TLAB Notes

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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: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL focused on development of social cognition … Read More

Adjective Game for English Lessons

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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 … Read More

Research on Ability Grouping and Setting in Maths Classes

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I’ve been trying to tie together some of the various bits of research I’ve come across for and against ability grouping in maths. Below is what I’ve got so far, but would love any other pointers, for or against. The last 30 years’ research suggests setting marginally improves high-achievers, but to the detriment of everyone else. Sources are: DfES (2004) … Read More

What to avoid when teaching

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Durham University, the Sutton Trust and CEM published an interesting report called “What Makes Great Teaching” in October 2014. It’s an overview of what research appears to be telling us at the moment. While it would be wonderful to think there is a simple, step-by-step formula to a perfect lesson, I’m not at all convinced it exists. In fact, I … Read More

Careful Documentation

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This (thank you Cristina) is a great mini-documentary about the impact of documentation as used in the Reggio Emilia schools and with the Making Learning Visible project Documentation: Transforming Our Perspective from Melissa Rivard on Vimeo. Intuitively, I am wholeheartedly behind this sort of approach. Instinctively, too, I worry about the biases that come with collecting. A while ago, I … Read More