Category Archives: General

How to create your own iPad recording booth for the classroom.

Learning Objectives: a waste of time.

Source: Learning Objectives: a waste of time.

Mathematics – S.O.D.A Start Of Day Activity

Teachinglinks.net

  • 15/07/2012 – I am aware of the broken link above.  I understand that SGfL has been decommissioned and have uploaded the files at the bottom of this post. They remain the original, unedited work of SGfL, who placed the files in the public domain.

    06/07/2010 – Great stuff! Maths questions for Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.  There are 10 maths questions per day for each unit from the new framework.  For example, there are 10 PowerPoint slides for unit A1, each with 10 questions – five related to the most recent module (E3 from the previous year) and five reinforcing prior learning (recapping unit A1 from the previous year).  Highly recommended.

_SODA template  _SODA Plan

Year 2

SODA 2A1  SODA 2B1  SODA 2C1  SODA 2D1  SODA 2E1

SODA 2A2  SODA 2B2  SODA 2C2  SODA…

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Star Wars Posters #mtbos #msmathchat

Great resources!
Oh, and if you are a bit of a Star Wars Geek like me… Even better!

Thanks to the original poster.

TeacherPaulP

Instead of writing a syllabus or creating assessments or working on lessons plans, I have procrastinated and scoured some images from the web to make these.

I have uploaded .png’s of these into this folder for downloading.  The 8 math practices and SBG files were made to blow up to 18×24 (although the 8 math icons will be a little pixelated.) The Force and Darkside posters are pixelated when blown up that large, but will still look good!

8 math practices-smGrowth_Mindset_Posterdarksidesbg-small

SBG Poster-plain-sm

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Issue 4 – March 2016

Another great Mag from @primedmagazine

primed magazine

We’re back!

March coverDownload your free copy of Issue 4 here:

PRIMED Issue 4 March 16

The magazine can be read on desktop, tablet or phone. We find that it’s best enjoyed in the iBooks or Kindle apps – you can bookmark your favourite pages and click on links to jump to articles or websites.

It can also be read on Issuu here:
https://issuu.com/primedmagazine/docs/primed_issue_4_march_16

Please help us to continue the success of PRIMED by downloading and sharing the magazine with friends. Join in with the discussion on Twitter @primedmagazine or on Facebook. If you would like to write for future issues, contact us at primedmagazine@gmail.com.

Look out for our new website, coming soon!

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Primary Rocked: Bread, Beer and Roses

Old Primary Head

Twitter can be a soulless space. Its evolutionary track needs a touchy feely strand to it. The best bits of #PrimaryRocks was meeting ‘real people’. That, and talking to ‘real people’ whilst drinking…

I go to a lot of conferences. I’m a head, I have nothing else to do really. What I liked about Primary Rocks was the fact that it was not about slick international speakers (Though there are few better than @HYWEL_ROBERTS) but it was about the right now issues and practice of teachers. It had a grass roots feel. There’s something virtuous about getting up at 5AM to get to Manchester for 9 on a Saturday morning and then sitting in a lovely school surrounded by other positive souls all coming together because they have a love for what they do.

Lucy Powell the shadow secretary kicked off and was way too casual to really have the…

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Digital Leaders

fionathomasict

I originally introduced Digital Leaders in Kings Monkton Primary School in 2012 and we haven’t looked back. They help and support other teachers and children with IT/technology in so many different ways. They are children who range from Year 2 – Year 6 and meet on Monday lunchtimes in the primary computer suite, although you may well see them in this room throughout most lunchtimes.

I first saw Digital Leaders in action at a Teachmeet in Clevedon where @ICTEvangelist, Mark Anderson had them working and helping in the evening as well as presenting. I thought it was a brilliant idea and wondered if you could do this with Primary children.  

