I just stumbled across something that works really well………
I have had enough of sitting at the back of my class watching 6 different groups present their group work to the rest of the class.I am fed up with them: not knowing who is speaking next, long pauses, the group breaking into giggles, reading off a piece of paper, reading from behind a piece of paper, some people saying nothing, people not being able to read the writing of whoever wrote the speech. I am especially annoted when the whole thing takes up about half an hour.
I am trying this simple adjustment instead……
- Pupils complete the group work as before.
- But then they leave their presentation on their desk and in groups they wander around the room ‘art gallery style’ reading and looking at everyone ele’s works on the desk.
- The pupils judge each others’ work using the criterai that was established at the start of the work. (i have found this works better with the criteria on the board not on the desks)
- In their group, or individually, pick what they think is the best piece of work
- We hold a secret ballot
- The best one or two pieces of work are then displayed in the room and the’winning’ students are awarded a housepoint
- The pupils then complete 2 sentences in their book. “One thing I saw another group do that was good was…..” and “one thing that our group did well was….”
And honestly the whole process takes 15 minutes and produces better reflection and learning than doing it another way.
But the best thing of all is the conversations the pupils have reviewing others’ work and referring to the criteria. It was a joy to listen to!
Note to Teachers:
I used the old Geography Matters 1 text books as they have a section that contains a series of maps for 5 different settlements. however any OS map or maps would work with this. Equally, although we used the ipads and the right move app, a PC and their website http://www.rightmove.co.uk/ does just as well. The powerpoint from the lesson is below
I have always felt sorry for our Y7s. In their very first week of secondary school life they are all funneled into the hall, sat at desks, made to be silent and instructed to take CAT tests. It makes me wonder what they think we are like, if that is what we think is the most important thing they should be doing to start off their KS3 and 4 educational career. Mind you that would be hypocritical of me, as we in Geography give our pupils a baseline test in their second lesson to assess where they are in their Geographical skills and understanding. We base ours on a good one I stole from @davidErogers a couple of years back.
When we have looked at these results we have noticed 2 things: 1) they are rather low and 2) by the end of the year most pupils have really improved. Does this mean that our Geography team is stunningly gifted at our job? or is it that Primary School teachers are notably poor at theirs? Or is that Primary school teachers are inflating the levels of their pupils at the end of KS2?
I personally don’t believe any of these are the case. And I specifically find it distasteful when secondary colleagues of mine propose the last of these to be the case.
But I have been suggested another possible cause and I think it is one that rings true. Primary schools are pressured to get the best possible Levels for their y6 pupils. these SATS are taken in May when there are still probably 9 weeks or so of the year remaining. After that the pressure is off. There is a chance to do whole school productions and the like is quite rightly grasped with both hands. This means that pupils aren’t being educated in a “NC level” style for 3 and half months. That is a long long time in the life of an 11 year old. They are then expected to walk into this new classroom staffed by this strange Geography teacher and sit a Geography test to prove how well they can explain the human impacts of a tourist development in a rural area or something similar. This would be like asking Gareth Bale to play like its the European champions League Final in his first pre season friendly away at Stevenage in August.
So for September 2013, we are going to teach our new year 7s all about the wonders of geography for half a term and then in late October ask them to sit an assessment. Alas, with the increasing demand for data at all times, in all classrooms and for all cohorts ( I mean pupils) I cannot see the whole year group September tests disappearing any time soon.
I took 27 motivated Year 8s today into town to do some Mission explore inspired geography. I cheated a bit really by asking year 8 teachers to nominate 5 girls a class on the criteria “Who has been working really well in your lessons over the last couple of months?”, so we had some even better than usual pupils with us. Then I cheated some more by repeating a day i had run with year 10. and that was a cheat in itself because I had stolen the idea from guerrilla geography specialists – www.missionexplore.net and their great idea for a guerrilla geography day on gender representation.
So really I have nothing to tell you about top tips for field trips or geography teaching.
