Monday, 26 November 2012


TES is a UK based website that links teachers and educators from all around the word in one place. One of its main focuses is that it enable collaboration and sharing of resources for a range of subjects and age groups.

Its free to sign up and I have already used many resources in my lessons - generating new ideas, activities, PowerPoint presentation and worksheets. One that I have already posted about is "Roll a Dice - draw a cell".
All I can say is....Go check it out!

Friday, 23 November 2012

"Success Protocol" for discussions

The Success Protocol was used in a PD recently as a strategy to discuss findings.

At first I thought it was a bit strange to have an outline about how to run a discussion - especially with adults! I soon discovered there were some great positives to this routine - rippling into the classroom and personal arenas.

If you haven't already opened it, you can open an electronic version of the Success Protocol here.
In our scenario we had 3 people, each reporting on a different experience they have had in their classroom and used the above Protocol to discuss.

1. Each person got to speak about their experience or what they had found or the successes that they experienced. This is uninterrupted  - no one should butt in (it's harder than you think actually!!). A guide time is about 5-10minutes
2. Others in the group can ask clarifying questions, or ask the speaker to elaborate. Here is where all you questions that you wanted to ask before can come out! :)
3. Addition insights and general discussion is encouraged. The group can analyze what they have heard and summarise positive or important points
4. And as they say "Take a moment to celebrate the success of the presenter."

It was very empowering to have a time where you could fully explain yourself uninterrupted. It occurred to me how often we are interrupted and do it to other people - it's almost second nature to us. The power of not being interrupted and giving the speaker time to talk is so valuable. This would be great to allow students in our class who often get overshadowed in normal class discussion a time or at least a chance to shine. Now I am making a more conscious effort not to interrupt others while they talk - as I know how good it feels (and as I said its not as easy as it seems!)!!

Late Project Slip

Trialed using a late slip for students who couldn't hand in assessment or a project on time. I find that you can spend much time in conversation with students explaining why they cant hand a piece of work up and when they will be able to hand it up.

I came across this idea many years ago - I believe maybe at a Bill Rogers talk....or some other PD I went to.

If is a small form that students fill in stating their reason and when you expect to receive it. The pros about this is that it is like a receipt. It also means their explanation is in writing and this can be referred to in Parent Interviews. I haven't really had an opportunity to use them before, but have found it useful recently. They are handy just to have some blank copies in your folder ready to go.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Science Posters: Psychological Disorders

My Year 10 Science class did posters on types of Psychological Disorders during their unit of Psychology. I was so impressed with the way they worded and the end product I decided to upload some photos!
When I told them why I was taking photos of their posters - they were so proud of themselves. What great positive feedback!
Will be showing these photos to my next years Year 10s to show the type and standard of work I will be expecting. Nothing like leading by example and having high expectations! Bring it on!! :)

Fraction, Decimal and Percentage Numberline

From SINE  (Success In Numeracy Education) conference run by the CEO
This activity is sooo easy to prepare. Best to have an example or IWB file to guide students on what to do (see screen shot below) to get them started so you can focus on individuals that need more help
Pre-warn them to bring their glue sticks - but have sticky tape on hand as back up!!
I got students to highlight or colour the common percentages (10%, 20%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% ) which they should of memorised. I also get them to simplify fractions if possible and write it in brackets next to it.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Questioning questions in maths

"I teach high school math.
I sell a product to a market
that doesnt want it
but is forced by law to buy it"
- TEDxNYED video - Dan Meyer
What a great 12 minute clip looking at the way math is presented in most classrooms. It explores how textbooks sets out and communicates problem solving questions to our students and how we can engage, stretch, question and make real life links.
He talks about removing information and presenting the problems as basic as it can be, to engage students in dialogue about what information is necessary and hence what is actually important. It strips away the "math" or "formula" and gives everyone a chance to link with the problem and connect with solutions, and more importantly problem solving.
In particular I enjoy his version of the steepest slop introduction to gradient.
He uses multimedia to demonstrate real life situation - all filmed with a phone or similar.