Session 76 – Teaching pupils to learn

Session Title:

How do you teach Learning? – Thursday 15th December 2011

Session Summary:

Firstly I would like to offer words of thanks. Firstly to those poor misguided chaps at Ukedchat for allowing me to host the discussion, and secondly and certainly most importantly to the evening’s contributors – it was a fast-paced, wide-ranging and thought-provoking – perfect for a cold December evening!

It might be said that ‘teaching learning’ is too broad an area to discuss in the space of one hour, but I think we covered a good deal of ground. The important thing that seemed to come out of the first part of the chat was that learning is a skill that is developed, and perhaps can be better described as a process, and can often be best brought about by modelling. @JOHNSAYERS comment of “Learning involves virtual permanent understanding of something not just a short term gain which is progressive development cycle”

seemed very apposite, along with the comments of others that things such as resilience and not having fear of failure are vital. Concepts such as ‘scaffolding’ were mentioned to give students support, as well as placing teaching and learning alongside one another, with teacher and student working together. @Kidu89 said that ” Learning must be seen as a continual reconstruction of experience that considers social, psychological and developmental factors”.

@mberry offered the comment that “Pre-schoolers come ready-equipped knowing how to learn: it’s what they do. Not sure schooling comes so naturally”,

which led us to consider whether “Sometimes the answer isn’t the learning. It’s the process of how you got to the answer”

(@ICTWitz). It was also recommended that learning is a joint process, with student and teacher in a less didactic relationship. Moreover, a teacher can often find things that he or she can learn from the students themselves, in addition to the teacher modelling learning by setting an example (silent reading for example).

The latter part of the chat was a little concerning – with a remark that under the current government ‘didacticism’ is returning and schools are becoming exam factories.

There is so much that I could have mentioned in this summary, and I am concerned that I have not covered everything. For that, I sincerely apologise, but would recommend that everyone read the archive to see how the whole hour progressed.

Have a happy Christmas and see you in 2012!

Tweet of the Week:

@KempsterD: #ukedchat I still see far too much didactic teaching and it is going to get worse under Gove. I despair sometimes. Education factories… (Sorry, I know it is not a happy thought but it is an important thing in my mind)

 About your Host:

I am a teacher of Modern Languages in a rural location in the West Midlands – I have been teaching in a variety of settings for 18 years, as well as having worked full time in Initial Teacher Education.

Links and Archive from the session:

Session 75 – Thursday 8th December 2011

Session Title:

How do you engage as many pupils as possible?

Session Summary:

Well wasn’t my first time of moderating UK and chat fast fun and interesting! The topic for this week was how we can engage as many people as possible?
This topic was very close to another topic on the vote, narrowly beating another topic for this Thursday, that however didn’t seem to have any effect on how many people joined us for the chat
It started at its usual speed and pace as many people suggested ideas and ways in which they engaged their pupils. Interestingly there was a debate as to what ‘engage’ meant.

From this we were able to continue the debate, with the understanding that to engage is not just to occupy but to stimulate and hold attention resulting in achievement and attainment.

The debate began with looking at the qualities that one needed to engage children, or rather the debate began by people saying personal qualities were important to engage pupils.

The key theme that came through at this point was having a relationship with your pupils. Knowing the children is key, you know their strengths, weaknesses, interests and disinterests. This should then allow you to plan activities that will engage your pupils.

Personal qualities are important and often allow you to engage children even in activities that are necessary rather than exciting and inspiring. However we need to have some practical ideas on how we can engage pupils through activities. The debate threw out some helpful ideas, but did still centred around knowing the pupils through that relationship. Blogging, games, Assessment for Learning, Competition, Dragon’s Den, The Apprentice and Kagan were just some suggestions.

Whatever activity we use and what ever personal qualities we posses, we must make it our goal to engage pupils, by finding out about them, what makes them tick, what inspires them. We will undoubtedly get it wrong sometimes, we may surprise ourselves sometimes, we may fail to engage some pupils who are the hardest to reach, but we should make it our sole aim to engage as many pupils as possible.

We finished by answering the question whether ‘what you do is more important than who you are’, when it comes to engaging pupils. We agreed that both are vital, but that personal qualities and how YOU ARE with the children are more important.

I’m ICT leader and Year 5 teacher in Alexandra School Wrexham. I have a passion to see children enjoy their education, through using many tools, but particularly ICT. I have recently set up ‘paired up’ (which aims to complement Quadblogging) where I aim to link an adult from twitter with a class blog for half a term. If you’re happy to be a commenter or have a class blog please get in touch. (@ikeontoast)

Links & Archive of the Session:

Session 72 – Thursday 17th November 2011

Session Title:

How can we build children’s imaginations so that they have more to choose from for their writing?

