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New Professional Reading Group venture

Last September I started out on a course called Developing as a Leader (DAAL). It is a pilot course being run by Scottish Borders Council, West Lothian Council and Moray House. It is exploring Teacher Leadership within schools and how we can begin to enact change within our own department and schools. The course has involved reading, discussion time at Moray House, reflecting writing and assessment.

As we are nearing the end of the course we are in the final stages of writing our learning plans and one of the priorities I gave myself was to establish a professional reading group within school. In the past 9 months I have had to read a wide variety of material – of varying shades of “accessibility”!! Some excellent and some as dry as the Sahara desert!

I took the plunge and sent out the invitational email to all staff to judge the level of interest. Within just a few minutes I already had 4 replies! Imagine my surprise!! By the time I sent the second email, with details of the first meeting date and time and the article we were going to look at I had 22 responses!! I was totally overwhelmed by the positive response and humbled by the fact that so many staff wanted to come and participate in the group with me. (we have a staff of around 56 in total)

We had our first meeting on Thursday lunchtime. Although not all the teachers who had initially replied were able to come (other commitments) about 17 came along. We read and discussed the first half of chapter 7 “Enacting Change” in Fullan and Hargreaves book “Professional Capital – Transforming Teaching in Every School, 2012”. This was a piece I had to read earlier in the year and many of the 10 steps really spoke to me. We had around 40 mins of (largely!!) focused discussion and left with some points for future action. I stressed that the group wasn’t mine – it was everyone’s and all were welcome to bring along literature or topics to look into.

I have already set the date for the second meeting and really hope that this can be the start of some small, but positive changes within the school!

Reciprocal Reading in History
Image by flickr.com/photos/ufv

As Head of History I often find that when presented with text heavy sources our students are unwilling to spend the time reading them. This then impacts on their understanding and results in answers that lack detail.  For me to read aloud to the class meant that far too many students just sat back and switched off, having individual students read aloud resulted in much of the same.  I began to look for ways to encourage them to read while gain a deeper understanding of complex text. I also wanted them to take ownership of their own learning. It was for this reason that I decided to implement the reciprocal reading strategy. What is reciprocal reading?

  • 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 guide group discussions using four strategies: summarising, question generating, clarifying, 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 reading?

  • It encourages students to think about their own thought process during reading.
  • It helps students learn to be actively involved and monitor their comprehension as they read.
  • It teaches students to ask questions during reading and helps make the text more comprehensible.

Roles of Students

Students are placed into groups of four or five and allocated roles. The roles are:

A predictor. Predicting involves previewing the text to anticipate what may happen next. Readers can use the information from the text and their prior knowledge to make logical predictions before and during reading. Prediction can also be linked to text type.

A clarifier. Although students can be taught to identify difficult words and work through them, it is much more difficult for some to recognise unclear sentences, passages, chapters or ideas. Clarifying helps students to monitor their own understanding and identify any problems in comprehending portions of text.

A questioner. Good readers ask questions throughout the reading process but formulating questions is a difficult and complex task. In reciprocal reading students learn to generate questions about a text’s main ideas, important details and about textual inferences.

A summariser. To summarise effectively students must recall and arrange in order only the important events in a text. Summarising helps readers to construct an overall understanding of a text, story, chapter or paragraph.

There can also be a group leader if required. The group leader will be responsible for ensuring that everyone participates and that the text is fully understood. Each member of the group is given a laminated role card. The cards contain prompts for the students to think about during their reading of the text.

reciprocal reading roles Use of reciprocal reading in History.

Students are presented with information relating to the reign of Mary I. Taking it in turns each student reads aloud one paragraph at a time. At the end of every paragraph, everyone completes their role. Included in this information are the two sources that students will be expected to make inferences from in an assessed piece of writing. The sources are:

Source 2 - The execution of Latimer and Ridley, two Protestant bishops who refused to become Catholics.

Source 2 – The execution of Latimer and Ridley, two Protestant bishops who refused to become Catholics.

 

Source 3 – From John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”, about the burning of Latimer and Ridley.

