One of the goals of our Social Science department this year has been to encourage more peer observations of lessons. The prospect of having a colleague sit in on a lesson, armed with paper and pen to critique performance, can make a teacher uncomfortable. This is why I prefer to think of these lessons in friendlier terms as ‘classroom visits’. These visits not only offer the teacher greater insight into their teaching practice, they can serve as a source of inspiration for the visiting teacher too.
John Hattie (who introduced the concept of visible learning in his meta study on factors affecting learning outcomes) notes that teachers make the greatest difference to students’ learning. He says that as teachers, we all know what works in the classroom based on our own experience. However, what Hattie would like teachers to ask is – ‘what works better?’ Continue reading →
Last month saw Internationella Engleska Gymnasiet host the annual Regional Conference for schools within the IES organisation. The theme for this year’s conference was Educate, Engage, Inspire. The conference keynote speakers included C.J. Simister, David Didau (The Learning Spy) and researchED‘s Tom Bennett. A variety of workshops were held throughout the day exploring subjects such as formative assessment, classroom behaviour, and technology in education. My workshop, Engaging Students with Engaging Video, demonstrated how to get more out of videos through using EdPuzzle. Continue reading →
As educators, we all know that YouTube is a wonderful resource for supplementing our lessons. From the myriad videos on TEDTalks and Khan Academy to the many posts of teachers such as Derek Muller of Veritasium and those on the popular Crash Course series, YouTube has proven itself to be invaluable as an online depository of knowledge.
We have all shared and consumed clips but have you ever considered creating your own videos? Continue reading →
Last month I received a copy of Vi får det att funka! (We get it to work!) from Lärarnas Riksförbund (The National Union of Teachers in Sweden) which outlines successful teaching practice using information and communication technology (ICT). In this book, a variety of teachers from a wide range of subjects share their experiences and practical tips of using IT in school. Continue reading →
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 →