At Bett, I then heard @SheliBB, Sheli Blackburn talk with enthusiasm and about her Digital Leaders in a Primary school and it became a goal for me to do the same. I found out more through Twitter and the…

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14 STAR WARS POSTERS FOR EDUCATORS

EDUWELLS

I’m 38 and so automatically love Star Wars. Inspired by the new film, ‘The Force Awakens.’ here are some #StarWars themed Edu posters for all the other educating Star Wars fans out there. I made them using my 10-year-old neighbour Josh’s excellent collection of Lego Star Wars characters – Thanks Josh! Hope you like them!

The Force Awakens-EduWells

The Class a Teacher Talks to-StarWars-EduWellsSTAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.009STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.008STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.007

STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.006b
STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.005STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.004
STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.003
STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.002STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.001STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.010

Thanks to @dannynic for the one above!STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.011STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.012STAR WARS _ EDUWELLS.013

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2015 in review

Thank youEordpress Stat Monkeys!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

ISSUE 1 – SEPTEMBER 2015

primed magazine

It’s finally here!

PRIMED Sept 15 cover

Download your free copy of Issue 1 here:

PRIMED September 2015

The magazine can be read on desktop, tablet or phone. We find that it’s best enjoyed in the iBooks or Kindle apps – you can bookmark your favourite pages and click on links to jump to articles or websites.

Please help us to launch the first issue of PRIMED by downloading and sharing the magazine with friends. Join in with the discussion on Twitter @primedmagazine or on Facebook. If you would like to write for future issues, contact us at primedmagazine@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoy it!

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SEN Information and resources: Let the #SENexchange begin! A collection of websites, charities, bloggers and tweeters

SENexchangeuk

A very warm welcome to all our readers.

For this post we thought it would be useful to share a range of information relevant to the SEND community. We are aware that these lists are by no means exhaustive but this post is designed as a starting point to collate some useful information. Please feel free to suggest additions to the existing lists in the comments section of this post or tweet them to us @SENexchange and we may add it to this post. If there are other lists you think may also be useful to add – let us know your thoughts on that too.

Useful charities and websites:

– National Autistic Society  (NAS) : Leading UK charity for people with Autism (@autism)

– Scope: A charity focussing needs associated with Cerebral Palsy and all disabilities ( @scope)

-British Dyslexia Association ( @BDAdyslexia)

– The Muscular Dystrophy Association

– The Down’s…

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Well Being – The need for selfawareness

Wellbeing – we have all heard the phrase and are often reminded to consider it.

I have read a few blogs about it recently:

@tstarkey1212‘s – Balance (The 1st EduBlog I ever read)

@mrheadcomputing‘s:

My Own Worst Enemy Pt1

My Own Worst Enemy Pt2

There are others, they are popping up because it is half term. Teacher’s ‘Me Time’ – yeah right!


I am not sure where this post leads – to be honest it is a bit of a brain dump. So please don’t hate me if I draw no conclusions or solutions. There might be some advice, but I suspect I am advising myself more than trying to help others!

I am, I suspect, a workaholic. I am reasonably confident that many teachers are. They just use words like ‘professional’,  ‘committed’ and ‘driven’ to hide behind. I like to think I am these things too. I should be. But when is enough truly enough?

Not all that long ago I think that I found that point.

I didn’t look after myself properly. Slept little. Snacked badly. Drank to much coffee (in my own opnion). I worked. Literally all the time. Did it make me better? I don’t know.

I DO know that I got into some really bad habits. Over preparing, 2nd guessing myself – 3rd guessing sometimes!

What I do works, however I am not sure that all the extra made a real difference.

We all know about workload: planning, marking, assessment etc. etc. it is a burden but one we have to bear.

So, I suffered.

Tiredness, exhaustion, stress, depression, alienation from family and friends. No-one’s fault but my own ‘commitment’.

My family suffered. They lost me. Evenings and weekends evaporated. We didn’t do things together because I was ‘too busy’.

I am a workaholic and I have a problem.

There I said it.

I have forced myself to slow it down, stop it or do a little less, but the danger of a relapse is always there and it won’t be going away anytime soon.

gifsoup.com

gifsoup.com

How do you:

  • Teach full time
  • Lead a school
  • Senior Lead across 2 schools
  • Subject lead 3 subjects (one is Maths)
  • Support colleagues
  • Stay creative and interesting
  • Have a young family
  • Live a family life

Perhaps the key to my problem is the order of the list?

