Monthly Archives: November 2012

National Records of Scotland Schools Programme 2012-13⤴

from

NRS Schools Programme 2012-13: Spaces available, January – March 2013

If you would like to book a free workshop in the National Records of Scotland (NRS) or join us for a Glow Meet, don’t delay. We have some dates available in our Schools Programme from January – March 2013. Visit our education website for details at http://www.scottisharchivesforschools.org

 New Online Resources

We are currently developing a new online resources section on our website to provide teachers and learners of all ages with access to unique primary sources from the National Records of Scotland to support Curriculum forExcellence and National Qualifications.

 We have uploaded three small units on our pilot site:

The Suffragettes / Letters and Diaries /The Great War in Scotland

 Please visit these resources and provide us with feedback on the content and layout of these new materials and your ability to access them. Your responses are important in helping us prepare for a full launch in Spring 2013. Details of when and how to provide your evaluation are available at http://www.scottisharchivesforschools.org/indexPilotResources.asp

National Records of Scotland Schools Programme 2012-13⤴

from

NRS Schools Programme 2012-13: Spaces available, January – March 2013

If you would like to book a free workshop in the National Records of Scotland (NRS) or join us for a Glow Meet, don’t delay. We have some dates available in our Schools Programme from January – March 2013. Visit our education website for details at http://www.scottisharchivesforschools.org

 New Online Resources

We are currently developing a new online resources section on our website to provide teachers and learners of all ages with access to unique primary sources from the National Records of Scotland to support Curriculum forExcellence and National Qualifications.

 We have uploaded three small units on our pilot site:

The Suffragettes / Letters and Diaries /The Great War in Scotland

 Please visit these resources and provide us with feedback on the content and layout of these new materials and your ability to access them. Your responses are important in helping us prepare for a full launch in Spring 2013. Details of when and how to provide your evaluation are available at http://www.scottisharchivesforschools.org/indexPilotResources.asp

Video Feedback⤴

from @ Learning Stuff About Stuff

I have been using my mobile phone to record video feedbacks for homeworks this session. I post them as unlisted videos on Youtube and give the link to the pupils.

I expect all my pupils to attempt corrections once I have given them feedback on their formal homeworks, so I need the feedback to be good quality.  I have used two models:  individual feedback based on the pupil's own homework, and general feedback for the whole class.  The latter is obviously quicker, and is probably sufficient if the same errors are cropping up in most of the homeworks.

Here's why I'm using videos for feedback:

  • Verbal feedback is much richer than a few scribbled words and symbols in a jotter;
  • I find it easier to give verbal feedback than to try and express myself in writing in a pupil's jotter;
  • I do not have time to give verbal feedback to all pupils during class time. I do have time to record a wee video as I mark each piece of homework*;
  • Video feedbacks are available to pupils as they are attempting corrections at home, whereas verbal feedback given in class is a distant memory;
  • I can see whether or not a pupil has accessed the video on Youtube, whereas I have no idea whether or not a pupil has bothered to read my written feedback.
Here are examples of the two models:

Personal Feedback Video


General Feedback Video for the Whole Class


Here's the process, using an Android smartphone:
  1. Make sure that you have a Youtube account 9I think you just log in using your Google account).
  2. Record the video!  I have thought about buying a tripod, but I quite like the Blair Witch style.
  3. Select the video in your gallery, and choose "share" then "Youtube".
  4. Fill in the details that appear, making sure that you choose "unlisted", then wait for the upload to finish.
  5. Visit your Youtube account and grab the URL of the video, so that you can share it with your pupils.
Feedback from pupils has been very positive.  The proportion of homeworks coming back with corrections has increased dramatically.  It probably also helps that I have been writing positive referrals for pupils who take time to do their corrections well!

Maybe you're thinking "I don't have time for that!".  Maybe not.  But remember, any time you spend marking homework is wasted time unless pupils act upon the feedback you give them.

* I do not do this for every piece of homework I issue.  Only those formal homeworks which I am taking in to mark.

Enjoying mathematical thinking for its own sake.⤴

from @ Learning Stuff About Stuff

Today my S2 class spent a lesson doing some mathematical thinking.  The prompt for this was an Nrich task, More and More Buckets. They are a high level set class, and this particular problem would not have been appropriate for all classes, but there are Nrich tasks to suit all ages and levels of prior learning.

This S2 class is used to the idea of "doing some mathematical thinking".  The pupils appear to understand that I am interested in the process rather than any particular conclusion they may reach.  They work on the task in groups of 3-4. Here are a few examples of the artefacts of their thinking:

This group were trying to find a formula.  They laid out possibilities in an organised list, and spotted some interesting patterns.


This group took a more qualitative approach - they did very well to analyse the problem sufficiently to reach this simple summary.



This group decided that it was helpful to think about the numbers that were missing each time, and this layout (which they invented) emphasises that.


As always, I was delighted today by the way they responded to the task. The room was buzzing with animated discussions and arguments, all about the task. They filled show-me-boards and jotters with diagrams and explanations of their thinking, and approached the task in a wide variety of ways.

These young people were completely absorbed in the open-ended exploration of the mathematics of a patently unrealistic and pointless situation.  

We, the human race, were only able to develop the concept of number (and all the mathematics which followed) because we are inclined to seek out and explore patterns.  This is an innate, natural inclination, and it is my experience that young people take great pleasure in undertaking this mathematical thinking for its own sake, given the opportunity and appropriate prompts.   

