Supporting the Educational Community
Educators to follow on Twitter
14 Giving Feedback to Colleagues
Science Lessons that Fizz
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Issue 22: October 2015
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From the Editor
4 One Giant Tweet for Mankind:
Danny Nicholson, science and technology specialist, takes a look at how space science is using social media and how you can bring this in to your class.
7 Building Collaboration
Lee Parish discusses the role DT plays in wider society and why it is such an important subject in the modern world.
8 Educationalists to follow on Twitter
We publish the results of our 2-month long poll of nominations for great educators to follow on Twitter.
10 HELP! I have to teach Physics this year
Alessio Bernardelli offers advice for new physicist, or those who want to refresh their methods.
13 ICTmagic EdTech Resources 14 The Sensitive Art of Feedback
Our UKEdChat feature explores the thorny issue of giving feedback to colleagues and what you should and shouldnâ€™t do and say.
16 Bringing New Technologies into the Classroom
Aaliya Khan writes about how we can inspire students by using the latest technology, citing 3D printing as an example that inspires her.
18 The Nature of Science
Rachel Chisnall discusses how we can bring the nature of science, the scientific method, and exploration through play into our lessons.
20 Book Shelf
Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons by Nina Jackson
24 #UKED Resources - GCSE English Skill Profile by @cazzwebbo
Inspiring and elating students about learning and our lessons is something that most teachers work towards, and the last 12-months has been full of awe and wonder. Back in November the Philae lander made history by successfully landing on a comet and together with the Rosetta orbiter, we have gone to know about 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko like no other comet. In March, millions of people viewed the solar eclipse and recently, the UK experienced the best Perseid meteor shower for years. In July the New Horizon mission took stunning images of the ex-planet Pluto and discovered that the dwarf planet seems to be active, metaphorically tearing up the textbook on how we thought the solar system operates. In December, the year will finish with the launch of UK astronaut, Tim Peake to the ISS. Making students awestruck has never been so easy! In this issue of UKEd Magazine we explore space and science and how every teacher can bring a little of the cosmos into their classroom. Martin Burrett - Editor @ICTmagic @UKEdMag email@example.com
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Danny Nicholson @dannynic Lee Parish @MissParishDT Alessio Bernardelli @asober @Collaborat_Ed Aaliya Khan @Miss_Khan868 Rachel Chisnall @ibpossum Carl McCarthy @cmac_uk Tash Cooper @Nco_business Jenny Martindale @MartindaleJenny Patrick Downey @pdowneyenglish
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One Giant Tweet for Mankind:
Twitter and Space Science By Danny Nicholson
Science is not a fixed subject. New scientific discoveries are being made all the time. It’s important that students learn that scientists do not know everything. We make the best guesses that we can using the best information available at the time, and as new information comes in our understanding and models can change. The working scientifically strand of the science curriculum require teachers to encourage students to develop an awareness of how science works, and how ideas develop and change over time. And space research is a good example of this kind of science. For example only this summer the New Horizons (@ NewHorizons2015) space probe sent amazing information back about the geology of Pluto that has changed many ideas about the (dwarf) planet. We learned that Pluto has an atmosphere, 3km mountains of ice and unexpected geological activity. New Horizons is now heading off into the Kuiper Belt, who knows what it might find? At a recent conference I listened to an Ofsted inspector extol the importance of making science lessons relevant to the wider world of science. He expected any good science teacher to be keeping an eye on breaking science news, and if something important was happening, taking lessons off-topic to cover it. The general consensus from a recent #ASEChat session was that the benefits from the discussions this generates can outweigh the loss of planned curriculum time. “Interest in science was stimulated by teachers’ regular references to science in the media. It meant going off topic for some of the lesson, but helped pupils to connect abstract science ideas to concrete news events; the recent meteorite entry over Russia was one such example.” Ofsted. Maintaining Curiosity. (2013) bit.ly/uked15oct01
04 UKED Magazine
Social Media The explosion in the use of social media, and specifically services such as Twitter has allowed researchers to share what they are doing directly and instantly with the scientific community. It allows live, up-to-the-minute, information to be shared and discussed. Agencies such as NASA and the ESA have embraced social media, and all of their current and in-development space missions have their own Twitter accounts. They are able to share news and data as it comes in and is processed. While not every account is constantly tweeting breaking scientific discoveries, many of them also provide a look behind the scenes and interesting snapshots of real scientists at work, as well as plenty of images and videos that can be used to provide moments of awe and wonder in the classroom. Danny Nicholson is an independent trainer and consultant. He is a former science teacher and now delivers Computing and Science training to teachers all over the UK as well as overseas. He is a PGCE Science lecturer for Billericay Educational Consortium on their Primary SCITT teacher training course, and also delivers science and ICT sessions on several other PGCE and B.Ed. courses. He is one of the authors of Switched on Science for Rising Stars. He regularly blogs about educational technology at whiteboardblog.co.uk and can be found on Twitter as @dannynic.
British interest in space will soon increase when astronaut Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) becomes the first Briton to go into space since Helen Sharman in 1991. He’s due to head up to the International Space Station in December 2015 and spend 6 months in space. Follow him now for updates as he prepares for the mission. The nature of Twitter also provides us with the chance to interact with these accounts. It is possible to tweet them back and ask questions to researchers and astronauts directly. Many of these accounts get a lot of tweets, and it’s not possible to guarantee a response, but you might be lucky!