I have as many hours as everyone else and as many days. A little extra at the end of the month is great, although it won’t bring back lost days out, bedtime stories missed, bathtimes avoided (the little person’s not mine!), glasses of wine and conversation with my wife.

I think that my point here is to watch for the signs – I didn’t.

Have a break.

Rest.

It isn’t enough to not work on a friday night – to sit down to watch NCIS instead and be asleep before the 1st grey fade, then shouted at for the next hour for snoring too loud.

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

It isn’t enough.

There must be time out – find it or you cannot and will not last the course.

If I hated my job – I would stop. The problem is, that actually, I don’t.

theoverthinker.org

theoverthinker.org

What have I done?

  • I have a cut off time – 3am in BAD, 10pm is BETTER.
  • I make better lists, ones that I can realistically complete – prioritise.
  • Bedtime is sacred (again, not mine, the small one’s)
  • I tweet – Hardly a hobby, but it is something I enjoy.
  • I do things for me, that I want to do. Even if they are ‘work’ related – they are mine!

My advice to you?

Be careful. You do not have to commit body, mind, soul, guts and glory to your class.

Be happy, be healthy, smile, laugh and be ready for them – they’ll love you. If you aren’t, then you’ll lose them forever.

All too often I read motivational memes like:

I am a teacher. What’s your superpower?

or

Teaching is my superpower!

It isn’t.

It IS a very important job – perhaps one of the most important. But you are not super human.

If I was Superman – teaching is my Kryptonite.

g8ors.blogspot.com

g8ors.blogspot.com

My downtime, rest and regeneration? That is the source of my power. That is my sun.

Like Superman, if I only have kryptonite, I become weaker and lose that power.

All superheroes have their weakness or breaking point (except He-Man, but that’s another blog!)

Know your limitations.

Remember that if you don’t look after yourself, then the job will not look after you.

giphy.com

giphy.com

The machine keeps turning.

Thanks for reading.


Please forgive errors!

This has been a tough write and sharing is even more scary.

Mike

Paul Barrett – A Tribute – A man who taught by nature and by accident.

I lost a friend recently.

Cancer.

I don’t know what type.

I am not sure that it matters and even though I hadn’t seen him for perhaps 4 years – it upset me.

Paul was not an especially close friend, but someone I held a close affection for and some for whom I had a lot of time. One of those friends who I would see for maybe 3-4 months a year and then not at all for the other 8-9.

He and I played cricket together for the local village team until the club folded. He had played for the club for over 25 years, despite having to travel from Sheffield to Lincoln every weekend of the season. It was just what he did, because he loved to do it. We couldn’t get people to walk across the road to the playing field on a Sunday afternoon, but Paul would be there. Larger than life, the wrong side of a 40 mile drive.

When I say larger than life I do mean it. Paul was 5’10” and 26st. One of the gruffest, most uncouth, foul mouthed and delightful Yorkshireman anyone could wish to meet.

I realise that this is an education blog so allow me to explain why I am writing this tribute to Paul here. He was not a teacher, not professionally, not conventionally. He was not a man who would grace a classroom (for long), but he could teach and did every time he took the field.


Everyone knew Paul, literally everyone. He had been around for so long, played everywhere, talked to anyone, had a beer with whoever. We were just glad that he was on our team. Bright red football socks over his whites (which were rarely white), fluorescent pink jockstrap (enough said really), false teeth, floppy red hat, 4 1/2lb of Willow (the biggest and heaviest bat any one had ever seen!) and the unerring skill to batter 4s and 6s for fun, even though he was never a fan of a quick single (unless to steal the strike for the next over). Something Paul taught you very quickly was ‘don’t run, there’s no point, I won’t be’. He made damn sure you could count to 6.

