Upton WOW lessons and behaviour management

Good Practice:

As usual, staff at Upton have been producing  fantastic lessons – or WOW lessons which have motivated and engaged our students:

Englishpoetry

Mr Crozier has developed resources on exploring unseen poetry and has clearly linked progress to the GCSE mark scheme. Click on links the to view:Lesson planPoetry Comparison lesson He also produced an interactive Poetic Technique quiz:Poetic Techniques Grid

Mrs Johns produced an excellent lesson on short story writing in preparation for an assessment. Click on the links to view:Year 8 short story assessment lesson 2 slow writingYear 8 lesson planYear 8 short story assessment lesson 2 slow writing

 

 

 

Mr Euson developed this lesson  in order to help Year 10 to write a comparative essay about two poems that they had studied.​​​ Click on the link to view:Stealing by Carol Ann DuffyStealing by Carol Ann Duffy

RS

Miss Summers has produced an outstanding iPad lesson and excellent resources on an introduction to understanding racism click on the links to view:Introduction to RacismIntroduction to RacismLesson plan

 

Maths

Mrs Christianson: The first part of the lesson was corrections on simultaneous equations and then a DIRT extension task on a PowerPoint of harder simultaneous equations. All in purplimage1e pen. The second part was an A3 revision sheet with questions all over it, levels given, and written. Students chose where to start, could answer on the sheet or in books. If they got stuck they had to use their books, ask a friend and finally ask me. The plenary was a tricky level 8 question. This was a second set so it was challenging for them.

MFL 

Mrs Stanisstreet: Here are the first few slides that I used with my Year 10 who I was observed with.  The first one involves them matching up the headlines to the pictures for new innovations in technology.

Slide1The extension was that they could try to work out the whole headline.  Then then had to say how often they did certain activities relating to technology such as downloading music.  The third slide was cut up into strips.  Each student had their own name and they had to move around the classrooSlide2m to find which student in the class had each of the other questions by asking the questions and receiving a ‘sí’ or ‘no’ response.  The inspector really praised the quality of the spoken Spanish that the students were producing in the lesson, their written work and their progress over time by use of the PPP and departmental coding system in their books. Click on the link to view: Gadgets and comparisons

   Slide3

History 

Miss Suter: Produced an excellent and stimulating lesson on  how the holocaust is presented in school text books. Click on the links to view the resources: 9X1 Holocaust text booksRepresentations of the Holocaust 9X1How is the Holocaust represented in school text booksSlide1

 Science

Mrs Bradbury produced an interactive and highly motivating revision lesson for Year 11. Click on the links to view:Slide03 Science lessonlesson 1 11Y1AS revision unit 2 1

 

She also produced an excellent lesson using DIRT, TAP and used collaborative learning techniques. Click on the links to view:Science lesson Y8Lesson 7 – Essential plants Year 8 lesson 1,

Slide3

History

Miss Wragg produced an lesson where students investigated the reasons why Boscastle was flooded. Click on the link to view:Lesson 4 JWA Boscastle 1

Slide02

 

 PSHE

Mr Keegan delivered lessons on Human Rights and a Self-concept lesson which incorporated the use of ipads. Both lessons measured progress throughout using self assessment (see below). Independent and collaborative learning skills were developed through the activities. Click on the links to view:Human Rights L1 (1)Human rights lesson planSelf ConceptSelf-concept lesson plan

human-rights-l1-1

 

CCqGI6CXIAAqD0L

Brainfood

Interesting facts about the teenage brain. Click to enlarge:

Understanding-the-Teen-Brain-Infographic-1000x4672

 

Article of the week

Planning to Get Behaviour Right: Research Plus Experience

 

“The area of discipline surfaces so often in all work in schools that we gave it its own category in the analysis of the questionnaire.  Staffs are obsessed with it.”                                                                                                       

(Canavan, 2003, p. 180)

Staff’s “obsession” with discipline, identified by Canavan (2003) above, is possibly borne out of a reality in which the level of discipline, in the school or class room, has arguably the biggest impact on the quality of our daily lives, working environment and well-being.  It is often cited as a reason why teachers, young and old, decide to quit the profession.  Students may well feel the same about the impact of behaviour on their working day.

Do you have a “Keep ‘Em In” or a “Kick ‘Em Out” type of approach to School Discipline?

Behaviour - Keep Them In or Kick Them Out

What’s important is that we clearly think through our belief system about school discipline and looked at some research about what actually works.  Over time this research can be contextualised alongside what works in the classroom for “me and my students”.  As Jason Bangbala once said, “You need to avoid a guts to gob reaction” and this blog is an attempt to move us more towards a “brains to action”response.

