Developing strategies and resources in order to improve student progress with a specific emphasis on middle ability boys

Our Policy

“A school is only as good as its teachers. It is teachers who make the difference to children’s life chances…the quest to get more good and outstanding teachers in front of children is a key challenge for all school leaders.” (Perfect Teacher-Led CPD, 2014). To develop our staff we need to continue to get:

  • teachers excited about teaching.
  • teachers talking about teaching.
  • teachers planning and evaluating their teaching together.
  • teachers observing and learning from each other.
  • teachers sharing what works with each other.

“It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert” (Malcolm Gladwell). For teachers this would equate to 10 years teaching. Teachers tend to plateau after 2-3 years. (S. Allison). If most teachers stop getting better after 2-3 years, whereas they should be developing their skills over 10 years to reach expert level, then how do we address the professional development deficit? We need to give staff a range of CPD opportunities that will engage, enthuse and motivate them.

In a survey carried out with our staff for the year 2013-14:

  1. How useful did you find the TEEP training this year? 89% (61 people) found it at least useful. 11% (8 people) did not. This suggests that the majority of the staff value the training.
  2. How useful did you find coaching? 72% (18 people) found it useful. 28% (7 people) did not. Only staff who took part in coaching answered this question. This means that on the whole it was successful and those who did not find it useful either do not feel they need to be coached or need a different coach. It is important that all staff have access to a coach if they want coaching, in order for them to develop further.
  3. How useful did you find the Swap Shop activity? 83% (57 people) found it at least useful. 17% (12) did not. This suggests that the majority of the staff value the sharing good practice in this way.
  4. In the next academic year would you like to:
  5. Get involved in coaching: Just under 6% (4 people) of respondents said they wanted to do this.
  6. Prepare TEEP resources for your department. 61% (42 people) of respondents said they wanted to do this. This is a clear indicator that staff want more time to develop resources.
  7. Continue with opportunities for whole school sharing of resources and ideas. 54% (37 people) said they wanted to do this. Again, this supports the sharing of good practice through swap shops, speed dating and TEEP PEEPS.

From this survey the aims of our school’s CPD are as follows:

Aims:

  • To improve Teaching and learning by embedding TEEP further.
  • To embed e-learning through iPad training for teachers of Years 7 and 8.
  • To ensure that all staff have access to a coach.
  • To give staff time to carry out individual action research which will help develop pedagogy and practice.
  • To give staff opportunities to share good practice.

In terms of an Ofsted judgment, the importance of using CPD to improve the quality of teaching in a school is clear. The 2014 School Inspection Handbook suggests that inspectors will assess ‘how professional development has improved the quality of teaching’, ‘the extent to which leaders’ monitoring of teaching has identified needs and provided targeted pedagogical guidance and support for teachers’ and the nature and impact of performance management’ (Ofsted, 2014:13) In terms of appraisal, schools are expected to:

  1. Set clear objectives for all teachers relevant to their career stage and linked to The Teachers’ Standards.
  2. Put in place appropriate CPD to support teachers with achieving these objectives.
  3. Monitor and evaluate the impact of this CPD and the progress made towards meeting the objectives.

What we said we were going to do: Inset day 21/11/14

Click to enlarge the slides

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This is what we produced

Also look at previous posts with excellent examples of resources shared by Upton staff.

English

One word responses by Mrs McGregor

This powerpoint would be suitable for consolidation of prior learning, and task setting. It requires one-word responses to each slide which could be shouted out (!), or taken round-the-class-without-hesitation, or by no-hands random name selection etc. It includes picture and moving-image stimuli for the boyish “stadium” task. See an examples below.

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Click the link to download the full powerpoint: Descriptive writing do’s don’ts

News paper reports by Mr Crozier:

Media Non-Fiction:

Prepare for learning:Role play activity. Students provided with muted video of Usain Bolt race from London 2012. Students then use their iPad’s to record commentary. Focus here upon using adjectives and adverbs.

Agree Learning Outcomes: Students highlight key stylistics features from newspaper report upon race. Use this to create personalised success criteria for producing a report.

Present New Information: Students create pic-collage of key words and terminology to be included in report.

Construct Meaning: Slow writing activity. Students given strict guidelines about parameters of opening paragraph in order to guide effective construction.