Paul and I doing the books

Paul and I doing the books

He also taught you not to judge a book by its cover. Paul was an expert bowler, not a ‘pie-chucker’ as his build suggested but a skilled swing, seam and spin bowler who could ‘think’ a batsman out better than anyone I ever played with or against. He could also week in and out, bowl 10 overs straight through, I couldn’t run in for more than 3 without needing medical assistance. Yet there he was, all 26st, ball after ball, giving away little and always near the top of the averages and leading wicket takers.

The Man the Legend

The Man the Legend

While this may prove to be a short post – there is a point.

I am no talented cricketer, I have ‘all the gear and no idea’, but by playing the game with Paul, I learned plenty and many more would say the same thing.

He believed in the spirit of the game, that it should be played fairly and no matter win, lose or draw, as long as everyone could say ‘they did their best’, he was happy. If you couldn’t say that, he would tell you why you didn’t and how you should have – and you’d listen. Because it was Paul.

People respected him for the fact that he did it his way and if you didn’t like it, tough, it was his way, you didn’t have to like it.

Paul always felt that younger players had to do their part.

Paul always felt that younger players had to do their part.

One of the finest lessons he ever taught me (and this is where I will conclude this eulogy) was when he once berated a team mate who was shouting at a young lad who had mis-fielded a simple ball and allowed a boundary from his bowling.

Paul ‘explained’ that there was no point in that action, it didn’t help. The lad knew he had messed up, he didn’t do it on purpose and he wouldn’t be trying to repeat the mistake – in fact why get cross at all? He was doing enough telling off of himself in his own head – why not say something nice to make him feel better?

Oh, and don’t bowl another sh*t ball like that, that gets hit over there!

Paul 'Bash' Barrett 1964 - 2014

Paul ‘Bash’ Barrett
1964 – 2014

Paul Barrett

1964 – 2014

Rest in Peace Bash

A lot of people miss you.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Does Blogging Empower Teachers?

cazzypotsblog

image

Late in 2012, I decided I’d start writing a local history blog. Although, having been an English teacher for the last 19 years, this possibly wasn’t the most logical choice. I did write one history post, but it wasn’t long before I realised that I had far more to say about issues that were happening In the world of education.

In order to provide myself with a bit of anonymity, I removed my real name from my Twitter account and drafted an article about the GCSE exam boundaries. The article was published in an online political magazine, and I was delighted.

Over the next few months, I had several articles published online. However, because they were featured in a general politics mag, the audience for these was sometimes very small. So in July last year, I decided to set up my own blog site. Thanks to the support of several…

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Some Ofsted comments from reports – new things to look out for?

missdcoxblog

Check uniform

IMG_0099.PNG</

The school was given ‘good’. Data not everything?

IMG_0101.PNG</

Speaking ‘ad hoc’ to parents. Wouldn’t be as accessible in secondary?

IMG_0100.PNG</

Adult behaviour was watched. Does this define British values as listening, communication and respect?

IMG_0102.PNG

Check uniform standards again

IMG_0104.PNG

Don’t celebrate inappropriately

IMG_0106.PNG

Don’t tell children their answers are ‘brilliant’ when they’re not!

IMG_0105.PNG

Make sure classrooms are ‘attractive’ and ‘clutter free’

IMG_0107.PNG

And organised

IMG_0110.PNG

Ensure broad and balanced curriculum

IMG_0109.PNG

Ensure behaviour is ‘superb’

IMG_0108.PNG

And finally don’t shock your staff!

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UPDATED POST – Literacy Shed Conference – Lincolnshire

A Trip Too Far?

This is a great example of when an Educational Visit adds tangible and genuine value to the life experiences of children.
Well prepared and supported by informed and knowledgeable staff the children were able to move beyond their difficulties and experience a day that made their learning real and in context.
My feelings on this are very corporate – but as I have a vested interest in children’s experiences of learning outside school, I wanted to share this with as many people as possible.

cazzypotsblog

An English Trip to Shakespeare’s Birthplace

imageFor the last fourteen years I have taught English to secondary-aged pupils at a Pupil Referral Unit in the Midlands. Many of these students are vulnerable and complex, some are in care, and a large number have severe behavioural difficulties. All of this means that we must be especially cautious when choosing a location for school trip. Notwithstanding the risks, last summer I made the decision to take a KS3 group to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This was as part of an English topic we were doing on the theme of ‘Performance’. We’d already studied The Globe Theatre, in context, and learned about some of its fascinating history. More importantly, perhaps, we’d looked at extracts from some of Shakespeare’s plays and also studied plot synopses and analysed a selection of quotes.

