This week assistant head Dave Anderson and I hosted a Teach Meet at our school to encourage teachers to share their good practice. It was a great opportunity for people to share their ideas and their passion for teaching. There was a number of different tools people suggested which is why we decided to keep the theme open.
We had a variety of different subjects showing us a huge array of tools to use including, Maths, Science and general pastoral care.
- Use of Technology in the Classroom – Me
- How to draw a house?
- The Art of Brilliance
- Self-reflection strategy from OTP
- The Power of the Grid
- Quick on the Draw
- Stimulating ideas
I kicked off proceedings including a number of different tools which are useful in the classroom. The first thing I decided to show was the use of an innovative search method called mymontage.com . Have you ever heard of “pinterest” it is very similar, however it was around before pinterest. The idea is that students create a montage of ideas. They can combine videos, images and text and they can create a montage as a great start activity. It moves teachers away from sitting students at a computer and getting them to search a normal search engine. I have been using this recently as a starter for ideas in Kodu. My students are developing computer games based on space and I used it as a starting point. I related to industry games and explained to students how the industry creating huge mood boards before starting their designs.
Moving on from this, I thought I would show the Maths teachers an easy win with the Maths worksheet generator. You can download this tool here. I shared the website with staff and was able to show them how you can type in an equation and it works out the answers for them and generates the answers straight away.
SongSmith – I talked to staff about how I have been encouraging literacy in my IT lessons. I had been getting students to advertise their games and they have been writing jingles for some of their game companies. From this I showed the staff how to use SongSmith and made some tutorials for them to use.
Last but not least, I showed staff a little speech tool within Microsoft Word which allows you to hear back text you have typed in. Many SEN students struggle to read their work back. Some students think that their work makes sense on reading it but having a speak tool turned on within Microsoft word allows students to hear what it actually sounds like before submitting the work. This will also help them to try out different texts.
For risk of upsetting people for giving out their real names online, I will call them, a science teacher, a history teacher etc…
Some highlights for me at this teach meeting included the following:
The Art Of Brilliance –
A science teacher and head of year explained what they were doing to make things more positive. When students make mistakes how they’re trying to get students to evaluate the situation and not necessarily feel negative all of the time. She talked about the people around students who are ‘mood hoovers’ and the positive techniques they were reinforcing in order to bring up a positive attitude to students learning. Ways of doing this include positive behaviour management. For example, rather than bellowing at a child for their behaviour, you can put a positive spin on things by telling students but you liked about their behaviour and how to improve it.
How to draw a house –
A nice quick win here. Another science teacher shared a brilliant start activity. You get a student to draw a house and get them to mark their work out of 10. What the students don’t realise is that there are marks for the house for things such as birds, double doors, garages and fences. The students are given time to do the task again but are given the marking criteria. Then as a teacher you can reinforce the assessment criteria with the students. This is a great task and made a good point, if you don’t share assessment guidance with your students, how are they to make the improvement?
One of our teachers had been on a course on the use of self reflection. As a result they had learnt a lot about how to become an ‘Outstanding’ teacher. They were given self reflection sheets which allowed them to look at different areas of teaching. They helped them to think about their strengths and weaknesses. It was a great presentation and it made people realise that, as a practitioner you should always be reviewing your learning. One of the key things which came out of this presentation was that the quality of feedback given to students was the thing that made had the biggest improvement on their learning.