafety aspect of an Ofsted inspection and the use of education hash tags including: EdTech, MLearning, iPaded

3. Boys’ Underachievement in Education: An exploration in selected Commonwealth countries.download (1)

Gender disparity in education has usually been experienced as disadvantaging girls. Now a new phenomenon of boys’ underachievement – both in terms of participation and performance – is appearing in a number of countries. This book reviews the research on boys’ underachievement and presents the arguments that have been put forward to understand its causes. The authors also present new studies from Australia, Jamaica, Lesotho and Samoa; and they use both the research and the evidence from the case studies to explore the causes and policy implications of this trend – the first time a truly cross-regional approach has been applied to the issue. This book will interest all education policy-makers and analysts concerned to ensure gender equality in school education.

Links to useful articles – click on the link and away you go

1.Five things teachers can learn from video games.

http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2014/11/27/5-things-teachers-can-learn-from-video-games/

2. An interesting article on Growth Mindset

http://reflectingenglish.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/growth-mindset-its-not-just-for-christmas/

3. Tips for teaching

http://tips4teaching.co.uk/

4. Starter/Plenary exit ticket-type activity which asks students to draw a picture on an instagram template about “today’s topic” as a starter and then in a plenary to show progress within the lesson. Very popular and effective with my classes. You get some great comments which link to the learning.

https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Instagram-Starter-Plenary-6452538/

5. Lots of resources, tips and ideas

http://www.theteachertoolkit.com/

6. Progress with Socrative

http://ictevangelist.com/progress-in-my-classroom/