Have applied 3 times but never got to a TLT event before. I loved it. As a result i am relaunching this old unattended and unused blog. I wanted to write something quickly before I even got onto the weekend marking, so things were fresh and as yet untainted by time pressures and skepticism. Below is a write up of my notes from yesterday. I have included any ideas I think I could actually employ in my teaching and their learning. I am following John Tomsett’s excellent advice from the opening keynote of not trying out ideas I liked the idea of but didn’t understand. I’ve been teaching more than long enough to have my own good ideas and practice.
John Tomsett (@Johntomsett ) – Keynote
- Avoid using shiny new ideas that I don’t understand instead embed and improve what I do already
- Use metacognition when going over mock exams and with a visualiser write down what I am thinking when I read the questions in the paper
- Remember most pupils don’t use a pen outside of school so train them in writing a lot in 90-120 minutes
- This slide of his on achievement is excellent
Andy Tharby (@atharby ) – Questioning
- Get into a routine of using mini quizzes and questions as lesson starters to revisit last lesson, last fortnight, last half term’s work
- Sequence these questions (and all questions) carefully to fit in with new GCSE spec demands on knowledge and skills
- Include ‘crackerjack’ questions that cover more than one topic
- Can I design a subject question template for GCSE topics like his one for English?
John Tomsett – (@Johntomsett ) Assessment and progress
- Concentrate more on dragging them all to the highest understanding than differentiating in lessons
- Don’t talk about high, mid and low ability/ attainers instead say high mid and low starters
- Overarching principles of assessment photo ……Assessment must improve learning (do all our KS3 topic assessments do this?)
- Progress is relative… hard work and changing rates of development can have different effects. This shows how lower started pupil can pass higher starter.
Stephen Lockyer (@MrLockyer ) – Challenge and Differentiation
- Get pupils to self regulate their work. They should learn to how they could improve. (Maybe get them to argue with each other whose work is the best and why)
- Convince pupils they are doing really well maybe working above their target level
- I like the idea of every major piece having an audience, but in geography who is that audience?
- Keep an excellent example of the end of topic piece of work to show next year’s pupils. My colleague is thinking of doing this via photos on a blog so it all also works as an online “praise website”
- Get pupils who have understood to help explain to pupils who are still trying (geography expert photo?)
- Beat the drum – publicise high achievements as much as possible (be unBritish)
Lindsay Skinner (@lindsayjskinner )- Keynote
- One of the key peaks of attention in lesson is about 5 minutes in. So maybe start with one of Tharby’s quizzes and then 5 mins in hit them with a key introduction
- Slow speech down when either it is a key part of the lesson or when you are dealing with a particularly tricky piece of bad behaviour
- Leaving words out increases informality – consider that when giving instructions (and maybe adding one or two in when telling off)
- Using anecdotes in class may help pupils see the teacher as a human being and treat them as such.