Darren Mead

/Tag:Darren Mead

Building challenge: differentiation that’s quick and works

2017-01-02T15:16:55+00:00

UPDATE: These two posts represent my latest think on differentiation:  Is differentiation a zero-sum game? April 2015 Why do we overestimate the importance of differences? November 2014 Since having a good long think about differentiation some while back it doesn't keep me up at nights nearly as much as it used to. But this is still one of my most visited posts so clearly other folks continue to be troubled. I want to set out my stall early by saying that this is yet another of those troublesome topics which is far simpler than most teachers imagine. My bottom line is that mucking [...]

Building challenge: differentiation that’s quick and works 2017-01-02T15:16:55+00:00

How to get students to value writing

2013-11-07T09:10:11+00:00

Sir, do we have to write in sentences? Yes, you bloody well do! Students do a lot of writing at school but, bless me, most of it's turgid stuff. In practically every lesson they're required to scribble stuff down in their excise books, even if it's only a learning objective and the date. Having spent a good deal of the past two terms observing lessons across the curriculum, I can safely say that most of the writing students do is an exercise in missed opportunities. And almost none of this writing is valued in any way other than for the content it contains. [...]

How to get students to value writing 2013-11-07T09:10:11+00:00

Building resilience: Sir, I'm stuck

2012-05-05T23:15:17+00:00

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. I have this quote from Samuel Becket's play Worstwood Ho! up in my classroom and regularly refer to it. It's there as much for me as my students and there's been plenty of times when (after another cunningly wrought lesson has nose dived into a flaming ball of shame) I've been grateful for the sentiment. Never mind, I tell myself, it'll be better next time. I hear about the need to make students independent learners all the time but I think that might be missing the point. It's not really about independence. Although there [...]

Building resilience: Sir, I'm stuck 2012-05-05T23:15:17+00:00

How effective learning hinges on good questioning

2013-07-19T11:08:43+00:00

Hands up who likes asking questions? Questioning is an essential part of helping students to make progress but only if it causes thinking or elicits evidence that informs our teaching. And the thing with asking questions is that while there are some kids who know how to make the system work for them and actively participate in lessons because that they way they’ll learn more, there are those who don't. Dylan Wiliam claims that the students who are sufficiently engaged to put up their hands and answer everything we ask them are “actually getting smarter. Their IQs actually go up.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtZ1pmY0VzI&feature=related [...]

How effective learning hinges on good questioning 2013-07-19T11:08:43+00:00

Learning Journeys

2011-09-21T22:00:27+00:00

Last month I wrote a post asking whether there was a point to starters. Luckily for me, Darren Mead got in touch to tell me about what he has termed Learning Journeys. Ever since I've been absolutely smitten. The idea is incredibly simple: at the beginning of the lesson, provide students with a visual representation of the learning which will take place during the lesson. That's it. A visual learning objective. Geoff Petty in his book Evidence Based Teaching shows that using this strategy along with a traditional learning objective plus an activity which links to students' prior learning has an effect [...]

Learning Journeys 2011-09-21T22:00:27+00:00

More DIY learning

2011-09-06T21:27:44+00:00

Following Kenny Pieper's wonderful guest post yesterday, I was inspired to put his ideas into action today. The most difficult aspect was geting hold of some netbooks. The DT had some which they warned me were a bit creaky and the head of music leant me three iPads. Sorted. To introduce the lesson, I used the idea I got from Darren Mead's site Pedagogical Purposes on having a visual representation of the lesson for students to refer to which Darren calls the Learning Journey. I was impressed with how quickly and accurately they worked out what they were supposed to do. I [...]

More DIY learning 2011-09-06T21:27:44+00:00