Session Summary:

Once again, the discussion was fast but not furious as apart from the use of grammar (see below) there was a great consensus of opinion. The topic came from my role as producer of the 100 Word Challenge. This is a weekly creative writing challenge for children under 16. I set a prompt of a few words or a picture and the children have 100 words to write a creative piece. This is then posted on the class blog then linked to the Head’s Office where it is shared with all the children who have entered.

I am concerned that many children will write about blood and gore even when I have carefully (or so I think) set a ‘not gorey’ prompt!

The discussion was full of ideas to encourage creativity. From lots of reading out loud to using film, animations, cartoons, telling stories, using prompt writers, cover-it-live, wikis. A point that was emphasized throughout was to get a sense of audience so that there is a purpose to children’s writing. Obviously that brought in praise for class blogs!

There was a discussion around grammar and whether it was a necessary evil or a vital component to children’s writing. I think that one is like marmite – you either love it or hate it!

One strong thread was that all teachers should take on the responsibility to support creative thinking and writing. It should not be just an English teacher’s responsibility. Maths and geography teachers explained that they are involved in creative writing within their subject.

For my original concern @imrandjk suggested  – I dont necessarily think it’s about beating it (blood & gore) – more about embracing it

The use of questions was also emphasized as it was felt often children don’t know what they know. Play, drama and specific role play were also suggested as were music and the arts in general. Getting a cross curricular approach especially with areas like PSHE can provide the impetus for writing without it being a ‘writing’ lesson.

There were so many ideas and suggestions, I do recommend you look at the archive to get a fuller feel of what was discussed. http://t.co/8KaIKOi

Notable tweets from the session:

@photographamy – #ukedchat writing in different places and on different things. We have lots of whiteboards in EYFS. Chalkboards, ring bound notebooks etc.
@Educationchat – Get children to TALK together before writing.  Don’t accept their first answer – give them time to be more imaginative & model it #ukedchat
@_imaginaryme – SEAL resources, esp photocards, great for empathy #ukedchat
@deputymitchell – Writing shouldn’t be a lonely task! Pupils should plan through collaboration with support from peers. Ideas will flow, risks taken #ukedchat
@JCBarrington – #ukedchat Time is a big issue – Creativity can’t be forced into a short timeframe, it must be cultivated slowly.
@deputymitchell – RT @LeeDonaghy: Bit of a narrow #ukedchat tonight – one for the English teachers only. <–All teachers must have goods to offer on this.
@deerwood – #ukedchat has anyone tried writing film scripts? Even using cue prompters?
@teacherofyr5 – if you as a Teacher shows your PASSION for reading, you WILL inspire even the non-readers #ukedchat
@MissSMerrill – #ukedchat two picture books – The Mysteries of Harris Burdik and the Arrival. Great for sparking off talk for writing and drama!
@wildblu – #ukedchat Used online comic strip maker to create ‘Bullying’ story today, Y8 loved it
@kennypeiper – #ukedchat 750 words is great for senior kids 750words.com

Tweet/s of the Week:

Here are the thoughts of some children on our topic! http://t.co/Qhp7R0Qp @_imaginaryme   #ukedchat

@LawrenceBham -  the world is bigger than the class room, show them that! #ukedchat

Links from the Session:

Click to see all links...

About your host:

I am @theheadsoffice (Julia Skinner) & I’m a retired head teacher who has been given a second career  through class blogs and the 100 Word Challenge. Do go check it out and join in either as a class or as a commentator!

http://www.theheadsoffice.co.uk/how-can-schools-develop-imagination-ukedchat-homework/

Session Info:

Number of Contributors: 183

Number of Tweets:865

View the archive at: Scribd

Session 71 – Thursday 10th November 2011

This session was all about sharing online resources that teachers use in the classroom.

All the links shared can be found by clicking the image below:

Scoop.it

Session 70 – Thursday 3rd November 2011

Topic of Discussion:

What have been the most successful teaching & learning strategies you have ever implemented in your class?

