#100wordTandL on @pedagoo

What is it?

A quick way to share a teaching idea in 100 words or less. There are a lot of great in depth, detailed and reflective blogs out there. But… Sometimes we just want a quick idea to fire us up or give us something new to play with. Something we could use in the classroom tomorrow.

This was the brainchild of Pete “Loving the Learning” Jackson and he’s kindly allowed the @pedagoo community to have some fun with it. Example post here

The Challenge 

Share one of the teaching and learning ideas you’ve used recently either on your own blog or on @pedagoo. Make sure when you Tweet it out to include @pedagoo in your tweet so that we can retweet it to the community.  If you post it on the @pedagoo site we’ll take care of all the social media side and you’ll get to share your idea directly with a huge number of enthusiastic professionals just like you.

If you’re not sure how to get started just go to Pedagoo and sign up. Click onto the “New Post” section and you’re a blogger. It would be amazing to see loads of new people on there sharing their ideas. 

It doesn’t need to be brand new just something you’re using that you’d like to share. I find it’s always great to be reminded of an idea I haven’t used for a while or see someone else’s perspective on it.

We’d also love to see you at #pedagoofriday sharing your great ideas. 

Barry

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#100wordTandL on @pedagoo

What is it?

A quick way to share a teaching idea in 100 words or less. There are a lot of great in depth, detailed and reflective blogs out there. But… Sometimes we just want a quick idea to fire us up or give us something new to play with. Something we could use in the classroom tomorrow.

This was the brainchild of Pete “Loving the Learning” Jackson and he’s kindly allowed the @pedagoo community to have some fun with it. Example post here

The Challenge 

Share one of the teaching and learning ideas you’ve used recently either on your own blog or on @pedagoo. Make sure when you Tweet it out to include @pedagoo in your tweet so that we can retweet it to the community.  If you post it on the @pedagoo site we’ll take care of all the social media side and you’ll get to share your idea directly with a huge number of enthusiastic professionals just like you.

If you’re not sure how to get started just go to Pedagoo and sign up. Click onto the “New Post” section and you’re a blogger. It would be amazing to see loads of new people on there sharing their ideas. 

It doesn’t need to be brand new just something you’re using that you’d like to share. I find it’s always great to be reminded of an idea I haven’t used for a while or see someone else’s perspective on it.

We’d also love to see you at #pedagoofriday sharing your great ideas. 

Barry

Why @pedagoo?

I’m a huge fan of @pedagoo as an institution and I’d like to share what makes it so important to me.

Ethos
The @pedagoo community is one of equals, everyone’s views are welcomed and valued. There’s no egos; it’s all about the sharing and supporting each other. This is what makes it so special; I believe every teacher has nuggets of gold to share and we should always be ready to learn from each other.

The Blog
A lot of people are put off blogging due to the commitment of having to constantly post to maintain a blog. It’s a big commitment and you have to enjoy your writing to keep a blog going.

The @pedagoo group blog allows educators who have a great idea to share to do so without the hassle of having their own blog. It provided me with a medium to share my ideas once I had decided to write but didn’t know whether I’d want to keep up the commitment.

If you’ve got a great idea to share don’t be nervous, click the link http://www.pedagoo.org and have a go.

#PedagooFriday
If you’ve ever been to #PedagooFriday on Twitter I hope you’ll agree that it’s a beacon of educational hope. Educators who are passionate about what they do sharing what they’re proud of and celebrating the positives of their week. I find that ending the week on such a high with new ideas to try the following week invigorates me. If you’re an educator and aren’t on Twitter yet I recommend joining for #PedagooFriday alone. If you’re on Twitter and haven’t had a look, come along and join in.

The Events
As well as providing a welcoming community of equals as an instant PLN, a great group blog and an inspirational way to end your week @pedagoo members also put on some fantastic events. Much like Teachmeets it’s about educators sharing what they do but @pedagoo does it a little differently with group seminars and time for deep dialogue on the issues considered. If you haven’t been to one make sure you look out for future events.

Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE

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@lisajaneashes opening the 2014 #pedagoochristmasparty

A list of my blogs on @pedagoo with links can be found here.

#riddlemethised

This brief post is intended as a guide to joining in on the above chat.

1) It’s a slow chat. That means once the question is shared on Monday it’ll be up for discussion all week. This allows time for reflection.

2) It’s a positive sharing experience; the dream is to share ideas, strategies and reflections. It’s a @pedagoo inspired project; let’s keep that ethos.

3) It’s not about being right, it’s about thinking, sharing and developing ideas. This isn’t a debate, it’s a philosophical discussion.

4) A note on blogs; if you want to share a blog about that weeks topic it would be great. Post it once and people can have a look if they choose to. Please don’t just use it as a hashtag to spam all of your blogs on.

5) Try to use the hashtag; otherwise your wisdom may be lost in the echoing halls of Twitterland.

To quote @lisajaneashes:

Not looking for answers just debating the question. Keeping it positive, not arguing just offering.

I hope to see you on the chat.

Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE

If you want to know how the chat came about…http://wp.me/p5hvJ8-5g

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Just one more thing…

OR…Thinking inside the box.

Nearing the end of the Pedagoo Christmas Party we asked participants to ask any questions they would like us to discuss at the after party. Questions were put on slips and posted into a black box.

