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Teaching and Learning Bulletin Issue Three - February 2015


Adam Tate

The week beginning 12 January saw the start of a week of lesson observations involving an external team of observers working in conjunction with the Leadership Team. This was the start of a developmental process designed to create a baseline database of lesson observations, but also provided staff with an opportunity to demonstrate how they were beginning to incorporate the TEEP On 27 January teaching staff were principles into their planning and joined by teaching support staff for the third of our scheduled TEEP their lessons. training days. The day was an With an observation team opportunity for sharing experiences consisting of Ofsted inspectors from our TEEP journey and for staff and Ofsted trained staff from at all levels to develop a deeper our support school All Hallows, understanding of the TEEP model the week would be a test of how for teaching and effective learning. well staff have responded to the challenges facing the school. It The day involved sessions looking was, therefore, especially pleasing at strategies on how to enable to see 65% of staff achieving a effective teaching to take place good or outstanding grade which and for greater understanding of sends a clear message that effective learner behaviours. This improvements are being made and allowed staff to consider what the as staff moved towards TEEP day outcomes of learning should be, 3 they were more than prepared how we promote active learning for the next stage of developing St and responsibility in learning. Yet Chad’s into an outstanding school. again staff worked extremely hard and moved along their TEEP journey with a positive view of the future of our school.

To contribute to this bulletin please forward any thoughts you have about TEEP or associated topics to

Day 3

Accelerated g n i n r Lea

Connecting to what the learner already knows and understands is an essential prerequisite for accelerating learning. The brain constantly seeks patterns of meaning based on those patterns which are already known and understood and its capacity to recognise and learn new patterns. Recognising and building on this innate pattern-making facility is a powerful starting point when we commence teaching or learning new material. The deliberate priming of the learners as to what is to come not only alerts the brain to search for similar patterns and connections but also directs attention to the possibility of new ones.

»» Always give the BIG picture overview before chunking down the content. »» Always use participative review strategies to connect to what has already been covered and prime the new learning. »» Build out from examples which learners can readily recognise »» Encourage independent, predictive and speculative thinking. »» Develop meta-cognitive awareness by describing and using ‘connecting’ learner tools.

already know and understand. Here are three participative review strategies you might wish to use: »» Three things – Get students to describe three things they remember as being significant from the last lesson. Then work in pairs to get five significant things. »» One, Two, Four, Eight – Get students to produce one significant piece of information from the last lesson, then add it to a partner’s piece , then they both add it to those of another pair, etc. Clearly knowing the BIG picture »» Interview mapping – Get is an important part of developing students to interview at least understanding and participative three others to find out what review strategies are designed to they felt was the most important allow every student to participate aspect of the previous lesson. Fundamental to improving learning in a non-threatening way. They Then review their findings in in this way is having ways of keep the retention of information pairs. connecting the learning that high. They allow the possibility students are engaged in. Here are of the retained information being This should then lead to students five useful principles to remember transferred to novel context. Most developing the skills required for when attempting to connect the importantly they aid the learner to speculative thinking about their learning: build new knowledge onto what they learning to take place.

Achievement Ladders

In our first issue we looked at the development of learning walls as a way of presenting new ideas and it is good to see these walls featured in the majority of our classrooms. In addition we are now seeing a range of inventive ways to highlighting achievements such as having a good attitude to learning, showing kindness to

others, excellent participation in lesson and exceptional homework. Often The image included here alongside the learning walls, achievement ladders shows one of the achievement are being used to help students ladders being used in Computer see how their achievements are Science. supporting their learning.


