In the past something always got in the way of the majority of my ideas mainly alcohol. However I have found great comfort in a renaissance to my thinking! I can’t emphasise how much clearer my thinking has become. My planning is so much clearer, exciting, wacky, contrasting, reflective, inquisitive driven. But more importantly I am razor sharp with my focus in class and I am picking up much more great learning as my attention is 100% focussed on the students learning with a clean body and mind.
Take today as an example. My class were learning about push and pull migration. They came in to the Clash ‘should I stay or should I go?’ On the board asked to immediately explain the title. Apply it to a situation in their life in the last week. Then hold a paired discussion on their table of 4. One pair had to work out the additional Q of what a push factor might be and what a pull factor might be and how they could link it to the song – they then linked back with the other pair on their table and came to an agreed way of phrasing both push and pull and then wrote the push on the black card and pull on the white card. The class examined all the options and decided on the best 2 definitions then they all checked their table glossary to judge how well as a class they had done on creating definitions. Naturally they were spot on;) The class then were told to focus back to the song Q posed and their own life situation and adviced to do a contrasting room shift one side I should? one side I shouldn’t for the problem they had posed themselves. The class had a quick PPPB session
Pose – one student pose their problem (their answer was related to which side of the room they were on – pause give students thinking time then when they saw a collection of faces that had processed the point and they could tell by face/body language ask for a vote thumbs up for agree or down for disagree they then passed the ‘cubes of destiny’ to them – pounce they gave their response – on the whiteboards students wrote alternative options. Then after 57 seconds turned them round and the class voted by on whose response was best and then given 13 seconds to decide on the best option view (unlucky if your decision isn’t chosen). They then received the cube of destiny to bounce it to the other side or to their side so both I should? And I shouldn’t got a voice. The students did this twice each side so we were fair and not overly biased to one side. During this I was allocating positive learning and behaviour points to Classdojo. I also handed all the books out and set up the board for the next task. The class were refocused onto the next task.
This involved Led Zep! The immigration song (lyrics with a similar theme) they all stared at the whiteboard it was flashing black (negative for push) and white (positive for pull). To engage the students it was then adding instructions on what to do – go and sit down quickly we’re about to start task 2! A whistle from the whiteboard focus on the board ‘I shall say this only once!’ 9 pictures categorise into push or pull using a turbo table in your book (turbo table – fold page in book in half and central line acts as table with divide) rank each side into worst push and best pull. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 go! The students quickly organised themselves to be prepared for the task – not a word from me;)
The class then reflected on their choices by each table choosing a picture from the catch phrase now blanked screen – catch phase music as the picture revealed and a response – thumbs up or down if agree or disagree?
I judged whether I was happy the class knew their push and pull and I was happy to move on!
I introduced the class to West Side story and the song America – the class had been given by me whilst they worked on the last task (I used slide hand held remote to move slides on) the lyrics to this song. Their task was to watch the introduction to the scene and listen to the song and watch it for the actions then for each line of the song write next to it whether it was a push or a pull? Students were asked at the end if their was a pattern? Yes the boys were push the girls pull for America:)
Next was the independent task students could using one or more of the multiple intelligences create a representation of push and pull factors.
I watched for the next 20 minutes in awe at what they produced!
Each group planned their task and created their own outcome and success criteria and process ladder for others to see how they created their learning.
One pair created a song mix using westside story and should I stay or go – for each line by Anita they added the response ‘Stay’ from the Clash and for Bernardo they used ‘Go’ it sounded AWESOME! – Musical
Another group wanted mathematical – they wanted to review statistics for different countries for their immigrants and emigrants and they linked with another pair who wanted to map it as they wanted to do that:) – interpersonal
A linguistic group focused on push and pull wording in different languages and then categorise them with a series of pictures that they sourced.
Another – Intrapersonal – linked it to Football and the push and pull factors that draw them to going to games home and more importantly the away games they’d been pulled by and in the future wouldn’t consider or would jump at!
