Tag: Good Practice

#PedagooFriday Reciprocal Teaching

#PedagooFriday Reciprocal Teaching

Recently two colleagues taught me all about Reciprocal Teaching as a way of encouraging literacy in the classroom.

Each member of a group is given a different role, Predictor, Clarifier, Summariser or Questioner. All group members are given a piece of text to read, with each of them looking at a different role within this, it means that when they go to discuss the piece of text, they all have different ideas and perspectives to bring to it and it structures the activity much better.

Not only does this encourage literacy, it also encourages group work and makes each member accountable.

I have created some worksheets that will aid each member with their role and tasks to structure their reading.

You can download them here. Free Printables- Reciprocal Reading

Reciprocal Teaching

Well done to Ben and Annjanette for noticing my incorrect spelling of two! You have passed my secret literacy test! #autocorrectproblems

Read More Here: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/reciprocal_teaching


Co-Operative Learning

Following a colleagues excellent twilight session following her attendance at the Co-Operative Learning Academy. The RMPS department has made a commitment to embedding co-op learning into our curriculum.

We have introduced the idea of co-operative learning to the class and we have talked about   what makes an effective team. Using a clip from the Avengers as a stimulus.

Groups were asked to come up with a team name that reflects their interests and skills, and because it is RMPS, we asked groups to create their own religion, with special customs, traditions and rituals. This will form their identity for the year. A personal favourite was the “Calf-Licks”- a group that worships cows…

There will be occasions where we will mix up the groups, or do different tasks with others. But on a whole the groups they are in are the groups they will be working with for the rest of the year.

We will continue to reflect, review and assess the impact that co-op learning is having in RMPS.


New (and improved) Bloom’s Wall

Told You I was slightly Bloom’s Obsessed. 

So as previously blogged about, one of my first things I did when I got my very own classroom, was make a massive Blooms Triangle for my wall. This is it here when it was first put up, throughout the year I got pupils to add different skills and “I Can” statements on it as we went along. BzkDii4CQAAqMDl

I loved my triangle, although tragically last week, I asked pupils to take down the wall display, saving my triangle so I could re back the wall. (2 note’s to self here, 1, if you really want to save something take it down yourself, 2. Check what backing paper is available in the department before you decide to pull down your wall displays because your bored of green, that’s right there seems to only be green paper in the department). Anyway one pupil got a little over excited that his friends were getting to rip the paper off the wall that he went and tore my triangle down. 😦

IMAG0624This week however I decided rather than replace it, I am going to make it better. So I relined the walls, in green paper. And as a payback for destroying my pride and joy, this pupil was in charge of laminating coloured pieces of paper we are moving on to learning about Karma, so feel it fits in with every action has a consequence and it is therefore not child labour.
Behold we now have a skills wall, complete with wonderful coloured “bricks”. On these bricks, I am getting pupils to identify skills (using the posters I previously shared) that they want to achieve based on our current topic, which so far is working a treat. My end of the term aim is for pupils to look back on the year and not only remember the topics we studied but the skills they gained and hopefully this will help show the pupils that as much as you want to watch a film, can you really gain all these skills from watching a film?


Jaffa Cake Lesson

This is a lesson idea, that was shared with me by another RMPS teacher. I felt my pupils needed to fully understand how to really answer exam questions and know the difference between describe and explain questions.

I firstly gave the pupils different sentence starters that our wonderful Principal Assessor created, with sentence starters that would help show KU, Analysis and Evaluation skills. I asked pupils to highlight sentences the thought they might use.

This lesson involved firstly pupils being asked to describe the Jaffa Cake. I encouraged pupils to “PEE” into their answers- Point Evidence Explain. e.g. The Jaffa Cake looks yummy. I can see the jaffa cake has chocolate on it. Chocolate tastes nice therefore I will probably like the taste of Jaffa Cakes. 

The second part of the lesson was related to the question, “Is a Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit”. From this I got pupils to create “Fish Diagrams” I found the example on this powerpoint..Pupils listed each point at the end of the stems and then from these stems they added extra information they would include in their answer. The pupils then wrote their answer out in full and peer assessed each other.

The pupils said that this helped them understand how to answer exam questions, although some answers I did see in jotters were still a little bit on the “lets write everything I know down and hope I get a few points” type. But I hope we are getting there.

Thanks to Donnah for sharing this lesson idea. I know feel my pupils will be expecting some sort of food reward everytime we do study skills now.

EAL Keywords

Inspired by a post by @mrshumanities showing keyword cards and in a bit of a dilemma as to how best support my EAL pupils. Today I spent a double period, whilst expertly covering an Administration class creating these handy cards, with some of the keywords we use in humanities in S1.

I am hoping they will be there as an easier alternative to constantly looking up a dictionary although I am heavily relying on Google translate. I am looking for new other ways to help support these pupils and will try and test some other ways.

Tomorrow I am excited to use my new revision station resources, I’ve made. Will share a blog post on them.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

It’s safe to safe, I love Blooms!

I think Blooms is a brilliant way for teachers to ensure they are helping pupils progress as well as students can identify their skills easily. I love blooms so much, one of the first things I did when I got my new classroom was paint a massive triangle on the wall, and get pupils to add “I can” statements on it when they can do something new.

I think the issue I have with blooms is and don’t think I am alone is, we are good at creating wonderful Schemes of Work and Units, but actually sign-posting our skills and how that links into Higher Order Thinking is our downfall. Also I know i have been guilty of focusing on the task and not the skills being used.

I have given myself 2 new term resolutions this year.

  1. Use less PowerPoint and look at other teaching and presentation methods.
  2. Highlight skills progression to the pupils.

My first task has been to create these posters. 
(Download Link)
 These break down the skills, the types of activities and question stems that can be used – an amalgamation of several posters I could find on Pintrest.

So now my aim is to get pupils to be able to self evaluate their own learning and skills at the end of a task/ unit/ lesson. I also made up cover sheets for my junior classes that will be stuck into their jotters with the intended skill progression of the current unit we are on- encouraging them to color in the triangle as they move up the thinking skills.

I think Blooms can be used in many different ways and it is important that we share resources and ideas in order to encourage pupils to be using their thinking skills in a variety of ways.

Co-Operative Learning

Recently we watched a few documentaries on the Life of Mohammed in National 5 RMPS. These were packed full of information that we decided we would like to share our learning.

We started with one big piece of paper and gathered round a large desk.

We then each took a different coloured pen and started writing, we then moved around the room adding more ideas around the paper, commenting on others ideas, expanding on points and learning until the whole paper was a colourful rainbow of knowledge.

We used this information to summarise our learning on Mohammed (pbuh) and complete some source questions on it.