Then, even better I got the pupils to do all the work. I sent them off for and hour and a half to collect photos and video clips of how men and women are represented in our town centre. We walked back to school and then I said they had 2 and a half hours to turn their images and clips into videos using the ipads. And then I left them to it. Here is what they produced in no particular order …… If you want to leave any comment on their video to encourage them further , that would be lovely…….
If you want to write a scheme of work ….. you have run out of ideas and your creative juices are as arid as the soil in the plant pot you left in your classroom over the Summer holidays …..
If your concentration is worse than a Year 10′s on a Friday afternoon …..
If your motivation is lower than a HMV assistant, well then I can give you some good news….
There are plenty of teachers willing to share their ideas with you and all you have to do is show proper gratitude and be prepared so share back. It really is that simple.
Here is how it worked for me. I had this Scheme of Work to write for Year 9 on flooding. I had a few ideas but not many. I was thinking causes of flooding,effects of flooding and management of flooding…. so i asked twitter and
@tonycassidy @janeyb222 @njpiercy helped me out. Then I googled some stuff and www.tes.co.uk/resources provided some ideas. Then I found a couple of bits from www.rgs.co.uk. Then I look at old scheme of work i had written and found 2 more ideas I had got from other teachers, so I dusted them down and added them in too. Finally we had used the Hurricane Sandy in Year 8 lessons earlier in the Year and it seemed a shame not to make the most of that hard work, so that was recycled too.
And hey presto! you have at least a 9 by 1 hour lesson Scheme of work written and here are the resources I have garnered and adapted for Year 9′s to learn from this term
Here are the credits:
Lesson 1 – the pop up drainage basin is pure
@tonycassidy I am late to this i think as many other people all over the internet seem to have used it. it is very easy to find.
Lesson 2 – A few ideas of my own using the Wider World David Waugh book to finish it off (well Waugh had to be there somewhere)
Lesson 3 –
@janeyb222 kindly sent me her lesson plan and i adapted it fit our school.
Lesson 4 and 5 – this is one of those I used when I taught this a few years ago. Its comes from Nuffield and can be found here
Lesson 6 and 7 – is a combination of the RGS website (link above) and me searching the TES. then when I re-discovered the stop disaster website, I checked on twitter to see if anyone else had used it and got some tips from
@tonycassidy and @dawnhallybone
Lesson 8 and 9 – Is just a few internet resources thrown together with a learning objective or two. We taught this to Y7 and y8 just after the disaster occurred
Pakistan ILT – ILT is an inschool term it stands for Independent Learning Task. But the actual task is amost a straight lift from the marvellous
And then you can also see an RMN folder. You see, I may have written, or rather compiled, a SoW but there are two of us teaching this and RMN has to teach things in her way, so not surprisingly, she adapts my plans. Since we have only just started to teach this topic, she has only altered the first lesson.
Please please feel free to use the resources in this unit. They are now yours to do with what you want. They were never mine in the first place. However, I would really like to hear of any ideas these plans give you. Do post below as a comment.
This really is simple. To be honest it is something I noticed rather than learnt.
My own 3 children are all at primary school. When they have a ‘mufti’ day it is called home clothes day.
I teach at a secondary school. When we have a mufti day it is called non school uniform day
Somewhere between year 6 and year 7 we have changed our language to make school seem a negative thing to be
Channel 4 have kindly uploaded to you tube Michael Gove’s 9 minute statement to parliament …..
Michael Gove has not got his way on curriculum change in school, or has he? Okay there will not be a single exam board for each subject (but this step down is only due to being told it wouldn’t pass EU regulations on procurement).
There will be linear exams only and internal assessments and exam aids will only be used in extremis (2 minutes in)
There will be no more higher and foundation tiers (about 2: 50 minutes ) so i am presuming there will be a one paper only for all approach. However it seems the more able will be able to sit ‘extension papers’. does this mean that AG&T students will be sitting longer and more exams than everyone else? (3:12)
There will be new GCSEs in English, Maths, Science ,History and Geography (called the core academic subjects) ready for teaching in 2015. these will bring about a ‘swift and significant rise in standards equipping young people with the knowledge they need”. This sounds ominously like his idea for a return to O’Levels by the backdoor.