Session Summary:

It was quite a varied and frenetic session as usual. Some themes came to the fore again and again especially self-directed learning; the work of Sugatra Mitra; working in groups; paired working; reflection on learning. Certain techniques were flagged up “no hands rule; use of mini-white boards, Kagan, learning environments that are supporting; bolstering self-esteem; positivity; curiosity; creativity; identify students to lead plenary at end of lesson at the beginning; Get class blogging – quadblogging; tallies for whole class rewards; encouraging independent learning; wait time when questioning; talk about their thinking and reasoning; conversational learning; talk with learning partners before answering any questions; pair and share; Glazer learning model structure for lesson delivery – a good mix of interaction and independent work; offering choice to pupils; cross class working; allowing time to play; list/describe/explain/evaluate; new audiences beyond the school;  project based learning and philosopy; swapping agegroups; cross-curricular working; read to them every day; invite varied guests in; learning by discovery using pupils’ interests; stand back and watch with purpose.

Some people were of the opinion that’ Best teaching/learning has always been when no WILF/WALT/LO were written or discussed” others people thought role reversal and learning with pupils is more realistic. Other strategies such as open questioning were flagged up to get exploratory learning going. The idea of “learning detectives” was put forwards. Catering for kinareasthetic learners by making shapes of letters and words with hand and a pen. Getting the children to teach and assess each other was flagged up more than once. One person asked “WILF and TIBS became a mantra – what ever happened to the hidden curriculum and discovery learning?” Exploring and giving time to make mistakes and learn from them as well as slowing down the lesson and using a whole lesson to go over and summate what happened last time was another way of teaching and extending in depth the subject. Other unique strategies were hands up to ask a question rather than answer it; film students inthe process of learning as a diagnostic; the use of drama; the use of carousels of activities; put learners in different environments e.g. forest schools for instance.

The idea of making learning more transparent using technology like visualisers was also brought up. High challenge with creative and carefully structured learning were other suggestions. And lastly quite a few people suggested strategies for pupils working with each others’ work for assessment and making that a highly physical mobile activity as well for engagement.

All in all the session promoted positivity and highly creative solutions there was such a diversity of ideas!!

Eye-Catching Tweets from the Session:

@mister_jim #ukedchat this is a recipe for success, involving pupils in their own learning is great.

@KempsterD Creating a learning environment which was supportive of all and built self confidence.Collaboration was key

@josephinessmith:  start the lesson by identifying students to lead the plenary at the end. Keeps them really focused

@MrAColley: Wait time when questioning

@egalr: children talk with learning partners before answering any Q – I really believe talking helps thinking (it does for me anyway!)

@fluffylizwiz: @egalr think pair share!

@asober: Making learners responsible for own and peer learning and giving them a real audience is very effective http://bit.ly/rMXe8L

@primary_ed: Getting children to talk about their thinking and reasoninng. Conversation leads to understanding

@Jennyfer08: allow pupils to peer mark work of other using the same feedback for you give – empowering for pupils and allows progression

@trainieteacher: I also think that it is important to follow and plan around the childrens interests. Motivated and engaged learners learn best!!!

@KristianStill: the best teaching I have seen has been whole school STEM days

@helenhamill: present work in several ways! not all children learn in same way. set on tasks in linear format, bullet points, use IT, extension

@MattFothergill: Hands up to ask a question but NO hands up to answer

 

Tweet of the week:

Really really difficult but liked :

@KristianStill: talk less

Useful Links noted during the session:

#SOLO taxonomy http://t.co/FgBCRLIg;

Learning Objectives http://learningspy.visibli.com/share/nBSaxM;

Class Dojo http://www.classdojo.com/;

inter-schools times-table competition video http://vimeo.com/30916633;

QR codes for reading http://learningspy.visibli.com/share/HfSVOh;

Triptico Desktop Resources http://www.triptico.co.uk/; http://vimeo.com/19141139

learning log videos; TeachMeet London 2011 http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/w/page/45713804/TeachMeet%20London%20Nov%202011;

KS4 Physics EM SPectrum TV show resources http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/The-EM-Spectrum-TV-Show-6125027/;

Thinking Toolbox pictures on FLickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/62762600@N08/sets/72157626707015808/;

Gamifying Education http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/gamifying-education; http://t.co/ObbIKCzp;

Learning Logs video http://vimeo.com/19141139;

Nottingham High School Publish their storybirds http://www.nottinghamhighmfl.co.uk/2011/01/year-10-publish-their-storybird-books/; http://t.co/WxvXomwh;

Online pinboard http://pinterest.com/all/?category=education;

quadblogging http://quadblogging.net/;

Collaboration cross phase through Blogging http://alessiobernardelli.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/collaboration-cross-phase-through-blogging/;

Who asks the questions in your classroom, http://mrcolley.com/blog/2010/11/30/who-asks-the-questions-in-your-classroom/;

