What am I looking forward to in 2016?
There are a few things that come to mind straight away:
- writing my blog – this is very new to me and so far I have enjoyed writing my posts. It has helped greatly having the #MTBoS12days to base my posts on. When I don’t have them I will have to think a lot more about what I want to blog about and why.
I am very lucky. I have a lovely large classroom with beautiful views of the river. Also, my department is very well stocked with equipment, paper, card, stationery and resources.
However, I do have a few classroom wishes – some more attainable than others: Continue reading
As a maths teacher I face new challenges every day but my biggest challenge recently involved my other job.
As well as being a maths teacher I am the Principal Teacher of Achievement. This is a promoted post that I have been in since September 2014. The post involves recognising and celebrating achievement in the school.
I was asked to lead an improvement team to develop a new merit award system. The moment that challenged me – when the Head Teacher informed me that I had to speak at assemblies to launch the new system.
One thing I want to improve this term … this is the Yule Time Challenge set. This is incredibly difficult to decide upon because there are so many areas where I feel I need to make improvements.
However, if I want to make significant changes and have them be effective then it is wise to focus on one or two small changes and build from there.
One area which has always been a struggle for me is dealing with pupils who have been absent. Whether an illness or appointment or school trip or family holiday, pupils tend to expect to walk back into class and somehow magically catch up with the rest of the class. One of my biggest frustrations is when a pupil leaves a homework or test question blank and says “I was off when you did this”. Continue reading
I call this task “Red Amber Green” – not the most imaginative name I know. There are three levels of questions – Red Amber and Green. The questions increase in difficulty with Green being the basic core skills and Red being the most challenging.
Pupils work in pairs or small groups – it works best if they work with others of a similar pace and ability to them. All the questions are placed in trays at the front of the room (or stuck on the whiteboard) and pupils come up and take a question back to their table.
In a previous post Reflections on Last Term I talked about some formative assessments strategies I have been using. Here are some more details about these strategies.
I used to give pupils a list of learning intentions for each block of work at the end of each block for them to use for revision. However, last term I focussed on making pupil notes far more interactive so I decided to give out the learning intentions for each topic in each block at the start of each topic.
The fifth task for the Yule Blog Challenge is to reflect on last term (or semester) and consider what will I start, stop and continue. I’m new to blogging and this is the first task which has really made me think about my teaching and learning over the last term.
What will I start:
I am going to start using these Problem Solving Bookmarks that I found online (don’t have the original link). I find that my pupils are very quick to say they “cannae dae it” when they see a tricky problem before even giving themselves time to think. I would like to give all my pupils a copy of the bookmark and make a real effort to refer to it during lessons.