Jon is an assistant head teacher and PE specialist working in a North East secondary school. Jon's responsibility areas as an assistant head teacher over the past 5 years have been in Care, Guidance and Support (behaviour, attendance, child protection, multi agencies) and currently Raising Achievement (academic intervention and tracking). He is very interested in creative and innovative teaching practices that engage students and ultimately raise achievement. Jon's blog, Edutait, aims to share ideas and good practice to both the staff in his school and beyond.
Inspired by a recent Pedagoo teacher meet, Assistant Head and PE specialist Jon Tait puts into practice a strategy to encourage students to work harder and faster by giving them a creative visual tool which shows how far each one is progressing with the lesson objective.
Last weekend (18/5), I was lucky enough to be able to attend and present at the hugely popular Pedagoo Sunshine event at Joseph Swan Academy in Gateshead.
As well as presenting tips and tricks to other teachers from across the country, I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to Jim Smith from Hope Valley Technology College in Derbyshire. Jim was presenting on a range of different topics from his ‘Toolbox of Strategies’.
One of the ideas that I pinched from Jim was his lesson objectives target board that his technology department have had produced for all of their classrooms. See below:
Over the past few weeks I've been privileged to read so many great blog posts by fellow teachers on the numerous benefits of both tweeting and blogging. Having an online presence in order to collaborate and learn from others is now fast becoming one of the most popular and interesting ways to improve your day to day teaching. More and more teachers are getting involved in this online community, which means there are more and more opportunities to network with like-minded people.
My motivation to write this post was not to re-invent the wheel, but instead to bring together the best posts that have been written on this area. It should be seen as a one-stop guide for both teachers looking to dip their toe in the online teaching community, and also the more experienced 'Tweachers' amongst us.
With the advances in technology hitting our classrooms on such a regular basis, we sometimes forget that the old ways are sometimes the best ways. You can have all the technology in the world, but sometimes being creative with what you've got can be a lot more powerful.
I stumbled across a fantastically creative, but amazingly simple, website a few months ago called Dear Photograph. Although the website is not intended to be an educational tool, with a bit of creative thinking, you'll find that the idea can be used to promote learning across a range of subjects.
After taking part in the online #pechat on Twitter this week - about the use of social media within physical education - it got me thinking about the use of it generally in education. There are pockets of good practice springing up all over the place, creating fast and effective communication with students, but in my opinion it is largely being held back by a stigma that social media is all bad news.
Let’s explore the myth that social media is bad news and creates problems for schools.
During my visit to the Association for Physical Education's national conference, I was inspired by Keynote speakers Iwan Thomas and Richard McCann talking about how 'attitude is everything', and that it's all about saying 'I can'. Both of these speakers were absolutely right, but it got me thinking about one essential ingredient that all of our kids need before they can be confident enough to say 'I can': poker chips.
It took me back to the first ever teacher training video that I ever watched as a GTP student, learning my trade in a school in special measures just over 10 years ago. I vividly remember sitting down to watch this video with the rest of the teaching staff and being sceptical about what I was about to see. However, after just a few minutes I was hooked and have always remembered the powerful message that was conveyed by Rick Lavoie. His message was simple: our kids need to be given self esteem by us as teachers and parents if we want them to join in the game of life. We need to give them poker chips every day so they feel confident enough to play alongside the popular kids at school, enough poker chips so they can answer questions in class, and enough poker chips so they can take on the challenges that life throws at us.
Today I trialed something different in my classroom. Over the past month, my GCSE PE class have been involved in directed revision classes for their forthcoming exam. I wanted to do something that freshened this up and caught the students off guard, taking them way out of their comfort zone. I had decided on my drive into school this morning that I was going to trial a student led revision lesson that involved the students presenting different areas of the syllabus to the whole group. I wanted to make it similar to a TeachMeet event, having presentations strictly timed, hence the name 'TeachMe'.
Students were told that they would be selected randomly via my name selector on the interactive whiteboard and that they would have exactly 3 minutes to present to the group, with a clock counting down on the whiteboard behind them. Each student, once selected, had to come out to the front of the class, pick a topic from the Wonderwall of topics and then deliver it. To make it fun I downloaded a free app (Big Buttons App) on my iphone that gave me access to lots of funny sounds (air horn, desk bell etc). Students were instructed that as we were all sportsmen and women, that we needed to make it competitive. Therefore, every time a student made an 'A Grade' comment or statement in their presentation, I would hit one of the sounds. The total number of sounds they received in the 3 minute time allocated would result in their personal score.