What I wish I knew as an NQT

Over the last few weeks, lots of bloggers have been giving advice to incoming NQTs about how to deal with behaviour in their first year of teaching. Whilst not wanting to compete with this advice, as the advice comes from more experienced teachers, I would like to give my own personal tips to NQTs, as it is only a year since I was in that position myself. There are a ...
There is a cool little video that is currently going viral at the moment called 'Caine's Arcade'. Many of the messages about learning are far too explicit for me to explain here… pretty much everybody will see that it is a parable on the theme of creativity. However, there are also other, more implicit, messages for those of us “in the business of learning”. Caine would not have been able ...
Across the education landscape, student text messaging is a bone of contention among teachers. It’s not an issue in the lower grades because most K-5 schools successfully ban cell phones during school hours. Where it’s a problem is grades 6-12, when teachers realize it’s a losing battle to separate students from their phones for eight hours. The overarching discussion among educators is texting’s utility in providing ...
One of the remarkable things about laughter is that it occurs unconsciously. You don’t decide to do it. While we can consciously inhibit it, we don’t consciously produce laughter. That’s why it’s very hard to laugh on command or to fake laughter. Local history is a bit like this in that students acquire local historical knowledge unconsciously, but we find that use of this knowledge is ...
This delightful animated video, created by students at the French university for careers in design, Bellecour Écoles D’Art, is absolutely enchanting. Monsterbox is only about 7 1/2 minutes long, and tells the story of a young girl who is trying to find a home for her monster – and then another monster, and then another! There is no dialogue, but the graphics and characters tell the story perfectly. Here are some of ...
I have recently been reading John Hattie’s fantastic book, ‘Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning’. I am only half-way through at the moment but I know it will be one of those books that I dip in to constantly. Reading the book, one of the key messages that really stood out for me was the idea that, ‘…the greatest effects on learning occur when teachers become learners ...
In a MacTaggart lecture full of sound advice - reduce regulation, listen to the Victorians, ignore Alan Sugar - perhaps the most important suggestion made by Eric Schmidt was that computer science be taught properly in schools. This means, as the Google Chairman pointed out, teaching children how to make computer programs rather than merely how to use them.  But in an era when GCSE marks are awarded for linking ...
The work of a teacher is both challenging and complex and requires high standards of professional competence and commitment. However, research shows that formal professional development may not be the optimum means by which such high standards of professional competence can be achieved. The principal reason for this is that traditional CPD tends to be based on one-off events that can often be a solitary activity and can seem remote ...
The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 doesn’t mean a great deal to most English schools but it should. In April this year the Government released a directive that schools must publish certain information on their school website from the 1st September 2012. It will be the first stop for OFSTED before they inspect your school. But what if you don’t have a website? Schools will need to ensure they ...
One of the things that really excites me about the iPad is the ability of the students to show their learning. I am not talking about the end product here, I am talking about the act of learning that can be shown by students recording their processes. It is often about the student putting the information they have learnt into a context. It is this contextualisation that helps the students ...
On Friday 28th of September we finally launched our iPad trial to all staff. There were only about three weeks to organise the event, but the whole thing went very well. Staff left excited, inspired and full of ideas. It really was an outstanding day! The Build Up After the summer holidays, I came back to school with the exciting prospect of our iPad trial. However, I realised how much ...

QR code crime scene fun

I've heard of QR codes and have seen them used in mobile advertising. I've even heard of some really good ideas on how to use them in class, including a QR code scavenger hunt. Our school is 1:1 with iPads in grades 9-12, and I've been pondering for a while on how I could use QR codes in my own classroom. As we approached Ch. 6 & 7 of Huckleberry Finn, an idea ...
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