Outside of the day job, I’ve been tinkering away trying to repurpose an old project called MIST. MIST stands for Mentored Investigations into Science and Technology and the aim is twofold:
- to help parents who are a little underconfident teaching maths or science to younger chidren
- to help teachers working at the primary level.
I’ve also put up a number of “cheat sheets” for those teaching science over on TES.
Version one of the site is now live, and it’d be great to get any comments or suggestions for improvement.
Took a while to get there, what with train cancellations, but it was worth it.
Lots to think about, though various themes/books seemed to be being hammered home. Nuthall’s Hidden Lives of Learners and Berger’s Ethic of Excellence were heavily plugged.
Notes from what I saw:
- Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL
- focused on development of social cognition and the factors affecting decision-making.
- late arriving but conclusion seemed to be that a lot of research shows teens are greatly affected by peers whereas adults typically are not, or are influenced far less.
- Peer-learning presumably needs to take account of this. She mentioned the paradox of adolescence, i.e. that you are most prone to take risks at your healthiest time of your life. A pack mentality is a great indicator of increased risk-taking so question is how peer attitudes affect risk-analysis.
There’s a talk of hers below which covers some similar things
Ken Brechin, Cramlington & CPD
Bible seems to be Daniel Muijs’s book Effective Teaching.
Big questions were: “Is your CPD having an impact?” and “How do you know?”
Various ways of measuring impact – analysis of student data through to anecdotal evidence – but context affecting currency. Main thing is to make sure you know what you want CPD to achieve.
Spoke to various punters – all agreed that CPD often not great in schools. Seemed usually to be an expensive, hard to argue for OSIRIS course and then no sharing of what learnt
Ray Healey on Creating and Extension Culture in Maths
- Emphasised value of a whole department thinking it’s worth it, rather than being one member of staff’s bolt-on
- Good extension questions are: simple, attractive, accessible, have maths merit, are open-middled and manageable
- Need to create culture of engagement: e.g. maths is learned not innate, encourage strategic thinking, avoid sounding like the expert
- Some useful resources are:
- Took us through a typical “IB/Inquiry learning” Primary lesson, from planning to delivery to assessment
- Powerful stuff – big thing for me was seeing the various Hidden Lives/Daniel Willingham books being made real
- Ironically harder to write notes during but felt learned more
- More here
Barbara Oakley on Learning how to Learn
Other notes online/slides from talks
I’ve had a very quick stab at hacking together a simple version of a game I used to play as a child.
Whoever is playing chooses their adjectives and then these are dropped randomly into a famous story.
I’ve grabbed the opening to Alice in Wonderland from Project Gutenberg as a first effort. Would love to hear some other possible suggestions.
You can download the game here.