Short stories from the classroom http://shortstoriesfromtheclassroom.blogspot.com/;

Best tools to make a PLN https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=266178246753349&id=103495893021586;

Sugatra Mitra’s Learning techniques http://solesandsomes.wikispaces.com/Preparing+for+SOME+sessions;

More Sugatra Mitra resources http://learningspy.co.uk/2011/09/05/do-it-yourself/;

Technology and Plagiarism http://www.best-infographics.com/technology-and-plagiarism-infographic/;

A web whiteboard http://awwapp.com/;

Five bottoms on a bed How what where who why when http://t.co/l1Gs0wda;

Y5 internet safety group brainstorming http://linoit.com/users/PDCSblue/canvases/Year%205%20Internet%20Safety; http://prezi.com/ek-s6ge03yst/internet-safety-jazzie-h/;

Headline Hangman for topical stuff http://www.edjitraining.org/?p=256;

Singup day http://www.singup.org/;

Neil Hopkins blog on Choosing http://t.co/fBx21Wwq;

Bloom’s Taxonomy action verbs PDF resource http://t.co/r84905Zh;

Using feedback as the lesson http://www.kristianstill.co.uk/wordpress/2011/05/31/using-feedback-as-the-lesson/;

School Design on learning and teaching http://www.kristianstill.co.uk/wordpress/2011/05/21/reggio-emilia/;

Building learning power http://t.co/2EsGEYK2; Memiary resource online http://www.memiary.com/;

National College – New tech on children’s learning http://learningspy.visibli.com/share/mmmXm9;

Creative story writing with Imindmap5 http://alessiobernardelli.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/creative-story-writing-with-imindmap-5/;
Peer contributions to assessment http://rubble.heppell.net/media_forum/pairs.jpg;

Map of assessment http://t.co/FpubPMdH;

Who asks the questions in your classroom blog post http://mrcolley.com/blog/2010/11/30/who-asks-the-questions-in-your-classroom/;

Online Working wall http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/nnclass3;

Global Citizenship http://www.edjitraining.org/?page_id=243;

Session 68 – Thursday 20th October 2011

Session Title:

Assessment Special

Summary of Session:

Assessment is clearly one of those subjects close to the heart of many teachers, in fact, a major part of the role. This ukedchat session pulled out many frustrations from teachers who see the formalisation of assessment a real obstacle in their job, seeing the assessment process as a ‘box ticking’ exercise. However, support did shine through for ‘Assessment for Learning’ strategies, but completing these (via APP) in a manageable way continues to be a challenge – they can be too much of a paper exercise, devaluing teacher professional opinion. The fear of OFSTED, league tables and parent conparisons made contributors feel that assessments were not being done for the benefit of the pupils, which is surely what it is all about. An interesting example was shared stating that the school system in Australia did not encourage school v school culture, with the emphasis on the learning that goes on within the school. Something our league table culture does not include!
The discussion moved onto an interesting area around ‘failure’, with contributors saying that schools should teach that pupils can embrace their mistakes, making them better learners in the process – classrooms should be made safe places for children to fail, and learn from their errors. The issue with this is being the only way to embed more risk taking is to scale back the accountability. League tables do not allow head-teachers any flexibility.
Another issue that was raised was that as pupils get older, the level matters more so, and summative assessments are prevelant. However, it was stated that students need to understand the steps they need to be successful in order to progress – this is true at all stages of schooling.
To conclude this summary, @GeorgeEBlack shared a quote from Kurt Hahn, “All youngsters need the opportunity of proving themselves to themselves, and education must provide such opportunities.”

Notable Tweets from the Session:

