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.
Aim to thrive not just survive as an NQT!
After a very tiring and exhausting year as a PGCE student, I was very fortunate to secure a job at a wonderful local school. I was so happy. I worked at this school from 2010 until 2016. I have mixed feelings about my NQT year and I can certainly empathise with teachers struggling in the first or early years of their careers.
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 back drop.
I was first introduced to Squaducation via Twitter, after a suggestion by a fellow History teacher to follow their account and check out their website. When I and three other History teachers came together to organise the first national Teach Meet for History Teachers, #TMHistoryIcons March 2016, we felt
I recently read an interesting article on the TES online by Alex Quigley, English teacher and Director of Learning and Research, entitled ‘How to plan for and teach tricky vocabulary’. Introducing pupils to new vocabulary takes place in all subjects and as Alex explained it is essential to the success of pupil progression. Grasping subject specific terminology naturally increases vocabulary and provides pupils with a deeper level of subject knowledge and understanding. In the Humanities subjects I teach pupils are regularly introduced to new vocabulary, it is a key feature and skill within the subject. Subject specific vocabulary can often be very challenging for pupils. Difficulties can occur with reading and pronouncing the keywords, which is why modelling is an excellent starting point such as repeating the words for pupils. Also, understanding the terminology in a contextual setting can be a struggle. Alex offers a lot of great advice and strategies. I wanted to share some resources that I have created and used with pupils, across the curriculum and with different key stages, to help expand their vocabulary whilst linking to their subject knowledge and further developing their Literacy skills. All of the resources in this post can be used and adapted for different subjects, as shown with my examples. Keywords within our subject area can also be particularly challenging for both SEN and EAL pupils. A useful strategy with EAL pupils is to encourage them to translate the word, using a dictionary to check if they are already familiar with the term in their first language. I am also working with the EAL department at my College, they offer so much support and have a wealth of experience working with pupils understanding of keywords. I have differentiated the resources to suit the needs of my pupils or seen differentiation by outcome in regards to level of depth, detail and understanding.
In addition to my teaching role I am also a House tutor. I thoroughly enjoy this pastoral role as it provides a great opportunity to build positive relationships with my pupils, not just focusing on the academic elements. Being a tutor allows me to take part in tutor and whole school activities that differ to my teaching role. The start of year is a very important time for teachers to get to know their pupils and as mentioned build those crucial positive relationships. It is also very important for pupils to get to know each other, as well as feeling comfortable and confident in school.
To be empathetic in life can be difficult. To be empathetic can also be a lovely quality to possess. As teachers we often feel and show empathy towards colleagues and pupils, as well as in our own personal lives. Many educators have blogged about the importance of empathy as a teacher and a leader. Empathy, compassion and kindness are important qualities that most, if not all, teachers demonstrate on a daily basis. However, the purpose of this post isn’t to explore or discuss empathy in the workplace. Empathy like creativity and curiosity is very important but how do you teach this? Instead we promote, encourage and create opportunities for pupils to be creative or curious and show empathy. I wanted to share a resource I created for pupils that has helped them to understand empathy, in different contextual settings.
Games and gaming has changed dramatically! Teachers often find ways to introduce modern games such as Minecraft into the classroom. I wanted to share some classic ‘old school’ style games that are great fun and can be played by students to help support teaching and learning.
Most pupils love emojis – that’s obvious! There was a recent debate online about using emojis in the classroom. I can understand how using emojis can be viewed as a “gimmick” but I do embrace emojis in the classroom…to help engage pupils and aid learning, if appropriate. In my opinion a gimmick distracts from the subject content or serves no purpose therefore I do think carefully about the resources I create and when I use them. Here are some examples I wanted to share!