As Year 7 work on A Christmas Carol, they are learning to scour the text for useful quotations. These sheets show their response to the question: “How does Dickens present the ghost of Christmas past?”
The sheets are displayed for information and for them to download.
Year 10 have been chatting about the characters in Priestley’s play as part of their group S+L assignments (IGCSE still has an oral component at the moment). These sound files are their thoughts.
I should add that the discussions are unscripted but the result of a time sharing ideas and tracking an individual character during the reading of the play. The free-for-all discussion about responsibility was sprung on them and is unplanned and unscripted – It is rough around the edges, but shows the character of the group well, as well as engaging clearly with the matter under discussion.
Please treat these with respect. By all means use them, especially as part of either grade moderation exercises or revision material.
I love these – a selection of my year 9 class’ responses to Dickens. To me, it is evident that creative work such as this adds to the understanding of the texts. Could they have devised these (and in cases “devised” is the only word suitable) if they hadn’t got the text? A lesson on SCASI analysis ended with the oinstruction to present Gradgrind artwork prepared as home learning.
Pretty spot on really!
Feel free to use as you wish!
Any specific comments will be passed back to the students concerned – I’d love some feedback.
This Powerpoint has been used for a few years to help me deliver a short training session on Vocal Health. As a former opera singer, I am acutely aware of the fragility of our vocal chords and the ease with wehich they can be irreparably damaged.
In the past few years I have seen 2 colleagues have to observe a regime of total silence to give damaged chords a chance to recover. Often this is down to a lack of awareness of how to breathe to support our voices, rather than to any paedagogical issues. In short, in an average classroom we should have enough awareness of breathing and projection to rise above a class without shouting or risking damage.
What is interesting on the slightly manic diagramme is the comment about recovery times for an averagely worked voice.
Take a look if you wish…
NB: vowels carry further than consonants! With no consonants, a sentence is meaningless… clarity of diction often removes the need to raise the voice too far.
Next week sees the 3rd Slough Teachmeet – a gathering of teachers to share ideas, gripes, successes and… in their own time! Brilliant – A big hand to @msdetterick for organising this.
If you do not use Twitter, you might want to think again.
I can not attend the meeting in my own school, organised by my HOD v- I am taking some yr 13s to debate in the ESU Mace (see an earlier post). The delegates were due to get 3 minutes of yours truly telling them why I use twitter. Because it is a brilliant source of CPD and solace. Because it is exciting. Because I genuinely see the whole range of ideas and emotions on any topic from “dumbed down” exams, the Academy and Free School debate, the efficacy of Brain Gym…
This is the talk I would have given, and my far from complete list of twitter handles for the beginner – take it easy… no need to follow all of them overnight!
: and me – @Mrpeel
I should have been here this evening – sorry, though on a positive, you are spared 3 minutes of me speaking and can always choose to throw away this note.
But before you do, think again!
I often find myself in a group of teachers (this is a lie, but a well-intentioned one), and asking “do you use Twitter?” Often the silence that follows is deafening and I am confused. We work in a system which seems to be in a permanent state of flux and monitoring. This is not the moment for a discussion of why this should be, but it does make me think that we should be looking beyond our four walls for inspiration and suggestion.
Schools look inward at all levels – we judge our teaching against school standards; our students judge themselves against their peers in the school with no concept of the strengths or weaknesses seen countrywide; we design department monitoring/observation/assessment criteria which work for us, but we rarely put them up against those used in the school next door, let alone the school at the other end of the country. Stranger, to someone who entered the profession at the age of 40, is the close guarding of schemes of work or other paedagogical material that is still evident in many institutions.
I find Twitter to be a solution – not perfect, at times irritating and often impossible to keep track of, but this is a quick overview
• I can take part in discussion groups which focus on paedagogical areas of interest – I get advice, encouragement and CPD.
• I can support colleagues in other schools and receive support and advice in return.
• I can share resources and receive ideas in return.