He is going to get rid of the measuring schools by how many pupils get 5 A* – C passes (3:55). This, I must say, I completely agree with.It has always greatly irked me that pupils on the C/D borderline got more assistance from their school than those predicted either higher or lower grades. As Michael Gove says this should now mean that “the achievements of all pupils is now recognised equally.” (5:30). However I await to see how his point score system of “how pupils have progressed from KS2 to KS4″ (4:46) actually works. Again, this seems to be EBacc by the back door, as it will include “at least 3 of the 4 EBacc subjects” (4:57) So schools will still be making pupils choose certain subjects as a priority, even if 3 other subjects are now included in this new measure.
The new draft National Curriculum for the 21st century (6:02) is out today. Of course, it is too early to respond to this as a whole. All subjects have been retained, which I know is a relief to those who teach Citizenship as a separate subject in their school. also the idea that the statutory national curriculum should only form part of the whole school curriculum may seem somewhat ironic by history teachers when they see the long chronological list of events and people they have to cover. For a subject that currently has equal weighting with Geography in most schools, they now have 3 times as many pages to describe their curriculum.
He has stripped out any mentions of “how to teach” (7:25), yet has instructed teachers on a core of what to teach in each subject (capital cities in geography for instance).
But if you teach in an academy can you ignore all of these core topics and teach what you want anyway?
Also where are the national curriculum levels?
We recently took year 9 on a field trip to study clone town status and retail environments in Bournemouth and Southampton. Or as our pupils called it, ‘going shopping’. The first lesson I had with a year 9 group after the trip went really well. I explained the task, talked through the criteria, explained the level descriptors, handed out a writing frame and set them off. I told them they had the one lesson and a homework to complete the work. The class uniformly started the work promptly and eagerly. It was one of those lessons where I had only to answer perceptive questions and occasionally nudge a pupil to work not chat about x factor. Teaching appeared wonderful. With about ten minutes to go I had a great idea: “because you have worked so well on this I will allow you next lesson as well to complete the work. I have booked the computer room so you can do some extra research or produce some annotated maps and diagrams.” The class left the room and the warm buzz of a lesson well run and happily completed hung in the air.
S, full of my previous success and in the manner of a good reflective practitioner, I adjusted my plan for the next year 9 group I had on the following day. They were my favourite group; hard working yet fun, well behaved but not boring nor passively accepting of what was placed in front of them. Once more I explained the task, talked through the criteria, explained the level descriptors, handed out a writing frame and set them off. Only this time I told them they had two lessons and the homework. The second was to be in the computer room. They mooched around, idled a bit underlined the title and slowly swapped some data. There was no hum of industry, no sense of purpose and no perceptive questioning. What had gone wrong?
Of course I had told them they had twice as long as I had given the first group. The deadline was far enough in the future as to be unimaginable (it was next week) to a teenager. They had no need to push on and get the task completed. The lesson was more fluffy than focused.
I have re-learnt my lesson. Don’t give a y9 group a task that takes more than hour. Break it down into chunks. With the second group I should have said ” you have 30 minutes to write the introduction and method” or something similar. I certainly will with the next class. Or in fact I might just lie to them. Tell them have one lesson and then ‘change my mind’ with 10 minutes to go and give em an extra hour as a reward for their good work. If they work well that is, because you can never tell.
I am proud to be presenting one of the workshops on 3rd July.
IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS ON MY PRESENTATION I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT. it is the first I’ve I have done nothing like that.
i am attaching here the information sheet and the powerpoint presentation from my workshop should you wish to refer back to either of them
The instructions given to pupils on the day itself are on my other blog and can be found by clicking here