Making a fuss of feedback

Teaching it Real

At the weekend I attended the Teaching and Learning Takeback conference at Southampton Uni – #TLT17. It was wonderful to meet so many engaged and enthusiastic teachers who had given up their time to share their ideas freely with others. One stand-out session was Rebecca Foster’s who discussed the problems with the need to provide endless streams of summative data and the implications of this for curriculum design. She also shared her method of giving whole class feedback (WCF). These ideas were tweeted out by me and many others – like the one below.

Once something in education, that has always been done, is given a name you can expect a debate to kick off. Knowledge organisers, direct instruction, whole class feedback, none of these are anything new. Teachers have always shared with…

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Managerialism

Scenes From The Battleground

One of the biggest cultural changes in education that has happened since I trained to teach has been in attitudes to management. This impression has been somewhat re-enforced by some temporary work in independent schools (and a grammar school) where the hierarchy more closely resembled what schools were like when I started teaching. Based on my experience, the following trends have concerned me over the last decade and a half.

  1. Excessive numbers of managers. When I started, people doing admin tasks were given “responsibility points”. These were changed to TLRs many years ago, and this led to people who only wanted to edit a spreadsheet being encouraged to line manage a colleague. One source claimed 42% of teachers have management responsibilities. In some schools I’ve worked in that’s been more like 50%. If this is a matter of remuneration and doesn’t reflect a power structure, then fair enough. But if…

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Everything you Need to Know About The Golden Ratio #infographic ~ Visualistan

When you hear the words “golden ratio,” you may remember something about a spiral or some guy named Fibonacci. You might also recall a specific number from geometry class—1:1.618.The golden ratio is based on a sequence of numbers that Fibonacci discovered. As the numbers in the sequence increase, the ratio between two adjacent numbers gets closer to—you guessed it—1:1.618. Not only does this ratio occur in a sequence of numbers, it’s prevalent in the natural world, too. Many people believe it to be nature’s perfect proportion. So how does the golden ratio influence design?This infographic will walk you through everything you need to know. Learn basics like what the golden ratio is and where you can find it, plus practical ways to use it in your designs. Whether you’re sizing typography, editing photos, creating shapes, or even working on layout, you’ll be able to use the golden ratio to make your design looks its absolute best.

Source: Everything you Need to Know About The Golden Ratio #infographic ~ Visualistan

Understanding Uncertainty – Cambridge University

A treasure trove of interesting gems with a focus on probability, uncertainty and chance. A must for teachers who want to make their statistics lessons more relevant and fascinating!

Source: Understanding Uncertainty

“produced by the Winton programme for the public understanding of risk based in the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. The aim is to help improve the way that uncertainty and risk are discussed in society, and show how probability and statistics can be both useful and entertaining!”

Examination Resources

Another superb blog post from Colleen Young with all the useful information and links that we all need at this time of the year (see below this post).  After reading it and checking the links, I created this document for anyone who needs a RAG sheet or checklist of all the topics required for the new GCSE exam – I based it on extracts from the “Exemplification of the New Sample Assessment Materials” that C0lleen mentions and links to in her post. If you would like the Edexcel version of the RAG sheet, please let me know and I can send it to you or place it on my blog at some point.

GCSE (9-1) RAG Sheet Full Curriculum Checklist v2 (created by MrWilliamsMaths on 6 March 2017)MWM Checklist GCSE 9-1 final

Mathematics, Learning and Technology

With changes to examinations at both GCSE (UK examination taken at age 16) and A Level (UK examination taken at age 18) all the examination boards are offering help and support for teachers and students. Many excellent resources are available with several published very recently.

For example we have Edexcel’s very helpful resources for teaching new content. For each topic, information, examples and exercises (with answers) are given.

edexcel-new-content-resources

edexcel-iteration Edexcel – New Content Resources

More helpful Edexcel resources include the Exemplification of the New Sample Assessment Materials and the Topic Tests, note the Show More button which will take you to more resources including for example posters of formulae that students need to know.

From AQA and OCR too we have many excellent resources to support the teaching of the new specifications. Given so many new and useful resources I have separated the UK Assessment pages further and now have…

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12 Principles Of Modern Learning | TeachThought

12 Principles Of Modern Learning by TeachThought Staff

What are the principles of modern learning? Well, that depends on how you define ‘learning’ and what you’d consider ‘modern.’ Richard Olsen  put together this useful visual way, way back in 2013

Source: 12 Principles Of Modern Learning | TeachThought

The #1 Factor That Determines A Toxic or Thriving School Culture – Teacher-Leader Voices – Education Week Teacher

When it comes to the success of an individual classroom, nothing is more important than the relationship between the teacher and the students. When it comes to the success of an entire school, nothing is more important than the relationship of the adults in the building.

Source: The #1 Factor That Determines A Toxic or Thriving School Culture – Teacher-Leader Voices – Education Week Teacher

Boxing Day Family Puzzler 2016 – BBC News (The past 12 months in NUMBERS!)

Plenty of numbers and interesting facts for the first week back at school in January!

The questions relate to events in the past 12 months and all the solutions are numbers. Contestants must simply use wisdom and judgement to get as close to the right figure as they can.

Source: Boxing Day Family Puzzler 2016 – BBC News

Mathematical Advent Calendars

Thanks to Colleen Young. Her blog posts are always so useful and helpful to teachers who are working hard every day. Here’s another brilliant resource to start using for December.

Mathematics, Learning and Technology

It’s that time of year again…!

Nrich Advent Calendars Nrich Advent Calendars

December means Advent Calendars and Nrich have published two Advent Calendars, one for Primary and one for Secondary each containing twenty-four problem-solving activities, one for each day in the run-up to Christmas. The primary Calendar tasks focus on encouraging mathematical habits of mind and the Secondary tasks have been chosen to encourage mathematical creativity.

You can in fact find a whole collection of advent calendars on Nrich and clearly the year doesn’t matter! Note the different themes available – a Sudoku for each day perhaps? Or a tangram? Maybe you want to play a game? 

Advent calendar Alex Pett Advent Calendar by Alex Pett

Alex Pett created his advent calendar complete with history and problems for each day. Alex has provided a pdf version or use as aGoogle document. For an Activeinspire resource this version also has sound.

revision-calendarAlternatively how about this

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