Tuesday, 26 May 2015
The Plenary – last but not least
‘The plenary remains the weakest element of mathematics lessons, its impact often reduced by poor time management. There is more to plenaries than asking pupils what they have done or learned, and “show and tell” sessions rarely engage the interest of other pupils.’
The National Numeracy Strategy: an interim evaluation by HMI. Ofsted 2000.
The above report goes on to describe the best plenary sessions that were observed. These:
- were pre-planned, with the teacher clear about what is to be achieved and how long this is likely to take – too short and little gets done; too long and pupils lose interest.
- confirmed what learning had taken place, making reference to the lessons objectives and drawing together the key points that pupils should know and be able to recall.
- contained the diagnosis of misconceptions (for example three correctly labelled and three incorrectly labelled angles on the board).
- reduced to a minimum disturbance in moving from the main part of the lesson to the plenary
- engaged the pupils in discussion
- contained short tasks that drew on the pupils knowledge
- looked forward to what pupils could do next – where appropriate homework was set.
Plenary Producer: Milepost 2 and 3, Key Stage 3
Selly Park’s Favourite Plenary Activities
Mike Gershon is the author of numerous books and publications covering different areas of teaching and learning as well as a series of online guides to classroom practice. These include amazing resources for teachers of students of all ages:
- The Assessment Toolkit
- The Starter Generator: KS2, KS3, KS4
- The Bloom Buster: Improve Questioning in Lessons
- Challenge Toolkit
- The Plenary Producer. Ideas. KS2, KS3. Powerpoint
- The Differentiation Deviser
- Plenaries on a Plate
- Make Your Own AFL Box
- Peer and Self-Assessment Guide
- The What If...? Box
- Movement Breaks
- The Whole Class Feedback Guide
- EAL Toolkit
Resources for Teachers
Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which classroom and outdoor learning experiences respond to their individual needs, and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- value all people
- value learning
- stimulating resources, relevant to all the children's cultures and communities
- rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching
- support for children to take risks and explore
Resources and Ideas - Environment
National Literacy Trust findings report on girls' and boys' reading habits, with some surprising results:
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
How to Be Emotionally Intelligent
What makes a great leader? Knowledge, smarts and vision, to be sure. To that, Daniel Goleman, author of “Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence,” would add the ability to identify and monitor emotions — your own and others’ — and to manage relationships. Qualities associated with such “emotional intelligence” distinguish the best leaders in the corporate world, according to Mr. Goleman, a former New York Times science reporter, a psychologist and co-director of a consortium at Rutgers University to foster research on the role emotional intelligence plays in excellence. He shares his short list of the competencies.
Realistic self-confidence: You understand your own strengths and limitations; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else on the team.
Emotional insight: You understand your feelings. Being aware of what makes you angry, for instance, can help you manage that anger.
Resilience: You stay calm under pressure and recover quickly from upsets. You don’t brood or panic. In a crisis, people look to the leader for reassurance; if the leader is calm, they can be, too.
Emotional balance: You keep any distressful feelings in check — instead of blowing up at people, you let them know what’s wrong and what the solution is.
Self-motivation: You keep moving toward distant goals despite setbacks.
Cognitive and emotional empathy: Because you understand other perspectives, you can put things in ways colleagues comprehend. And you welcome their questions, just to be sure. Cognitive empathy, along with reading another person’s feelings accurately, makes for effective communication.
Good listening: You pay full attention to the other person and take time to understand what they are saying, without talking over them or hijacking the agenda.
4. RELATIONSHIP SKILLS
Compelling communication: You put your points in persuasive, clear ways so that people are motivated as well as clear about expectations.
Team playing: People feel relaxed working with you. One sign: They laugh easily around you.
A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2015, on page ED17 of Education Life with the headline: Leadership Checklist.
One of the main priorities for students studying at univerisity is completing the course with the highest degree possible, and research by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has revealed the top ten subjects where students have qualified with a first. The data looked at the percentage of overall students, graduating in the years 2013/2014, who gained the top degree result.
Thursday, 14 May 2015
A great website for teachers and students interested in Critical Thinking, Ethics and Philosophy and Theory of Knowledge.
So How Do We Know?
As part of the course for Assistant Teachers, we share resources and ideas to support the teaching of writing. If you have any useful tips, ideas or materials that you have used successfully in your classroom, please feel free to add them by joining our Google Classroom.
If you wish to join the writing classroom, please use the following code: 6bssh4
Here is the link to the dropbox where the presentations and resources are all online from Mr Thorne's sessions at the conference.
Mr Thorne Does Phonics Workshop: Materials and Powerpoints
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Reciprocal Teaching refers to an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Teachers model, then help students learn to lead group discussions using five strategies: summarising, question generating, clarifying, visualising and predicting. Once students have learned the strategies, they take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading a dialogue about what has been read. Why use Reciprocal Teaching?
- It encourages students to think about their own thought processes during reading.
- It helps students learn to be actively involved and monitor their own comprehension and others´ as they read.
- It teaches students to ask questions about their reading and helps make the text more comprehensible.
- Student talk is at the heart of Reciprocal Teaching and a ´book club´ atmosphere prevails, which means that reading is perceived as active and fun rather than silent and boring.
Studies demonstrate massive gains in both comprehension and word recognition levels following the introduction of Reciprocal Teaching.
Resources to support Reciprocal Teaching:
Reciprocal teaching in Milepost 2
Students can classify and communicate ideas more effectively. Graphic organisers can structure writing projects, to help in problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research and gathering ideas.
Graphic Organisers for Reading Comprehension
A wide range of graphic organisers
A collection of ready-to-use graphic organisers
Join the network
The Talk for Writing network is free to join. Members receive a termly email newsletter containing info about new free resources.
Sign up here for free
Talk for Writing provide free downloadable resources for you to use with your own class.
Behaviour management: smoothing transitions
Map out the day
Use partial agreements
Brian Blessed Booming
Establish a routine
• Run through the routine before each change of activity and ask the children to repeat back the expectations
• Give regular time checks or use a mechanism for the children to take responsibility for deadlines/changes in task
• Make transition times (first thing in the morning, after break, returning from assembly, etc) utterly predictable and routine. “We cannot deal with breaktime problems in learning time.” “You know the routine for silent reading.”
• Cushion those who resist change with small compromises over groupings, seat, partner, etc.
• Deal with poor behaviour with the same unemotional, almost mechanical response. Be predictably over-enthusiastic about good behaviour!