Apply to Demonstrate: Students then complete their article.

Review: Students use own success criteria in order to review success and purple pen their work.

Social Media and middle boys Produced by Mrs Johns, Miss McKevitt and Mr Waite:

This is a lesson aimed at middle ability Year 9 boys, using social media and current trends to inspire them.

Prepare for learning:What do these words have in common: hashtag, selfie, YOLO, bae, like? Which of these might be the odd one out?

Agree Learning Outcomes:To explore, discuss and analyse the impact of social media on the way we communicate.

Present New Information: Ask the question, which is the most commonly used word by children for 2015. Read the hashtag article in ‘The Guardian’ article if set 1 and ‘BBC News’ version if in set 2.Discuss what you think is going on in the video? Play Katy Perry WhatsApp version without sound. See if you can work out what the video is/ where it’s from. Discuss the impact of social media- is it easy to comprehend?

Construct Meaning:Look at an example of social media and its impact on spoken English e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, kik.

Apply to Demonstrate:How do we communicate using different social media apps? What are pros and cons of WhatsApp, Twitter etc. Feedback findings to rest of the class

Review:Write their own sentence(s) about the impact social media has had on spoken English, using the features of social media communication. E.G. Write a sentence about what they have learned today, using hashtags.

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Click on the links to download the resources: Lesson 6 (Hashtags) Social Media Grid Social Media Screens

Mr Doherty:

English and reading. Getting boys to read for a length of time is a challenge:

  1. 30 second sound bite
  2. Create a hero/villain character profile – this could be considered alongside. Interpretations and the importance of factors
  3. 3 fascinating facts from this book(or topic/chapter etc

Geography

Ideas from the Geography team

Geography tarsia

Geography Tarsia

 

Flooding wordmix: Click to download: Flooding wordmix (2)

 

Flooding word mix

 

Click to download coastal features match up cards: Coast Features Match Up Cards

Kinaesthetic activities by Miss Connor

Attached are photos of my Middle boys ideas. The focus is on kinaesthetic: use of playdoh, Lego, making pop-ups and card sort competitions.

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History

Mr Petty

He started his reflections on middle boys by pondering what is the problem.

  • Understanding?
  • Disinterest?
  • Lazy?

APT

 

The solution was he did a rough draft paragraph and selected the best (e.g. examples that were approaching the correct standard – didn’t need to be perfect) and used this to Single/Pair/Share. A simple solution to get progress from one lesson to the next. He chose not to share writing which was below standard. Good AfL benefits middle boys. The examples were used to give the criteria of a good answer. It aims to motivate and inspire some of the bottom half of the class who may be lazy/disaffected to aim higher with work. This is an example of the good students work that was shared in the class.

Miss Main:

Using jigsawing:

  • Students enter expert groups
  • They then move to new groups to share knowledge
  • They then return to expert groups to explain what they found

A better explanation can be found here

http://www.learningspy.co.uk/learning/the-expert-approach-to-group-work/

Kids learn enormous amounts from this activity: it develops skills of oracy and of turn taking; they also learn predominantly from each other. Your are not involved in any way other than as a facilitator, and as such, it is a serious, über-constructivist, Ofsted pleaser.

Phil Beadle[i]

Mrs Vianello:

  1. Empathy skills use your senses to describe a source
  2. Particularly good for challenging sensitive topics – Good for engagement
  3. This activity forces students to slow down when looking at a source with depthAVI

Target circle: agree to disagree. Which facts would you place in which parts of the circle. This can be used as an alternative method of essay planning.

AVI2

 

Mr Mulhall:

Set the room up into the number of groups needed. Give the students an information pack with details from 5 aspects of learning. Then move around the room and place the piles into the correct table and return to your home table. Once students have all of the sources for their topic students turn that information into a mind map, they then can attach this to an exam question. This can also be used for revision.

SML

Miss Suter:

Moving middles boys from a 5 – 6. Many middle boys don’t like writing, and some of her class are scared of attempting higher level thinking. Focus has been on variation and chunking of activities, appealing to a range of learning styles.

The first resource is my Factory Act lesson which I have shard with you before. The second is my introduction to slavery lesson. The pictures on the slide are cut up into cards but can also be distributed as one big A3 sheet. I’ve also included an extension task and the writing boxes though to save paper the activity could easily be done in books. Both lessons worked well.

