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A Chemical Orthodoxy

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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 →

Whole-class reading: how I do it

For me, booklets have been a game-changer. The combination of lean explanations, worked examples and plentiful practice have made sure my lessons run smoothly and student productivity is maximised, and I wrote about how I use them day-to-day here. This... Continue Reading →

Dare to DEAR?

Whenever you move schools, you are inevitably bombarded with new policies, cultures, norms, habits and calendar events. At my last school, one such event was the DEAR day: drop everything and read. Someone from the English faculty picked a short... Continue Reading →

It’s just a tool! Does everything work somewhere?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that however daft a teaching idea is, as soon as you point this out online someone will tell you that it works just fine for them. Inevitably, you will be told that it is... Continue Reading →

Booklets: how I use them

Booklets have been a massive gamechanger for me. They've vastly reduced my workload, improved the quality of my students' output, helped me think more deeply about my subject and improved my pedagogical content knowledge. I now have booklets for the... Continue Reading →

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