Space Missions One of the big moments in space science last year was when the ESA Rosetta mission landed a robotic probe onto the surface of comet 67P after a 6.5 billion km journey. Both the Rosetta craft (@ESA_ Rosetta) and Philae the probe (@Philae2014) have twitter accounts and were able to provide regular coverage of the approach and landing. Philae may have gone quiet now, but Rosetta is still sending back data and spectacular images of the comet as it approached perihelion and beyond. I’ve already mentioned NASA’s New Horizons craft (@NewHorizons2015) and its mission to Pluto and beyond but another dwarf planet, Ceres is also currently being studied by NASA’s Dawn probe (@NASA_Dawn). Meanwhile Cassini (@CassiniSaturn) is currently cruising around Saturn, studying its moons and rings and the Juno probe (@NASAJuno) will be arriving at Jupiter in April 2016. In addition there are 19 different NASA missions currently studying the sun and how it affects Earth and the rest of the solar system. You can find out more by following @ NASASunEarth.
Space Agencies The obvious space accounts to start following are NASA (@NASA) and the European Space Agency (@ESA). Both of these accounts aggregate information and news from their many space missions, plus provide links to live news conferences and launch videos. Another good account is the ESA Education office (@ESA__Education) which aims to keep students and teachers informed about current student opportunities, educational material and new projects. There are some great ideas for class projects. Also worth a follow are other agencies such as the Indian Space Research Organisation (@ISRO) and private space companies such as Space X (@SpaceX). The official twitter account for the International Space Station (@ Space_station) is worth following to find out the Twitter usernames of the current crew of astronauts, many of whom regularly tweet photographs and videos from space. Do also follow the @NASA_Astronauts account to hear from NASA astronauts, as well as to receive updates on astronaut activities. For a full list of tweeting NASA astronauts, take a look at bit.ly/uked15oct02. Image credits: All foreground images were provided by Danny Nicholson and used in line with guidelines at https://support.twitter.com/categories/284/331
Mars Missions As one of Earth’s nearest neighbours, there’s always been a lot of interest in Mars. Since Mariner 4 was launched in 1964 a total of 15 robotic missions have visited the red planet. There are several missions currently tweeting from Mars with several more planned for the future. Expect this to increase as NASA continues its current plan to put people on Mars in the 2030s with the Orion Spacecraft (@NASA_ Orion). These include Mars Curiosity (@MarsCuriosity) a robot which has been roving around the surface of the planet since August 2012 and MAVEN (@MAVEN2Mars) a mission to explore the upper atmosphere. Also in orbit around Mars is the Indian mission Mars Orbiter (@MarsOrbiter) which is India’s first mission to Mars. The probe has been orbiting the planet since September 2014. NASA’s InSight mission (@NASAInsight) will launch in 2016 and plans to plant a seismometer on the surface of Mars to study geological activity. Awe and Wonder Whilst not providing up-to-the minute breaking science news, there are many other Twitter accounts that can inject a little awe and wonder into science lessons with some spectacular images. This includes Astro Pic of the Day (@apod) which tweets a different space photograph every day along with a brief explanation by a professional astronomer. The Hubble Space Telescope (@HubbleTelescope) is still taking amazing photographs of space. Hubble will eventually be replaced by the James Webb Telescope (@NASAWebbTelescp) in a few years’ time, follow it now to track its development. How to follow these accounts You can view these Twitter streams whether you have a Twitter account or not, but it is better if you sign up for a Twitter account (it’s free to do so). You don’t even need to post messages yourself, you could just use it to follow other accounts. It would probably be a good idea to keep it separate from any personal account you have, especially if you plan to show the Twitter stream in class. If you do sign up to Twitter, don’t forget to also keep an eye on hashtags such as #UKEdchat for general education ideas and #ASEChat and browse bit.ly/uked15oct03 for science-specific ideas.
Collaboration By Lee Parish
As I returned to work as a Subject Leader for Design and Technology after a year on maternity leave, I was struck by the changes and challenges my subject was faced with. With the English Baccalaureate and the Progress 8 upon us, budget cuts and a reduction on staffing, we, as subject leaders, must fight our corner to keep our space on the timetable, to keep our students, and keep our jobs! So what can we do as teachers ‘on the ground’ to keep our vital subject from being lost? As the only Design and Technology teacher in a department in a small secondary school, I have made it my mission to raise the profile of the subject, both in school and externally. Pupils have always been drawn to the subject because of the chance to solve real world problems through innovative and imaginative design, to create their own products from a range of materials and processes, and to get hands on with new and emerging technologies. However, the problem is that if we don’t help parents and school management see the importance and value of the subject then we are fighting a losing battle. Many parents I have met in my eight years of teaching have no real understanding of what the subject is really about, with only their own dated experience to reflect upon. Design and Technology as a subject has evolved and is no longer the woodwork and metalwork lessons of old. This perception must change if we are to stand a chance as pupils make their limited subject choices on Option Evening. My aim is simple, I want all pupils, parents and senior leaders, both in my school and across the country, to see the true value of my subject and have a real understanding of the importance of Design and Technology in the wider world. I want my pupils to participate in school, local and national competitions. I want pupils to work alongside professionals of the industry in ‘live’ projects. I want other subject departments to collaborate on schemes of work which allow pupils to see their subjects holistically. I want successful engineers and designers to give talks to my pupils about their career paths. I want my pupils to have the opportunity to see Design and Technology in action out in the big wide world. But most importantly, I want to deliver exciting, engaging and outstanding lessons in my classroom.
