Today we built an ‘argument tower’ in class. The idea was found by my colleague Sara, on this AP Word History blog, written by Jonathan Henderson. There are also a few Tweets about “argument towers”.
I used the ‘Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis‘ argument structure to help students construct an effective paragraph or essay. You can also use “Contention – Example – Evaluation” etc. Works for English, Philosophy, Geography or any area where students have to argue something.
What’s needed: Continue reading
Here is a great article by Pamela L. Bacon: “Effective Studying is a Science, Not an Art: Teaching Students Scientifically-Based Study Techniques” (2017). You can read the article and see my highlights and annotations here in Kami, If you like, you can add your own comments / highlights to it.
Bacon is very clear and honest about what did and didn’t work when she tried to convince her students to use these scientifically proven techniques to study better.
- What didn’t work: Simply telling the students about these techniques.
- What did work: Attaching an assessment task to the techniques > forcing students to use these specific methods in a task which was then graded, although the weighting of those tasks was quite low.
The three effective study techniques which have been supported by most research are: Continue reading
This worked well with my small IB History class. The students created the questions and ran the game themselves. It’s a bit gimmicky, but they had fun and hopefully it was a bit of a break from the endless practice essays and note taking at the end of the year.
Questions can be found here
And PPT with circles (PPT smart art) here: Revision Twister PPT Continue reading
The History Council of Australia has recently adopted a wonderful new statement on the value of History.
This fantastic manifesto deserves to hang in each classroom in Australia, but unfortunately the layout of the original PDF was a bit plain. I have recreated the statement as posters in Canva so that you can print them off and have something colourful and visual to put up on your classroom walls. The originals are A3-sized, but they will also work well in A4.
Download all the A3 PDFs here. It is a large file.
The image files (Large PNGs) are below. Just right click and save as…. Continue reading
Why is the French Revolution still relevant today, 230 years after the fall of the Bastille? The Living Revolution symposium will explore this question. The symposium program can be found here: https://arts.unimelb.edu.au/e/living-the-french-revolution
(WORK IN PROGRESS. I am still getting all my resources together…..)
I read some research about measuring the efficacy of Feedback. I enjoyed reading it because it made me think more deeply about my own “Assessment Literacy.” . This reading was part of the #edureading group on Twitter. Each month a new article is chosen and readers either record their responses on FlipGrid or they just participate in the Sunday night Twitter chat. I have missed a few articles but I am back on deck with this one.
The title of the article is: “Feedback: all that effort, but what is the effect?” . You would have noticed the click-batey question, so, what is the answer? I’ll come back to that later.
The main objectives of feedback is to: Continue reading
- thanks to Alistair Sproal for that link (back)
- Organised by Steven Kolber (back)
- Written by Margaret Price*, Karen Handley, Jill Millar and Berry O’Donovan (back)
- 6pm on Sunday, I have things to do, and Twitter chat is on soon anyway (back)
In order to make classroom visits a bit easier, I started the ‘open classroom days’ this year. Sometime in week 3 of each term, for two days, teachers are asked to either leave their door open or put a ‘welcome’ post-it note on their door. Colleagues are then allowed to pop in for a few minutes to observe the class. The rules for our latest iteration were:
We have been using Ron Ritchhart ‘Eight cultural forces that define our classrooms’ when we were involved in the ‘cultures of thinking’ program. These 8 categories are also very suitable as lenses for classroom observation. Continue reading
I have been researching what a positive and good learning environment looks like. There are two aspects that affect the learning environment in a classroom:
- The environment created by the teacher
- The physical environment
Environment created by the teacher
Let me start with a great notion by Dr Ginott, who eloquently expresses how important the role of the teacher is in setting the “climate in the classroom”:
Peter Goss and Julie Sonneman from the Grattan Institute have written a report called “Engaging students: creating classrooms that improve learning” They identify the following key aspects of a successful and engaging classroom:
- High expectations
- Strong teacher-student relationships
- Clarity and structure in instruction
- Active learning
- Encouragement and constructive praise
- Consistent corrections and consequences
This week we were fortunate enough to have two student-free days to come together as a College to collaborate, develop our curriculum and learn from each other. We also had a small TeachMeet where I presented on using social media for professional development. The presentation can be found here.
I have been using Twitter and Facebook as a source of PD for so long that it’s easy to forget not everyone does that. While social media for PD may not be for everybody, Facebook groups provide a great low-threshold opportunity for self-directed professional development. Twitter may be harder to get into, but I believe the return on investment is absolutely worth it. After the presentation, a few of my colleagues told me that they had never thought of Social Media as a source of professional learning, so I’ll take that as a small win. I hope that I have been able to broaden people’s views of where to find sources for professional learning.
Sometimes (often), preparing lessons is playing around and being creative. I could have been doing more useful things I’m sure, but making this Tarsia puzzle was just a bit of fun.
It started with a tweet by @Shawtimesmiles and @misterwootube about a Maths puzzle:
I really liked the look of this puzzle and then I learnt from another Maths teacher (shout out to Mr Pearson) that these puzzles are called Tarsia or Tarzia puzzles. It has clearly been around for a very long time, and I’m late to this game, but excited none the less to discover something that is new to ME. Continue reading
Here is a checklist and a reminder for teaching ‘concept-based’: Continue reading
I have recently spent quite a bit of time thinking about History textbooks and how they are written. My thinking hasn’t fully crystallised yet but I want to share the articles that I have read so far. As I continue my journey in the textbook world, I will write more here.