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 – How do you engage as many pupils as possible?

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Session Title: How do you engage as many pupils as possible? - Thursday 8th December 2011 -  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:

Media_httpukedchatfil_ehjgm

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 74 – What exactly are we, as educators, preparing our students for?

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Session Title: What exactly are we, as educators, preparing our students for? Thursday 1st December 2011 Session Summary: Hmmm… the topic this week was a slightly daunting prospect to moderate. Could it be any more open-ended or actually any more pertinent? I think the #ukedchat community rose to the challenge though, with a fast-paced and thought-provoking discussion. There was much debate about our current curriculum model and whether it allows us the scope to prepare pupils for their futures. People seemed to be broadly in agreement that the model is out-dated and… I posed the question what in our own schooling had prepared us best and the responses were interesting. Many people extolled the virtues of extra-curricular activities, school trips and membership of teams as having taught essential life skills which have proved more useful than individual subject content. There was talk of needing to prepare students for sustainable living, global citizenship and digital literacy. People also advocated skills such as resilience, independent thinking and learning, questioning and learning from mistakes. Given the current political and economic climate, there was also a healthy (in my opinion!) smattering of cynicism amongst the often idealistic thoughts of some. I think @paulhaigh ‘s “teach them what is necessary for life” tweet resonated with me. As a fellow Notre Dame teacher (yes, I recognised the motto!) I think this goes to the very heart of what we’re all striving for: preparing our pupils to make the very best out of their lives. For some, as we discussed, that might mean teaching the basics like cooking, budgeting, looking after their physical and emotional health in addition to stretching and challenging them academically. The need to embed independent learning and questioning skills seemed to be a priority for most of the contributors. We want to enable students to ask questions, to challenge and to become lifelong learners. (Some contributors offered examples of how they do this in their lessons – please do check the archive and list of web links shared for more details.) I liked @ufasarah ‘s term “learning dispositions” as a way of describing these qualities. Entrepreneurial skills were discussed, as was the role of ‘experts’ in assisting to equip students with vital skills and experiences beyond the classroom. Of course there was the potentially damaging clash between the wanting to equip students with these skills and attitudes and the need/pressure to produce measurable test results. It seemed to be a widely-held belief that something needs to give in order for us, as teachers, to be able to prepare our students for something other than passing tests. I think what was heartening to read (on a cold and gloomy night!) was the passion we all share for giving our students the best possible grounding we can to go away and make a success of their futures. I’ve selected a few tweets that I found particularly relevant or thought-provoking. I hope those of you who participated enjoyed the chat and those who missed it find the archived discussion as stimulating as the real-time chat. Notable Tweets from the Session: @aangeli With the lack of 21st century skills on offer it feels like we’re preparing them for the 1890s! Time travel maybe? @PhilWheeler1 Preparing people for jobs that don’t exist yet so need to be flexible, yet Gove wants to narrow the selection with the EBacc @paulhaigh The founder of our school said ‘in the schools teach them what is necessary for life’ When did she say it? About 1840. Still drives us. @SimonBainbridge Using the tools of now instead of yesteryear to teach/learn will help build relevant skills for students’ futures @imrandjk At the moment we’re not really equipping them for anything other than jumping over the next “test” hurdle @ufasarah For me it’s more about learning dispositions than skills that young people need to develop as learners. Things like curiosity and flexibility. @JOHNSAYERS Primary really build in express and experiment with new cutting edge tech. Secondary too content driven. @jackieschneider Abolish league tables, mix up the curriculum, give kids access to arts, sports, design, scientists, writers @smile2learn So important to keep the development of the whole child at the heart of all we do. Only happy children learn. @TeachToAll Children should be taught skills to become life-long learners, they shouldn’t simply be spoon fed facts! @amoor4ed Despite government policy it’s down to leaders to make sure the kids in our schools get the curriculum they deserve. #bebrave @ePaceonline I think we need to teach our pupils to ‘know what to do when they don’t know what to do’ @GillDeCosemo We need to teach children to think, listen, question, be curious, investigate, care, be independent, to strive. Not a tall order? @neil_povey Am I hopelessly idealistic in thinking that we should be preparing pupils to be happy, good people whatever their strengths? There were heaps more… seems a shame to have to select only a few! Tweet of the Week: There were many points raised which resonated with me. As a secondary teacher in the midst of (seemingly endless!) exam preparation however, I think this tweet really got to the heart of the matter: @C_Hendrick Ultimately we should be teaching kids to ask the ‘right’ questions, not memorise the ‘right’ answers Links Shared during the Session & Archive: Available at Scoop.it About your Host: I’m a teacher of English in the North West. Currently second in department and interested in learning more about the power of classroom technology to transform pupil engagement. I enjoy participating in #ukedchat thanks to the diversity of its contributors.