@potterpitter    #ukedchat assessment is the route of all evil; it  is driving education, which is fundamentally wrong
@kvnmcl    #ukedchat Assessment is mostly playing the game, filling in boxes for outside agencies. Very little of it helps children’s learning
@john_at_muuua    We were inspected under the new orders. key points: 1 we have fewer assessments, APP style, about 12 over three years. #ukedchat
@clairegowland    #ukedchat Students are not given time to complete improvements or think about the comments given, so they become worthless
@grouchyteacher    We need to follow a growth model of some sort #ukedchat
@kvnmcl    #ukedchat The only assessment that matters in that which improves learning and understanding, not league driven assessments
@ICTwitz    #ukedchat New Ofsted Framework “Formative assess in lessons 2 support learn & assess over time so progress is planned for.”
@innerquest    @ukedchat @tombarrett #ukedchat You don’t make a pig fat by weighing it, assessment is a means to an end, not the end itself
davoloid
@kvnmcl This is the approach to assessment in Adult education, part of the learning journey, along with critical reflection #ukedchat
@sibrown1    #ukedchat imo – important aspect of assessment is – time to respond to feedback.  Sick of seeing kids books “marked” with no response =afl
@smithreb    #ukedchat unfortunately pressures have been such that we have moved away from assessment for learning into a model of assessment as learning
@mister_jim    #ukedchat do we need to think about lesson objectives more carefully to plan ops for assessment? Can chn identify what they’ve learned?
@kvnmcl    #ukedchat moderating assessment is nothing more than a two fingered salute to a professional teacher’s judgement
@MissMcCluskey    #ukedchat tests are a good tool for more able/gifted pupils. The right test can help pin point what they need to learn to progress.
@kvnmcl    Government lights the league tabled culture. Media adds wood to keep it burning, parents throw petrol on it every so often #ukedchat
@MultiMartin: @kvnmcl There are no league tables, data comparisons or school vs school culture in Australia. Schools are about children learning #ukedchat
@MsKateRyan    Assessment led learning bothers me for many reasons; criteria led teaching, grade obsessed students, emerging ‘hierarchies… #UKedchat
@mberry    @tombarrett Failure is (often) a consequence of risk taking – crucial for pupils, teachers and heads. qv @SirKenRobinson #ukedchat
@Ideas_Factory    #ukedchat Do we really need assessment?Ask any teacher & they’ll b able to tell what level kids are,they instinctively know-is this enough?
@CreativeSTAR    Is assessment the litmus test of education? #ukedchat It’s time to move from fear to freedom over assessment & everything else.
@tombarrett    If we are guilty of teaching to the test or over use of levels and grades our curriculum needs to change, dramatically! #ukedchat
@SheliBB    We have ‘draw a shoe’, writing progress books (termly) and ICT booklets so the children can see and assess their own progress #ukedchat

Tweets of the Week:

@GeekPeter    #ukedchat ….if the map is wrong the journey goes wrong.  Assessment needs criteria to be met, primaries seem to get it right!
@dughall    #ukedchat Ask yourself *Who* is the assessment for?
@kvnmcl    #ukedchat There were no league tables, data comparisons, school vs school culture when I was a lad. And I’m came out fine :-)
@geraldhaigh1    By age 4 a child has made miraculous progress on so many fronts. On entry to school, suddenly only a few accomplishments matter. #ukedchat
@Lorrainemunro    I see it as a triangle of assessment, planning, learning/teaching. #ukedchat
@eylanezekiel    #ukedchat when  Assessment is link to Raising Standards in the school/LA/city/nation it’ll never really do what it should – help the child
@mister_jim    #ukedchat  assessment equation:  (your teaching + their learning)/specific objectives = useful data to help plan the next session
@tombarrett    “Everyone is a genius.But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” #ukedchat

Web Links Noted During the Session:

@consultanthead  Excellent summary of changes to the new OFSTED Framework from the ASCL http://t.co/nvd0nW6Q #ukedchat
@MultiMartin    @kvnmcl @Babbleaboutbks Mentioned briefly in my ‘Australian Way’ blog post – http://t.co/QAXU04I2 No SATs or Ofsted either #ukedchat
@CreativeSTAR    Suggest #ukedchat followers have a look at Roger Greenaway’s Reviewing website http://t.co/L8bw94zR for ideas to assess & review outdoors :)
@TeacherToolkit    How ICT based assessments can make coursework moderation robust & placed in the hands of the students #ukedchat #eScape http://t.co/vQLMRLhA
@deejbee    #ukedchat http://t.co/Mbda11cx This Ken Robinson talk puts the whole assessment question into context for me. Pls watch if you’ve not seen.
@EllenHodgkinson    @ukedchat Patricia Broadfoot’s done great work on assessment. For example: http://t.co/wREtCYZy
@Ideas_Factory    @ukedchat #ukedchat Is it at this point I mention my APP Learning Jigsaws? http://t.co/3LiuPxdK http://t.co/eq9rhtlf http://t.co/cw1Aytil
@mattbuxton10    Use lots of visual thinking tools to assess what’s happening in their mind; Thinking Toolbox example #ukedchat http://t.co/nIuzcux9
@dmchugh675    #ukedchat Intro to AfL (NI Curriculum pdf) http://t.co/0RvrBBuB

About your Host:

Tom Barrett

 

Tom Barrett is one of the UK’s best known classroom teachers, working in the elementary schools sector. He curates and shares thousands of practical ideas from teachers across the globe on his blog edte.ch, and puts into practice the very best thinking on educational technology to inspire and engage children in their learning.

