#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 : )

Advertisements

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

#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

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

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

Mini Motivators

Mini 1

Back in November 2012, Ollie Bray tweeted me a link and planted a seed (!) to go and present at TeachMeet Dorset down on the Isle of Portland. The TeachMeet was being organised by Gary Spracklen of IPACA. I duly made the long journey down on a cold wet evening taking my good friend Nick Hargreaves of Radipole School for company. A seed was indeed planted as I came back to school the next day talking enthusiastically to Mark Lavis, my Deputy Headteacher and fellow geographer, about the evening. In February, Gillingham School hosted its own inhouse training day where Heads of Department were given five minutes to share good practice. I had the task of Mini Motivators and I thought I would share my ideas with you.

Post – it Notes

Mini Motivators

I am an addict for using post-it notes in my lessons! I find them a great resource as a starter or plenary to find out what my students understand, know or what to ask. The example above is from my Year 7 class who had the question, ‘What do you know about earthquakes?’, nothing more or less. They had two minutes to write down their ideas and come up and stick their note on the board. It also gives them a chance to get out of their seats as well.

I love reading out their answers – they know than you think! I have been using it a lot with my GCSE classes for keywords and connectives for exam questions on what they need to include in an answer.

Socrative

Mini Motivators

Socrative is fun interactive game using mobile phones – I can hear the groans and panic from some corners. I do believe mobile phones will become common place in teaching. There are so many great ideas and opportunities that can be ultilised with a mobile phone and it would be foolish to discount them as a teaching resource. I use them quite a bit with my A ‘Level classes and they really enjoy the interactive opportunities it delivers.

I have been trialling a brilliant smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets. This particular one is called Socrative. I have to admit it is a fantastic resource for all teachers of all subjects.

Socrative is very easy to use and takes only two minutes to set yourself up on it. You can import exercises and games or create your own. The only details they require are that you are a teacher, your school name and your email address.

The apps are super simple and take seconds to login. Teachers login through their device and select an activity which controls the flow of questions and games. Students simply login with their device and interact real time with the content. The quizzes range from multiple choice questions, true or false responses or shoprt answers. The class gets instant answers and explanations on what they have inputed.

Student responses are visually represented for multiple choice, true/false and Short Answer questions. For pre-planned activities a teacher can view reports online as a google spreadsheet or as an emailed Excel file.

As they leave you could check on on your students’ understanding as they are able to leave a message on what they have learnt today and what they need to learn. Gather responses on their comfort with the material as well as answers to questions you create in real time or prepare before class.

The best thing about Socrative is that there is no exchange of personal information (such as mobile numbers) between the class or the teacher. When the class log in via the web address below, which is different to the teachers, the only thing they need is the room number, such as 12345, the quiz will start on their mobile phone. The results will appear on their mobile phone instantly, and the teacher can see the whole class response (not individuals).

To sign up http://m.socrative.com/lecturer/#register

For teacher login http://m.socrative.com/lecturer/#lecturerLogin

For student login http://m.socrative.com/student/#joinRoom

I would thoroughly recommend looking at Socrative, it would be a brilliant starter or plenary. Plus, you might want to check with your Headteacher and the whole school policy on mobile phones!

Twitter

Mini Motivators

I am a huge fan of Twitter as an education resource. For me it is the best CPD available. I haven’t ventured into using it my classes yet with my classes, but I know lots of you that do! I do use the concept of twitter for some of my plenaries where they have to write an answer or sum up their learning in 140 characters – harder than you think!

Random Name Generator

Mini Motivators

When I asked questions in class I always got the same students putting their hands up. I decided this had to stop, so I now use a random name generator. There are loads out there on the web for ‘free’. This one for example is from Teach-ICT.com.

Taboo

Mini Motivators

Using games in learning is great way to engage all students. Taboo is great for getting students to describe and think about key terms, people or case studies. They might not be able to use certain terms or words. They might have to guess what’s written on the post-it note. There are lots of opportunities with taboo. As you can see from the photo you can have lots of fun with your work colleagues too!

Back to Blog

1

>Back to Blog

‘Hey! Long-time no see…’ Yes, it’s been a while since I have blogged anything of any substance. Like for all you all, it’s been a crazy year of educational changes, long hours and hard-work…and I let the blogging slip! Whoops…

Well, like Dr Who, it was time for change on the look of miketidd.com too! The old style blog was looking its age and it needed being regenerated, hope you like the new look – any feedback is greatly appreciated!

I am still Head of Geography at Gillingham School in North Dorset. This was my fourth year here and the time has flown with all the educational changes. During the last four years the department and I have surfed the GCSE and A ‘Level changes introduced back in September 2009. We have revolutionised Key Stage 3 rebranding Geography at Gillingham as the most innovative and creative subject the school has to offer. Results have improved in both GCSE and AS and A2 with new subject best yet records!

Back to Blog

This past year has been no different with Michael Gove introducing further amendments to GCSEs back in September and again for 2015. There have been announcements for A ‘Level changes in September 2013 and now a new National Curriculum for 2015. Exciting and trying times at the same time. The issue for me is there doesn’t seem to be a time to reflect or converse with those at the top to help shape the future of education – are we always doing the right thing for the children?

I will be celebrating ten years as a teacher at the end of July – is the future bright and positive for teachers? I still believe it is! We are the ones who are in charge. The Minister of Education will change. The Government will change. We are the only mainstay. As long as there are innovative and creative teachers (and there are lots of you out there) education will continue to flourish. I will be writing and tweeting (@tiddtalk) all the good things that are happening around the world. All comments are greatly received via the blog or twitter (@tiddtalk).

Keep up the good work folks : )