Slavery lesson – describe the pictures, explain context, how could these pictures be used by a supporter. The scaffolding behind the question allowed them to reach high level skills stealthily.

ESUESU 2

Maths

Mr B. Jones: Ball pit race

I have two boxes, each containing plastic play balls numbered 1 to 50. Classes are split into two teams, sometimes by gender and sometime just a random split. Questions are posed to the team, and not only do they have to find the answer, they then have to find the correct ball in the ball pit.

On occasions I have just used one set to play a game. Again they are split into two teams and each team member has a number. I call out a pair of numbers and give them a question. They then have to find the correct ball. A point is awarded to the team whose player has found the ball first.

Click to download Ball pit race

Modern Foreign Languages

Strategies and resources for motivating middle to lower ability boys:

  1. Information gathering from posters around the classroom. Students have to work in groups and one member at a time moves around the room to find the relevant information and then relays it to the rest of the group. The first team to find all the information wins.
  2. Bingo cards, laminated cards with foreign language questions or information. Students take it in turns to play the role of ‘bingo caller’ to test their knowledge.
  3. Lotto sentences to learn new vocabulary and sentence structures – a more complicated version of bingo!
  4. Word dominoes, students must match the image to the language.
  5. Teacher made online quizzes on websites such as quizlet.com. Scatter games which are timed and encourage students to compete.
  6. Game of slam on the IWB, images are displayed and the screen is frozen. Two students come to the board and the winner is the first one to correctly ‘slam’ the image the teacher says in the target language.
  7. Using mini whiteboards to extend sentences or write draft sentences that students can hold up to the teacher for immediate, regular feedback and praise.
  8. Include factual information e.g students have to create a weekly school canteen menu the target language. Each item of food and drink has a nutritional value and students are given parameters to organise their menu. Students are also given prices and have to stick to a budget.
  9. Grand national plenary slide. The horse will move forward if the student correctly answer the question. Promotes challenge.
  10. Reading comprehensions, number each line of text and question students on the content. The numbers help the boys to focus and encourage them to read the text.
  11. Pictionary on mini whiteboards to learn new vocabulary. Teacher says the sentence and students draw the image or item of vocabulary.

Music

Composition is like a car by Miss C. Thompson:

This resource is aimed at middle boys who are taking GCSE music and it focuses on structuring composition – “Composition is Like a Car”.

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Click to download Year 10 Composition

Name that note by Miss Stevenson:

The musical stave is laminated are so are the notes, which can be moved anywhere on the stave and  are stuck on with blue tack. The staves are stuck up around the room and pupils get into groups of 4/5. I write 5 letters on the board and taking it in turn each member has to put the note in the correct place on the stave. Once all five notes have been placed, one member of the group has to play the notes on the keyboard and try to work out what the piece of music is from the first 5 notes. The first group to place the notes in the correct place and correctly identify the song gets a point. The first group to get three points wins.

Design and Technology

To help raise the attainment of middle and lower boys we have done several things as a department

KS4: Started the coursework earlier – this is allows us more quality interim assessment time and student more time to do DIRT.

KS4:  Coursework choices are fewer and more focussed – resourcing and support materials can be better planned.

KS3&4: Where students are struggling, teachers are asked to ‘bridge the gap’ for them – this allows them not to fall behind whilst continuing to make progress – attendance at after school club may be insisted on.

KS4: Where students are seriously struggling teachers are asked to provide them with a rigid framework for their coursework – attendance at after school club may be insisted on.

KS3&4: Exemplar materials are used regularly so that students can view the standards they are trying to achieve.

KS3&4: Some students are provided with individual assistance by our DT Technician.

KS3&4: We have produced Key terms lists and definition so that students can make better progress with the annotation of their coursework.