Tom works on leadership, technology adoption and improving teacher capacity with NoTosh in schools across the UK, and inspires teacher audiences with fresh ideas for engaging young people in learning.

His reputation for seeing worthwhile trends in educational technology is well founded: he was the first teacher in the world to work with multitouch tables in the classroom, pre-dating iPads by some three years in a partnership with Philips. He currently sits on the steering group for Durham University’s SynergyNet project that is researching the future path of multi-touch pedagogy.

He was also a key figure in spreading the popularity of “for teachers, by teachers” unconference TeachMeet throughout England, devising the commercial partnership model of TeachMeet Takeovers at the world’s biggest education show, BETT.

He also worked with Google to bring their teacher academy event to Google HQ London. It was the first time Google held the teacher training event outside of the US. (via http://www.notosh.com/about/tombarrett/)

 

 

Session 67 – Thursday 13th October 2011

Session Title:

Can we really help our students to become independent learners or are there too many constraints?

Session Summary:

Clearly a popular topic, a number of people were chomping at the bit to get the discussion under way this week. When proceedings did begin, the focus of the discussion explored what is meant by ‘Independent Learning’. While there was some debate as to whether ‘Personalised Learning’ and ‘Independent Learning’ were synonymous, most people felt that ‘Independent Learning’ had more to do with the learner taking ownership of their learning rather than learning being tailored towards different learner needs. This was quickly followed by a brief consideration of the skills and attributes required to be an effective independent learner. Out of this initial phase of the discussion there were several common threads:
- Teachers need to take a step back and allow learners to to learn for themselves
- That there is too much spoon-feeding particularly at KS3/4
- That to be an effective independent learner students need to know what they are learning and how to learn it
- And that for learning to be genuinely independent there needs to be ‘choice’ available to the students.

Following on from this, the bulk of the evening’s discussion pivoted around the barriers faced by both learners and educators in fostering IL in the classroom. Many people acknowledged that the pressures of exams, grades, parents and a pre-defined curriculum all got in the way of independent learning. This resulted in considerable debate with a number of strong voices advocating the need for teachers to be brave; ready to take risks. It was pointed out that it is easier to take risks and offer a more student centred approach where an IL philosophy was adopted across a whole school. It was also acknowledged that many students begin their educational journey as independent learners and that IL skills and attributes are eroded by the school system.

Another interesting caveat of the discussion considered whether teachers have the skills to help students become independent learners or is it the case that teachers are taught to ‘teach’ rather than ‘facilitate’ learning? This is a question that I feel warrants further debate. Reading back over this it could appear that this week’s #ukedchat was a negative affair. However, I don’t believe that it was. While there was some debate over the degree to which an IL approach is achievable, nearly everyone involved agreed on its value and importance. Moreover, there was a definite sense that independent learning was imperative in preparing students to become life-long learners.

Notable Tweets from the Session:

@Rblteach a colleague said today..’my students think I’m their wet nurse!’!

@jamesmichie Agreed. For me Independent Learning is learning that is self-directed.

@Ideas_Factory Independant learning is an open-ended question, a thunk, an investigation and a problem with no right or wrong answer.

@oliverquinlan Independent learning has to start with pupil choice. Learners finding and defining their own real problems.

@MattFothergill Independent learning is knowing what you’re learning and knowing/finding out what you need to do to get there

@MrWickensPE the ideal Independent learning lesson: the teacher guides, but does not interfere!

@ShaunGosney @jamesmichie i call it 3D – Discipline, desire, determination!

@oliverquinlan Teachers are scared- of not proving their worth and expertise- of not achieving the grades. If it is important we need to be brave

@futurebehaviour We could all promote independent learning by just shutting up a bit more.

@SurrealAnarchy @jamesmichie main constraints are students, parents, teachers and schools

@TeacherToolkit @jamesmichie teachers, style of teaching, project, classroom dynamics, behavior, expectations etc etc.

@Romaaddict @jamesmichie re constraints – grade obsessed teachers under pressure from grade obsessed paretns!

@UberProfessor independence comes when they begin to lead their own learning, and teachers are empowered and prepared to take risks.

@philallman1 As teachers we should be trying to do ourselves out of a job – THAT IS THE POINT!

@mberry @mister_jim so there’s a learned incompetence – children start off as independent learners and then we teach them out of it?