I like using a box in lessons to post questions and ideas as it promotes honesty and curiosity through the anonymity. If no one knows who wrote the question, no one can judge.

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We had a few fun ones and I can answer those here:

1) It depends on the type of bear; natural habitats impact on these habits.

2) Don’t worry it was shading, Columbo didn’t have a beard.

The thing is, if you use a box to generate random questions and ideas in a lesson you’ll get some fun and silly responses. I’m ok about that as I like a little humour and when you draw the questions out you can filter the madness in a lesson if you wish.

Fast forward to the after party…

We’d already had some great ideas shared over fabulous food at Blake’s in Newcastle, all paid for by @VisionForEd. Then we opened the black box, what happened next was a passionate and intriguing debate on the first two questions. There was so much to discuss we didn’t really touch the pile of great discussion topics. It seemed such a shame we hadn’t debated all of these wonderful questions.

The solution…
To keep the learning going I’m suggesting we post each question to Twitter for a slow chat. That means using the hashtag in your post, but any time you like over a week rather than feeling rushed. As Pedagoo was the reason for this wonderful event I’d like to suggest we launch each one via the @pedagoo Twitter account to allow a wide range of people to engage and reflect on the following hashtag:-

#riddlemethised
(Thanks to @lisajaneashes for the hashtag idea.)

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The Many Questions…

1) What makes an inspirational teacher?

2) How do we move away from exam based assessment towards a more holistic and skills based form of assessment?

3) One good way to stretch and challenge the top pupils in your class?

4) What is one quick way of assessing pupil progress in your lesson?

5) How do we value ALL subjects on the curriculum?

6) Where do you get all of your enthusiasm from?

7) How do you persuade “some” SLT to stop being negative and smile?

8) How do we embed information skills into a packed curriculum? Who’s responsible?

9) “I don’t do Excel” – How do you help this middle leader? (Tips for using Excel in Education.)

10) How can we address apathy towards the Arts, and the notion that the only worthwhile subjects lead to financial success? (Slightly edited to protect the innocent.)

11) How do we deal with “Lesson Stoppers” where there is an immediate child protection issue?

12) Why do some kids do their homework and some kids do not?

13) How do we ensure that EAL learners are included and accepted by native English speaking learners in our classroom?

14) How can we better share what we do as professionals?

15) How do we best include EAL students within a mixed ability classroom to make progress?

16) Convinced of the value of homework, why?

17) How will the changes to GCSE be valuable?

So that’s 17 weeks of chat…we’ll see what happens after that.

Final Thoughts

I’d really like to thank @lisajaneashes for organising the event and the hugely generous sponsors that made it happen:
Vision for Education
Newcastle University
Crown House Publishing
It’s organisations like these giving back to the teaching community that allows a lot of special things to happen in our area and I’m truly grateful for that.

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Bits and bobs from the day are on the following:
#pedagoochristmasparty
#pedagooxmas
#simplysharing

There will also be a few blogs coming out soonish on http://www.pedagoo.org to share ideas from the sessions held.

Hopefully see you on the chat…

Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE

What’s The Big Idea?

Or…Why do we ask questions?

I ask a lot of questions, mainly because I’d rather look stupid and find something out than stay stupid forever by never finding out, but in my lessons I ask questions for a lot of different reasons…

Identifying Prior Knowledge
I need to know what they know in order to move them forward. It’s a really quick way of pre-testing the class before content delivery. If they already know it I know to move on or deepen the learning. If they struggle too much I know I need to adapt my plan to build the foundations of knowledge they need to advance.

Clarifying Understanding
Do they get it? I know I’ve taught it, or at the very least given them an activity about it but have they learnt it? It’s also important to ask questions to clarify if the answers they give seem vague. A vague answer means that the concept isn’t so much grasped as fumbled.

Finding the Gaps
After the clarity I’m looking for what they don’t know, the small details that will tighten the grasp on their conceptual understanding. Making sure they’ve got the knowledge they need to move their thinking on.

To Elicit Information
This is forcing them to develop, explain and expand their ideas. Anything that makes them flesh out their answers. Questions like…
“What do you mean?”
“Could you describe that?”
“Could you give an example?”
“Could you explain that to me?”
“Imagine I’m stupid, how would you say that to get me to understand?”
Or the classic…”Why?”

Scaffolding Thinking
Helping students to process their thoughts. Using their knowledge with your thinking to guide them through constructing arguments and reasoning. Much like a gondolier nudging the boat towards the jetty. It’s also great to do this as you are modelling the thinking process explicitly to your students, showing them how you think and develop concepts.

Challenge
Making them think hard. Push their ideas, provide conflict, give alternatives, play Devils Advocate, confuse, obstruct and obfuscate. Isn’t thinking really hard about stuff what school is really for? (Opinions on what school is for may vary; there’s lots of things it could be for.)

To Go Deep
This is when you focus your questions on the BIG themes. Romeo and Juliet isn’t just about a couple of soppy teenagers who wind up dead. It’s about love, it’s about loss, it’s about family and friendship. Unpick the big themes, turn your students into philosophers. What are the important themes lurking beneath the surface of your subject waiting to be discovered?

Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE

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