“So they came to the stake. Dr Ridley, entering the place first, looked towards Heaven. Then, seeing Mr Latimer, with a cheerful look he ran and embraced him, saying, “Be of good heart, brother, for God will either ease the fury of the flame, or else strengthen us to endure it”.He then went to the stake and, kneeling down, prayed with great fervour, while Mr Latimer following, kneeled down and prayed also. Dr Ridley gave presents of small things to men standing near, many of whom were weeping strongly. Happy was he who could get the smallest rag to remember this good man by. Then the blacksmith took a chain of iron and placed it about both their waists and then knocked in the staple.Dr Ridley’s brother brought him a bag of gunpowder and tied it about his neck. His brother did the same to Mr Latimer.They then brought a lighted faggot and laid it at Dr Ridley’s feet. Upon which Mr Latimer said “Be of good comfort, Mr Ridley, we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust never shall be put out”.

 

Student Activity

  • Summarise the main points of Source 3 in no more than 100 words.
  •  Do you think that Source 2 shows the same event as that described in Source 3? Explain your answer in detail.
  •  Answer this question using inferences:

 What can you infer from the sources about Queen Mary’s attitude towards the Catholic religion? 

Benefits of reciprocal reading

Learners can gain an improved understanding of complex text in content areas. This leads to:

  •  Greater knowledge of the topic.
  •  Improved skills.
  •  More positive attitudes when extracting, organising, and recording information.
  •  More self-confidence and motivation to read.
  •  Improved leadership skills.
  •  Increased co-operation and greater initiative.

My lessons have shown that when Reciprocal Reading is implemented, learners make substantial gains in understanding what they read. This then impacts on the progress that they make.

Using Thinglink to extend model making activities

I first came across Thinglink when introduced by a colleague who teaches MFL (@ProfeScammell), she said it would be excellent to extend the model making activities we do in Geography and she was correct! I began by having a play around with Thinglink myself by signing up and creating a couple of Thinglink pictures myself. I did this so I could create some instructions for the students and be able to help them in case they happened to get stuck. Luckily, for an ICT novice such as myself it was relatively straightforward.

The first use was after creating our own sustainable houses. The time it took to make them meant that we didn’t have time to assess them within the lesson so it was a perfect opportunity to try something new. At the end of the lesson I got them all to write their name on a post it and place it by their house so I could take a photo on my phone to upload to our shared drive.

I booked the IT facilities for the lesson after and made sure I had uploaded all of the photos to a communal area for all to access. It took about 10 minutes for all of the students to create their own account using their school email and me to resolve any issues. Note to self – make sure students write down their passwords for future use! They then began by finding and uploading their image and began to “tag”. Part of the success criteria was to try a variety of tags – highlighting key terminology, incorporating images from the internet and adding YouTube videos. Students were engaged and enjoyed figuring out the features on offer. Out of 28 students only one had heard of it. I think this added to the engagement as it was something new and different. They had the remainder of the lesson to finish their Thinglink ready to be peer assessed next lesson. The final lesson we logged into Thinglink again and students searched for their partner’s houses. They wrote a WWW & EBI comment online and published it.

 

Step 1 - Creating an account

Step 1 – Creating an account

Step 2 - Uploading images

Step 2 – Uploading images

Step 3 - Adding tags

Step 3 – Adding tags

Adding images into tags

Adding images into tags

Peer Assessment Criteria

Peer Assessment Criteria

All in all I think a very enjoyable two and a half lessons. I felt it added more purpose to the task of creating the houses, especially when some question the value of model making. It was a more engaging and interactive format than merely adding post its as labels.

Next time? I am definitely going to use Thinglink again – it’s use is infinite and across the key stages, it could be invaluable as a revision tool for GCSE and A level students especially due to its sharing and searching capabilities. Teachers and students can also create their own channels.  I’d get the students to write down their passwords! I’d also spend some time getting the students to look and search for other Thinglinks available on the topics we are studying for some alternative ideas. For myself as a teacher I am going to investigate and follow other Thinglink users for teaching and also subject ideas in addition to creating my own channel where I can create and upload images but students can also add theirs to a communal area.

Geography Revision Goodie Bags

I wanted to give my students a little something to remind them of their exam dates and to also equip them with various bits of stationary and revision aid resources.

I noticed on Twitter that a variety of different teachers across the country had received packs as part of their teacher wellbeing. I then started to notice others appearing for students in particular subjects. I first saw the idea from @Laura_Oleary who gave her students a brown bag with a number of different revision guides in.

I knew I didn’t have time to organise larger bags so decided to get coloured sweet bags for my students. In each pack there was; a black/coloured pen, a pencil, a highlighter, cue cards, chocolate bar, lollipop and a laminated mat to identify the important diagrams for the physical paper.

All ready to go!

