Monthly Archives: February 2020

Blog of the Week: 14 February 2020 – Ratio

A Chemical Orthodoxy

I’ve observed a lot of lessons this year. Inside science, outside science, novice teachers, expert teachers. Lots and lots of other people’s lessons. I’ve also been observed lots. As much as I’ve been in others’ classrooms, others have been in mine. In general at TTA we take the philosophy that “feedback is a gift” and that if someone else has been gracious enough to let you into their room to learn from them, the very least you can do is provide them with some feedback that will help them be even better.

Within my department, the stakes are high in terms of the feedback I give. I don’t want to give feedback that’s so general and generic it can’t be acted upon. But I also don’t want to give feedback that’s so specific it won’t be actionable until this time next year when the lesson I observed is repeated. What…

View original post 1,645 more words

Blog of the Week: 7 February 2020 – Low Stakes Quizzing and Retrieval Practice Part 1

TomNeedham

When I began teaching, I thought that a starter activity was there to ‘engage’ students in the learning, perhaps by providing some form of irresistible conundrum or puzzle for them to work out or maybe a multi-media, pyrotechnic laser show to wow them into compliance, competency and submission. By creating overblown and incredibly time consuming activities, I thought that my lessons would be memorable, burning themselves into the minds of my awestruck students and ensuring 100% retention. The lesson was everything: I thought of learning in 60 minute episodes. Learning over time, and by implication the notion of long term retention, was not something that I really considered, dazzled as I seemed to be by the allure and promise of engagement, novelty and the hallowed ‘hook’.

Oh how wrong I was! Not only was this desire for novelty and edutainment exhausting, but it implicitly sent the message to my students that…

View original post 1,133 more words