Monthly Archives: June 2012

Yesterday’s conversations No.2⤴

from

Tim (GP2) to Chris (GP1): “Those are my shorts you’re wearing! ”

“All my things are in my suitcase. Mum told me to wash everything so I did.”

(So why, if he’d washed and packed everything, was I hanging his washing on the line this morning, I wonder.)

“I was going to wear them today! What am I supposed to wear?”

“Well, they were on the radiator not doing anything.”

“I put them on the radiator to dry. So’s I could wear them.”

“I needed some shorts.”

End of conversation.

It was the blatant complacency that got me. Big Brother was entirely in the right for the simple reason that he wanted a pair of shorts and those ones happened to be to hand.

I should be grateful, I suppose. In the old days this would have deteriorated into violence.

Yesterday’s conversations No. 1⤴

from

“I’m in Aberdeen tomorrow” he said casually, as we drove home from the station. Nothing unusual about that – sometimes he’s working in Aberdeen several days a week.

“Oh,” I said, “what time will you be back?”

“Usual time. Maybe a bit later. I’m on the 4pm train.”

“What! We’re booked for 7pm. Don’t say you’ve forgotten.”

“Oh… Perhaps I could get out of the meeting a bit early.”

We’re going out for a posh meal this evening, en famille. It was our silver wedding anniversary last week and, of course, we didn’t get around to organising anything. Tim, our younger son (and yes that is GP2) has just finished school, leaving as Dux of his year. School Dux, for those who may not know, is an award given to the student with the highest academic achievement. Cue proud parents. And Chris, our elder son and otherwise known as GP1, heads off to Massachussets tomorrow with BUNAC to work in a summer camp. We will see him again in early September. As you can see there are multiple reasons for a family celebration and I’m sure you can also see that there is no scope to organise an alternative date.

So, a little advice to my dearest husband:

Come out of that meeting early. Get an earlier train. Do not be late. Do NOT be late.

Not, that is, if you’d like another 25 hours of happy marriage, let alone 25 years.

Yesterday’s conversations No.2⤴

from

Tim (GP2) to Chris (GP1): “Those are my shorts you’re wearing! ”

“All my things are in my suitcase. Mum told me to wash everything so I did.”

(So why, if he’d washed and packed everything, was I hanging his washing on the line this morning, I wonder.)

“I was going to wear them today! What am I supposed to wear?”

“Well, they were on the radiator not doing anything.”

“I put them on the radiator to dry. So’s I could wear them.”

“I needed some shorts.”

End of conversation.

It was the blatant complacency that got me. Big Brother was entirely in the right for the simple reason that he wanted a pair of shorts and those ones happened to be to hand.

I should be grateful, I suppose. In the old days this would have deteriorated into violence.

Yesterday’s conversations No. 1⤴

from

“I’m in Aberdeen tomorrow” he said casually, as we drove home from the station. Nothing unusual about that – sometimes he’s working in Aberdeen several days a week.

“Oh,” I said, “what time will you be back?”

“Usual time. Maybe a bit later. I’m on the 4pm train.”

“What! We’re booked for 7pm. Don’t say you’ve forgotten.”

“Oh… Perhaps I could get out of the meeting a bit early.”

We’re going out for a posh meal this evening, en famille. It was our silver wedding anniversary last week and, of course, we didn’t get around to organising anything. Tim, our younger son (and yes that is GP2) has just finished school, leaving as Dux of his year. School Dux, for those who may not know, is an award given to the student with the highest academic achievement. Cue proud parents. And Chris, our elder son and otherwise known as GP1, heads off to Massachussets tomorrow with BUNAC to work in a summer camp. We will see him again in early September. As you can see there are multiple reasons for a family celebration and I’m sure you can also see that there is no scope to organise an alternative date.

So, a little advice to my dearest husband:

Come out of that meeting early. Get an earlier train. Do not be late. Do NOT be late.

Not, that is, if you’d like another 25 hours of happy marriage, let alone 25 years.

In Situ exploration⤴

from @ Odblog

Just a quick recount of part of today's Higher lesson. I was at a Google education conference at the weekend and it served as such a good reminder of some of the simple things that can be done in class just to make learning more relevant. We were doing weathering, often not the most instant or interesting part of the lithosphere topic, and had already discussed types of weathering. I had been wondering where to go next with this to keep motivation and something Neil Winton had said at the weekend resonated with regards to getting students own devices into lessons and learning activities. This is something I used to be quite good at, but had lost confidence with a little.
Consequently, we had fifteen minutes of impromptu investigation today around the school grounds looking for evidence of the 3 types of weathering, biological, physical and chemical, recorded by photograph on mobiles with students free to move around and find their own examples. By the end of the lesson, I had managed to visit every working pair, check their evidence of comprehension via the photos and attempt to deal with any problems with the content. This isn't a major breakthrough in pedagogy, but its a nice way to evidence learning and was a toe in the water again for myself in terms of mobile learning.

