Last summer I set myself some challenges for the coming year! Before I set my new challenges for 2011-12, it’s time to review how I did last year!
1) Assessment involvement
Last year my Performance Management was linked to me wanting to become Assessment Co-ordinator. I did a lot of work last year, involving leading APP moderation, working with our new tracker (Pupil Asset) and target setting. I’m hoping to get even more involved this year so I can take on the role of co-ordinator!
This goal has been achieved! I continued to be involved with moderation and assessment, helped with data tracking and target setting etc. There is a shuffle going on at the moment and the co-ordinator roles are being reallocated, so hopefully I will have good news at the start of September!
2) Using more technology in class
I really like hearing about all the different types of new technology that are available and how people are using them. It can all seem a bit overwhelming though! I have therefore decided to try one new techie thing a week! I will give each one a try at home and see where it would fit in well to my teaching that week. I’m hoping this will enable me to get used to lots of new things and help me to integrate them into my teaching.
Wow – yes, definitely! I now feel really confident using all kinds of different equipment and websites. It’s now not just a case of trying out something to see if I can use it, but having a lot of ideas at my fingertips and thinking “what would work well here to improve this learning…”.
I will be taking part in D4LC (Drama for Learning and Creativity) this year. This involves going to some twilight sessions to learn more about using drama within the classroom then trying out some of these approaches. I like using drama and often think I don’t do it enough so I am hoping this will force me out of my comfort zone and teach me some new methods and ideas.
Yep! I didn’t actually get to do as much training as I would have liked here – but it definitely did reinvigorate me and, as with the ICT, I was able to start thinking about what drama technique would work well to improve learning. The children really enjoyed all the drama we did and there was some excellent writing and understanding that came out of it.
4) Poetry course with Norwich Writers Centre
This is another exciting project. Some writers will be coming into school to do some poetry workshops with the children, and I will be going on a 6 week course to learn more about teaching poetry. Poetry is a real love of mine and I always feel it doesn’t get the same attention as narrative & non-fiction do – well, it can’t really be assessed, can it?! But I think it has a lot to offer children and I will be very interested to see what I learn on this course.
Loved this! Got lots of new ideas that I can put into action in the classroom next year. Definitely not just a one off but an inspiration that will last into the future. Again, the kids loved this and their writing quality improved massively afterwards, not just in poetry but across the curriculum. Another thing that struck me was how it had improved their ability to express themselves through poetry. One of their classmates sadly died last year, and at her memorial assembly the children were able to express their feelings through beautiful poetry that they had written about her. It was extremely moving and brought home to me the power of poetry, which was now available to these children in a way it hadn’t been before.
5) ICT co-ordinator
Thanks to my PLN on Twitter I feel I am getting a real insight into the power of ICT across the curriculum and I have the feeling we are under-utilising it at school at the moment. I’ve asked if I can take on the role of ICT co-ordinator as the former ICT person has taken on Maths and so ICT is currently available. It may go to the Science co-ordinator, in which case I have offered to help and get involved. I like the idea of doing “Techie Brekkie” (or lunch!) where I could introduce some of the new technologies I’m trialling to my colleagues. I think people would really like to try some of them if they knew they existed! I will also be trying to recruit people to Twitter but I am not sure it will work! I can only try though!
This isn’t going to happen – our new Deputy Head is going to be the ICT co-ordinator, but that’s fine. I will hopefully be either the assessment, drama or G & T co-ordinator, any of which will be an exciting challenge for me! Plus I have booked some slots in future staff meetings to demonstrate technology that people can use – things like linoit, google docs, etc.
I am looking forward to more Teachmeets this year! First the second one in Norwich, which I will be helping with in whatever way I can, and then TMM11! I really enjoyed my first experience earlier this year and learnt a lot so it will be great to go again and learn even more!
Love teachmeets! I went to 3 this year and got loads of fab ideas!
7) Problem solving in maths
We have moved to a new way of teaching maths this year. The children will be in sets for 3 days a week and then in their normal classes for 2 days doing problem solving in mixed ability groups of 4. I’m really looking forward to it! It will be a new challenge as it is a very different way of working but I think it will be very beneficial for the children. Another teacher and I will each be teaching a parallel top/middle set, rather than having top and middle separated which will mean we can plan closely together, which will also be good.
Wow. What can I say? Love it! I got my best ever maths results this year – fantastic progress was made across the board. It also did as promised – gave confidence to the lower ability children. Children who previously would have given up ATTEMPTED every question in the test – whether they got it right or not isn’t really the point – at least they are now confident enough in themselves to try, which will set them in great stead for the future. Also in the last problem solving lesson, a boy beamed up at me and said “I used to hate maths, but I love it now. I can see the patterns.” YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!