answer has to be from the amazing teachers that we have around us, every teacher has something to contribute that can improve, develop or expand the knowledge of their fellow educator, but we need to have a way of facilitating this sharing that is straightforward and not daunting. So where to begin? With the support of my colleague Andy Lewis @iTeachRE, organiser of The London RE Hub conference (see thelondonrehub.com), I have used social media to begin my mammoth task, joining Design & Technology teacher groups on Facebook, reading any and every article I could find on why my beloved subject is so important in producing creative, innovative adults of the future, and I’ve finally learning how powerful a hashtag is on Twitter. I have by no means mastered the use of social media, but in the short time I have had an active online presence my knowledge and passion on my subject has blossomed. I have also been blown away by the generosity of other fellow teachers who have been willing to share their ideas, their amazing resources and their knowledge for free. James Bleach @jambledandt has been a particular inspiration to me. He is a Head of Department in a secondary school, he has a website that offers a whole host of resources for teachers of Design and Technology and beyond. He has also created several Facebook groups to allow teachers both nationally and internationally to network and share great practice and resources. This dedication to the subject by James and other practitioners like him gives me hope for Design and Technology and to keeping it as a vital subject on the curriculum. What’s next?
With the support of my colleagues, I have decided to set up an event for Design and Technology teachers from both primary and secondary schools in my local area. With over 70 schools just in the borough of Havering, we have so many great teachers who collectively could support, share and improve the way Design and Technology is delivered to our pupils. Hopefully with the success of this first event we can build a fantastic network for Design and Technology CPD budgets are being cut and the cost of cover is being teachers all over Havering and beyond. scrutinised, so where can we get help and inspiration? The If you would like to get involved please get in contact or visit: www.dthublondon.weebly.com Image credits: flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/3676267696 by Steve Snodgrass used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. flickr.com/photos/andymangold/3254192333/ by Andy Mangold used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License.
Lee Parish is subject Leader for Design & Technology at Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School in Upminister, and creator of DT Hub London. Find her on Twitter at @MissParishDT
The UKEdChat Communityâ€™s nominations for UK educationalists to follow on Twitter
@natfantastic @jillberry102 @_Hannah_Edwards @headguruteacher @Jobaker9 @fod3 @OhLottie @gazneedle @musicmind @DisIdealist @MsHMFL @FarrowMr @GeoBlogs @dkernohan @Gwenelope @MrHeadComputing @tessmaths @caroljallen @HarfordSean @MrGPrimary @theprimaryhead @ozzysocks @mrlockyer @HeadofEnglish @tiddtalk @TillyTeacher @candidagould @EllenerLaura @HecticTeacher @tim_jumpclarke @depipads @hegartymaths @reebekwylie @MrAllsopHistory @TheSpanishist @DrSKBarker @RobGeog @timbuckteeth @RobertsNiomi @debrakidd @C_Hendrick @HFletcherWood @TimRylands @EddieKayshun @tombennett71 @HilaryWhite3 @Mr_Patel100 @russbrownauthor @HuntingEnglish @montserrat2901 @urban_teacher @DawesMrs @HTcoach @SaysMiss @SloughEtonDT @tonyparkin @MissBsResources @icpjones @bobharrisonset @daveowhite @BryanMMathers @thosethatcan @nataliehscott @davidErogers @blueprintteach @MarcWithersey @FunASDteacher @StephenConnor7 @bekblayton @Stephen_Logan @DavidBrownHMI @valleseco @Miss_Wilsey @Braunteaches @ICT_MrP @treezyoung @ICTEvangelist @kcorish @smemprimary @whatonomy @bethben92 @Nick_J_Rose @bryngoodman @stephenheppell @DeputyMitchell @InspiredMind5 @TeacherTweaks @ClerktoGovernor @SwayGrantham @HelenaMarsh81 @AnnieBlack01 @Miss_J_Hart @MathsJem @SheliBB @ICTmagic @Joga5 @dominic_mcg @BorisMcDonald @brittwright22 @MrMalcontent @Ideas_Factory @amyjeetley @mrjones_EDU @BarlowCaroline @MartynReah @benniekara @SurrealAnarchy @EdintheClouds @ImSporticus @danielharvey9 @rachelrossiter @BodilUK @curriculumni @WillWhittow @fullonlearning @MissSMerrill @WatsEd @iTeachRE @aegilopoides @ragazza_inglese @Sue_Cowley @pw2tweets @DaK_74 @MichaelT1979 @CreativeSTAR @LeadingLearner @jambledandt @josepicardoSHS @Raherrmann @LesleyMunro4 @HelenCaldwel @ms_jamdangory @CraftyTeacher @shinpad1 @Xris32 @MalCPD @CristaHazell @KatharineJewitt @gavinsmart @stevebunce @lancslassrach @cejsimons @HeyMissSmith @Cupacoco @MrsSarahSimons @daithi @oliverquinlan @ChrisChivers2 @nfordteacher @jamiekeddie @MrWaldram @JamesTheo @Constant55 @GeoffreyPetty @EnglishHOD @alomshaha @Mat6453 @reachoutASC @KDWScience @redgierob @MrsHumanities @powley_r @Janeh271 @Mishwood1 @spsmith45 @GriffithsMr @penncheryl @MissDCox @AlanPeat @johntomsett @grahamandre @87History @HYWEL_ROBERTS @mrstinamurray @MrsMathia @oldandrewuk @felizz7 @dughall @KathyKelliott @RachelOrr @marymered @5N_Afzal @JulesDaulby @miconm @SLT_Kat @GeoffBilling @teach_well @MrsPTeach @MaryMyatt @simfin @clcsimon @deepexperience1 @juliewintrup @NeilGregor1 @cjabracher @JaPenn56 @nancygedge @lisibo @bellaale @kevbartle @leah_moo @taniaf77 @primarypete_ @LadyGlencora @RJS2212 @mapsman @cherrylkd @geodebs @jwscattergood @ChocoTzar @LearningSpy @Lawrie @rlj1981 @atharby @ssgill76 @aknill @jkfairclough @joedale @johndcotter @russeltarr @digitalmaverick @jordyjax @shaun_allison @TeachingTricks @hrogerson @solvemymaths @JennaLucas81 @TeacherToolkit @MrMcloughlin_PE @dawnhallybone 08 UKED Magazine
