@SPorterEdu

Teaching, Learning & Research

Posts tagged ‘Classroom Display’

The Never Stop Learning Hub Teach Meet, took place on Thursday 20th March 2014.  It was the first to be run by the inspirational @MrOCallaghanEdu and took place at Bristol Brunel Academy.

There were ten workshops and I led one of them with Tom Leahy (@MrTLeahy a fellow Maths teacher).  The idea for running our workshop on Differentiated Homework came about due to us considering the differentiated lesson.  “We differentiate in lessons so we should differentiate homework…right?” Right!

How can we as teachers insist upon differentiating our classwork and feel justified in giving the entire class the same piece of homework?  It can become boring for the more able, consistently annoying for those who are finding the work challenging and it can be boring for the teacher too!  To an outsider, it may seem strange that we are not differentiating homework, so what’s happening?  Why are we all giving our students the same homework?  Let’s consider the “Why? How? & What?” of this homework scenario…

Why do you want students to complete homework?

How do you want them do it?

  • On paper – Will the students (claim to) lose their paper work?
  • On-line – Do students have access to the internet at home or at school?

What are the next steps?

  • How can you maintain this level of homework?
  • How much effort are you putting in when setting and marking the homework?
  • How can you ensure that your students learn from the homework and not end up with lots of pretty displays? What level of feedback/marking is the most effective (#Takeawayhmk – how can you fairly assess the homework…see Marking #TakeawayHmk part 1; part 2 coming soom.)

Differentiated Homework

Knowing the current approaches that are taken with homework and the completion rates, the following is a list of different homework that can be tried with classes (examples of these items can also be found here).

Poetry Concept Card by @Zedagogy

Top right ‘Poetry’ Concept Card by @Zedagogy

Examples of Concept Cards on Concept Walls can be found here http://mrcavswalloffame.wordpress.com/ & here http://mrcollinsmaths.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/mathematical-concept-wall-examples.html

Rick Wormeli: 'Homework' versus 'Practice'

Rick Wormeli: ‘Homework’ versus ‘Practice’

Another aspect of homework to consider is how you talk about homework to your students.  Some teachers refer to this as practice as opposed to homework and as such, this can affect the quality and quantity of homework that is received.  For a slightly different perspective, watch this video clip of Rick Wormeli talking about Homework vs. Practice.

Conclusion This workshop was a challenge to prepare but fun to run and differentiated homework will be an ongoing project for me.  I intend to trial more approaches to differentiated homework (see Marking #TakeawayHmk) but in the meantime I will try to convince other teachers to do the same.  With this in mind, I expect differentiated homework to be a way that students can experience an appropriate level of challenge in their work outside of the classroom…practice or homework; what ever you choose to call it!

Thanks for reading @SPorterEdu

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At the moment, I have to say that I really like #TakeAwayHmk (@TeacherToolkit).  A colleague and I are in the process of trialling this at our school and in a few days, we expect to receive some amazing pieces of work.  This post is the first of two and for that reason, it’s a relatively short one.

The Why, How and What of homework.

  • Why do I set homework? So that my students can consolidate learning, prepare for lessons, check understanding…
  • How do I set homework? Dependent upon the topic it might be a piece of on-line homework, it may be a question to ponder in readiness for a class discussion or it may even be a traditional worksheet! Our homework policy requires that Maths homework is set weekly and like many teachers, I try my best! 
  • What are the outcomes?  A selection of homework ranging from a scrap of paper with some answers to some beautifully presented pieces with worked solutions.

Consider #TakeAwayHmk and the possible rise in the quantity and quality of homework that a teacher receives.  Some students will produce animations, others 3D models and some may even produce a really neat set of revision cards or a booklet.  So how do I fairly assess this work?  I need a plan!

she needed a plan

Hugh MacLeod – Gaping Void

Marking #TakeAwayHmk

Now this is where it gets interesting.  I’ve had the lesson with my class and have collected all 32 pieces of homework.  I’m poised for the epic session of marking…

  • Do I give one mark for each key word?
  • Should I mark down poor spelling?
  • Is the quantity an issue?  (Will a student get a higher mark because they’ve produced more work)
  • Should I award a particularly able student top marks for a piece of work that is very good but not challenging enough for them?
  • Conversely, should I award marks to a student who I know has tried really hard but has not quite produced the goods?

What do I do?

I’m interested in finding out how teachers assess the #TakeAwayHmk that they have set.  So my question to you is this; How are you marking your #takeawayhmk?

If you or a colleague use #TakeAwayHmk, it would be great if could leave a comment with what you do or send me a direct message via Twitter @sporteredu .  Either way, thanks for reading and please look out for #TakeAwayHmk Pt 2; The meat on the bones!  By then, I will have presented at a TeachMeet, conducted some more research and will have had many discussions with teachers; definitely more meat!

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As Lead Practitioner, part of my remit is to share resources/ideas and generally help raise standards of Teaching and Learning in the Mathematics department (ultimately, I’d like to do this school wide but hey ho…one step at a time).

I’ve been toying with the idea of having a check list for students in lower ability classes and when it was mentioned at our last Maths meeting, the team seemed to like the idea.  Not just for lower ability but for all classes; laminate, stick on tables in Maths classrooms, the usual stuff.  This is something that we are looking to do to help our students be responsible for their attitude to learning (ATL) and ensure they remain focused in lessons.

Below is a draft, version 1, the bones of the idea (I promise I will make it pretty!)…

To have an outstanding lesson, I need to;

  • Get my Maths equipment ready (including my planner)
  • Complete the starter (if I’m stuck I need to ask someone near me)
  • Listen carefully to instructions
  • Write the TWWL and the date (underline them)
  • Copy important notes and highlight key words
  • Attempt all parts of the question (get involved in the activity/task)
  • Check that my answers make sense
  • Keep listening for any new instructions
  • Ask questions (this will show that you are listening and thinking!)
  • Review my work (or review my friends work)

It would be great to know if anyone is already doing this (or something similar) and what impact this is having.  I think it is something that can be used across subjects and not simply limited to Mathematics.  I will update this post once the check list has been trialled and I will share what has happened in our classrooms in the New Year.

Watch this space…

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