#TMDorset

#TMDorset

The Badger Brewery in Blandford is hosting and sponsoring #TMDorset for the first time! This will be a fantastic and exciting event for all teachers, educators and those interested in improving innovation and technology within schools! The event will be taking place on Thursday 6th March 2014 6-8pm.

The event is being organised by myself, Gary Spracklen (@Nelkcarps) Director of Digital Learning and Innovation and South West Digital Educator of the Year (2012) at IPACA and Alan Frame (@HeadDownEyesUp) Headteacher of Downlands School.

This brilliant will be rounded off sampling some fine Badger ales and eating at the famous Dorset Badger Brewery -if you would like to take part in BeerMeet/EatMeet please sign up here.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or wish to help sponsor the event. Thank you to Hall & Woodhouse for hosting us at the Badger Brewery : )

Spread the word within your schools – TeachMeet Dorset is here!

If you are having trouble editing the wiki page then just email me at mtidd@gillingham-dorset.co.uk or via twitter we’ll add you to the list.

What is TeachMeet Dorset?

Learn something new, be amazed, amused and enthused. This is an informal gathering of those curious about teaching and learning. Anyone can share great ideas they’ve trialled in their classrooms, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations. Education professionals from all sectors are welcome to take part.

The main part of TeachMeet is hearing stories about learning, from teachers. This is not an event to present about a product or theory – this is a chance for teachers from all types of establishments to hear ideas from each other. Real narratives of practice that make a difference. It is about being engaged and inspired by our immediate colleagues and a whole bucket load of networking to boot!

So why not sign up now and attend TeachMeet Dorset! Hope to see you there : )

No ‘i’ in Team

No 'i' in Team

No 'i' in Team

TeachMeet Dorset had another successful evening on Thursday 10th October. This time it was hosted by Alan Frame (@HeadDownEyesUp), Headteacher at Downlands School in Blandford.

No 'i' in Team

It was extremely pleasing to see new faces and familiar ones too at the event. This was now my third TeachMeet within Dorset and I always come away inspired and invigorated for teaching.

No 'i' in Team

The good thing about TeachMeets I find, is that it is about teachers sharing and working together. I do find sometimes that I am like the Lone Ranger in my classroom, working with the students to, ultimately, progress. TeachMeets are a great or hearing new ideas, good practice, meet other teachers of all Key Stages, share experiences and to network. Alan was a superb host and I am very much looking forward to the next one! A wide range of speakers once again came from all over Dorset – some video presentations too for those who couldn’t attend plus the twitter follows at #TMDorset during the evening.

No 'i' in Team

My talk that evening was based around improving group work within lessons – No ‘i’ in Team. I intially looked at the work of David Brailsford, the Peformance Director for British Cycling and applied it to teaching. Brailsford joined the British Cycling Team in 1996 as an adviser. Cycling success didn’t come immediately and took a whole team of people to help create a winning culture. Success took time and Brailsford focused on the marginal gains – the little things or one percenters to slowly improve the team. These little changes could be used in the classroom. Learning command words, case studies and keywords can slowly start to make a difference but it is a gradually process. For anything to work it will take time and you have to learn from your mistakes.

No 'i' in Team

I then looked at the idea that teachers shouldn’t be afraid for the students to get stuck – and find their own way out without having to ask for help from the teacher. This can be difficult for the teacher as you are trained to help – but watch. The students will slowly piece together information and will work it out for themselves.

No 'i' in Team

From this point I looked at a variety of different techniques to use for group work from market place activities, revision speed dating, modelling answers using play dough, random name generators to create groups and ‘giant’ card sorting for 30 students.

No 'i' in Team

There are a few ideas being put together for the location/theme for the next TeachMeet Dorset in the spring term. From the ideas mooted it sounds very exciting! See you there or via #TMDorset

Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee

For those that know me, I do like my coffee – especially on a lazy weekend catching up with friends and family. I recently got contacted by Costa Coffee regarding their Costa for Schools resources. I am a big fan of their coffee but had never looked or knew about their school resources.