The UKEdChat Community’s nominations for international educationalists to follow
@evab2001 @arti_choke @TyrnaD @AnaCristinaPrts @mrrobbo @ijukes @tomwhitby @Ticeman01
@EoinLenihan @sylviaduckworth @ShiftParadigm
@langwitches @teachwithsoul @craigyen @ktenkely
@gianfrancocont9 @KristiMeeuwse @mraspinall
Based on nominations by 548 people over 2 months of polling. 18 commercial entities not listed.
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I have to teach Physics this year! by Alessio Bernardelli
So, you’ve had your timetable and your worst nightmare has come true – this year you have to teach physics! Your knees begin to give way as you scrutinise that damning grid and discover bottom set Yr10 physics written in what looks like blood all over it. You sit, slowly and leaning to the armrest of your chair, cover you face with your trembling hands and think “What am I going to do?” We’ve all had moments like these before dreading that class, or that subject that we really don’t feel confident in, but you do not need to despair. Firstly, physics is a lovely subject. Ask a physicist. They love it, they talk about it and even make physics jokes! But if you, for a minute, try to go beyond the immediate reaction of thinking “What weirdoes!” and begin to see things through the eyes of a physicist you might get to like this beautiful subject too and maybe even go as far as loving it. It has happened to the most reluctant non-specialist science teachers, so it could happen to you too. But what is the best way to embark in the wonderful journey that is teaching physics and inspiring learners to ask meaningful questions about the world around them? Well, you might think I am biased, but I believe having a coach is the best way to be inspired and, ideally, having a programme of professional development dedicated to you is something to crave. Unfortunately, we don’t all have these resources at hand when we need them and for the length of time desired, but people who can inspire and help us do not need to always be physically present with us and remote learning communities can still be very powerful and available at a time convenient for us. For Physics the best community you can join is talkphysics.org and not only because I am one of the Editors, but because I have experienced first hand how helpful and innovative its members are. If you post a question there, you will get a range of really good answers and resources from experienced teachers of Physics and everyone is made to feel welcome, so you should not feel afraid of asking questions. Something else that you can find on TalkPhysics is the Supporting Physics Teaching resource, which can also be found at supportingphysicsteaching.net. This resource (created and curated, like TalkPhysics, by The Institute of Physics) is a wealth of teaching resources, teaching ideas and approaches, common misconceptions and useful threads that allow all teachers, whether new to Physics, or experienced, to update their Physics content knowledge and expand their pedagogical perspective on the subject. Although the two resources mentioned above are a must for a new teacher of Physics, there are also many useful contributions by individual teachers. For example, and very relevant with the new compulsory GCSE and A-level practicals, the sciencedemo.org blog by Alom Shaha has many innovative Physics demonstrations very well presented and easy to replicate. 10 UKED Magazine
Another blogger worthy of note is indeed Neil Atkin, who has some fantastic ideas on neilatkin.com. He doesn’t deal with Physics alone, but in terms of sound, innovative and creative pedagogy, you will not find many other places that will inspire you the way Neil does. I couldn’t end this very brief starter guide to Physics communities and resources without mentioning my favourite Physics YouTube channels and I have to say that it has been difficult to narrow them down to the top three, but at the moment and in order of usefulness I give you: 1) Veritasium bit.ly/uked15oct04, a cool Australian dude who records people’s responses to physics questions. The responses Derek (Veritasium) gets are often indicative of the misconceptions our learners have in their understanding and this is an incredibly powerful way to challenge our learners’ understanding 2) Minute Physics bit.ly/uked15oct05, short and fun physics explanations that can be used to add some sparks to your lessons, or as flipped learning resources 3) Physics Girl bit.ly/uked15oct06, a nice American girl who, although a bit… well… American at times, comes up with some really neat demonstrations and explanations. It could be a girl’s touch, but this woman shows some traditional stuff in way I had not seen before, so she has to rate high in my list. And if you are enjoying this article so much that you want to read more from me at alessiobernardelli.wordpress.com and CollaboratEd.org.uk/Courses/Blog.