What the Research Says

Behaviour - Geoff Petty Evidence-Based Teaching

 

A number of the graphics and the information below have been used with the kind permission of Geoff Petty and are taken from his book, Evidence Based Teaching (2009), which I read when it was first published.  Itis well worth reading.  His book uses the research of Robert Marzano et al (2003) “Classroom Management that Works”.

Marzano identified four key groups of factors that had a positive impact on behaviour in the classroom and reduced the number of disruptions.  The table below summarises these:

Behaviour - Table of Effect Sizes

Rules & Procedures

Without rules communities can descend into chaos and anarchy with the poorest and weakest in a community (society) becoming the most damaged and disadvantaged.

Coming up with school or class room rules that try to take account of every eventuality can become self-defeating, as no-one can remember all the rules.  A parent recently reminded me we use to have a couple of pages of rules in students’ planners which no-one read.  For daily operating we need a few agreed and understood rules, possibly between five to seven, that can be used to give direction to a way of living and working together.  Our challenge is not simply to impose rules but rather to bring each person to a level of self-control and self-discipline that allows them to be a full, supportive and enriching member of the class and wider community.

It’s interesting to note the basis of laws across Europe and other parts of the World find their origin in the Ten Commandments (these were changed to just two in the New Testament expressed in positive language).  The Ten Commandments are a call to a relationship and signpost a direction of travel.  They cannot hope to nor did they intend to cover every instance of human behaviour but are a set of guiding principles.  For example, there isn’t a commandment banning pulling your brother’s or sister’s hair or giving them a quick dig in the ribs if they annoy you.  However, the spirit that goes beyond the letter of the law requires us to treat our brothers and sisters with respect and love and this is the key to their understanding.  This thinking is useful for us in the classroom as we set rules and as we shall see later the development of “right” relationships is key to managing behaviour.

Classroom Procedures are usually developed by a teacher over time, however, explicitly thinking about procedures, for the start and end of lessons or during transitions from one activity to another, can help keep a classroom calm and ordered.  Whether it is handing out books, equipment or putting things away, developing standard routines that students quickly become familiar with increases the efficient use of time and reduces the mini-moments of disorder that may occur in lessons.

Teacher-Student Relationships

“Don’t smile until Christmas”, is the advice often given to newly qualified teachers.  However, the flip side of this advice, “Start smiling before Christmas”, is not so often given to more experienced colleagues.  Both have a seed of truth and usefulness in building student-teacher relationships.  For newly qualified teachers the generalisation and stereotype is that there tends to be too much co-operation and a lack of assertiveness within the classroom, sometimes confusing a friendly approach with wanting to be a friend.  This is the essence of the advice to “Not smile until Christmas” in an attempt to increase dominance in the classroom.  However, it is important to note that, as a generalisation, somewhere between six to ten years into teaching a number of teachers lose their sense of care and co-operation in class tending towards a “blitzkrieg” approach that is too dominant and damages relationships.

The graphic below gives some depth to the “fair but firm” discipline often written about in letters of application and talked about in interviews.  The two dimensions of dominance and co-operation are held in tension so that a caring but assertive approach is used within the classroom.  There must be a balance between a teacher’s control of a class and the co-operation needed to form positive relationships between teachers and students.

Behaviour - Relationships

Dominance (assertiveness) comes from a strong sense of purpose in pursuing clear goals for learning and for class management; clear leadership with a tendency to guide and control and a willingness to discipline unapologetically.  For example, there is a big difference between:

“Stephen, please will you listen when I am talking” and

“Stephen, listen when I am talking … <eye contact, small pause> … Thank you”.

The first may too often sound like a bit of a plea, however, the second is a clear instruction with the inbuilt assumption that it will be followed, hence the “thank you”.  It doesn’t need to be said in an angry manner just a clear and assertive voice.  This assertiveness must be held in tension with co-operation otherwise it can become aggressive or even in extreme cases draconian.  Increasing dominance in the classroom can be achieved by:

  • Agreeing and then sticking to a simple set of rules and expectations,
  • Being clear about learning & behavioural goals and
  • Consistently and assertively using a simple range of proportionate and escalating responses to poor behaviour.

Whilst it can be very hard work, take care not to pass issues or students on too early in any disciplinary process – when you “pass on” you are essentially saying to the student, “I can’t cope but this person can!”  Follow up and follow through as much as possible as the benefits in the medium to long term are massive.