@cristinataboada @vickystrat1989 So agree with this. Teachers should lead the process of reflection and guide their learners into understanding it.

@heartofsol teachers need to be free to allow students to try things that may not be in the syllabus – and not be criticised if they do!

@joanne_rich do students want IL or o they just want to be told what they need to pass next exam?

@jamesmichie As a teacher u r a learner too. Model great independent learning to your students. Talk abt ur motivation.

@alexgingell @MrWickensPE @jamesmichie think it also requires a brave school

@richards_james don’t be afraid of asking the pupil what they like and how they like to learn and work around them be flexible/creative

Tweet/s of the Week:

@theokk good q, learning’s a bit like hill walking, you climb to the top, then you see all the other summits you didn’t know were there

@SutchLord Teachers should be guide at the side not the sage on the stage

@ukedchat A great thing about IL is when pupils start teaching YOU because they’ve explored BEYOND your knowledge

@thingsbehindsun Teach pupils how to think, not what to think

@mister_jim Quote on my class wall “our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

Relevant WebLinks Highlighted During the Session:

@oliverquinlan How can we enable meaningful independent learning?- Relevant for tonight’s http://www.oliverquinlan.com/blog/2011/06/03/how-can-we-enable-meaningful-independent-learning/

@TeacherToolkit Some detail on #personalisedLearning by@NSCL http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/index/leadershiplibrary/leadingschools/personalisedlearning/about-personalised-learning/what-is-personalised-learning.htm

@LearningSpy This is my favourite film clip for motivating students to learn independently: http://goo.gl/vDAPL

@sciteachcremin An example of IL? Pupils telling me how they are going to show their progress at end of topichttp://mrcremingcseblog. edublogs.org/2011/10/07/assessments-how-should-they-be-done/

@mister_jim Independent Learning: My class project day http://bit.ly/nhduEt

About your Host:

James Michie is Leader for Media Studies and Key Stage 4 English at The Chalfonts Community College, located in Buckinghamshire, England. He has been teaching for nine years and is currently studying towards a Masters in Education. He writes a personal weblog (http://jamesmichie.com/blog) about Education, Technology and Productivity and is an active member of the educational Twitter community.

Session 64 – Thursday 22nd September 2011

Session Title:

Differentiation in all it’s forms!

Summary of Session:

The session was prompted by an article from David Didau (@Learningspy) which generated lots of comments across a wide range of opinions. This session saw as much of a range not only across age groups but also involving SEN and different learning styles.
As often happens we did not come to any agreement other than it should lead to more children achieving more! The debate asked whether there should always be 3 levels of differentiation or whether that was more for assessment purposes. Some commented that true differentiation was really hard to achieve most of the time whilst other felt it came naturally to some but not others.
We moved into different types with many suggestions that it should be based on motivation from learners rather than teacher imposed. suggestions of ways to promote it included discussion and non-book based learning. That brought us into quite a fierce discussion about learning styles. Were they differentiation by another name or were they completely different?
All in all it was agreed that learning styles would provide the topic for another excellent session!

Notable Tweets from the Session:
@teachitso Perfect differentiation throughout a lesson would require mind reading abilities. Just do your best!
@KempsterD Many heads I have talked to have said they are differentiating by putting children into sets.Should we differentiate individually?
@JohnSayers My thoughts on differentiation are based on inclusion. Has everyone in the room got an equal opportunity to access learning
@fullonlearning differentiation is best done through questioning…AfL, student-led learning and stepping back to listen and learn from students.
@matt_bellingham I’m aiming for nirvana. Getting benefits of differentiation without low ability chn feelin worthless
@andywhiteway Best differentiation tool? The teacher’s voice. Adjust, adapt, react. #ukedchat
@dan_bowen #ukedchat lighting fires rather than filling cups!
@MissMcClusky pupils all take the same tests at the end of the year, if we differentiate class work shouldn’t end of year tests also be?

Tweet(s) of the Week:
@karliva89 if children don’t learn the way you teach….. teach the way they learn. Differentiation
@JamiePortman Differentiation gotta be the most challenging aspect of classroom practice. Crack that & you got a cracking teacher!

Notable Links highlighted During the Session:

@HilaryNunns Look at www.geoffpetty.com for differentiation resources. Brilliant! #ukedchat

About your Host:

Retired Head Teacher who has discovered the internet & blogging. Happy to help whether you are a little person or a big one!

Pre-Reading – #ukedchat 22 Sept – Topic: Differentiation

Is Differentiation for Learning or Assessment?