Costa for Schools is a comprehensive human and physical Geography resource for students aged 11-14. It explores coffee-growing communities around the world and how the coffee trade affects their lives. These are great education resources and they are free – great for those magpie geographers out there!

Currently, there are three lesson plans that can be used flexibly over an individual lesson or over three lessons to build on previous knowledge. No doubt Costa for Schools will be expanding these resources over time.

They cover key aspects of the Geography curriculum at KS3, including:
•Space
•Interdependence
•Cultural understanding and diversity
•Graphicacy

For my school, they would add a great resource to our Year 9 unit; ‘Why is Africa Disconnected?’ Along with these lesson plans there are a wide range of case studies (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Colombia, Uganda, Vietnam, Honduras and Peru) that could be incorporated in your lessons. For more information please follow this link to the Costa for Schools website.

#TMDorset Blandford

#TMDorset Blandford

#TMDorset Blandford

TeachMeet Dorset is being hosted at Downlands School, Blandford on Thursday 10th October by Headteacher Alan Frame. This is a must for any teacher in Dorset to attend if they fancy being inspired, want to share good practice or just to network with fellow teachers. It is open to all Key Stages and everyone is welcome to present.

I have had the pleasure to have meet Alan at the last two TeachMeet Dorsets – he is a very enthusiastic and forward thinking teacher and I am very much looking forward to the event. If you are interested please follow the link here to sign up! If there are any problems signing up please contact myself (@tiddtalk) or Alan (@HeadDownEyesUp).

For those of you who can’t attend you can follow the evenings events via twitter using the hashtag #TMDorset. You can always send in a video presentation if unable to attend.

TeachMeets are a free event to attend and is the best CPD out there! Innovation, new technology and teaching experiences are high on the agenda this year. I hope to see some of you there!

Movie Magic

Movie Magic 1

Back in January 2010 I wrote about hoe films can enhance a teachers lesson on my blog and for Sec-Ed in April 2009. I have always been using documentaries and footage from DVDs and videos in my lessons. It got my mind racing on different aspects of films that could be shown to pupils within different subject areas. I soon realised that films could enhance and develop a pupils learning and encourage them to be life long learners.

Films can enhance a lesson and excite a young mind with their powerful and thought-provoking subject matter. My good friend from my Southampton University days, Dr. Pietari Kaapa of the University of Helsinki, has stated that, ‘cinema as both a popular form of entertainment and a means of artistic and political expression, is a crucial area of classroom teaching. The pedagogical potential of film provides an immediate and invigorating addition to established lesson plans, while the history of the medium and its contextual socio-cultural relevance function as sources of study in their own right.’

As a Geography Teacher I have used a wide variety of different films to help show and back up key terminology or sometimes complex geographical features. The world today has created a generation of young people with very active minds. The days of a teacher in a classroom talking for 50 minutes are long gone and would not generate much enthusiasm from today’s young learners. Interaction and variety is what is needed to engage learners and film is one medium that can grip a young person’s attention. Film can enthuse and generate much debate and help a learner.

Pupils are requested to use and take part in different types of media within their learning from the National Curriculum. Films like music should be encouraged to be used within the classroom. My good friend and former flatmate, Nick Hargreaves, of Radipole Primary School in Weymouth, Dorset, believes that ‘films are a really valid text as much as books. With the National Curriculum we have to look at various types of media within a child’s learning and film is one way.’

‘Films are not always easy to understand and it does take time sometimes for a young learner to fully understand the complexities of a film like the music changing in relation to the mood of the film.’ As we are aware there are three types of learners; visual, auditory and kinesthetic. A film is one medium that incorporates all three learning styles and can hold the attention and pass on knowledge and understanding to all three main learning styles. Nick Hargreaves says ‘film takes into account how a learner learns…it attracts the three main types of learners and engages all of them in one sitting. It reaches out to all target levels especially boys’.

