Monday 10th December 2012


Questioning – Raising the Profile

  • Try Thunks to get them thinking when they come in to the room.  Check out the Thunks website: Thunks here – lots of them!  For example, Is it better to feel lonely in a society obsessed with celebrity and fashion, or be happy with the distractions of a shallow life?
  • Question of the week
  • Question Wall
  • Giving think time – at least 10 seconds!
  • No hands up – random name generator
  • Think, Pair, Share (can also be Think, Small Groups Discuss, Share)
  •  Hinge Questions
  • Beyond the classroom – look at at subject’s displays in corridors – could you add some interesting questions?
  • Really meaningful display – add thoughtful questions and then students’ thoughts as you unlock the learning together
  • Introduce the time machine idea (anything will do: bike, car, cardboard box) to ask questions about the past and the future
  • Make them google proof – ask questions that can’t be found on the t’internet

Friday 7th December 2012

untitledClick here to see a short film about ZPD:


This week, as a school, we have had an increased focus on differentiation; what adjustments we make to teaching in order to enable all students to experience success.  This related directly to the ‘zone of proximal develepment’ (ZPD). Research suggests that we learn best when on the very edge of our comfort zone (think about learning to drive and how much you learnt initially when you were on the edge of your comfort zone).

Thursday 6th December 2012



Thursday 6th December 2012


Ask yourself the question: just how good do you want to be?

Teachmeets happen nationally.  It’s possible to do a mini version in school.  Contributions need to be 2 minutes or 7 minutes and can be in any form.  The idea is to have a selection of great ideas over the hour long get together.  Please let me know if you’re interested in joining in.  Please click the link above for a short film about the nature and purpose of Teachmeets.

Wednesday 5th December 2012

Day 3

Should we ban PowerPoint in schools?

Some interesting ideas in this short (4 mins) Teachmeet film about how PowerPoint can be used effectively:


  • make it highly visual
  • avoid too much text (avoid text as a script)
  • have emotional impact
  • use great photographs
  • have one word slides
  • use ‘b’ to make the screen black at key points when you want students to focus on you
  • number your slides and know which one your objective  is on
  • use interactive text boxes on your PowerPoint to save what’s going on in the lesson – you can use this next lesson because it’s saved in your PP
  • use a full stop to show you as teacher when your last is your last slide

Tuesday 4th December 2012

cartoon-santaClick on this: Fascinating short video about drive and motivation. In a nutshell, here are three factors that lead to better performance and personal satisfaction:


The desire to be self directed.  Self direction = higher engagement.  One lesson of autonomy produces things that would never otherwise emerge.


To get better at stuff.


To do something worthwhile and know why you’re doing it.

In simple terms:

Challenge (autonomy) + mastery + making a contribution (purpose) = drive and motivation

So… how can we apply this to our lessons?

Engage our students by:

– giving them a purpose (link learning to real life scenarios)

– asking very open ended questions that challenge students

– giving  students decisions to make

– stepping back and allowing them to solve problems and dilemmas

– using technology to capture learning

– using drama to fire up their imaginations

– broaden their subject knowledge by using other subjects in your lesson

3rd December 2012


3rd December 2012

3rd December 2012

Welcome to our L&T countdown to Christmas.  Each day, between now and 21st December, we will suggest a teaching idea to try out.

One from HWD:

Differentiation Cards:  have some cards made that include four different   pieces of information, e.g.: MEG/MEL, colour (coloured card), shape, animal

You can then differentiate in four different ways and can group students quickly and easily throughout the year.