Co-operation has a great concern for the needs and opinions of students; teachers are helpful & friendly and teachers use a series of strategies to avoid strife and seek consensus.  This also needs to be held in tension with an assertive approach otherwise it can lead to an acceptance of poor standards, too much appeasement and a lack of direction in managing behaviour.  If you are in danger of becoming “oppositional” towards students in the class you can increase co-operation by:

  • Catching students doing things right and praising,
  • Going the extra mile to support a student with their work,
  • Taking part in extra-curricular activities and
  • Taking a general and genuine, but not intrusive, interest in students’ lives and interests.  What is the talent of each of the students in your class/form – what do they excel at?

As an aside, it is interesting to note that Hattie’s work shows strong teacher-student relationships as the 11th most important factor in raising achievement.  Students do better academically when the relationships in class are right.

Disciplinary Interventions

This is essentially about using “carrots and sticks”.  What Marzano (2003) found in his meta-analysis was that appropriate use of sanctions and rewards had a greater impact than using neither or one but not the other.  Just using rewards had a bigger impact than just using sanction but this was not as powerful as using both.

The use of sanctions is important to understand – it is the consistency with which they are applied and the inevitability that it will happen much more than the severity that has impact.  In fact in Marzano’s work he writes about “mild punishments”.  It is important to be proportionate in your response and then follow up and follow through.

There are numerous intervention strategies that can be used in the classroom to get students back on track.

Behaviour - Graph of Interventions

The use of rewards is more important than sanctions, in improving behaviour, with verbal praise, points, stickers, merits, positive notes in books/planners, phone calls home etc. being all fairly standard responses in many classrooms.  The addition of certificates, badges, golden time, gifts, vouchers and reward trips often occur at a departmental, phase, faculty or whole school level.

Mental Set

Marzano (2003) identifies the biggest impact on reducing disruptive incidents as the right “Mental Set” which he defines as a conscious control over your thoughts and feelings when you respond to a disruption alongside strategies to develop your awareness of what is going on in your classroom and why – what Marzano refers to as “withitness”.

Experienced teachers and gained wisdom would perhaps give teachers the advice to “Nip it in the bud” and “Don’t take it personally”

“Withitness” is about being present and being a presence.  Developing the peripheral vision needed to successfully manage a group of thirty students is an important part of behaviour management.  Scanning the classroom whilst teaching and intervening immediately, using the minimal possible intervention to resolve the issue, limits the opportunity for things to spiral out of control.

Behaviour - Withitness

Moving about the classroom, around the perimeter whenever possible, allows you to have a physical presence in a room whilst ensuring all students remain in view.  Take care when working with an individual student that you don’t end up with your back to half the class.

Emotional Objectivity is a real challenge particularly when you are in the “eye of the storm” and a student is behaving badly or being outright offensive.  Keeping calm, remaining assertive and managing the situation is crucial.

Behaviour - Emotional Objectivity

You’d be surprised how many students in the class think you are doing a great job and handling a difficult situation well – remember to thank the class for their co-operation during the difficult incident if their behaviour warrants it.  The misbehaviour isn’t personal.

Behaviour - Outline #5MinuteBehaviorPlan

Putting this all together in a picture is a challenge (see above) but doing it in the classroom is even more challenging.  Some people will find some aspects of behaviour management come very naturally and easily to them and other parts are more challenging.  It is worth taking an aspect that you wish to improve: focus on it for half a term or a term, practice it and hone it until it becomes second nature.

If you are interested in how, with the support of @TeacherToolkit, this was converted into a planner for use by teachers have a look at the

Behaviour - #5MinuteBehaviourPlan

 

 Articles, links and resources

1) Why a ban on mobile phones is not the answer:

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/may/20/why-a-ban-on-mobile-phones-in-school-is-not-the-answer

 2) Lots of brilliant resources:

http://teachertoolkit.me/resources/

 3) More brilliant ICT resources

http://www.gr8ict.com/

Advertisements

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.

Slide01 Slide02 Slide03 Slide04
 Slide07 Slide08 Slide10 Slide12 Slide13 Slide15 Slide16 Slide17 Slide18 Slide19 Slide20 Slide21

 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.   

IMG_2574

 

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

FullSizeRender

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:

Slide1

 

Key Word Mind Map Game

Mr Bell’s chemistry models

FullSizeRender

 

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:

FullSizeRender IMG_0335 IMG_0336 IMG_0337

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

 

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.

rtc1

 

rtc2

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

Capture2

‘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

DIRT for boys, active learning and differentiation

Good Practice

Dedicated Improvement Reflection Time (DIRT) Resources by Mrs Johns

English Dirt

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

Formal Letter DIRT (1) (1)

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

DIRT self assessment

DIRT Peer assessment

DIRT self assessment KS3

Brain Food
Poster by Nana Adwoa Sey. Contest winner.

learningpyramid4

Differentiation – Making it Happen:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember!

