NQT+1 has audited their current strengths and areas of development relating to Teaching and Learning. The audit and following meetings have helped shape an interesting SIG Group that will focus this term on 'Building resilience in students'. Much of the groups research will draw on Dweck's 'Growth Mindset' philosophy. Impact on the outcomes of our learners will further embed our research and help inform good practice amongst the SIG and whole Academy.
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April 26th 2016
I have been investigating strategies that make differentiation work. Here are my initial ideas:
Changing the level of complexity or required readiness of a task or unit of study in order to meet the developmental needs of the students involved.
What Can Be Tiered?
- Processes, content and products
- Learning stations
- Writing prompts
- Anchor activities
Had a real revelation with Anchoring with my GCSE students. They have been given an extended project using Google Docs. DIT comments are given in Google Docs and shared with students prior to the lesson. During practical work, students will access their extended project assignment and respond to DIT comments if they have either finished set tasks or are waiting for next steps from me or a TA. Sometimes I will purposefully 'anchor' a student/s whilst others are being coached, with the 'anchored' automatically responding to DIT comments on the extended project. This has led to high levels of engagement and a significant rise in assessment results this term.
December 11th 2015
I have found that mind mapping is a useful facilitator for encouraging independent thought. It also capitalises on the natural curiosity that students have and enables them to choose and control their area of study. These mindmaps were created co-operatively with year 8 students. One student was responsible for each separate 'arm' of the map. Additionally, it also promotes deeper learning as students must consider how to present, link and order their ideas logically.
December 4th 2015
I've tried to approach the end-point goal of confident, high quality, independent working at KS4 by approaching the issue from KS3. I believe that if pupils can gain problem solving skills and the ability to manage projects by the time they are ready to leave KS3 then more of my teacher time in GCSE classes should be spent using my skills as an artist to really extend pupils' progress rather than dealing with issues of 'what should i be doing next'. I wanted to approach KS3 therefore as a two-year pre-GCSE course in which the projects build in the challenges they offer in terms of skill and creative thinking. The SOW allow for independent skills-based lessons that will see pupils engaged on a wide range of different tasks, tempered with whole-class teaching where pupils will need to develop their ideas and need focussed support. The skills based lessons would have three levels of challenge built into them with students choosing their skill level, My role as I'm circulating would be to encourage them to always try to rise to the next level of challenge. The homework I've loosely planned would also build in skill level throughout the two years and will be deliberately challenging.
I'm going to potentially trial this on my year 7s and 8s after Christmas if I can get the resources sorted in time!
November 17th 2015
I'm working on something with my yr seven group too but this is evolving more organically, basically they're all being given individual 'missions' each lesson rather than everyone producing a version of an exemplar I have made...I'll have to see how this develops as it's rather flawed as a hypothesis currently!
16th November 2015
I have been using the attached document to develop independent thinking skills with my Yr7 class. I have introduced a 'Thinking Tax' where students use credits or can gain credits depending on whether they can provide support to gain credits or use their credits at differing prices to 'ask a question' of say the teacher, a student or a TA etc. It really has been popular with many having far more resilience and perseverance in their learning habits.