Session 74 – Thursday 1st December 2011

Session Title:

What exactly are we, as educators, preparing our students for?

Session Summary:

Hmmm… the topic this week was a slightly daunting prospect to moderate. Could it be any more open-ended or actually any more pertinent? I think the #ukedchat community rose to the challenge though, with a fast-paced and thought-provoking discussion.

There was much debate about our current curriculum model and whether it allows us the scope to prepare pupils for their futures. People seemed to be broadly in agreement that the model is out-dated and…

I posed the question what in our own schooling had prepared us best and the responses were interesting. Many people extolled the virtues of extra-curricular activities, school trips and membership of teams as having taught essential life skills which have proved more useful than individual subject content.

There was talk of needing to prepare students for sustainable living, global citizenship and digital literacy. People also advocated skills such as resilience, independent thinking and learning, questioning and learning from mistakes. Given the current political and economic climate, there was also a healthy (in my opinion!) smattering of cynicism amongst the often idealistic thoughts of some.

I think @paulhaigh ‘s “teach them what is necessary for life” tweet resonated with me. As a fellow Notre Dame teacher (yes, I recognised the motto!) I think this goes to the very heart of what we’re all striving for: preparing our pupils to make the very best out of their lives. For some, as we discussed, that might mean teaching the basics like cooking, budgeting, looking after their physical and emotional health in addition to stretching and challenging them academically.

The need to embed independent learning and questioning skills seemed to be a priority for most of the contributors. We want to enable students to ask questions, to challenge and to become lifelong learners. (Some contributors offered examples of how they do this in their lessons – please do check the archive and list of web links shared for more details.) I liked @ufasarah ‘s term “learning dispositions” as a way of describing these qualities. Entrepreneurial skills were discussed, as was the role of ‘experts’ in assisting to equip students with vital skills and experiences beyond the classroom.

Of course there was the potentially damaging clash between the wanting to equip students with these skills and attitudes and the need/pressure to produce measurable test results. It seemed to be a widely-held belief that something needs to give in order for us, as teachers, to be able to prepare our students for something other than passing tests.

I think what was heartening to read (on a cold and gloomy night!) was the passion we all share for giving our students the best possible grounding we can to go away and make a success of their futures.

I’ve selected a few tweets that I found particularly relevant or thought-provoking. I hope those of you who participated enjoyed the chat and those who missed it find the archived discussion as stimulating as the real-time chat.

Notable Tweets from the Session:

@aangeli With the lack of 21st century skills on offer it feels like we’re preparing them for the 1890s! Time travel maybe?

@PhilWheeler1 Preparing people for jobs that don’t exist yet so need to be flexible, yet Gove wants to narrow the selection with the EBacc

@paulhaigh The founder of our school said ‘in the schools teach them what is necessary for life’ When did she say it? About 1840. Still drives us.

@SimonBainbridge Using the tools of now instead of yesteryear to teach/learn will help build relevant skills for students’ futures

@imrandjk At the moment we’re not really equipping them for anything other than jumping over the next “test” hurdle

@ufasarah For me it’s more about learning dispositions than skills that young people need to develop as learners. Things like curiosity and flexibility.

@JOHNSAYERS Primary really build in express and experiment with new cutting edge tech. Secondary too content driven.

@jackieschneider Abolish league tables, mix up the curriculum, give kids access to arts, sports, design, scientists, writers

@smile2learn So important to keep the development of the whole child at the heart of all we do. Only happy children learn.

@TeachToAll Children should be taught skills to become life-long learners, they shouldn’t simply be spoon fed facts!

@amoor4ed Despite government policy it’s down to leaders to make sure the kids in our schools get the curriculum they deserve. #bebrave

@ePaceonline I think we need to teach our pupils to ‘know what to do when they don’t know what to do’

@GillDeCosemo We need to teach children to think, listen, question, be curious, investigate, care, be independent, to strive. Not a tall order?

@neil_povey Am I hopelessly idealistic in thinking that we should be preparing pupils to be happy, good people whatever their strengths?

There were heaps more… seems a shame to have to select only a few!

Tweet of the Week:

There were many points raised which resonated with me. As a secondary teacher in the midst of (seemingly endless!) exam preparation however, I think this tweet really got to the heart of the matter:

@C_Hendrick Ultimately we should be teaching kids to ask the ‘right’ questions, not memorise the ‘right’ answers

Links Shared during the Session & Archive:

Available at Scoop.it

About your Host:

I’m a teacher of English in the North West. Currently second in department and interested in learning more about the power of classroom technology to transform pupil engagement. I enjoy participating in #ukedchat thanks to the diversity of its contributors.

Session 72 – Thursday 17th November 2011

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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:

Media_httpukedchatfil_zcdtv

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-…

Session Info:

Number of Contributors: 183

Number of Tweets:865

View the archive at: Scribd

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

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