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

Article of the week: 

Active Learning Works: the evidence by Geoff Petty

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

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

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

Hundreds, or even thousands of students are divided between:

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

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

Never mind the theory – does it work in practice?

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 18.20.44

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 18.21.15

Active Learning adds a grade and a half to achievement.

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

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

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

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

What active methods work best?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

Recommended Reads

secrets of teenage brain

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

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

9781408504154 2. Teaching Today by Geoff Petty

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

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

make it stick

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

Useful links

1. 5 minute lesson plan

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

2. Blogging for teachers

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

3. 101 great teachers to follow on twitter

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

Teaching and Learning: Great ideas and practical tips from colleagues on social media and beyond

Brain food

This table was put together by Stephen Teirney (Twitter) and is a thought provoking way of looking at how to achieve great teaching.

higher quality teaching

Something to aspire to? Check out @urban_teacher

connectededucator

Article of the week: Dealing with Day-to-day Differentiation

Extract taken from an article on headguruteacher website.

Myths

  1. Differentiation does not mean that you must have tiered resources and tasks in every lesson.
  2. It does not mean you should have must-should-could learning objectives. It does not mean that a lesson where every student is doing the same task is fundamentally worse than one where students do have different tasks.
  3. Any given lesson snap-shot may not have explicit evidence of differentiation at all – and it could still be outstanding, or at least be leading to outstanding outcomes.

Differentiation needs to be seen as the aggregation of the hundreds of subtly different interactions that you have with each of your students, according to their level of attainment and progress.  Even OFSTED now officially do not expect that the needs of all students are being precisely and directly addressed in every lesson observation.  Differentiation is a long-term process that mirrors the long-term nature of learning and progress.

The bottom-lines

We all have ups and downs; we can all mess things up.  We all have lessons that seem too complicated to factor in yet another level of support or challenge; we have all had lessons where behaviour issues dominate or you do more didactic input and the differentiation is less evident. However, there are always two things that I’d say are non-negotiable:

  1. Neglecting the basic access entitlement of students with particular learning needs. If you have a student that can’t read the text-book or follow the standard instructions because of learning difficulties or physical impairment, you have to sort them out every time.  You need to plan for their needs every lesson and go to them immediately to make sure they know what to do.
  2. Setting work that is too easy for the top end. There is nothing worse than having students waiting for others to finish with nothing to do or simply having time for a good chat because they’ve completed a basic task.  Here the solution is to set in-built extension tasks as a matter of routine. “If you finish Task A, then go straight on to Tasks B, C and D”.   Of course, there is the issue that ‘more work’ doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘more challenge’. It’s better if each task is increasingly difficult and you can always consider allowing students to skip Task A and B if they feel confident to tackle other tasks straight away.   At the very least, there should always always be a ‘what next’ if the initial task is quite easy.

Data

The main use of student data is to prompt you to ask questions about your perception of a student’s ability and progress.  Am I getting this person right? It pays to look back at prior attainment information a week or so after meeting a class for the first time and again after the first term. If you triangulate between the prior attainment info, your gut feeling and your own assessment data, you get a better idea.  Sometimes it’s quite revealing.  Oh gosh, I’ve been underestimating John all this time…. or perhaps I’m neglecting Michael’s underlying lack of confidence; his reading age is lower than I thought.

Most importantly, data helps to ensure that you never settle for mediocrity from someone who doesn’t perform in the way the data says they could.  Ben’s Official Target grade is A but his recent test score was C? Ok…something is going on there. That should catalyse a different response than if the prior attainment data suggested C would be a sign of good progress.

In my last comprehensive school job, I used to devise a differentiation guide for every class to help me plan lessons without forgetting about people. Other teachers made their own. An example is shown here. The grade here is artificial; in reality there would be lots of data points feeding into the crude categorisation: reading ages, MidYIS scores and KS2 entry data would play a part alongside other internal assessments.  The idea is to make it easy to think about the students in rough groupings rather than allow the complexity of the individual data sheet, usually presented in alphabetical order, to be overwhelming and ultimately unhelpful.

table

I know a lot of people will go into ‘Growth Mindset’ shock.  It’s important to have that in mind.  You are not using this to pigeon-hole students indefinitely.. but sometimes you need to cut through the noise to get some shape to your class and make differentiation meaningful and practical. If you allow yourself to let a guide like this write students off, then it’s a mistake.  If you use it to prompt you to prepare more effectively to help them learn better, then it’s a good thing.