In Geography students are required to answer three sections in the Physical paper and three in the Human paper. To remind the students about this I identified the date of their exam as well as the sections they needed to answer. The students were delighted to receive their packs, especially the boys with many of them asking if I had more cue cards to help with their revision. Another positive has been comments from parents who have said how happy their child was to receive something that had come from the teacher and would help them with their learning.

Thank you to all those fantastic teachers who are already doing this in their subject and sharing this with their students and others.

How can we differentiate in a way that gives pupils ownership of their learning pathways?

I’m a big believer in pupil ownership of learning. After all, it’s not my brain that’s doing the work; it’s not my skills that are developing; and it’s not my exam result on a piece of paper at the end of the year. As teachers, I see our role as facilitators: enabling pupils to achieve their potential in a way that develops the skills to do it time and time again. For pupils to do this, they need to develop the independence and resilience that comes from making their own decisions about how they learn; what pace they learn at and how to approach success and failure.

I’ve been trying to achieve this with a group of Higher Biology students. These pupils are in a slightly unusual position of studying a two year Higher beginning in S4. Although this gives a lot of time for teaching the course and developing understanding, I find they often lack the independence and study skills that you might expect from older pupils taking a Higher course. To try and encourage them to make their own decisions about learning, I’ve been using SOLO taxonomy stations as a way of structuring- and differentiating- revision or flipped classroom lessons.

The idea is to use a simple quiz- usually multiple choice questions- alongside a SOLO taxonomy framework to help pupils self-assess their current levels of understanding. Once they decided which level they are working at, they set about on the task designed for that level, sometimes physically moving between tables designated for each station. The pictures below show the SOLO taxonomy framework and the recommended next steps. So for example, a pupil who is pre-structural or uni-structural may need to catch up on notes or work on keywords. At the multi-structural level, pupils are ready to try Knowledge and Understanding type questions that help them revise the facts; whilst those moving to relational are ready for more challenging questions that link the topic together, such as an essay. Finally, pupils who are working at the extended abstract level are challenged to apply and link up their knowledge, either to problem solving or new topics not yet studied.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 08.55.25

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 08.55.48

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 08.56.03

I’ve had a lot of success with these lessons. Firstly, it gives a quick and visual way to assess individual confidence and understanding of a topic around the room, by the level at which pupils choose to work. Although I generally encourage collaborative working, it’s good to see that pupils tend to work at the level they feel confident at, rather than just following their neighbour. Secondly, it gives me the chance to provide support to ALL pupils at appropriate level. Because everyone is working at their own pace, everyone is able to at least start the task independently- even if they may require help over small challenges- which means I’m not stuck trying to help one or two of the pupils who are struggling most. This means that all pupils, including the most able, get some of my time, and get the support and push they need. Thirdly, over the course of a lesson, pupils make progress that is obvious to me and them. The tasks are designed so that around two levels can be completed in a lesson (and sometimes I use timed targets to encourage some of the lazier pupils to achieve this!), so pupils can clearly see how they have improved by moving up the levels over the course of the lesson. And from there, they know what they need to do next to achieve a deep understanding of the topic. If they get the self-assessment stage wrong, and their understanding was better or worse than they thought, they quickly realise the task is too easy or too hard and adjust their working level appropriately.

I was observed a while back delivering this style of lesson to a Higher class. Whilst the feedback was very positive, the observer posed one key question: if this were a large class of challenging S2 pupils, instead of my eleven delightful Higher pupils, could this still work?

I was intrigued. Could it? Could my S2 class, who find self-assessment and working independently a real challenge, cope with making decisions about their learning in this way? Would they engage with the challenge, or would they simply use this as a way to avoid anything difficult? Inspired by a wonderful resource I found on the TES website, I used the idea of Nando’s takeaway menu as a lesson framework for a revision lesson on space and forces, with pupils selecting a starter, main course and dessert task:

Untitled

Just like with the SOLO stations, pupils took a quiz prior to choosing their tasks, and used the result to inform their decisions about what to do next. Pupils choose their three tasks based on its heat level: from extra mild through to extra hot. There was a nice twist here, as I have been working with this class on higher order thinking skills, and as the heat increased, the thinking skills required became gradually HOTter… get it?!

So… was it a success? Well yes, hugely in my opinion- and that of the colleague observing my lesson. Pupil engagement was massively improved compared to other lessons with that class. Pupils had a clear understanding of what they needed to do and seemed to be genuinely enjoying undertaking the tasks set. Misconceptions were being quashed left right and centre, as I found I had more time to spend talking about the topic with individual pupils. Pupils were tackling tasks involving applying, evaluating and creating with confidence, and pupils were also clearly proud of what they were achieving at each stage. And best of all, pupils could explain clearly not only why they had chosen each task, but what thinking skills they were practicing by doing it- developing metacognition around their own learning that I’d just not realised they were capable of.