A great template produced by Mrs Melville

Click to download: TEEP planning_template.potx (2)

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Religious Studies

Active learning by the RS team

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CPR traininf for middle boys

 

CPR training for middle boys 2

Click to download: RS strategies for middle boys

Science

Light from stars by Mr Caine:

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Click to download: ACI PPT basics for middle boys

SSSHWEET SWAP by Mrs Bradbury:

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Click to download the full powerpoint:EBR SWEET SWAP

Family Fortunes by Mrs Woodward:

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Click to download: Family fortunes KWO

Problem solving by Mrs Skutter:

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Click to download: KSC starter and plenary idea

Ideas researched by Mrs Rogers:

In verbal tennis the students develop skills of listening and responding to each other in pairs. In the first two films, the teacher introduces the task, then in each pair one student begins by naming an animal and the other student has to respond with another animal. The task then becomes more focused, the students have to listen more carefully and think of an animal that is related in some way. Click on the link to find out more:

www.pstt.org.uk/ext/cpd/argumentation/unit1-verbal_tennis.php

Listening triads. A useful structure for enabling students to discuss alternative positions, such as those portrayed in concept cartoons, is through students working in groups of three, or ‘listening triads’. The structure is inclusive, as each member of the group has an active role, it also provides an opportunity for students to ‘take turns’ and listen carefully to each other. The teacher can monitor the discussions by listening in to see how ideas are expressed and questioned. There is also a record of the discussion for the students to take forward. Click on the link to find out more:

www.pstt.org.uk/ext/cpd/argumentation/unit1-listening_triads.php

Models by Mr Bell:

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Click to download the powerpoint:MBE Middle Boys Models

Just a minute by Mr Rutter:

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Click to download: MRU Just a minute

Revision by Mr Skilling

Key Stage 3 revision Game.

1 .Each table of 3 or 4 are a team.

  1. Each team go through their exercise books and find a key word from the topic you’re revising.
  2. “Spokesperson” from the group comes to you at the front of the class and adds their keyword to your list. (AFL)
  3. Class are then given all the key words as a spelling test with the words going onto a mind map diagram. (AFL)
  4. Each group then picks a number from 1 to 10 from the list of the key words you’ve jumbled up.
  5. Depending on the key word chosen the group prepares a 3 min explanation of what the word means and explaining it with relevance to the lesson. They can use their ipad to prepare this. The “spokesperson” will then explain this to the class.
  6. All groups prepare a revision “Mind map” of all the information presented by the 10 groups.

I’ve tried this with a year 7 and 8 group and it went great, very useful for students. Middle attaining boys seem to respond well to this as they like the challenge aspect and being in control as the key words they generate determines the lesson content (within reason !!).  The benefit of you being in control of the key word list is you can add or amend this to cover the work you best think the students need.

Play your cards right by Ms Kam

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Click to download play your cards right mka

Grouping with cards by Mrs De Costacards

Use the playing cards to sort the pupils into groups for group work. You could either use pairs, groups of 4 (same number or same suit) For more able pupils I ask them to make their group up to a certain number

(make sure you sort the cards first so this works)  If odd numbers add in a joker and they can pick their own group.

Interactive graphs by Mr Warwick

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Click to download post it graphs MWA

Choice and challenge activities by Mr Gorman

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Click to download PGO C1-choice-and-challenge-activities

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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.

vine

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:

image3 image4 image2

 

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)

review triangle

 

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.

 

IMG_0620 IMG_0621 IMG_0623 IMG_0624

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)

IMG_2471

 

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.

IMG_0056

 

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.

cymbals

 

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.

image

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.

roleplay1

 

 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!

 

Differentiation: ideas and resources on it and for it!

Brain food

Do we have fixed intelligence and ability?

image

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 20.21.26

 

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.

2013-07-01_0001

 

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

 

Becoming an Apple RTC, our first training event and an interactive plenary board

 Good Practice at Upton:

We have been designated with Apple Regional Training Centre status and we are now CHESTER RTC

What is an Apple Regional Training Centre (RTC)?

The RRTC5egional Training Centre programme is to provide teachers with training, expertise and access to best practice to support their use of Apple technology in the classroom. The programme brings together a wide community of experienced educators and experts who provide free and easy access to Apple’s creative learning technologies.