It is good to see staff employing techniques to ensure that all students are involved in lessons and especially class discussions or group work. One simply yet effective way is to have a jar with ice lolly sticks with students names written on them. These are then randomly selected when questioning students during a discussion. However, it is now possible to bring this age old strategy into the 21st century with an app which can be used on any mobile device. Originating in the United States, Stick Pick is a great way of modernising your teaching. Teachers can randomly (or intentionally) choose a student’s name from a virtual can of ice lolly sticks. Student

sticks are tied to a mode and level of difficulty for each learner. Each time a student’s stick is drawn, you will be shown over a dozen Bloom’s Taxonomy related questions that are tied to the learner’s individual ability level. Questions can be linked to cognitive or linguistic needs to each student. Teachers can have multiple soup cans (classes) filled with sticks (students). During setup, teachers choose a category of questions that they want to focus on for the learner. Questions can be based

Stick Pick is a handy tool for any teacher device. Stick Pick can guide classroom discussion and formative assessment in really helpful ways. Teachers can mark sticks so that they aren’t constantly calling on the same students or asking students the same questions over and over again.

known as ‘blended learning’. What it actually does is combine traditional face-to-face learning and online learning tools. The goal of blended learning amounts to raised educational standards. If adopted properly, it has the potential to be a real game-changer.

‘BLENDED’ LEARNING Teachers in modern classrooms are facing more challenges than ever before and a recent survey suggested that there can be as much as a four year gap in ability within one teaching group. To help combat this teachers are employing what has become

on Bloom’s Taxonomy, English as a second language skills, and a degree of difficulty can be chosen for each learner. Formative assessment is easy to track because teachers can tap a corresponding correct, incorrect, or opinion button based on the student’s answer. Teachers can also rate each student’s answer by selecting 0-5 on the critical thinking rubric (for Bloom’s) or an elaboration rubric (for English as a second language). Student data is saved directly in the app and can be emailed.

Selecting the right online tool is never easy and may not suit the needs of all students, but making students aware of the options available to them is vitally important. It may be that they use the tools for revision, to support them in the completion of homework tasks or for research. Currently we have a number of tools and access to sites which can be used in a ‘blended learning’ approach. It is often a good idea to audit the tools that your department are using to see if you are getting the best out of the range of tools available.

PHSE Goes TEEP! The Teacher Effectiveness Programme (TEEP) is now being widely used by staff in all subjects and it was good to see the Sixth Form embracing the TEEP principles recently in their PHSE programme for Enterprise. Set the task to create a new mobile phone app for Post 16, the students soon became engaged in group activities designed to help them construct their learning ready to apply the knowledge they had to produce the app. The image shows a small group of Sixth Form students working in the Concept Classroom discussing the ideas they had generated for their app.

Classroom Culture is Fundamental

What can we do to engender a GROWTH Mind-set?

»» In our language? »» In our routines and protocols? »» In lesson planning and delivery?

VS GROWTH MINDSET Believe that they can learn anything if they put in the work, practice, and effort to learn it. They embrace challenges, persist, see rewards in effort, learn from criticism and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.

FIXED MINDSET Think that they cannot increase their skills and knowledge in a particular area. They avoid challenges, give up easily, see efforts as fruitless, ignore useful negative feedback and feel threatened by the success of others.

SUGGESTED RESEARCH 9 Habits of highly effective teachers is a guide to personal development in the teaching profession. In order to negotiate a fast-changing world, teachers need to be creative, able to respond flexibly to new situations ans be adept at finding innovative solutions to difficult problems; and they need to be able to teach these skills to their students. This book encourages teachers to become actively involved in their professional development and to strive to become model learners, able to inspire learning in others. This new edition has an increased emphasis on helping teachers to understand

themselves as learners, additional reflective exercises to enhance continuous professional development and a wealth of new case studies from Jacquie Turnbull’s extensive experience. The strategies include taking action on stress, creating rapport and influencing leadership behaviours. This inspirational book will also encourage teachers to look beyond the classroom and develop the skills and attitudes to be leaders of learning in the wider community. Well-written and accessible, this book makes essential reading for ambitious teachers everywhere. “9 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers” by Jacquie Turnbull

As teachers we face the daily challenge of recognising a students’ mind set and encouraging them to shift their thinking to enable them to change this mind set. We can do this in our use of language when communicating with our students, with the routines and protocols we use in our classrooms and the way we plan and deliver our lessons. Using the TEEP cycle is an important tool in how we develop our teaching and learning and will ultimately be the key to changing students mind sets and improving the progress they make.

The Steep Learning Curve - Issue Three  

The TEEP Bulletin by St Chad's Catholic and Church of England High School

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