Notes for Future Self⤴

from @ Learning Stuff About Stuff

The S3 class mentioned in the last post is a group which I am aiming to lead towards National 5 maths by the end of S4, but this is a wildly ambitious target.  Based on previous cohorts, I could reasonably expect only about half of the class to get there. This is one of those "could go either way" classes.  There are plenty of pupils in the class who are regularly getting into trouble around the school, but there are also many who are conscientious and hard working across the school.  Given that the class is behaving excellently and making good progress, I'm writing this post as a reminder to myself for the future.

Here are the strategies I have consciously employed with the class:

  1. Consistent use of AiFL techniques in class - lollipops, think-pair-share, celebrating wrong answers  etc etc
  2. Explicit discussion about growth vs fixed mindsets (Carol Dweck's work).
  3. Zero tolerance of disruptive behaviour, backed up with generous praise, particularly for those who mend their ways.  I'm talking here about small things: shouting out questions rather than putting a hand up; talking to pupils behind them; anything other than silence when I or anyone else is addressing the class.
  4. Seating plan and swift movement of positions that were not working.
  5. Consistent routines.  Line up, come in, collect show-me-board, sit down and do starter questions in jotters.
  6. Consistent use of the word "yet":  "you haven't mastered this yet", "who thinks you're not ready to do some examples on your own yet?", just saying "yet" when a pupil says "I don't understand" (I do this so much that they usually add it themselves now before I get a chance).
  7. Variety of learning experiences.  Lots of show-me-board work with whole class.  Occasional Tarsias.  Manga High.  Textbooks. Pair textbook work.
  8. Clear learning intentions reviewed at the end of each lesson.
  9. Weekly hand-in homework which I mark and give feedback on, often by recording a wee video for each pupil on my mobile phone as I mark. All homework features a mix of topics. Separate homework jotter
  10. Expectation that homework will be properly corrected.  I don't mark homework if it is handed in without corrections of the previous week's homework.
  11. Explicit discussion about the homework cycle, and why it is so important for their learning for them to attempt corrections. Told them that effective learners treat feedback as information, not judgement, and that I give it to them as information, not judgement.
  12. Constant verbal reinforcement of how delighted I am with the effort and behaviour I am seeing from them.  I started this from day 1, and continued even when one or two were not matching my expectations.  They got a quiet word after the general praise to the class.  I showed them my tweet which said how proud I was of them.
  13. Honest feedback about whether or not they are reaching the required standard.  For those who aren't I contact parents and provide detailed advice about what they could do to close the gap, including coming to weekly support sessions after school and accessing support videos on the department website.  
  14. Being human. I chat to the pupils at the queue outside the class about all sorts of random stuff.  
  15. Listening to them.  I ask for feedback about how the class is going, and try to implement some of their suggestions.  Interestingly, the suggestion from one pupil that we do less textbook work was over-ruled by the majority of the class, who felt that it was an important way to practise solving problems.
My subjective opinion is that the homework routines have made a huge difference.  The message the class seem to have received is that I have very high expectations, will not accept hurried homework and will spend a lot of time providing them with high quality feedback to enable them to improve.  I think they've also received the message that I believe in their capacity to improve. And that I care.

It'll probably all go pear shaped tomorrow!

Awww⤴

from @ Learning Stuff About Stuff

No, I haven't got a video of pets wearing hats.

This "awww" moment came this afternoon as my S3 class were queuing up outside my classroom.  I had asked a general "how has your day been today?" and had a few responses from others, then one of the girls said "good now we're at maths!" with a big smile on her face.  "Yes" said her friend.  "We were saying at lunchtime how much we are enjoying maths now you are teaching us." "Yes" said the first girl. "You make it so easy.." She saw the expression on my face freeze, and hastily added "no, not easy - but we have learned so much with you." "Yes, I've learned so much maths this year." I mumbled something about it having been their hard work that had made the difference.

What a delightful moment!  

Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety⤴

from @ Highland E-Safety

Cerebra are a charity who have been set up to improve the lives of children living with brain related conditions. They do this by providing help, guidance and conducting research.

They have produced a very helpful guide and a seperate infographic poster (shown below) to support Parents / Carers and Professionals in increasing awareness of being safe online for children. Link for both of the pdfs of the poster and guidance here

A new guide to help parents of children with learning disabilities and autism is being launched today. The guide, a collaboration between charities Cerebra, Mencap and Ambitious about Autism, aims to help parents limit the risk of their child having negative experiences online and understand what action can be taken if they do.  It also suggests resources that will help children get the most out of the internet at home and in the community.

The Highland E-Safety Group are very happy to promote this resource to you and the work of Cerebra.


Play Any YouTube Playlist with VLC Media Player for Ad-Free Listening⤴

from @ Feeducation

Listening to playlists on YouTube is a great way to check out new music for free, but you have to keep your browser open and you have to watch a bunch of ads. If you'd like a cleaner experience, tech blog Digital Inspiration shows how to play playlists in the VLC media player.

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous

Play Any YouTube Playlist with VLC Media Player for Ad-Free Listening⤴

from @ Feeducation

Listening to playlists on YouTube is a great way to check out new music for free, but you have to keep your browser open and you have to watch a bunch of ads. If you'd like a cleaner experience, tech blog Digital Inspiration shows how to play playlists in the VLC media player.

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous