Teachers are busy ensuring pupils feel prepared and confident to sit their exams and achieve their maximum potential. Pupils will have their highlighters, post it notes and revision lists at the ready! However, I recently read an interesting article in The Guardian The Science of revision which suggests ditching highlighters, putting phones away, turning music off and instead eat breakfast, teach someone else and spread revision out over a longer period of time. A useful article, worth a read. In my opinion revision does need to be personalised and the sooner pupils realise what works for them the better! I often explore different methods to support pupils with their exam preparation and here are some of the techniques and resources I use with my classes.
I love teaching ( hence LoveToTeach the very obvious and not so subtle title!) and exploring pedagogy, research, methods and so on. I am also very passionate about my subject – History ( my mum remembers me at nine years old and being obsessed with the Tudors!). Although I have taught various other subjects as well such as Geography, Religious Education, Politics, Drama, Social Studies and even Welsh! As well as trying to stay on top of my workload I aim to keep up with the latest developments in education. As a Historian I am always keen to delve deeper into a specific period or study another event/period/country that I have yet to learn about. Subject knowledge and pedagogy are both very important elements of continuing professional development for all educators. TeachMeet History Icons is a very unique event focusing on teaching and learning, specifically within History. It is a TeachMeet ( free CPD event) hosted and organised by History teachers for History teachers. I am delighted to be a co-host, organiser and presenter once again this year as we return on the 1st April in Chester! The idea has to be credited to my good friend Tom Rogers who approached me about organising this event and I am so glad he did.
In recent years teachers have started to take more control over their own Continuing Professional Development. Schools are also becoming much more creative as to how they deliver CPD to staff too. As educators we fully understand the importance of continuous learning and progression, therefore we really value and fully embrace CPD opportunities.
What is Green Screen?
Green screen is often associated with big blockbuster Hollywood films including many of my favourites such as Marvel Avengers and Harry Potter. However, many teachers have been using this engaging and innovative technology in their classrooms, adding a new and exciting dimension to their lessons. Green screen (or blue screen which works in the same way as blue and green are regarded as the best colours to use as they are the furthest colours away from human skin tones) allows the editor to remove the green background and replace the backdrop with an image or video of their choice.
I regularly use apps for teaching and learning. Apps that are quick, simple and easy to use but have an impact in the classroom. WordFoto does that. The app does cost £1.49 but in my opinion it’s a good investment!
I recently presented at the Jumeriah English Speaking School in Dubai, JESS Digital Innovation Summit, where I discussed and shared various WordFoto examples. I wanted to share on my blog different ideas and examples how this app can be used in the classroom across the curriculum. The app allows you to combine a photo with words, using different styles, fonts and features. The image will need to be on your camera roll or there is the option to use the camera in the app. There is a section “Add new word set” and then you add any words of your choice. There is a word limit of ten words. However, the fewer words used the more they will be repeated and visible in the image. I think that too many words can be lost in the image so for more impact input fewer keywords. Words are also limited to twelve characters, as the app states ‘shorter words often look better’. Despite those factors this is a very clever app that can create visually impressive and beautiful typographics.
There are so many teachers on Twitter, from all over the world, that I could suggest to follow and there are many lists online with other people sharing their suggestions. There are teachers/educators on Twitter who specialise in different areas too. One example is @JillBerry102 who shares her wealth of knowledge and experience about leadership. Another example is @ImpactWales who are fantastic, particularly if you are based or teach in Wales. The accounts I will be suggesting however are those that, like myself, share teaching and learning ideas and resources that you can view on Twitter, like, retweet then use it in your classroom next week! These accounts are not highlighted in any particular order. The pictures are examples of their resources or ideas that I have used within my classroom.
After regularly sharing teaching & learning ideas/resources on my Twitter and Instagram pages, I felt it was time to set up a space where I can share ideas and resources in more depth.
Previously, I was Head of Department at Elfed High School North Wales. I started my career in 2010 as a NQT at this school, which was rated as ‘Excellent’ in the 2015 Estyn inspection report. During my time at Elfed High School I taught History, my main area of specialism, at key stages three, four and five. I also taught Government and Politics, Religious Studies and Welsh Second Language. I have achieved Lead Practitioner status, through whole school leadership developing bilingualism. I have also visited St. Joseph’s College, Anradaphura in Sri Lanka as part of the British Council Connecting Classrooms project and hosted their visit to Wales.