Next week I’m leading a learning conversation about this at the BOCSH conference, Talking About Learning 2015 at Inveralmond High School. I’d like to talk about the opportunities but also the challenges I’ve found using these strategies, and how others are achieving these aims. My questions will be:

1. How can we help pupils to identify current understanding, to inform their targets and next steps?

I’ve found SOLO taxonomy to be an excellent framework for helping pupils to identify the current level at which they are working. However, it is limited by how well pupils understand what is required at each level. Do they comprehend the increase in understanding required to progress? What other strategies do people use to help pupils self-assess?

2. How can we ensure pupils challenge themselves, but have the chance to succeed?

Even if pupils understand what is required at each level, are they making good decisions about what task is the most likely to help them progress? Interestingly, boys often select tasks from a level above where I would have put them; whilst girls often work below where I think they are capable. Is this due to confidence? Are they too scared to fail at the more difficult tasks? Pupils often state that they are ‘making sure they get it’ before they move. This seems like a good thing, but maybe it’s a barrier to their progression. I often encourage pupils to revise ‘outside of the comfort zone’: to revise the topics or skills that they really don’t want to- because they’re hard! How can we encourage pupils to work outside of their comfort zone, without them losing confidence in what they’ve already achieved?

3. Perhaps most importantly, how can we help pupils identify the progress they have made, and understand how they got there?

Through these lessons, pupils can see what progress they have made in their understanding, and I often ask pupils to reflect at the end of the lesson what progress they have made, and what kind of studying has helped them achieve that progress: be it revising content, applying knowledge or creating links. Is this valuable? Does it help pupils to see where they’ve come? And what strategies do others have to achieve this?

Using ideas around metacognition to tackle examination questions

I’ve seen the term ‘metacognition’ banded around on Twitter recently and it’s definitely something I want to read up on. I also watched a video on John Tomsett’s blog (@JohnTomsett) of friend and ex-colleague Lisa Kirby teaching a maths class about simultaneous equations. She used a technique I often use which I sort of thought was intuitive but it seems it has a fancy name: metacognition! According to the TEAL website, metacognition can include doing the following:

“Teach learners how to ask questions during reading and model “think-alouds.” Ask learners questions during read-alouds and teach them to monitor their reading by constantly asking themselves if they understand what the text is about. Teach them to take notes or highlight important details, asking themselves, “Why is this a key phrase to highlight?” and “Why am I not highlighting this?””

It’s something I always do with GCSE and A-level questions, especially towards the start of the course, to get students used to how to approach questions. Rather than assume that they have an intrinsic understanding of what to do, I model my own thinking. I’ve made my Year 9s a booklet of past GCSE questions to prepare them for their end of year exam and the first question was horrible! Not in terms of subject knowledge but it’s got pages of graphs and diagrams to work through. The question was Question 9 from the June 2013 BL1HP (AQA) about feeding relationships and pyramids of biomass.

I gave the booklet out to one of my Y9 classes yesterday and was very quickly met by puzzled faces and lots of questions like “what do I do on this page” (referring to a page with no questions, just graphs and text). Today, I took a different approach with another Y9 class and modeled my thought processes with them. MUCH different results!

IMG_4898

I used the Visulaiser to project the image of the question on to the board. I started with the basics – making sure I had a pen and highlighter to hand. I tried to talk aloud every thought process which came into my head which is a little bit weird as lots of things we do without being aware of them (as experienced adults). I read each part of the information carefully, highlighting key words, but more importantly talking about why I thought they were important and what background knowledge I could link to them.

IMG_4900

We looked at the graph showing the population of animal and plant plankton over a year. I talked aloud about things I noticed, like the y-axis scales being different on the left and right, and patterns I noticed in the trends. I talked aloud about the summer being warmer with greater light intensity. I modeled reading figures from the graph and why I chose to do a rough reading rather than a precise one.

IMG_4901

When I’d verbally analysed the data we moved on to look at the questions. I read the questions aloud and talked about the command terms and bullet pointing and looking at how many marks the question was worth.