Every RTC has unique skills, a different curriculum or subject focus but all share the same objectives:

  • To provide a focus on pedagogy, for sharing best practice and gaining skills
  • To introduce planned, effective, digital solutions to schools using Mac and iPad
  • To train teachers to use Apple’s tools and help enable active and transformative teaching within the classroom.
  • To support, enhance and transform teaching and learning outcomes

The RTC Programme is a community programme and as such the ethos is about sharing learning experiences and knowledge between peers. The RTCs in the UK are learning-hubs within local regions, promoting collaboration and the sharing of resources and practices.
Having achieved RTC status in 2015 we are honored and privileged to share our success story and knowledge with our educational colleagues.
All the Apple technology courses we offer at Upton-by-Chester are free to attend for any of our educational colleagues.  The RTC program allows us to share with others the successful iPad implementations we have undertaken.  We are excited and proud with what we have so far achieved with Apple Technologies in the classroom and welcome all those, at whatever stage along their own journey to come and see how we do things.

Our first training event: Literacy and the iPad – 27th January 2015

Below, teachers from our local primaries exploring apps which improve literacy.

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Opposite, Primary staff exploring the use of QR codes to enhance literacy skills.

This session explored how the iPad can aide and work alongside traditional teaching methods to deliver literacy to all Key Stages. It was well attended with over 30 delegates.

Course Schedule

All courses begin at 4pm, with coffee and registration from 3:30pm.  We have WiFi access for those bringing their own iPad or for those who don’t we are happy to provide one for session.

Numeracy and the iPad – 26th February 2015

Science and the iPad – 24th March 2015

Programming and the iPad – 29th April 2015

The iPad in SEN – 12th May 2015

The iPad in MFL and EAL – 23rd June 2015

Creativity and the iPad – 14th July 2015

RTC Official Launch – TBC

We are in the final stages of organizing our RTC launch event which will be run in conjunction with Apple and JTRS.   The event will give attendees a chance to understand the RTC programme and what it offers, hear what Apple have planned for the future.  The event will also feature breakout sessions for our educational colleagues to understand more the benefits of Apple Technology in the classroom.

Skype in the classroom: Upton students have world at their fingertips

Learning geography simply from maps and atlases could be outdated for school students. Upton-by-Chester High school students closed their books and took to Skype to learn about and identify a specific place in Sri Lanka.

Students on both sides of the world were able to ask questions of each other to identify their country, city and school.

Mrs Mitchell, Geography Teacher, said the Skype session was one in a series of lessons which aimed to help students learn about the world by expanding their learning opportunities beyond the traditional confines. “Technology has allowed students to practice skills such as mapping, using sources i.e. atlases and Google maps and identify what information they need to guide their search for a school,” she said.

The ‘Skype in the Classroom’ project is giving students the opportunity to connect with students in classrooms around the world. It is a fantastic cultural exchange from the convenience of the classroom and an amazing enriching development for Geography.

skype1skype2

 

Brain food 

Geography QR code display: very interactive

BTtcV-3CIAA_umS

 

WWW and EBI Bookmarks

As title states, adapt some lines for other subjects this is intended for use in Maths: click on the link for them in PowerPoint.Peer-Assessment-Bookmark (1)

Capture1

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‘I helped’ stickers in use in maths:

maths stickers

Article of the week

The Interactive Plenary Board January 24, 2015

After 3 weeks of working on it here and there since the beginning of term, the Interactive Plenary Board is finally complete.

I’m really pleased with the results plus the kids are enjoying it so far.

It built up slowly, going from this…

plenary1

 

to this…

plenary-board

 

I now have peer assessment guidance and have identified what WWW and EBI stands for as no matter how many times we do it somebody ALWAYS has to ask what it means. I’ve also printed off smaller versions of the tickets with WWW and EBI guidance on the back to support learners in writing appropriate feedback.

So far I’ve only really been able to use it with year 8 since year 7 are currently working on their Dangerous World project; they’ve been completing Exit Tickets each lesson to demonstrate their understanding so far.

Year 8 however are engaging with the activities and particularly like the social media based ‘Assess’ activities. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing however!

Since I only see my classes twice a week so far reminding them of the new procedures when they finish the main part of the lesson has been important. Encouraging them to choose a suitable task for the time left e.g if they’ve 10 minutes to go they should choose an ‘Extend’ task; whereas if they have 5 minutes they should pick an ‘Assess’ task or roll a plenary to decide on the plenary task. The ‘Reflect’ tasks I feel need more direction, so I’ll be the one to decide when they do these, once they have practised them a number of times they should hopefully be able to recognise how long they need and choose accordingly.

