A few weeks ago as the school year was coming to an end I was tearing my hair out. The National Tests in English had just finished and my organised desk was now hidden under a pile of marking.
In Sweden there is no external examination board so, while end of year exams are compiled and distributed by a central authority (Skolverket), they are administered and assessed by the schools.
This mountain of marking needed a quick turnaround in order to work with calibration of the tests and then the entering of test results on our School Soft system. What should have been a time to socialise more with students during sports day and other school related activity days became a bit of a struggle.Continue reading →
According to one study, in English schools, teachers ask a question every 46 seconds. The average time a teacher allows between posing a question and accepting an answer is less than a second.
Imagine what this frequency of questioning must feel like to students. I would imagine such lessons would feel akin to an interrogation. While this may be concerning, consider what type of questions are being asked? Continue reading →
This year I wanted to breathe some new life into student presentations. Students have become adept at using PowerPoint or Google Slides and I wanted to add variety and challenge their creativity by using some old tech in the classroom- the classic poster presentation. My aim was to create visually appealing poster presentations that would engage viewers and be educational but not loaded with text. Continue reading →
In March last year I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of attending a workshop on formative assessment run by Dylan Wiliam. It was the chance to meet one of my key influencers within education. I had previously watched the documentary, The Classroom Experiment, where his methods were introduced to a class of pupils in England and while I had previously read about formative assessment as a student, it was this documentary that inspired me to implement a No Hands Up policy in my classroom.Continue reading →
Our latest inset day focused on the growth mindset. The concept of growth mindset is attributed to Carol Dweck. In The New Psychology of Success, Dweck says students can be described according to how they view their own success. Some (fixed mindset) believe success is the result of innate ability. We encounter students every day who claim they simply are not good at Maths or that they can’t succeed in a certain subject as their parents were bad in it too when they were at school. Other students (growth mindset) view success as the result of hard work, learning and determination.Continue reading →
This week marks 25 years since the reunification of Germany. On the 9th November 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. Whether this can be attributed to an unguarded comment from a stressed Günter Schabowski, who passed away earlier this month, or whether the Wall would have fallen regardless, one thing is generally accepted: the demonstrations in Leipzig one month earlier set in motion a chain of events that would ultimately result in the fall of the iron curtain.
At last it’s the half-term holidays and all of us are enjoying a well deserved break from the classroom. The autumn hiatus offers teachers and students a welcome opportunity for rest and relaxation: a chance to get away from the rigmarole of planning and delivering lessons or designing and marking tests. The reality however for most teachers is that the work will follow us on our holidays. Continue reading →