Image credits: flickr.com/photos/groume/7516040142 by Décomposition lumineuse used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License.
Alessio Bernardelli is a multiple award winning teacher of Physics. He is the Founding Director of CollaboratEd.org.uk and also works as a consultant for the Institute of Physics in the roles of Network Coordinator, Teaching and Learning Coach and Editor of Talkphysics.org. Alessio was Head of KS3 Science for over 5 years and he also worked with NGfL Cymry as a Field Development Officer and with TES as the Science Subject Lead. Alessio is an Official iMindMap Leader, a Peer Coaching Facilitator and a TASC Specialist with years of experience in developing teacher’s through effective CPD, coaching and mentoring. You can follow Alessio on Twitter as @asober, or @Collaborat_Ed.
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The Sensitive Art of
Educators giving feedback to colleagues.
As educators, our lives are encircled by feedback. When giving feedback to our pupils we mainly think about what we are saying so as to help the student develop and progress onto the next stage of their learning. In the main, students ‘get’ this, and this understanding is taken in the teacher/pupil relationship fashion the feedback was given. Some pupils will act on the feedback positively, and others will ignore – as is the nature of many of us. But when the proverbial shoe is on the other proverbial foot, we teachers can sometimes be sensitive to feedback we receive if we are being observed in our classroom practice. We can easily turn a positive comment into a negative, focusing on a minor detail or aspect given during the feedback discussion. Why is this? Why are we educators, who are (and should be) experts at giving feedback to their pupils, so poor and sensitive to receiving and giving feedback to our professional peers? Let’s break it down and explore the various and complex dynamics going on in feedback relationships. 1. Cast your mind back to the last time you asked your pupils to mark/feedback the work of their classmates. In most cases, friends will want to feedback to their friends and this feedback will be full of loveliness, banter and generally worthless in helping the recipient to develop their learning to the next stage. These dynamics are still evident even when pupils are marking/feeding back to other students in the class, of whom they are less familiar. They will be conscious of hurting the feelings of others, and possibly receiving negative comments themselves for their work. For a moment, take yourself back to when you were at a similar stage as your students, and put yourself in their (proverbial) shoes. Priorities were different then, with dynamics and social standing being crucial at that stage of life. This takes us nicely into the next factor … 2. Power Dynamics. All relationships have forms of power dynamics enmeshed – It’s a part of being human, and sometimes it is difficult to explain the power relationship. However, when we are being observed as teachers, the power is firmly possessed by the observer. 14 UKED Magazine
Whether this is a colleague, an inspector, a member of the Leadership Team, they ultimately have the power to tell you what you were doing was wrong, rubbish or totally inadequate – whether they are right or wrong. They also have the power to tell you how amazing, wonderful, or outstanding your lesson was (and in fairness, most will), but they ultimately still hold on to this power. We previously wrote about being judged (See February 2014 Article at bit.ly/BeingJudged) and many points raised in that article are well-founded, and well worth revisiting when our teaching practice is being judged. But if you are the one giving the feedback, certain considerations are fundamental when deciding how to approach the discussion with a colleague who is going to be ultra-sensitive to any negative comments implied. In a recent article by Jennifer Winter bit.ly/ uked15oct19, the dangers of passive-aggressive tendencies in giving feedback were considered, which will bear a resemblance to the experiences of many. Careful consideration in peer-to-peer feedback needs to be taken, as a comment such as, “I Was Surprised/ Confused/Curious About…”, can easily be interpreted as, “YOU’RE WRONG.” Another familiar feedback comment in observation discussions is, “Oh, I Thought You Understood…”, which can be taken as, “ACTUALLY, YOU DID IT WRONG BECAUSE YOU’RE STUPID.” In fact, that word “Actually” is deduced as, “I THINK YOU’RE AN IDIOT.” Instead, the following phrases deviate away from passive aggressive statements, and are less likely to be misinterpreted: • “I thought X was different, because Y. Can you walk me through your steps?” • “You took this lesson in a different direction than initially intended, but let’s talk about what you found by doing this and what will the next steps be.” • Actually, remove the “actually” from whatever you’re about to say! As teachers, we are actually not too different to the students we teach when it comes to relationships. You would prefer feedback about one of your lessons from a colleague you ‘like’ and, in turn, you would be supersensitive to giving feedback to another teacher, but it’s how this is done which is critical in helping eachother develop. Power relationships are inexorable, but beware of these (possibly unintended) passiveaggressive behaviours and think back to the times when you were expected to give/receive feedback from your peers, about your work, and be sensitive to the person receiving.