Under the roll a plenary board, there is a folder with additional activities such as key word and definition match up games and top trumps. These are for pupils to practice what they are learning, most of which have been created by the kids as part of their homework and sometimes classwork.

You can find out more about where some of the resources came from here and here.

Thanks for reading.

Recommended reads

1) Don’t change the light bulbs: A compendium of expertise from the UK s most switched-on educators by Various Contributors (Author), Rachel Jones (Editor)

Change the Light Bulbs’ offers tips and hints on how to be the best teacher you can be, dont change the lightand is written by some of the most respected leaders in education today. It covers primary, secondary and post 16 phases, in addition to cross curricular sections on leadership, ICT, inclusion, creativity, SEN and tutoring. It also presents the practical advice of those who have been there and done it and who now want to share their collective wisdom with you. The aim of which is to make education better, not just in your classroom but for everyone.

Useful links/resources/articles/apps

1) Geoguessr – a website where you can be transported to anywhere in the world that Google has mapped. Students can then explore and guess where they are.

2) Pictureteller – a great way to create photo slideshows. You can add effects and audio to create videos that you can embed, link to or download.

3) Mixlr.com – Use Mixlr to create your own school radio station!

4) Hopscotch – The ipad version of scratch. A great app for doing basic programming on your iPad (Martin claimed it was even better than scratch!)

5) Streatview Stereographic – Create maps of anywhere that Google has mapped using street view and display as a mini world. Great for geography activities whether that’s the local area or furtherafield.

See more at: http://www.mediacore.com/blog/teachmeet-london-inspiration-ideas-and-lots-of-resources#sthash.Y47wZQfm.dpuf

6) Rachel Walker from Chilton Trinity School explains how she encourages the use of props for more effective revision.

http://www.cpdforteachers.com/resources/Effective-Revision-Using-Props

7) Assessment Marking Grid for my year 9 DME – this could be edited to meet the needs of your class.

DME-Sticker-for-books

iPad bumper edition

Good Practice at Upton :

A positive response from Upton Parents on iPads for learning December 2014

My child feels more motivated to work, with their iPad than without it:

IMG_1135Year 7 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 92% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He loves it. It really taps into what kids are into and so encourages him to want to learn more. It’s easier to research topics, and present in a more interesting way. She is able to research and find out things for herself at home. If I don’t know the answer we can find it together. (Work by Jemma Year 7)

The iPad is helping my child to improve the quality of their work.

Year 7 Parents: 87french% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He can add more detail, spell check his work, use the online dictionary, thesaurus and include pictures. She has a world of knowledge at her finger tips so she is able to put a lot of detail into her work – an extension of what she learnt in school. (Work by Jessica Year 8)

 

My child is making better progress with the iPad than without it.

Year 7 Parents: 83% Strongly agree/agree  history

Year 8 Parents: 88% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He is more motivated so he is working harder and so making greater progress. Probably because it is more convenient than using different books and of course technology is a major part of life today.The speed of what she is learning has increased. Teachers explain to her how to improve on Showbie and so she can improve her work before the next lesson. (Work by Dan Year 7)

I think that my child’s achievement has improved since they received their iPad.

nateYear 7 Parents: 82% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 86% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: His grades have improved because he is more motivated. She is able to work on her own and so has improved at a faster rate. Rosie is improving in most lesson because she using her ipad. My child is keen to undertake the challenge of using the new technology to work with.

 

I feel that my child is able to work more effectively with the iPad than without it.

Year 7 Parents: 86% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He enjoys learning now. The world at her finger tips! I think my daughter loves working on her iPad. He can research independently. My child is more organised.

My child is able to work more with others with the iPad than without it.friends

Year 7 Parents: 88% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 92% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He can share work using air drop. She can share ideas using iMessage and email. The little video’s they produce from team work are really good. He tells me that he shares his work with others in class. I have seen examples of his work in the ipad news letter too. He also showed me some apps that he uses with a partner.

I am happy for my child to use the iPad regularly in their learning.