Now, I must confess that I was dreading this trip. As the…

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To plan or not to plan? Please RT as there are misconceptions.

Wise words.
Which I hope are headed by those that are either mistaken, or trying to over control and micro manage.

cherrylkd

I’m not an authority on education matters but I do try and keep myself up to date with the latest decisions affecting teachers. So when I see a misconception on twitter I generally choose to ignore it and move on. We’re all entitled to our own opinions and that’s fine by me. Just sometimes you see something that is blatantly wrong and shouldn’t be ignored. Some things are detrimental to the profession and some things are detrimental for our work life balance. 

It all started on Tuesday morning with a tweet from @Vickiteaches

‘How often do you hand your planning in? Anyone else do it on a weekly basis like me? This is before we have taught the lessons!’

I answered her by asking why she had to hand her plans in. Did her SLT not trust her? 

This simple statement from me unleashed a debate which lasted for two…

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Are you a Pit-Pony or a Show-Pony?

normsteachersblog.com

normsteachersblog.com

As I drove home from another meeting that ended at 6pm – I reflected during my long drive, on something that was said on the 1st day of term.

A colleague of mine, whom I respect greatly and who is a high quality teacher (avoiding the the grade there!), had been to visit a school which was graded ‘Outstanding’ by OfSted as part of her CPD.

She said how she was greeted by the HT, who quickly after told the visiting teachers – that her staff were not ‘Show Ponies’, but were ‘Pit Ponies’.

They were hard working staff who delivered everyday for their children.

My colleague felt that this was a great mindset and a proven methodology for success. I can see why, it sounds great but let’s consider this analogy in an Education context:

My school is RI and has it’s problems, we are a tough, hard working staff, who are committed to making the improvements that we need.

The Pit Pony:

Pit-pony

  • Works hard in unpleasant conditions
  • Beaten and mistreated
  • Undervalued
  • Need to be able to churn out performance/quality is less important
  • Failure results in punishment and possible abuse
  • Made to do more work than is healthy
  • Given just enough nourishment to survive
  • Little support/training
  • Works until facing a cruel death in the workplace
  • Little rest or chance to regain fitness

 

The Show Pony:

ShowPony

  • Protected
  • Supported
  • Given the best of everything
  • Under pressure to perform/expected to be the best
  • Held up as an example of the best of its kind
  • Failure results in care, attention and training
  • Trained to the highest most exacting standards
  • Coached, groomed and developed professionally
  • Given time to rest and recover/best of care

So,  based on this analogy, it is best to be a Pit Pony?

The pit pony is the model of success and excellence?

Pit ponies worked hard and did their best in the very worst of situations, day in, day out and this is something to be respected. But it isn’t sustainable.

A show pony can have a long, successful and healthy career – when that comes to an end they are invariably used to create more excellent show ponies.

The news that 90% of teachers have considered leaving the profession in the last 2 years do to excessive workload surely damns this idea.

I like working hard, I want to work hard but every week I am spending less and less time, NOT working. My family are seeing less and less of me and I am seeing less and less benefit. (1% pay rise? £1 a day extra?) Thank goodness I’m not in it for the money.

I find myself working longer hours, having more meetings, giving me increasingly less time to actually do the job!

Is all the work I am doing getting the best out of me?

Work hard and work smart, they say.

OK, but that’s Show Pony mentality.

A Pit Pony would work hard and then work harder.

I have my PPA and Leadership time (2 x 1/2 days a week) and I am both very grateful and lucky to have it, but it is full and there is always more to do!

Perhaps this is just a blog at the end of a long day. But I think I would really thrive given the chance to be a Show Pony for a change.

Which you you rather be?