The inspiration for this week’s #UkEdChat topic came from David Didau better known as @learningspy. His post ‘Differentiation:To Do or Not To Do’ caused quite a stir. I got involved within the comments and as I was down to host the #UKEdChat session on Thursday 22nd September, I thought it an ideal opportunity to widen the debate further.

Differentiation is no longer the new kid on the block. When I was  training it was regarded as something quite evolutionary. We had lots of in-set on it and it was something that not everyone ‘got’. Now of course you would question the competence of any teacher who did not consider it when planning lessons.

For the session on Thursday 22nd September I would like you to read David’s article. I would like to discuss whether differentiation is a tool to improve learning or is it a tool for assessment? Are they the same thing? Can differentiation get in the way of free-thinking?

David’s post is here: Learning Spy

So….you have your homework! See you on twitter at 8pm on Thursday 22nd September

Session 60 – Thursday 25th August 2011

Session Title:

Practical Ideas for getting to know your new class

Session Summary:

In the lead up to the new school year, I hoped to run a really practical session full of ideas for getting to know your new class.  The main aim was to share as many practical ideas as possible, and I think it’s fair to say that it didn’t disappoint.

Some of the notable ideas shared included

(A big thank you to Paul Collins who took the time to expand on all of the ideas on his blog)

Then, of course, there was the row about rows.  It started off innocently enough, with some people feeling that rows were not inductive to learning, nor to getting to know the pupils, whilst others felt that they improved behaviour management and therefore facilitated learning.  Tempers and humours ran high and I ended up having to threaten the perpetrators with detention…

It was great to see some new faces last night and it was a real pleasure to see so many outstanding ideas shared.

Notable Tweets from the session:

@PivotalEllie: Get students to write down 20 questions for each other in pairs and then join up with another pair. Teacher stands and listens

@ConsultantHead: I like to make little top trump type cards with their photo on and use them to learn their names

@PhilWheeler1: Get a competition going boys v girls about what they can find out about each other with yes no answers only

@EmTeaches: Getting kids to play ‘Call My Bluff’ about themselves is good fun and helps me get to know them and their personalities

@Tim1768: Games, like getting them to try to line up in alphabetical order, oldest to youngest, height order

@benwhite25: always keep records of early lesson findings about pupils, never know when they could be useful for teaching / pastoral care

@deerwood: look at their Facebook page

@jackieschneider: I used to write a letter to class about me & put in env 4 kids to take home. Most times at least half class write back unprompted

@victoriaellis: I’ve had tutor groups on first day write their end of year report – interesting reading a year later!

@futurebehaviour: Learn names quickly – using it and knowing them really makes a diff to relationships & helps with behaviour

@SheliBB: I’m going to try a ‘feelings’ thermometer this year to help children identify their own feelings and understand related actions

@richard_james: as a HoY I often set at Yr7 where will you be in Yr 11 ambitions etc -job etc – then at Yr11 give it them back

@jackieschneider: - nothing like a class sing song to create bonds & positive feelings. See @SingUpTweets 4 ideas

@EmTeaches: Present your autobiography (so far!) through photographs and ask chn to do the same complete with ambitions

@bellaale: Feeling v energized that we are talking about getting to know PEOPLE on the day when its been a massive stat-gasm..

@bellaale: Be open about *yourself*… (within reason!)

@SheliBB: ask children what they should expect from you as teacher, then what they will do in return.refer to throughout the yr

@TeamTait: Positive Friday Phone Calls. It’s amazing how well kids respond if they know you’ll phone home just before the weekend!

@bootleian: Baby photos – guess who with a prize for the one with most correct

@PhilWheeler1: class speed dating or speed info finding.

@NickiA10: use a snowballing effect, find a child to learn something about, then find another pair to share with then another.

@bellaale: Get kids to make presos about selves: films, Powerpoints, whatever they want

 

Tweet of the week:

@deerwood: If you want to know your new class, look at their previous test scores.  Then tear them up and give each pupil a fresh start

  

Highlighted links:

Microsoft Partners in Learning UK Forum Winners 2010

The Ice Breaker……

‘You’ve got mail’ idea explained

Trust games to play with students

New class ideas from TES Connect

Bingo game designed to help people get to know one another (face to face and online)

Colour Coding to help you get to know your pupils!

Ice Breaker suggestions

Validate – it’s great!

How to remember pupils’ names

 

About your host:

This session was hosted by @creativeedu who most of you already know as the author of the Creative Education Blog.  I’m the managing director for the training arm of Creative Education who provide CPD for teachers.

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