By Aaliya Khan
Bringing New Technologies into the Classroom I work in an all-girl’s school and getting more girls into science is of interest to me because science, particularly physics and chemistry, aren’t seen as especially ‘girly’ subjects. In a recent comment by Dame Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge University, she said that toys for little girls were dominated by themes of ‘love and magic,’ which reinforced gender stereotypes (bit.ly/uked15oct20) and led to girls being less likely to pursue careers in science as they were indoctrinated into a particular way of thinking. Whereas I’m not going to hold Barbie solely responsible for that, I do think Dame Donald has a point. Just how do we get more girls, and indeed boys, into science? They are the future scientists, doctors, researchers and engineers… let’s face it, we need them! I was thinking about how best we can do this and I truly believe that bringing cutting edge technology into the classroom is key. As kids, how many times have we sat through a boring science lesson where the same ideologies and research were presented year after year? From the same science text book that our older brothers and sisters used also? There was nothing exciting; nothing gripping! I only became interested in science when my mum bought me a science encyclopedia as a child. I was 8 and I sat and read that whole book from cover to cover in my top bunk. Only then did things make sense to me, I could connect concepts and see how science was influencing the real world! This is what we need more of WITHIN our classrooms. New subject specifications have tried to keep up with the ever-changing science world; with nanotechnology for example. But science moves so fast that new technologies are being developed faster than new editions of textbooks can come out. This is where teachers need to be a bit more proactive. Inspire your pupils by allowing them to see what science is doing for us now. One topic of interest for me lately has been 3D printing. It seems like science fiction, but it is science fact now, and becoming more and more commonplace. Bringing new and exciting technological breakthroughs into the classroom is essential to inspiring the future scientists and engineers of this world.
3D printing is finding applications in many areas of science, medicine and engineering
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3D printing is exciting! There are many applications of 3D printing which span across the curriculum, from engineering and maths, to history, science and ethics. The latter of these is one area of research and development I will be sharing with my pupils in their lessons on cells and tissues, for example. So what is 3D printing and how does it work? 3D printing is pretty much as you’d expect, producing a 3D model of whatever has been ‘printed’ out of different materials, using computer programming technology. So far they have 3D printed many things, ranging from model houses, to real houses, to a injured toucan’s beak which had been mutilated. You can even 3D print a ‘Selfie’ of yourself! How cool is that? You can even create an action hero of yourself. Cubify’s 3DMe (cubify.com/store/_3dme) got plenty of attention at the Consumer Electronics Show last year for its 3D-printed figurines in various styles. In August this year, a 6 year old boy suffering from a congenital form of brittle bone disease in China was able to stand again after doctors used 3D printed models of his bones to accurately see where best to cut into and fix, minimising damage and pain (bit.ly/uked15oct21). Similar things have been done with hearts, to see if and how it would be possible to mend valve. When you compare this to how surgeons used to diagnose and operate on patients 100 years ago, it’s amazing how far we have come. The future of 3D printing is exciting. We are one step closer to printing whole human organs now, which would of course get rid of the organ donor demand, painful waiting lists and issues with matching tissue types. It would be possible to 3D print a whole organ using the recipient’s own cells and DNA! Meaning that heart, lung, or any major organ transplant will become routine and relatively quick procedures. This is one of many scientific breakthroughs to have come out in the last few years, and guaranteed there will be many more. The @royalsociety in London offer great opportunities for pupils to see cutting edge research of all kinds, during their Science Summer Exhibition. We took a class of year 9s there this year and even met the wonderful Professor Brian Cox. The pupils had a great and interactive experience. I also use a lot of material from bbc.co.uk/ science, bbc.co.uk/iwonder and sciencenews.org which I find quite user friendly. The point I want to make is that we should use new research and technology in the classroom to inspire and get pupils asking questions; because that is what it’s about developing enquiring minds. Don’t just rely on the fact that they will pick up books or material at home. Bring it to them. Oh... and only mention Barbie if she has been 3D printed!
Aaliya Khan is a science teacher at St Anne’s Catholic School for Girls, after graduating from Imperial College London, she embarked into a teaching career. She loves bringing fresh ideas into the classroom and has presented at #TMEnfield. @Miss_Khan868 follow on Twitter and read her blog at staffrm.io/@misskhan Image credits: flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/16331088498 by fdecomite used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. flickr.com/photos/uclengineering/14442403139 by UCL Engineering used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. ukedchat.com/magazine 17
The Nature of Science into your Classroom By Rachel Chisnall
The United Kingdom and New Zealand Curriculum Try providing your students with some dry ice, safety documents place a high importance on the Nature of gear (dry ice should be handled with care using gloves or Science, relating to the processes and methods used in tongs in a well ventilated area), and a plastic container Science. of water and some latex gloves or balloons and let them play. However, with the time restraints within education, it is sometimes too easy to get caught in a trap of focussing Dry ice sublimes – pop a piece or two of dry ice in a on content rather than competencies and skills. rubber glove or balloon and watch it expand over time. Students can try more or less pieces, or what happens if So how and when can you make it fit into your teaching you put some water in? What differences can you detect and learning program? from a balloon filled from breathing? What about other My attempts to incorporate the Nature of Science into gases? my classroom have also been based around loosely This simple activity is great for discussing state changes adapting the features of makerED, and allowing students and properties of solids, liquids and gases. Depending the time to have a ‘play’. Exploring the nature of Science on your students observation skills, they might notice in your classroom doesn’t have to take long. Leaving the latex or rubber might get condensation of the side, an hour of two per topic for exploration time can give which can be linked to other examples of condensation students a taste while still introducing or revising ideas and state changes. Or use it to discuss energy changes, for their assessments. as the water freezing on the outside helps to increase Recently I have used dry ice in my classroom to allow students time to play and process the ideas we have been studying as part of our Chemistry topic. A kilo or two of dry ice is a relatively safe and inexpensive way to allow students to explore and experiment, while still leading to meaningful learning.
