50 Creative Ways To Use Learning Objectives

Finding the start of your lessons boring and predictable by going through your LO’s or success criteria in the same way every time? Take a look at this for some creative ways to add a spark to your lessons:

http://learningspy.visibli.com/share/2M5pPY

Contributed by The Learning Spy, David Didau

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Learning Spies

Standing back from the safety of delivering the majority of the content in your lesson and handing the lesson over to the students for group work can send even the most experienced teachers into a cold sweat. Will they actually do any learning? Will they just chat? And more importantly, how can I assess what they have learned?

The Learning Spy has found an excellent way to accomplish this, without getting involved and slowing down the students natural progress.

http://learningspy.edublogs.org/2011/07/11/so-what-are-learning-spies/

Contributed by The Learning Spy, David Didau.

The most inspirational piece of teaching ever???

From time to time we all go through periods where we are looking for inspiration to liven up our classrooms and catch the kids off guard by doing something out of the box that grips them. Well, sifting through my twitter feeds today I came across a quite remarkable story from a primary school teacher who quite possibly has imagined, planned and executed the most inspirational, creative and interesting piece of teaching ever!

I’ll leave the rest to Simon to explain:

http://simcloughlin.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/just-another-week-at-the-office/

By the way, he’s an NQT!

Contributed by @simcloughlin

Updated – 17th July

Here’s another example of his inspirational methods:

http://simcloughlin.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/a-visitor-from-aztec-times/

Creative learning using digital scrapbooking

Are you looking for that little bit of creative spark in the last week of term? How can you get your class to sum up their learning experiences with you over the past year in a fun and interesting way?

Scrapbooking is a great way to share your ideas on a subject using your own flare and design, coupled with the opportunity to produce some great content linked to your feelings and moods. The scrapbooking pastime has been around for years, but only in recent years has the technological revolution really brought it onto the scene as the ‘in thing’ in the creative crafts circles. Images, backgrounds, layouts and themes are widely available to download from the internet giving even the most basic of computer users a professional look without too much work.

So, how can this work in your school? Getting your class to share their learning experiences with you over the past year via a digital scrapbook is a very exciting activity that brings together many different learning styles. It will develop their skills in planning & design, as well as teasing out their thoughts and recollections of the topics they have covered over the year, providing a very subtle way of recapping or revisiting areas that may have been forgotten.

I few months ago I found a great piece of free software that is available to produce stunningly professional scrapbooking results. The software is called Smilebox and can be found at http://www.smilebox.com. The online software enables you to print or even email your finished creations, along with the added features of creating invitations, slideshows and collages – perfect for spicing up your class activities, homework tasks, lesson presentations or classroom displays.

Contributed by Jon Tait

58 Hours writing learning objectives!

 

Are you a teacher that gets your students to copy down their learning objectives every lesson? And if so, have you ever thought about the amount of time our kids spend writing these ?

OK, lets work it out together – I’m going to make a conservative estimate that the average time it takes to copy down the LO’s in each lesson is approx 3 mins.

  • 3 mins x 6 lessons per day = 18 mins
  • 18 mins per day x 5 days per week = 90 mins
  • 90 mins x 39 weeks per year = 3,510 mins
  • 3,510 mins = 58.5 hours
  • 58.5 hours is the equivalent of approx 2 weeks of learning time

And we all know from experience that if we are asked to copy something down very quickly that we don’t really read or understand what we are writing, we are just trying to copy down the words as quickly as we possibly can to make sure we don’t get left behind. So therefore, are the students even learning anything in this 2 weeks of learning time? I wonder how many of them could tell you what the LO’s were straight after writing them down if you removed them from the board and asked them to close their book?

My experience tells me that there are varying different reasons for this exercise taking place in every lesson. Maybe it’s a good strategy to settle kids down as they enter the class straight after break or lunchtime, maybe it’s so students can look back on their work and remember the clear focus of the lesson, or maybe it’s just for your external accountability to satisfy Ofsted! Either way, it interesting to reflect on this process and think about the reason behind this exercise, what you are trying to achieve and ultimately how the students are benefiting from it?

Something that always sticks with me that a colleague once said is that “If you are doing something that has no educational benefit to the students in front of you, then you need to question why you are doing it”.

Contributed by Jon Tait

How to create a stunning background effect in Prezi

Want to create a stunning background effect in Prezi? Take a look at this video tutorial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyWCghj4ms

5 Tips on starting a teaching network on Twitter

5 Easy tips on creating and developing your Twitter network.

http://edte.ch/blog/2009/01/21/5-things-to-get-your-twitter-network-off-the-ground/

Contributed by Tom Barrett

Effective Praise & Motivation

Do you give enough praise in the classroom? And if so, do you know if the praise you are giving is effective? Most of us have probably never even stopped to think about it. Any praise is good praise eh?

Well have a think about how this may change your approach to giving effective praise:

http://thoughtweavers.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/praise-and-motivation-within-the-classroom/

Contributed by Thought Weavers

How to use Twitter as a Teaching & Learning Tool

Social networks such as Facebook receive lots of bad press due to their users abusing ¬†it. However, have we thought how powerful these networks can be in sharing good practice and teaching resources? Just imagine being able to connect with teachers all over the world , sharing ideas, receiving resources and developing links with like minded teachers who are looking for interesting new ways to improve their practice and engage their students……..all for free!

Take a look how you can use the social network Twittter to achieve this.

http://edte.ch/blog/2008/03/29/twitter-a-teaching-and-learning-tool/

Contributed by Tom Barrett

Let Children Learn

Are you busy planning for teaching or planning for learning? How can we let go of children and give them the wings to fly?

http://thoughtweavers.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/letting-go-letting-children-learn/

Contributed by Thought Weavers