Year 7 Parents: 97% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 95% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: It is why we chose Upton High. Helps with their learning alongside written work & books. I think it makes learning more exciting, accessible and appropriate for the time we live in. I am happy for iPad to be used along side traditional teaching rather than a replacement. (Work by Dan Year 7)

Brain food:

  • A study from the National Literacy Trust and Pearson, published last month, suggested that touchscreen computers were particularly useful in helping boys and poorer pupils to learn to read.
  • It showed children in poorer households were particularly likely to read on touchscreen computers rather than printed books.
  • Another study from Ofcom last year showed how tablets have spread quickly within families with children. About 70% of five to 15-year-olds had access to a tablet at home.

Exposure to technology – a timeline:

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Article of the week:

15 Unique and Creative Ways to Use iPads in the Classroom by teachingwithipad.org (1 by me JKE!):

Here are some great new ideas to use your iPad in your classroom. The iPad, as we all know, is a great tool for education. We are hoping that you can use at least a few of these new and creative ideas.

1. Use your iPad as a document camera with the Stage Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera.

With this app, and the help of a dedicated, or DIY, mount you can use your iPad as a document camera, annotate over anything you set under the camera, and even record what you show. Got another $10? Make your own microscope attachment for up to x175 magnification!

 Stage Interactive (1)

2. Review almost any academic topic using the Quizlet app (FREE).

Quizlet is a completely free resource that allows you to create flashcards for your students. Interactive games can also be done on the web. Project them for great review as a class! An optional Teacher account with extra features is available. Students can also practice individually at home for review for upcoming tests. You do not necessarily need the app, as it is a web-based service as well. Run it straight from your browser.

flash cards

quizlet

3. Use your iPad as a “game show” – style soundboard.

Play review games (with the aide of technology or without) and use special sound effects in your class using apps such as Game Show Sound Board.

game show

4. Build Posters using great photography apps like Diptic, Pic Collage and Over.

Have lots of interesting photos to share? Stitch them together using these apps, print them off to display in your classroom! Your students can create poster projects containing multiple images displaying what they have learned. Students and teachers can then add text using the Over app.

photo

5. Use your iPad as a music playlist manager.

Do you sing and/or listen to a lot of songs in class? You can choose to use iTunes to create playlists but did you know that you can easily create playlists in YouTube as well? Find essentially any song you wish on YouTube and play it on your iPad! Better yet, use apps such as Musi to stream your music if you have a strong wifi signal, orInstatube to save your music for offline viewing/listening.

you tube

6. Use your iPad as a classroom management tool

Use visuals on your projected iPad with the app Silent Light ($3.99).

The iPad will monitor noise levels and you as a teacher can set what level is appropriate for each particular activity. Set a goal for points your class to achieve to earn rewards.

traffic light

7. Create a special effects movie with the Doink green screen app.

Recreate your favorite Sci-Fi movies or your own mini blockbuster with the aid of a green sheet and this innovative app. Film your scene in front of a green screen, then layer your background on top if it to create an awesome special effect! Export your video to the Camera Roll and it is ready to be edited further or combined with more clips in iMovie. You might also want to take a look at the Action Movie FX app.

green screen app

8. Record Podcasts with USB Mics.

The iPad is a great multimedia device, but the microphone is not of the highest quality for recording professional sounding audio in video or for podcasts. However, with the help of Apple’s Camera Connection Kits, you can connect good quality USB mics and other peripherals to use with your iPad.

camera connector

9. Create multimedia eBooks with Book Creator.

One of the best uses for the iPad in education is digital storytelling apps, and they don’t come much better than Book Creator for iPad. Over 3 million multimedia eBooks have been created with just this app! You can add text, images, video, audio and more. Choose from over 50 fonts, draw your own illustrations, and send your finished product to iBooks, Dropbox, or share by email. Try it out for free!

book creator

10. Let the iPad choose!

Ever have trouble deciding who gets to answer in class? I still see teachers with a can of 25 names on Popsicle sticks with their students names on them. The iPad can choose names randomly.

Also, Do you have difficulty choosing people for group projects? There are various apps that can do this for you. Check out Pick Me! ($1.99), which can keep a standing record of correct and incorrect responses that the students give. The app is able to choose, based on their individual percentages of correct answers, leveled, random and balanced groups.