18 UKED Magazine
the temperature inside the balloon. Here in Otago, New Zealand, we link this to the spraying of water to cherry blossoms to protect them from frosts – as the water freezes it releases energy into the petals and ‘warms them up’.
Dry ice in water – will bubble and release water vapour. The steaming cauldron look is always a winner. Does it work best with cold or hot water? More or less pellets? This is a wonderful lesson on sometime less is best, as too much dry ice just freezes the water. Students can explore further by adding washing up liquid to the water. Which type is best? How do you get the biggest bubbles? Does adding hot water change the bubbles? What happens when the bubbles are popped? These are all little ‘mini experiments’ that the students will often ask to do, and they were delighted when they were given free rein to have a go. The bubbles look cloudy and grey form the water vapour condensing inside, which can be linked back to having ‘steamy breathe’ on a frosty morning, as the gases exhaled are colourless, but the water vapour becomes visible in the cold air.
Other dry ice ideas: • put some pellets in a container and let them sublime for a few minutes. Then pour the colourless gas over a candle and watch it go out. Or make a slurry with some methanol or ethanol, and try freezing a flower. This is great for seniors to review freezing, melting and boiling points. • Other ideas for playing/tinkering that I have tried include making electronic circuits, making electric motors. All you need is a battery, a strong magnet and a piece of copper wire. • Modelling muscles by making functional limbs with cardboard and string or building a thermos flask (it leaked!!). My next project is to make a Lord Kelvin machine, as seen in the recent ‘Hunger Games’ district voice propo - bit.ly/uked15oct22.
Dry ice will acidify water – As part of my acids and bases unit, I spend a portion of time on ocean acidification • Other options to incorporate more nature of due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and the Science activities include getting involved in a impact this has on aquatic life with carbonate shells and Citizens Science project, connecting with Scientists exoskeletons. When universal indicator is added to the via skype for class room or social media like twitter water with dry ice in it, you can see the water slowly (#scistuchat is awesome). Science outreach and self becomes more acidic, even if the water starts of with a directed projects like crest or Science fair can also basic pH. I encourage my students to design a fair test be a winner if managed correctly. to determine the impact of acid on sea shells collected from the local beach, which we can revisit over a period So don’t let the content get you down. Making the time to allow your students to explore will be repaid by of 2-3 weeks. renewed enthusiasm, fun and the learning conversations it brings. Image credits: flickr.com/photos/exalthim/3708856888/ by Christopher used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. flickr.com/photos/jesse/6319187011/ by Jesse Wagstaff used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. flickr.com/photos/chrispotako/5239029540 by Chris Potako used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kuivj%C3%A4%C3%A4_aurustumine_ kolbis_2.JPG by Mikk Mihkel Vaabel used under Commercial Creative Commons 3.0 License.
Rachel teaches Science and Chemistry at Taieri College, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has a passion for student centred learning approaches, integrating technology and blowing things up. Rachel cofounded #scichatNZ and is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. Connect via Twitter - @ibpossum or read her educational musings at ibpossum.wordpress.com.
Review by Martin Burrett @ICTmagic
Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons: A compendium of careful advice for teachers by Nina Jackson @MusicMind As any teacher will tell you, day to day teaching has many sour and sweet moments. From the elation when the learning ‘clicks’ with the students, to seeing the misery, stress and isolation when a learner struggles with stubborn roadblocks to moving forward. Whether you are tweaking your lesson to make marginal improvement, or addressing an impasse in the learning of a student, seeking advice and asking the right questions is key. Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons has been written with the aim of providing sound advice to teachers at their fingertips and to put the fizz back into their teaching. The book is written as a series of questions from real teachers and then attempts to answer them. The thirty-three question themes include student behavioural and confidence issues, managing staff and parent interactions, implementing action research, meeting special needs of pupils, and much more. Nina has used the questions as a starting point for covering a slew of related learning areas. The answers are succinctly written in bullet points for quick reference and interlaced with longer explanations and useful, well designed resources, and often differentiated into early years, primary and secondary sections where different approaches are needed. The book’s conversational and jargon-free style makes it an effortless read. Jackson expertly goes beyond the obvious and offers innovative ideas to bring that extra something to your lessons. The book encompasses both the ‘big picture’ of education and well as offering advice for small tweaks to improve the minutiae details of your teaching and your students’ learning.
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20 UKED Magazine
View on Amazon at
www.bit.ly/sherbetlemons If you’re looking for a book that will add ‘sweet moments’ to your teaching everyday, and one which helps you to explore new ideas for your classroom, then I highly recommend this book. While experienced teachers will find plenty to use and refer to in this compendium of advice to refresh their teaching, it is with relativity new teachers, in their first few years of teaching where this book will prove invaluable and is essential reading for ITT students and NQTs. Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons: A compendium of careful advice for teachers by Nina Jackson is published by Independent Thinking Press / Crown House Publishing, and is available from Amazon in paperback (£16.99*) and Kindle (£16.14*). *Correct at time of publishing.