IMG_4899

To look at this 5 mark question took about 15 minutes. I explained to them that this would happen much more quickly in real life as they’d become faster with practise. I was so impressed with how attentive they were; even the ones who like to race ahead and get on with their work were patient and could see the value in what we were doing. They were really positive when we’d finished the question giving unprompted comments such as:

“I would never have thought to do that”

“I never would have been able to do that”

Cleaning your work
How to wash

Hi all!

This is my first ever blog about teaching! Please apologise for my ramblings – if anything is unclear then don’t hesitate to tweet me @MrRDenham . Or even better, if you have a go at this, then tweet me some pictures to the above handle.

Context of the class:  Students have come a long way in recent times. It is the first time we have seriously considered entering a set 3 class into higher tier – normally only sets 1 and 2 get this chance. School has had the mantra of ‘safety in numbers’ when it comes to getting a C. Thankfully, this all changed now we are measured on progress. A change I am really glad of. Now the whole school has to focus on all students. Not just the ‘C’ grade ones. Students in this class range from an E to a B (got high hopes for one girl even getting an A) so differentiation is key.

Cleaning Your Work! The idea came to me when driving home… I felt that I was banging the same old drum with my year 10 class when it came to successfully analysing thoughts and feelings within a text: look at a text; show good examples; they attempt it; we mark it; I mark it; repeat! This was becoming very monotonous for me and the students – some were not excelling. I needed to attack this at a new angle.

The task:

The task involves students reading a text and then answering a question on it – developing sustained responses. We were answering a ‘thoughts and feelings’ style question. Using the washing up instructions provided by me, students had to ‘clean their clothes’ and create great examples of text analysis. They were tasked with creating 5 clean clothes. Along with this they had to purposefully create 2 dirty clothes – these were rubbish examples. I recommended they took out a step from the ‘washing instructions’ to help them achieve this. I feel that the latter part was the most successful for lower ability students as they were now able to recognise what a bad answer looks like. They were having to think how to make a bad piece of work, rather than concentrating on creating excellent examples and stressing themselves out with keeping up with the rest.

How to wash

How to wash

During the washing process, I also provided washing up ‘tablets’ to enable students to break away from just saying ‘suggests’ all the time. Like when we wash clothes, we lose a tablet to the process, thus eliminating a ‘suggest’ word. This helped them to increase their vocabulary and enabled them to stop their work sounding repetitive (C – E grade students were struggling to get out of this habit).

Then it was…walla – peg, or throw out (I used my working board to stick a bin bag on – always find that it’s good to have a blank display for you to use in class) your work as you go along.

Bin bag used to get rid of dirty clothes

Bin bag used to get rid of dirty clothes

These are two 'clean' examples pegged out to dry

These are two ‘clean’ examples pegged out to dry

To finish we stuck our work into our books: 1 clean, 1 dirty. They had to then reflect and state why the clean work is ‘clean’ and the dirty ‘dirty’, once again reinforcing their exploration in the lesson (it took us two x 50 min lessons to achieve this).

Reflection

Reflection

Note: During the final lesson of the week we did a ‘mock’ exam to help consolidate their learning further – a number of students requested the tablets to help them. If you have read down to here… then I thank you for your time. Hopefully this blog isn’t as bad as I fear! ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND FOLKS – I’M OFF TO MARK THEIR (AMAZING) WORK!

The power of the red pen!

keep-calm-and-use-the-red-pen-1

As a teacher I value pupil voice and understand the importance of quality feedback which needs to be more of a conversation than a statement. In practice though it can be difficult to achieve this without it becoming unmanageable. One change to my teaching practice this week has really made a difference to the quality of the feedback between myself and my class. The red pen!

End of the red pen as a teacher’s weapon

Under guidance from GwE our school dropped our use of the red pen this year and switched to green. I have never really appreciated the negative connotations of the red pen and believe that if you switch colour any negative connotations pupils do have towards one colour pen will simply be switched to the new colour. As a result of our switching we had a stock of red pens going spare in the store cupboard.

Reintroduction of the red pen for pupil voice

Red is naturally a prominent colour that stands out and it stands to reason that as a teacher you want to hear the learners voices as loudly and clearly as possible. Giving learners ownership of the red pens in order to make comments on their own work has really made the thoughts of the learners obvious within their exercise books and highlighted any changes they make to their work as part of the editing process following completion of draft pieces of work.

The result of red pen revival

Since using the red pen learners have really thought about what the good points of their work are and also been keen to show that they know how to improve. As a teacher this saves me from making suggestions for improvements that they can make for themselves and instead focus on the more subtle ways that they can raise the quality of their work. It is such a simple and effective idea that I can’t understand why I didn’t think of it earlier.

