Timelines are often used by History teachers because they are an excellent and effective method to help pupils develop their chronological awareness and understanding. Timelines can support pupils gaining a historical overview of a period, assist in recalling key dates, events and individuals and also visualise how progress, developments and change have occurred over time. A positive/negative timeline goes beyond putting events in chronological order and requires discussion, analysis and reaching a judgement.
I’ll be honest, I struggled with an appropriate title for this post!
A bag of plastic balls can first appear like a teachers worst nightmare …with potentially inappropriate ball comments, balls flying around and so on! They may also appear to some teachers as “gimmickry”. However, they have worked really well with my students. Of course, they are fun but in addition to that (that isn’t my priority although I do want students to be engaged in addition to making progress), there are lots of ways they can be used as an activity to aid learning and progress forwards. These are some of the different ways I have used the ball pool ( I suggest using the term ball pool rather than ball bag!).
Everyone who knows me, personally or professionally, know that I love to teach (hence the profile and blog name) but I also love to travel. When the opportunity came up for me to take part in the British Council Connecting Classrooms programme, I did not hesitate!
Teachers can struggle to ‘switch off’ from the day job. This was certainly true when I was shopping in Asda one night and purchased three traffic light coloured tubs to use in my classroom!
The traffic light colours are often associated with AfL. This is because it is a very simple method to self assess and reflect. Red often meaning that the pupil struggled, found the work or lesson too difficult, needs more help etc. The yellow or amber colour is associated with the student being able to grasp most elements but not all and almost there. The green is the go ahead, showing confidence and understanding. However, different Schools and classes that use the Traffic Light/ RAG colours do so in different ways. There are lots of interesting ways I have used the traffic light colours in my classroom and the collection tubs are one idea that I found worked very well!
Spelling, punctuation and grammar are an essential part of learning and communication. Teachers and students understand the importance of SPaG and if they don’t, have a word!
I have shared this idea before on Twitter and at various Teach Meet events where I have presented. The concept itself may come across as a gimmick but students have responded really well to this activity! Reflecting upon that point, metacognition is a massively important element of successful learning. By stressing the importance of certain elements of learning, such as spelling, grammar and punctuation, children are able to ensure that it is at the front of their mind when learning in class. This is why, whilst on the face of it seemingly ‘gimmicky’ the SPaG watch activity really is an integral part of learning in my classroom.
Nobody wants to recieve a speeding ticket! However, if someone has recieved a speeding ticket it is likely the fine and/or points will act as a future deterrent to help the driver learn from their motoring mistake!
I have introduced speeding tickets into my classroom…
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.