Another brilliant CPD experience yesterday. I could go on about how fantastic the Twitter community is as I’ve been up since 4am thinking about it. However, instead here are four takeaways from four different sessions
Session 1 – leadership – @jillberry
I am at a challenging stage of my leadership. For two years, after inheriting an inadequate faculty with GCSE outcomes of 44% and taking this to 63% across those two years, the stabilisers have been on. Now, it is time for the stabilisers to come off and this has been quite a challenging situation to face up to this term, especially with all our curriculum changes. It has led to a very difficult term and emotionally I have been tested. Jill encouraged us to think about great middle leadership and this really helped me to begin to frame and re-focus on what I need to prioritise over the coming months as piece by piece the stabilisers totally come away and how I can ensure I stay strong in what will be a challenging year in terms of leadership for me.
Session 2 – questioning – Sarah Findlater
A great session recapping lots of great questioning techniques. For me, the takeaway is in using Blooms taxonomy to frame questions. I remember seeing a Teach Firster reflect on this but haven’t yet incorporated into my planning. In using Blooms, I can ensure a level of differentiation through my questioning and it really helps to frame my lesson planning better. I have started to use it this morning as I have been planning. Within the session, we planned questions on adjectives. Using Blooms it might look something like this:
- Identify the adjective in the following passage.
- Explain what an adjective is.
- Construct three adjectives to describe the house.
- Analyse how the adjectives in this passage reveal the character to be unkind.
- Now design adjectives to show elements of the character that isn’t kind.
- Evaluate your choice of adjectives, assessing how they contribute to the description of the character.
Session 3 – reading @jofacer
Wonderful session on reading. I love that Jo promotes reading for all as this is something I do in my classroom and I, too, am dreadful at the voices but will always give it a go! For me there are two takeaways that I am going to incorporate into my planning from next term: 1) Pre-planning the questions that accompany the reading of a text. I don’t do this enough and instead pose questions during reading which means, I guess, that the quality of my questioning is varied. By giving questions consideration beforehand I can ensure the questions are of a better quality, especially when coupled with the above. This made me feel very excited for the teaching of 19th century fiction next term! 2) DEAR – we are bringing DEAR back from next term. Previously, I have let students read their own choice of book. I think next term I am going to choose texts with two core purposes: 1) To introduce them to fantastic literature and harness a greater interest in reading by offering teasers etc. 2) To develop knowledge 🙂
Session 4 – vocabulary Caroline Spalding
Another fantastic session on vocabulary. I really struggle with vocabulary and I don’t think I have done enough to stretch my students’ vocabulary especially as most of my classes are C/D borderline etc etc so much of my focus has been on understanding. My takeaway is that I need to give much more thought ahead of a unit to the vocabulary I want students to be exposed too. Already this morning, when thinking about a film review unit I am teaching next term, I am looking at exemplar texts to magpie key vocabulary that the students can use. I then need to consider the ways in which I introduce this to students. We have great vocabulary books but I would like to develop this to ensure the vocab is constantly being revisited and students are clear on the words they are learning.
Special mentions have to go to Stephen Lockyer and Chris Waugh who both gave inspiring talks at the beginning and the end of the day. Also, catching up with so many fantastic Twitter people was invigorating and inspiring.
I had a superb day and cannot wait to see how what I have learned improves my practice and that of my departments.