Archive for October, 2012

Literacy wall ideas

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I have been working with @davidfawcett27 on creating a literacy wall for use in sport to engage our students into reading. This was David’s initial idea that i thought i would add to with some video(as we have a high number of EAL students) I have attached a how to guide that hopefully helps with setting up your own and you can also have a try to see how it looks.
My thanks go to @davidfawcett27 obviously for his ideas and patience and also @LeeG4rr3tt for his help with the augmented reality


Started to look at how I can help literacy in school and was contacted by a fellow tweacher @davidfawcett27 who was looking at a similar idea
Anyway after a couple of chats he launched a collaborative project which we will no doubt report on later
One thing that came out of this initial conversation was an idea I had for using Augmented reality to help students, the idea came from a conversation I had with a member of our community team at school, how could we help engage our extreme EAL students around school?
I initially thought about doing something digital, possibly giving oral feedback on student work so the parents could listen if they too could not read English.
The idea I had for the classroom was a lot simpler though and quick to get going.

Our school has sets of iPods that can be used by any groups in school. Using these devices the idea is;
Get each subject to create a poster containing key words needed for that subject or key phrases
Take these posters to the community team and get them to translate them into the languages out students use.
Take pictures of the translated poster
Use Aurasma app to create auras that all students can use on the iPods
Now students can hold the device over the English key words and see the translation on their device.
Hopefully it gives them a point of access to some of the language that is being used around them.

Aiding literacy in PE??

Started this year really trying to focus on how as sports teachers we can assist the schools need to improve literacy in our students.
I have always felt that our students love my subject but do we use that love to really help develop their whole educational experience.
Now I am no literacy expert, that’s fairly obvious but I did have a few ideas to just engage students in literacy in sport.
1. Blogging, not just for the sake of it but to also get students to think about what they were doing in their lessons. I targeted the year 7 as they come in like a blank canvas and are keen to learn and try things. Each year 7 teacher set up a blog on posterous and shared a space with their students. The students were asked to make a post each week looking at what they had learnt and what they needed to do to improve. This is proving to be really successful, it gets students reflecting on their learning, gives an opportunity to do some writing that gets seen by others and informs the teachers planning as they can see what is being understood. One teacher has changed the process (for the better) by posting a review of the session that the students need to comment on, stating what they learnt and a target. This has made it easier to track.
2. Creating podcasts in BTEC Sport, students were asked to make podcasts about types of training, but first they had to write out their scripts and practice their reading with each other, again simple ideas but gets the students focusing on their literacy on a topic they enjoy doing. The results were excellent as well with some low achieving students really excelling.

This focus is hopefully just the start of things, I hope to do something about engaging parents with low literacy levels. A way of sharing students progress using technology that can be spoken rather than written, but these ate early thoughts and as its half term, I have time to develop them

Feedback with google docs

I have blogged about this before but since presenting I have had a few more questions about how it works.
The process is really easy.
Set up a master folder containing all the folders you want for your course.
A feedback file.
This needs to contain a folder per class group you are teaching. Within that a folder for each student in that group (i just made about 20 that could then be renamed when you knew the students in each group). Within that a feedback pro forma that meets the needs of your course, (I designed mine to meet verification process if the BTEC course). This needs copying for however many units you deliver
A progress file.
This is set up in a similar way but due to verification needs and a need to check everyone across the year it was not needed as class groups but just years that were studying the course.
That folder just contained an overall progress sheet and a module progress sheet for each module they study.
And that’s it.
Share it with all your staff via email.
Each member of staff personalised their own groups and emails their students to share their own file.
Students can now see your feedback as you give it, all staff can see this to help all students. Even the btec lead iv can see it to check marking is consistent and accurate.

It does require all students using it to have gmail accounts and I find it easier to manage the system having google drive installed on my computer to copy folders and files etc

I am happy to share a blank copy of this for people to use as they wish if it saves you time, just drop me a note on twitter.

Well, where to start.
I attended the last teach meet in Clevedon due to a conversation I had with @ictevengelist on twitter. I was fairly new to twitter and knew nothing at all about teach meet, so I turn up, completely unprepared for the effect it would have. A great night where I heard about loads if great things that were happening in education from the people that were in the classrooms making it happen.
I never thought I could stand up there, first from a confidence point if view and secondly, what did I possibly have to share with all of these great teachers.
Mark asked if I fancied presenting at the next one and I said I’d think about it and that thought grew.
I have been working on lots of things in school, lots to do with the iPads but lots to do with just managing systems using technology. So I thought, why not, gotta start somewhere.
So tmclevedon 2012 came up and I put my name down to present, nerves flowed but that’s a good thing right?
I presented about tracking progress using google docs, not a game changing idea but it was helping students and that’s what this game is all about after all.
Amazing, what a buzz, could not recommend it enough, the nerves were there but I believed in what I was presenting.
If you are doing something in work, anything, get out there and share it, I learn so much from listening to other teachers that share stories about their practice. It’s like training all the time.
Teach meets happen all over the place and they have such an impact, every teacher should attend at least one and I guarantee it will change your thoughts about your practice. Stand up and share and it will do even more.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Sent from my iPad

I use awesome note on my iPad to replicate my old paper planner. It is where I make notes on what I will be teaching each lesson, links to resources I will use, messages I need to give to my students etc.

I have the complete control over how all my folders look and how they are organised, I basically it is awesome (well named)

What I have started to do now though has made it even more awesome.

You can sync your folders to either Evernote or google drive. This acts as a good back up option but it goes much further than that.

Once I have synced it to Evernote I then share the entire folder with all my lesson notes directly with the students in the class. They all have Evernote accounts so they can see exactly what was taught on any given day. They get the links to resources, the overview, the home works and any important info I needed to share with them.


Students that might miss lessons for whatever reason can now see exactly what work they have missed, if students want to go over their prior learning they have a complete overview of what they have done.

It has not created any more work for me (short of pushing a sync button occasionally). But it has provided more info to the students to aid in their development.

Teachmeet in meetings

With the next teachmeet at Clevedon fast approaching I have decided to get it going in our curriculum team meetings.
Inspired by the conversations I regularly have with #tmclevedon host @ictevangelist the plan is to give all of the team a chance to share an element of their role with everyone else. Hopefully this will inspire all of the team and spread the good work that is going on. It also gives us a good platform to build on our CPD
First meeting is next Monday

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