A Chemical Orthodoxy

Schools, Science and Education




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... Continue Reading →

Observing Novice Teaching

What went well: great use of vocab sheet for EAL student and thumbs up/thumbs down (standards 5, 6) Even better if: improve your pacing so you have time to fit everything in, use more group work to increase engagement (standard... Continue Reading →

How to not screw up retrieval practice

This is the first blog in the CogSciSci symposium on retrieval practice in the classroom. You should read the introduction to this symposium here before reading this article.  Retrieval Practice in the Classroom: Lethal Mutation? In the introduction to this... Continue Reading →

Come work with me!

I work at a brilliant school, with brilliant colleagues, brilliant students and brilliant outcomes. It's a no-brainer: if you are looking to work in a science department where teachers have been granted the autonomy to dictate the way their subject... Continue Reading →

Modelling modelling: into the classroom with live drawing

This post comes unashamedly on the tails of Pritesh Raichura's excellent series on teacher explanation which you can read here. I've written recently on dual coding and the multimedia effect because, like Pritesh, I'm worried that dual coding is in... Continue Reading →

What to do after a mock: into the classroom with whole class feedback

A little while back, I wrote about mock exams, assessment theory and advice following tests. You can read that post here, and I recommend you do before trying this one out. To summarise, I argued that: Tests are about sampling... Continue Reading →

Challenge beyond Bloom’s

What makes one question hard and another one easy? When I trained, Bloom's taxonomy was everywhere. Personally, I haven't really paid it much attention in quite a while, but I was reminded recently that it is still used extensively in... Continue Reading →

Guidance fading: how I do it

I've written before about a simplified model to summarise the cognitive load that a student feels during a particular task: If you are unfamiliar with the model, please read about it first as it will help you a lot in... Continue Reading →

Working with a bottom set year 11: how I do it

The emotional, physical and mental exhaustion of working with a bottom set year 11 class has its own characteristic flavour. You feel frustration at students who have switched off, annoyance at students who disturb others’ learning, fear for students who... Continue Reading →

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