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Think positive If you’ve spent more than 30 seconds browsing Twitter for teaching ideas then you will have seen the vast amounts of resources focusing on growth mindset - Something I’m very fond of promoting in the classroom. However, along with another department head we’ve decided to promote growth mindset with staff. One of the things we have decided to do is create a ‘flying high’ board. Faced with it as soon as staff walk into the classroom they will be reminded of the positive impact they have had for many students. Whilst its important that we focus on how to improve, what interventions we can do etc. We believe that for staff to be the best they should have a growth mindset too. @Nco_business Nottingham - Head of Business
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22 UKED Magazine
Paws for learning To clarify - I did mean to spell paws in that way and I am not trying to be controversial, radical or implement some fantastical new teaching concept into education. It’s just that after twelve years as a Secondary English teacher and ten years as a Miniature Schnauzer owner, I have found there’s quite a few similarities between teaching teens and teaching Schnauzers dancing. All I can ask is that you wait three or four sentences before you shoot me down in a ball of flames. Just as Victor Frankenstein created his own ‘monster’ as first time dog owners, myself and my husband were definitely heading towards disaster. Luckily, in the nick of time, it was averted through meeting a great dog trainer. Fundamentally it boils down to two key things: the language that you use and the steps you take to get your ‘pupil’ to the end goal. Training a dog to competition standard requires accuracy and brevity with language use. This is then interlinked with rigorous focus upon achievement of key skills through repetition and testing how secure the skill is when faced with different variables, which you may have noticed is a lot like preparing students for exams. @MartindaleJenny Carlisle - Secondary English Teacher
Rights Respecting Education - Putting Values First ‘The compelling attraction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights derives from its capacity to provide an alternative account of what binds human beings together…’ (Osler & Starkey, 2010) In the classroom, with so many things to do, how can we put values first? How can we take something like the UNCRC and use it to make a difference to our children in an authentic way? It may help to remember… D – Dialogue: if our class landed on an island together, what articles would we design for our classroom? What would they have in common with articles of the UNCRC? (Article 42) R – Relationships: how can my classroom be a ‘listening’ one? How can I value everyone’s contributions in a way that builds trust and enhances relationships? (Article 12) E – Expectations: high expectations – behaviour, quality of outcomes, effort, relationships. (Article 29) A – Achievement: recognise what each child can do, say and create. Celebrate with/through home and school. (Article 29) M – Motivation: engaging lessons, real-life contexts, constructing a safe, creative and exciting learning environment. (Article 13) The best teachers, in my view, are naturally ‘rights respecting’. They turn dreams into a reality and make a difference to every pupil they teach. @cmac_uk Camberley, Surrey - Headteacher
Liking the Unlikable Student You can picture him right now. He walks into your class after the bell, unapologetic, no books under his arm. Your heart sinks, as you were hoping he had skipped, or even better, had been suspended. All teachers have had a student they find... difficult to like. Here is a strategy that has worked for me - make a deal with yourself to talk to him or her every single day for 10 school days in a row. No exceptions. And the conversation must be about anything other than your course material. - “I saw your game last week - you’ve got a pretty good jump shot.” - “Take off the Yankee hat please, and then tell me if you think they’ll make the playoffs this year.” - “I like that show too. Is it on Netflix yet?” I know it sounds challenging, and it is. Plus, the student will be suspicious at first. But it works, and while you still don’t have to like one another, that connection is a wonderful tool when it comes time for you to steer the classroom conversation back to the curriculum. He has a voice and he wants to be liked, and that means it’s worth a try. @pdowneyenglish Ontario, Canada - English Dept Head The Power of Mixing it Up! For years I have sat my children in ability groups during English and this is how I was taught to teach. Occasionally, I used mixed ability groups during vocabulary tasks but after watching a colleague teach English using mixed ability groups every session and seeing the results I decided to give it a try. At first, I was apprehensive and I was right to be, the children took a lot of training in peer collaboration and effective discussion techniques but it was most definitely worth it. I found that after the initial training period around effective feedback and collaboration the discussions that the children had during writing sessions were amazing. Every morning my class were buzzing with excitement about the writing or reading tasks because they could be the teachers and they could encourage and support one another with a only small amount of guidance from me. I still use differentiation but in a whole new way; a much more subtle way that enables the children, who might have struggled, to engage and succeed in higher level tasks. In addition, high attaining children get the chance to develop and embed their learning by teaching their peers. I urge you, if you haven’t tried ‘mixing it up’ DO!! @thunkingteacher Grimsby, UK- LKS2 and Whole School English Lead
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Writing about context
Writing about structure
Use of full stops and capital letters
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Identify and describe presentational features
Spelling of common words
3 2 1
Identify and use language features
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Use of commas Use of semi-colons
GCSE English Skills Profile by @cazzwebbo A English profile to track s studentâ€™s progression in key skills Download at ukedchat.com/SEE00002
Use of colons