Secondary Sandpits⤴

from @ Odblog

Don Ledingham asked on twitter recently for examples of play type learning in the secondary setting. We had just finalised a coasts unit which involved a coastal simulator seen below. This lesson built on a previous word association task where students were mapping their existing knowledge of coasts and coastal vocabulary. This is a brief review of the lesson (it could be much lengthier and messier!).
I fleshed out an idea I had found for using sand trays to simulate coasts. The paint roller trays were ideal as they had variable depth and we could build beaches on the raised platform and water filled to meet the sand - matching our self defined idea of a coast as being where the sea meets the land. Students were encouraged to try some of the following; aim 'waves' straight at the sand, angle the waves, change the intensity of the wave, place natural obstructions in the simulator and see what happens (rock boxes were supplied), change the type of rock used, try placing man made objects on our coastlines and see their impact etc. I was very clear that I wasn't looking for a definitive answer to anything, but I did want students to observe and record their findings before trying to link to actual coastal landscapes.
Some observations would be that a few students struggled with the independent nature of the task, not in terms of focus, but in terms of outcomes. That said, the engagement in the activity was first class from all, including the non subject specialist support teacher! Some students asked really searching questions and others made very astute observations. For example, although no one named it, several were able to describe what is effectively longshore drift, as well as noting how it banked sand in some areas but removed from others. Interestingly, although it hadn't been suggested, several students tried building sea walls and one a protective harbour and one group recognised that their construction would, in real scenarios, impact on areas further down a coastline.
We tried to give the activity some endpoint via the recording, but I'm not sure that this is the most valuable aspect of the activity. The freedom allowed students to just try things their own way, experiment and probably make some different conclusions from mine, but some similar ones which they will ultimately keep from a memorable lesson. I've no doubt that it was useful, even if some of the outcomes were less expected and I think there is a lot to be said for just making the lesson enjoyable. There are so many pieces and links we can pick up from this in future lessons, even if the learning was messy, with a different structure and an unusual way to explore the new topic.


In Situ exploration⤴

from @ Odblog

Just a quick recount of part of today's Higher lesson. I was at a Google education conference at the weekend and it served as such a good reminder of some of the simple things that can be done in class just to make learning more relevant. We were doing weathering, often not the most instant or interesting part of the lithosphere topic, and had already discussed types of weathering. I had been wondering where to go next with this to keep motivation and something Neil Winton had said at the weekend resonated with regards to getting students own devices into lessons and learning activities. This is something I used to be quite good at, but had lost confidence with a little.
Consequently, we had fifteen minutes of impromptu investigation today around the school grounds looking for evidence of the 3 types of weathering, biological, physical and chemical, recorded by photograph on mobiles with students free to move around and find their own examples. By the end of the lesson, I had managed to visit every working pair, check their evidence of comprehension via the photos and attempt to deal with any problems with the content. This isn't a major breakthrough in pedagogy, but its a nice way to evidence learning and was a toe in the water again for myself in terms of mobile learning.

Secondary Sandpits⤴

from @ Odblog

Don Ledingham asked on twitter recently for examples of play type learning in the secondary setting. We had just finalised a coasts unit which involved a coastal simulator seen below. This lesson built on a previous word association task where students were mapping their existing knowledge of coasts and coastal vocabulary. This is a brief review of the lesson (it could be much lengthier and messier!).
I fleshed out an idea I had found for using sand trays to simulate coasts. The paint roller trays were ideal as they had variable depth and we could build beaches on the raised platform and water filled to meet the sand - matching our self defined idea of a coast as being where the sea meets the land. Students were encouraged to try some of the following; aim 'waves' straight at the sand, angle the waves, change the intensity of the wave, place natural obstructions in the simulator and see what happens (rock boxes were supplied), change the type of rock used, try placing man made objects on our coastlines and see their impact etc. I was very clear that I wasn't looking for a definitive answer to anything, but I did want students to observe and record their findings before trying to link to actual coastal landscapes.
Some observations would be that a few students struggled with the independent nature of the task, not in terms of focus, but in terms of outcomes. That said, the engagement in the activity was first class from all, including the non subject specialist support teacher! Some students asked really searching questions and others made very astute observations. For example, although no one named it, several were able to describe what is effectively longshore drift, as well as noting how it banked sand in some areas but removed from others. Interestingly, although it hadn't been suggested, several students tried building sea walls and one a protective harbour and one group recognised that their construction would, in real scenarios, impact on areas further down a coastline.
We tried to give the activity some endpoint via the recording, but I'm not sure that this is the most valuable aspect of the activity. The freedom allowed students to just try things their own way, experiment and probably make some different conclusions from mine, but some similar ones which they will ultimately keep from a memorable lesson. I've no doubt that it was useful, even if some of the outcomes were less expected and I think there is a lot to be said for just making the lesson enjoyable. There are so many pieces and links we can pick up from this in future lessons, even if the learning was messy, with a different structure and an unusual way to explore the new topic.