Thoughts about TMM11

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Yesterday I had managed to swap my PPA time so that I could leave work at 2.15. We zoomed off to the station and down to Stowmarket to meet Mark Allen (@edintheclouds) to go up to TeachMeet Midlands at the National College of Leadership in Nottingham!

I love TeachMeets and there aren’t enough near me to keep me happy, so I like to go to as many as I can – I wish more of them were on Friday/Saturday! The last TMM11 was brilliant and this one did not disappoint either!

I have come away with lots of excellent ideas. Nicki Wise reminded me of lots of excellent tools, many of which I have either used in the past but not recently, or have been meaning to try out for quite some time, so that has given me a boost towards trying those again. There were also some new ideas such as 3x3links which I will definitely be looking into.

Mark Allen had a great suggestion of using Posterous as a radio station – simple but brilliant, what a good idea! I am really coming round to the idea of using Posterous more regularly as it is such a hardy site which can handle pretty much any type of media and is very easy for children to post to!

I was very interested in Peter O’Brien’s Avatar project. I seem to remember reading about this a little while ago, and it was great to find out more. It sounds like an excellent ethos was introduced into the classroom. I loved the idea of the y6 child calling on the Word Weaver during the writing test! I also really love the idea of having values rather than rules in class. What a great idea! It sounds like a very positive way of working and something I would definitely like to try.

A fab idea from Ian Addison was making use of paper.li in a very useful and constructive way – by creating a digest of the class blog that could then be sent to parents! I have recently felt that parents aren’t looking at the blog particularly often, and that a lot of posts are getting missed by them due to the speed at which the page progresses, especially when we are doing the 100 Word Challenge and many posts drop off the bottom. What a good idea to collate the blog into the paper.li newspaper format and then email the link to parents. Super!

I really liked Oliver Quinlan’s presentation on how he is encouraging his children to use tools independently so that they can learn at their own pace. I had read about this on his blog so it was great to find out more about it. It is his work on independent/child-directed learning that has inspired me to try to develop this more in my class and I would love it if some of my children came and asked if they could make a video about their learning. Maybe I will have to show them the videos and see if any of them are inspired to have a go themselves!

There were lots of other excellent ideas at the event, too many to mention, and I will be looking back through the videos to make sure I get the most out of it all! It was also lovely to meet so many nice people and catch up with people I’ve met at previous events. The people who come to TeachMeets really are a lovely crowd, such friendly and inspirational people. I always come away feeling really positive and uplifted!

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