Category Archives: Personal Reading

The Science of Learning

A group of American independent school headteachers have summarised what teachers ought to know about how children learn and the practical implications of this in the classroom.

The summary can be found here.

 

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Growing Great Teachers – Which research group?

cropped-penn-wood-world-painting.jpg

Penn Wood – Growing Great Teachers

Key Principles:

  • Working on the ‘bright spots’ – building on existing strengths.
  • The Pareto principle – 20% of teaching strategies yield 80% of the value.
  • Deliberate practice – Focused, intentional practice supported by high quality feedback.
  • Action research – experimenting with strategies to find out what works.
  • Develop leadership capacity.
  • Better never stops. All teachers need to improve, not because we are not good enough, but because we can be even better.

Action Research Cycle

Teachers will come ready to think of a teaching sequence which has gone well.  Through discussion with year colleagues, using the coaching questions below, teachers will identify aspects of the teaching sequence that were good or better.  This will also provide some practice for teachers when coaching later in the action research cycle.

  • Tell me about a time when behaviour for learning was great?  What did you do that supported them to do this?
  • Tell me about a time when you could immediately respond to what a child said or their work with quality feedback?
  • Tell me about a great question or task?
  • Tell me about your most effective explanation?
  • Tell me about the outcomes for different groups of children?  How did you meet their needs?
  • Tell me about a time when you saw a real improvement in reading fluency /understanding?

These questions will help teachers to focus in on an area of strength that will then become the focus of a term’s CPD.   Teachers will develop on an aspect of good or better teaching in research groups, led by senior or middle leaders.  The groups are as follows:

Reading

  • What are the most effective strategies for improving fluency and understanding?
  • How can we create a positive climate for learning to read for pleasure and widely across the curriculum?

Modelling and explanations

  • What are the most effective ways of authoritatively imparting knowledge? 
  • In what ways can our explanations develop children’s resilience and thirst for knowledge?

Meeting the needs of different groups of children

  • How can we ensure that teaching strategies, support and intervention match individual needs accurately?
  • How can we differentiate tasks so that more children attain the higher levels in national assessments?

Feedback and questioning

  • How can we anticipate misconceptions, check for understanding and intervene to make a notable impact on learning?
  • How can we use feedback and questioning to ensure that more pupils attain higher levels in national assessments?

EYFS

  • What are the most effective strategies to secure the early acquisition of language?
  • How do we increase the proportion of children meeting and exceeding national expectations?

Within these research groups, teachers will further discuss what worked well for them in their successful teaching sequences, with the aim of creating a toolkit for possible strategies.  This will be supported by short videos (available by logging into the school account), blog posts and books.

Reading

http://www.learningpt.org/pdfs/literacy/components.pdf

Modelling and explanations

http://www.education-consumers.org/CT_111811.pdf

http://wp.me/p3UXMS-2I

http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/spring2012/Rosenshine.pdf

Meeting the needs of different groups of children

http://www.learningspy.co.uk/featured/deliberately-difficult-focussing-on-learning-rather-than-progress/

http://bit.ly/1iiwu1B

http://bjorklab.psych.ucla.edu/research.html

http://ow.ly/o8Anb

http://learninglab.psych.purdue.edu/publications/

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb12/vol69/num05/Teaching-to-What-Students-Have-in-Common.aspx

Feedback and questioning

http://wp.me/p2uRcx-VJ

www.huntingenglish.com/2013/12/26/disciplined-discussion-easy-abc

wp.me/p43kJZ-4U

http://reflectionsofmyteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/can-i-be-that-little-bit-better.html?m=1

http://reflectionsofmyteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/can-i-be-that-little-bit-better-at.html?m=1

http://youtu.be/ag38OBjuMrQ

http://learningspy.co.uk/2012/02/20/feedback-its-better-to-receive-than-to-give/#.UcDapa7_tR0.twitter

http://wp.me/p2uRcx-V9

http://feedbackasateachingstrategy.weebly.com/

http://www.learningspy.co.uk/featured/reducing-feedback-might-increase-learning/

http://meridianvale.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/what-if-feedback-wasnt-all-it-was-cracked-up-to-be/

The final part of the session will be for each teacher to settle on one strategy that they will experiment with in their classrooms over the next few weeks.  The research leader will ensure that each teacher in their working group leaves with a plan in place.

Teachers using Twitter

The following links are to articles found by teachers using Twitter. Happy reading…

Miss Sutton found this blog post about using the iPad during guided reading.

Miss Hester came across this coding system for marking – worth trialling to see how it might fit with our marking and feedback practice.

Mrs Cohen found this article about great books for children.

Mr Hart found this blog about desirable difficulties in learning.