SHP2014: Teachmeet

Ed Podesta first. He’s making a plea for teachers to come and help answer questions and provide advice for students on the student forum section of the forum.

Luke Mayhew second, talking about GCSE Classical civilisation. He pitches it as a way to appeal to students across the ability range – there is a foundation and higher paper – and those who are more interested in the ancient side of history. There are plenty of supportive societies that are willing to help with funding, an excellent text book, accessible questions on the exam paper, and plenty ideas for independent and collaborative learning.

John Heffernan third. He shares information about the Digital Public Library of America, which allows museums and libraries to share their resources all in one place. It’s a great resource site for history teachers, with a huge collection of stuff from all over the world. He shows us a few of the collections.

Phil Mctigue (?) speaking next, he provides words to help students scaffold their work on cause and consequence.


Lesley Ann speaking next, on speaking for literacy. One idea is to chop up a key word on two sticky labels, and once they’ve found their other half they have to come up with a definition; then she references Manglish and the strategies in them to encourage fluency. Time students discussing a topic they are good at and challenge them to do it without fillers, hesitation, ellipsis and elision.

Stuart speaks about causes. When we talk about causes as teachers, sometimes you see eyes glaze over; and sometimes students struggle to grasp the concept of multi-causal. Stuart came up with the idea of multi-causal whacking stick. “If you can find a cause of xyz in this text book then you can hit me on the head with a rolled up piece of A3 paper”. Or they could smash up a stack of cardboard boxes.

Siggi Pickles shares an idea she pinched from a science teacher – purple pages of progress (I like this, it sounds like my purple pens idea). Students receive a differentiated sheet to help them improve their work and act on feedback immediately to improve their work.

Dale Banham talks next about a homework that involved finding funny misspelled signs, to help them focus on the importance of good literacy. If students are struggling with their writing, use the idea of the black box: there needs to be a stage of the lesson where you’re really challenged, when you’re in the pit; afterwards students can go to the black box and record what their problem was and how they got out of it, so that other students can use that in future.

Izzy speaks about building learning muscles, habits and skills. They ran a cross-curricular project about Medieval castles: good historical design from history, correct building materials etc from science.

Emma talks about her work with flipped learning. Emma created work books for her students to use at home instead of creating videos. There were three differentiated tasks within the workbook, and this allowed students to cover the content at home and then do more analytical and evaluative stuff in class. It improved student confidence and engagement, and made them much more resilient.

Richard Kennett rounds things off by talking about Poundland pedagogy. He used window pens to create different/similar word walls for his A level students. He dissected a rubber pig filled with felt organs to demonstrate Galen’s work on medicine.

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