Viva la red pen!

Cross-posted from Enjoying Education

Creative Thinking @ PedagooPrimary

On Saturday morning I joined a room full of enthusiastic primary teachers for the long awaited #PedagooPrimary, a chance for primary teachers to get together and share thoughts, ideas and strategies… and chat, laugh and generally be enthusiastic about education.

This was my third teachmeet experience, last year I attended #PedagooGlasgow and pedagoo@PL which were incredibly uplifting, inspiring events, this time, I thought I’d be brave and lead a learning conversation.  That’s part of the brilliance of Pedagoo, it is about teachers sharing things they do, things they enjoy, things that have had an impact in their setting.  It is a very inclusive community that makes you feel like you have something to contribute.

My conversation was focused on ‘Creative Thinking’

If we aim to develop a passion for lifelong learning then children’s first experiences of education need to inspire curiosity, introduce interesting problems and encourage creativity. I also think it’s essential that we as teachers get the chance to be inspired, solve problems and be creative as much as possible, it is difficult to pass on a passion for learning if we are uninspired.  It is however, unrealistic to think that we can be producing fabulously creative and inspiring opportunities all day everyday, and at times it is easy to feel caught in the flow of routines and demands that exist in every school.  My conversation aimed to encourage others to find one little thing everyday that makes you think creatively and makes you and your pupils smile.

I shared a number of experiences and projects that we have developed at my school @grandtullyps . Grandtully is ‘A Wee School With Big Ideas’ and I see my role as supporting the pupils (P1-7) to develop their ‘Big ideas’ so they become a reality and a lot of the time in order to do that I need to stand back.  This is not easy! as a self confessed ‘ideas’ person with a strong inclination to control it’s really, really hard not to dominate but to let them explore, create and learn from their mistakes.  However, once you start you’ll never go back.  The process of working together with the pupils, listening, watching and providing well thought through guidance (that’s essential!) has allowed us to develop some really creative (and extremely enjoyable) learning experiences.

Macro Fun

A friend of mine purchased a little clip on macro lens for her iPhone so I had to have one too…. and then I realised its school potential!  After we had spent some time exploring the classroom carpet (uurrrghhh) pupil’s shoes and eyeballs…. we ventured outdoors but something odd happened… we had shrunk.  Younger pupils (P1-3) linked this to ‘In the Garden’ the Oxford Reading Tree story and then wrote their own magic key adventure, while older pupils (P5-7) developed their ‘exciting sentence’ writing using their images as a stimulus.  (If you search for iPhone Macro lens on Amazon you should be able to pick one up for about £5-£6)

IMG_9677 IMG_9678 IMG_9679 IMG_9680 IMG_9681

Ten Pieces Project

We were keen to take part in the BBC Ten Pieces project this year.  Pupils listened to and watched a short film introducing 10 pieces of classical music, we then developed creative responses to each piece.  Pupils came up with a whole range of ideas for how we could respond, we then linked them to experiences and outcomes which became our planning for the term.  Holst’s ‘Mars’ inspired a science topic on Space, we visited Dundee Science Museum, watched the Eclipse (good timing!) and pupils wanted to write some space themed stories too. P1-3 pupils looked through a range of picture books before deciding on a Lauren Child style collage approach, while P5-7 listened to podcasts of NASA astronauts before creating characters for their own suspense filled graphic novel.

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Finding an audience for our work is very important, so we shared our books at our community showcase.

For our response to Stravinsky’s Firebird we were lucky enough to work with Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre https://www.clydebuiltpuppet.co.uk.  Each pupil wanted to create their own bird and then P5-7 created a ‘Mega Bird’  they had to work together as a team to fly it.  Check out the flying skills via BBC Ten Pieces site. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02p4n7r  P5-7 also created a bit of a storm in response to Britten. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02p6ktt .

It’s hard not to smile standing in a field, listening to Stravinsky, watching pupils flying a giant bird.

Happy Creating.

@ciaracreative @grandtullyps

 

 

Pedagoo Primary: Supporting ITE students and NQTs
May 13, 2015
0

One of the learning conversations in round 2 of Pedagoo Primary was entitled: Developing Partnerships to Support ITE students/NQTs: could we do it better? This conversation was led by Caroline Breyley, HT in a small school in Shetland and Associate Tutor for the University for the Highlands & Islands and Rebekah Hutton, an NQT teaching in Fife.

Listen to the learning conversation led by Caroline and Rebekah below:

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