The dynamics of each class will be different but personally I try to teach Group 1 and 2 in the same way, teaching to the top and thinking separately about the students who might struggle.  However, even then, there are one or two students in most of my classes who stick out at the top, running far ahead of the rest, who need special attention.

An important source of information worth revisiting once you know a class, is the SEND register and associated documentation.  It’s painful to realise that you have overlooked the info suggesting Jameel should sit at the front or that Jay is dyslexic and has gets help outside the school.  It’s hard to take it all in at the start of the year so, from time to time, go back for a look at see if you need to adjust things.  You may even have positive information to feedback to the learning support team in your school.

Keeping it Simple

In practice, there is one main form of easy differentiation: Same resources; Different questions

In a mixed ability setting, when you are up against it in terms of fine-tuned planning, you can always create open-endedness through the questions you ask in discussion and the tasks you set based on the same key resources.  That’s an important skill to develop. Whether it is a piece of writing, some practical work or a set of responses to a debate or some theory in science, you can usually set students off in different directions from a common starting point.  It is easier if the standard resources (text books and departmental ready-to-use worksheets) have a level of tiering built-in, but even with identical resources you can often direct students to produce responses at different levels of sophistication.

Nurturing the students at the extremes

Finally, teaching is a bit like gardening.  You have a group of individual specimens with their own precise needs and qualities and your job is to get them to flourish to the greatest possible extent. But, as with gardening, you often need to focus on one specimen at a particular moment. You can’t do it all at once.

You may feel that John is coasting a bit; he needs a push this lesson.  It may be that Albert has looked a bit bored of late. He might be finding things a bit easy; let’s really crank it up this lesson.  The last time Rory handed his book in it was a bit of a shocker; I need to sit with him this lesson and get a few things sorted out.  Daniel is always just below the top level. Why is that?  Is this an Austin’s Butterfly effect? Maybe he needs to do some re-drafting and I need to absolutely insist that he does it again and again until it’s hitting the top level.

That’s real differentiation: pushing, prodding, nudging, stretching…slow, subtle, nuanced, a step at a time, working around the class from lesson to lesson, to the greatest extent you can manage. It’s not a performance; it’s something you grind out over the long long run.

Within this, I think it helps teachers to forge special relationships with the students at the extremes – and their parents too if possible.  In all probability the strongest and weakest learners are likely to be the ones who you struggle with the most in terms of your planning and teaching. If you let them know very clearly that you are working for them, keeping an eye on them and giving them a bit of special attention, they will have confidence that, when things aren’t quite tailored to them, you haven’t forgotten. Their parents will know this too and that helps a lot.

My advice is always to try to be a teacher who champions the students with the greatest needs; it always pays off.  But, more generally, the main thing is to keep differentiation at the forefront of your thinking, doing your best to keep everyone in each class moving forward without limiting them.  It’s never going to feel that you’ve got it absolutely nailed – and that is teaching!

Recommended Reading

  1. Trivium 21st C by Martin Robinson: Could this be the answer?

The book uses an exploration of the Trivium as it once was – a set of principles for learning that evolved from Plato to the middle ages – as a template for considering a range of contemporary educational problems and debates.  Martin uses the story of his daughter as she embarks on her school-based education as a focus point. Through his hopes and dreams for her education, he is able to express the hopes and dreams we all have for our children – and the contrast with what is currently on offer in the mainstream of modern schooling.

trivium

  1. Teaching boys who struggle in school by Kathleen Palmer Cleveland

Let’s take a closer look at some “symptoms” of underachievement:

  • Acting out
  • Refusal to take academic risks
  • Desire to “save face” with peers
  • Unable to stay on task
  • Unwilling to ask for help
  • Disinterested, apathetic
  • Head down, eyes averted

Time and again we see that many boys who struggle in school share these common behaviors. It may surprise you to know that fear of failure is a central emotional underpinning of these familiar “symptoms” of underachievement. How can we, as educators, respond to this latent vulnerability – so often disguised as either reactive bravado or feigned disinterest – in a way that breaks the cycle of failure and helps each boy to reach his potential as a learner?

boys

  1. Mindset by Dr Carol S. Dweck

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset. Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.

mindset

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

 

  1. Great Lessons: http://headguruteacher.com/category/teaching-and-learning/great-lessons/
  2. Questioning and feedback – Top 10 strategies: http://www.huntingenglish.com/2014/11/19/questioning-feedback-top-ten-strategies/
  3. iPad related articles: http://www.huntingenglish.com/tag/ipad/
  4. TEEP in practice: Lots of ideas and articles – if you haven’t got a log in then let me know http://www.teep.org.uk/asp