• I can take part in wide ranging discussion around the role of the teacher in today’s society.
• I can laugh out loud and revel in success.
• I can try to emulate that success
• I can promote my students’ achievement
• I can help to promote my school
• I can read both sides of many current paedagogical discussions…
Why would any of us not do this? We need schools to authorise some discussion groups as CPD – after all the discussions are always turned into archives to enable checking. Above all, we need to open our eyes to the wealth of information available and to be prepared to enter into debates – after all the speed of change in the business is frightening.
My Twitter lists: incomplete and probably missing someone vital!
I am working on a module which introduces writing of diverse ages and styles to Year 9, partly as enrichment and partly to begin the process of unseen response. The PDFs attached are images drawn/created by some of the students – Ekum, Avleen, Preet, Sylvia and Aman. Please open them and enjoy the work – it deserves to be enjoyed.
In all cases, the students have been told to respond to a central image or idea underlying Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 – “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ admit impediment.”
The task is not the art itself – lovely though it is, but in what follows. Based on my experience of teaching IBDP Independent Oral Presentations, I am excited by the idea that students who explain the genesis of their artwork also, by definition, show deep understanding of the metaphor/image that they are discussing, which might not always be present when they are told simply to comment on the language choice in front of colleagues.
It is important that the students understand that this is a two part process- the art and the explanation and that they are kept engaged with then need to be able to show how their ideas originated in the text.
A good example here is Avleen’s work – the alphabet sheet. I didn’t “get it” at first. She explained to the class and the understanding of Shakespeare’s poem became so obvious.
I and U are a couple, ring fenced and protected by love. The other letters represent temptation or distraction -”alteration”, ” “remover” or “impediment”. No matter how lovely the other letters are, they will never overthrow the marriage of true minds that “I have with U.”. Simple? Maybe. Effective and memorable? YES!
Please enjoy these pictures and by all means use them as stimuli – just give credit to Year 9 (!) at Upton Court Grammar School.
It is a busy week. Yesterday we took part in a staged debate at Age Concern, the first round of #debatingmatters in Hounslow and then received an email this morning to give my 6 year 12s a date for the Cambridge University Schools’ Debate. And now a year 7 parents’ evening.
So why do so many teachers give so freely of their time (always after school) to prepare and ferry students ot these activities?
We are charged with fostering independence and increasing “stretch and challenge. IS there a better way than in formal debate?
At my school I am lucky. I get 2 hours a week, timetabled, with a group of year 12s who have opted for enrichment debating. We engage in discussion and planning for an hour and run a British Parliamentary Debate in the other. Topics are broad and only restricted by imagination. Where else can students need to prepare their responses to global questions of philosophy and knowledge as well as deal with the wonderfully non-substantive and open motions provided by the THB the strong should support the weak,or the strange literature topics such as THB it is better to brave the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?
In short, competition debating with 15 minutes to prepare and with no access to electronic devices requires wide knowledge and a mind which can draw parallels between disparate ideas. Students are required to posit arguments with which they disagree and to pick holes in those from seemingly God-like oppositions.
In the #debatingmatters format, they not only prepare their arguments but are quizzed in a Paxmanesque manner by no fewer than three judges, in public for 15 minutes. What is left of them after that is quizzed by the audience and their opposition – no hiding place and no room for those whose teachers play troo great a part in the preparation process. My four first timers won their round last night and are justly still smiling 24 hours later – achievement!
Earlier in the day, 4 others has taken part I n a Mace debate for Age Concern in Slough. A hostile audience who did not agree with the motion that “THB in a time of austerity, the government should prioritise youth” made for something of a pressured environment for my year 11s and 13s. They rose above it with aplomb. I have attached the unedited recording for anyone apart from mothers, aunts, uncles and eventual grandchildren to have a listen. This was not rehearsed – it is “warts and all”, but it is also hugely impressive.
Seeking stretch and challenge? Get debating. 131106_001