TeachMeet East Lancs Update

TeachMeet logo

Less than a month week to go until TeachMeet East Lancs on Tuesday 9th July, so it’s time for an update.

Don’t forget to sign up for the TeachMeet if you haven’t already.

The Important Bit

Yes, there will be pie, but I’m ordering a week before, so sign up quickly if you haven’t already. Drinks and biscuits are being provided by Bernie and his team at Innovative Enterprise. They are also sending some copies of their Mileu PSHE card game to be given away on the night.

You can get here pretty much any time you like after school finishes, but I’ll probably have stopped running around too much by 4.30. We’re hoping to start at 5pm ish.


The list of presenters (to be selected by a random factor) so far is:

Julia Skinner @theHeadsOffice Improving writing using blogging & 100 word challenge
Rosey Earl @EarlMiss Disguising Differentiation
Kate Davies Demonstrating Progress
Frank Farrell @FrankFarrell 3D Images
Emma Barnes @merryemb Triptico, Socrative & Twitter by a non-geek
Chris Cox @MsCoxEnglish Zondle
James Duggan @dugganjr A Collaborative Action Research Platform
Lee Parkinson @ICT_MrP TBD
Graham Simms @GrahamRSimms Stories from Scandinavia
Rob Smith @redgierob Outdoor writing
Alayne Levy @typingadvice Talking Tom does Times Tables!
Alex Turner @alexicographer How to get your school in the local paper.
Julie Bentley & Vish Kaplia @julie_bentley The Virtual Teacher
Mr. May @mm_2312 Year 5 in SPAAAAAAACCCCEEEEEE
Andy Colley @MrAColley The banned list

So I’m getting all this food & CPD for free, but what do I win?

I love Twitter! Because of it, we’ve had some really generous offers of raffle prizes, they are:

4 x ‘Mileu‘ PHSCE resource kits from Innovative Enterprise.

1 x ‘Let’s Think Homework‘ book fom Thinking Child.

3 x 1 year subscription to Triptico Plus from Triptico.

And some unspecified freebies from Toshiba that haven’t arrived yet. I’m excitedly watching the post and hoping for a deathstar.

Getting here/Parking

We are on Manchester Road, Astley. Postcode M29 7EE. Here is the Google Map.

And here is my expertly edited version!

The TeachMeet is in the ‘Excellence Centre’ which I’ve coloured pink on the map below.

Not any more! Due to popular demand, we’ve moved to the lower school hall (green on the map).

So, it turns out it’s the school summer concert on the same night, we’re now in the drama studio (green on the map), which is obviously much nicer and has comfy seats and everything.

It’s a BIG site with 2 main car parks. You will be much better off using car park A , parking in B means that you will have to find your way around the outside of the building.

I’ve also marked the pub on the map, as you can see, it’s a real trek.


Live streaming

Sorry folks, the technology has defeated us, so there won’t be live streaming. I will, however be making all the vids available on YouTube ASAP after the event, and keeping an archive of the Tweets via Storify.

I’m presenting, can I have…..?

Yes (probably). There will be a laptop with PowerPoint & other common software, as well as Apple TV for mirroring your shiny fruity toys.

So, that’s about it so far, Looking forward to seeing you.


What Mr Ofsted taught me….

From the Sandpit...

I read a tweet recently from @tes which stated ‘What advice would you give your younger professional self?’ and having taught now for 13 years it got me thinking about how far I have come and what advice I would give those just starting out…

View original post 737 more words

It’s all objective

By Mykl Roventine [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mykl Roventine [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I’m trying to simplify my thought process when planning. I’m getting it down to a few key questions:

  • What do I want them to learn?
  • How do I know where they are?
  • How do I maximise the learning in lesson?
  • How do I know what they’ve actually learned?
  • How do the kids know what they’ve learned?
  • How does this affect the next lesson?

I reckon that as long as I can answer those questions, I’m doing OK. Increasingly, I’m becoming convinced that a lot can be covered by setting great objectives and success criteria, and then getting the kids to actually engage with them. For me, great objectives:

  • Are accessible
  • Are non judgmental
  • Are in pupil speak whilst not shying away from subject language
  • Give opportunities for multiple entry points to learning

This is where I’ve found techniques like SOLO invaluable. It has helped me to scale the difficulty in my lessons and provide a clear ladder for learners to see what they have to do to progress. I wasn’t getting that from level descriptors, and there isn’t really such a thing as a ‘C’ grade spreadsheet skill or even exam answer at GCSE. In the exam, if you bodge the ‘give’ or ‘state’ questions then you’re a bit stuffed as there aren’t a lot of opportunities to earn the marks back. I’ve adapted SOLO for both practical and theory lessons, but it’s gone best when I’ve given the kids input into the process and let them own the objectives. For example:

Y8 Scratch

Dead simple. Learners write their names on a post it and stick it to the board next to the relevant SOLO symbol. Actual descriptors were displayed on the interactive board, so I’ve included them here. Some stickies fell off so they wrote their names up instead. Used my shiny new ipad to photograph the board at the start and end of lesson and reviewed it with class to show progress.

This meant that they actually had to think about where they were on the framework and get up out of their seat to commit to action. Better than switching off whilst sir reads from a PowerPoint.

20130606-204144.jpg 20130606-204153.jpg

Whilst this was great, it didn’t really provide multiple entry points to the learning.

Y10 GCSE – Gaming Topic

I did the same thing with in class objectives and learners self assessed in class, but for homework I split some practise questions by SOLO level.  Learners had to attempt two ‘consolidation’ questions from the stage they were at and one ‘challenge’ question from the next stage up. This really helped to ‘call out’ those who just moved their post it to keep me off their back, and inspired others to push themselves and try more ‘challenge’ questions.

Objectives/success criteria

Homework questions

So, I suppose it’s not just about objectives. It’s about differentiation, accessibility, expectations, cunning planning, useful AfL relationships and all the other myriad things that make teaching such a varied and fascinating art.  What I do know, however, is that planning and sharing really clear criteria with my learners in meaningful ways has seriously improved the sharp focus of my lessons.