I remember reading Great Expectations at school and found watching the David Lean adaption a much-needed guiding hand when it came to revising for the GCSE. A film may not always be true or correct, but in the right hands, us as teachers, we can filter out the bad and use the great pieces of film there is out there waiting to be used. I would really like to know what films you use in the classroom – do you have a ‘Top Ten Movie List’? Please send in your comments via the comment box below or by twitter @tiddtalk – I look forward to reading your choices!

#TMDorset

inspiration_can

Teachmeet Virgin

Back in November, Ollie Bray, one time fellow geographer at Plymouth University, sent out a tweet to me about a TeachMeet taking place down on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, TeachMeet Dorset. I had heard of TeachMeet but have never had the pleasure or nerves (!) to attend.

Well, after a few minutes of deliberating I decided if I was going to go to any TeachMeet my first one had to be within the county I teach. I signed up on the TeachMeet website and bravely decided I would present too. I had a couple of weeks to work out what I was going to present to other teachers from Dorset. I contacted the organiser of the TeachMeet Dorset, Gary Spracklen of Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) and South West Teacher of the Year, to volunteer my services as a speaker.

TeachMeet Virgin

After a night of thinking I came up with the idea of 25 Ideas in 7 Minutes. A fool hardy challenge but all I could feel was excitement! TeachMeet was something I have wanted to be involved in for a long time. I couldn’t wait to get there. I persuaded my good friend Nick Hargreaves of Radipole Primary School to attend so I at least had one member of the audience I would know!

So what is a TeachMeet? TeachMeet is an organised but informal meeting (in the style of an unconference) for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology. These events are often organised to coincide with other educational events like the Scottish Learning Festival and the British Educational Technology and Training Show BETT.

Teachmmeet 1

Participants volunteer (via the TeachMeet website) to demonstrate good practice they’ve delivered over the past year, or discuss a product that enhances classroom practice. TeachMeet events are open to all and do not charge an entry fee.

I really like the idea that you are limited to only speaking for seven minutes which is a great way to keep things moving and interesting.

TeachMeet Dorset was a brilliant event. I had no reason to be nervous or worried. Everyone was lovely and wanted to develop as educators. It was great to hear lots of expert advice and ideas shared in a lovely informal environment. Gary Spraklen was an energetic speaker who did a fantastic task of organising the event who made everyone welcome.

But that wasn’t the end of the story…on May 16th I organised the next TeachMeet Dorset at Gillingham School in North Dorset. Unfortunately, I hadn’t considered the fact that this was the worst time to organise a TeachMeet with all the exams taking place (a note for next time!) Nonetheless it was a great success with several teachers from all across the county and even one speaker coming down from London for the event. I have to thank all the people that came and the speakers for all their ideas that they shared. TeachMeets are fantastic and I hope they continue to grow as a ‘free’ CPD opportunity for teachers.

The next TeachMeet Dorset will be taking place at Downlands Community School, Blandford on October 11th (thank you to Alan Frame, Headteacher for organising this) – I hope to see some of you there! Look out for #TMDorset on twitter or tweet me your interest at @tiddtalk

School’s Out!

School's Out!

School's Out!

It’s 14.00 on Wednesday 24th July and school is officially out!

At this moment in time I shall be making my way to the car, wheel spinning out of the school car park, to catch a flight to Amsterdam for a few days to celebrate the start of the holidays. Not a bad way to start the 5 1/2 week summer holiday!

I shall also be going to a music festival and spending a huge chunk of the holiday in France. As always I shall be out running as usual keeping up regular weekly miles – 500 miles this year already!

I shall be updating my blog during the holidays with education musings and thoughts! With the results coming out next month and the Department for Education changes there is a lot to be getting on with and to discuss. Have a great holiday everyone : )