Read: Let the iPad choose! It’s the fair way!

choose

11. Capture metacognition with Explain Everything.

We talk a lot about differentiated instruction, but not enough about differentiated assessment. Using Explain Everything ($2.99), students can show you (and tell you!) what they know in a way that works for them. Explain Everything is a screencasting app that allows students to “annotate, animate, narrate, import and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.” Whether students demonstrate their understanding of a math concept, summarizing skills, or phonemes, Explain Everything allows you to capture students’ thoughts while viewing their work.

explain1

explain2

12. Share your students’ learning experiences with families and other schools using Instagram.

Looking for an easy way to share your classroom with families and other educators? JoinInstagram (for free)! Using the iPad’s camera, you can capture photos and videos to quickly post to Instagram, where families and other educators can celebrate your students’ learning right along with you.

Read: How to use Instagram’s great features without its social sharing issues

instagram

13. Augment reality with Layar or Aurasma.

Augmented reality can change the way your students see the world by offering additional digital information to real objects that can only be seen via apps like Layar (free) orAurasma (free). Post a blank map or timeline, where teachers and students can add different types of multimedia content that can be viewed depending on age, ability, and/or curriculum.

augment

augment1

14. Collaborate with other classrooms using video conferencing and Subtext.

We should never let our students think that their classroom is just the four walls around them. It is essential that students know that the world is their classroom, and the iPad is a great way for students to connect and collaborate with students anywhere in the world. Whether students video conference with FaceTime or Skype (both free) to discuss a book in they read together in Subtext (a social reading app), or to do a Mystery Skype, the iPad opens doors to collaborative learning experiences for students of all ages.

Read: Use Facetime in class.

mystery skype

15. Look at good practice in our school. This one is by me. Click on the link below to see examples on uptoni:

https://uptoni.wordpress.com/

Recommended Reads

1) iPad in Education For Dummies by Sam Gliksman

It′s easy to bring the incredible iPad experience to your classroom today! The iPad is a natural fit for education in the 21st century, and this straightforward, full–color guide shows you just how to deploy it effectively in your educational institution. From understanding how iPads can be used for different learning styles to managing idownloadPad content and classroom use, finding the apps to complement your curriculum, creating interactive lessons, and beyond, author Sam Gliksman, a sought–after consultant on integrating technology in schools, answers all your questions. Helps teachers and administrators see how to use iPads effectively in different grades, classroom settings, and curriculum levels Explains iPad′s built–in media features and the importance of multimedia in modern education Explores iPad best practices, tools, and apps for a successful iPad program in your school Shows how the iPad can be used as a valuable tool for research, collaboration, communication, creativity, and discovery Provides tips and guidance on keeping information updated, managing content, and taking advantage of the iPad as a learning tool iPad in Education For Dummies is your guide to using the world’s most popular tablet to inspire and educate your students in a whole new way.

2) Top 10 UK education Blogs:

The full list: (last Updated 15/01/2014) – click here to visit the page.

  1. @TeacherToolkit
  2. @Learning Spy
  3. @headguruteacher
  4. @HuntingEnglish
  5. Learning from my mistakes: an English teacher’s blog
  6. @johntomsett
  7. Scenes From The Battleground
  8. Geoff Barton’s Pick ‘n’ Mix
  9. ClassroomTM
  10. Tabula Rasa

Useful links/videos/resources

1) Free online textbooks from top private school. Read the full article by clicking on the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30832938

2) Used by thousands of teachers worldwide, Teacher Guide to iPad includes over 500 ideas for lesson activities using iPad across all age groups. 200 Video tutorials walk through apps, ideas and skills in small, manageable sections. Plus pupil work examples, labelled guides and links to resources that have all been tried and tested in school. Click on the link below.

http://www.ilearn2.co.uk/ipadteachers.html

3) ipadteachers.org is a website where teachers and education professionals can share ideas about making the most of the use of iPads in the classroom. Hosted by Hove Park School in Brighton, England, our site aims to share the experiences of our teachers as well as providing links to interesting blogs and articles from around the world. We also welcome direct contributions from any teachers who are excited about the positive impact iPads can make to learning.

http://ipadteachers.org/

4) Ideas and resources for using the ipad for learning

http://teachingwithipad.org/

5) Developing digital leaders

http://www.educate1to1.org/digital-leaders-ipads-school-education-11/

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