And on and on with great ideas! Next lesson will be completing and then an exhibition to listen, watch etc each group or individual creation.
Then feedback and evaluation using post it notes using Ron Berger’s Kind, Specific and Helpful.
Onto Y10 a fantastic class (low ability targets but that means nothing to me with what I can challenge their thinking with) we were moving our learning on from a topic overview lesson to introducing the structure of our planet, convection currents and then finally linking this to the movement of the 4 plate boundaries.
Students entered the room to each pair having a hard boiled egg and a cadbury’s Cream egg on their desk. They had a knife no instructions let intuition take control. Some times less is more and let instinct take control. They cut the 2 open on the board was a slowly. Developing question letter by letter. Could the class workout the core question to the lesson before it ha finished they had to write it on their paired whiteboard and reveal. Students were Asked to describe the textures as they cut through the hard boiled egg and discuss in their pairs. Then share with their table each person on the table adding a comment to the whiteboard to show the class – brittle shell that cracked as we applied pressure to it and soft white section smooth in texture but thick enough not to run then a solid yellow yolk. Students had some prior knowledge to this of the structure names but I wanted the textures in their minds to show different compositions like our earth. A quick table to classify and sort out properties with a 4 part information sheet that students had to organise for each section of the earth. Why do we have a hot core? Collisions with other rock bodies during the formation stages of our planet-demonstrate it:) punch the palm of one of your hands repeatedly fairly hard.. What happens? Test it now:)
Oh it goes red and gets hot:)
Whilst they did this I set up my fish tank (no fish) in the middle of the room students were told to form a circle around it one of the pairs bring an iPad from the table to film the others a whiteboard to describe what they see. Three on the table writing about the same thing as one is likely to miss a little as is two as is three but combine and likely to have a thorough set then they have the iPad video as well to replay and self assess their initial description and compare and contrast with each other the 4th makes a model answer from the other 3 to share with the class. http://youtu.be/7xWWowXtuvA this is an example of what they watched. No prior explanation to give it away just this is a model of what is happening beneath our feet each and every second. Describe what you see happening to the blue and red dyed water.
Next a picture of a radiator how does it hear our room? Think, pair and share and a quick research on the iPad for how. Now some relational learning opportunities can students link to the earth structure and its varying properties? You bet they could quickly linking the hotter outer core to the top of the mantle which is cooler and the crust acting as the barrier to split and force the flow side ways of the heat flow. I got students to demonstrate this flow pattern with their fingers. Hold them in pray position then push on to the table using the tips of their fingers. What happens. Give it a go?
Students from this were given another piece of earth dynamics to link to this process. Movement of the plates generated by convection currents could move in 4 core motions. Again initially nothing given by me I wanted to give thinking time to allow themselves, pairs, table and class to see if they could come up with these movements. As they were thinking saying nothing I put a picture slide show showing effects of the different motions to aid thinking to try and make connections with the motions. Stop. Find out time. Using their hands with eyes closed so as not to initially look at anyone else what had they discovered – hands coming together, hands moving apart and hands sliding past each other 3 out of 4 open eyes look at each other:) Laughter with some of the moves:)
So which had they missed?
Yes destructive plate margin movements where the heavier oceanic plate sinks and subducts beneath the lighter continental crust. Time for a demonstration 😉 each table had an iPad and their green learning books. Can you work out what they did? Think before you read on:)
They slid the iPad and and book towards each other and found everytime the book went over the top of the iPad! Why? Heavier:) Just like the two plates.
Now for subduction! I got students to do another self demonstration on themselves- hold hands out flat – point them towards each other tilt your left hand downwards slightly but keep the line of the hand fingers straight next using the tips of your fingers of your right hand slide up and down quickly with a bit of pressure between the finger joints on your left hand. Again give it a go what happens?
Where you rub gets hot and read and your finger tips begin to hurt- a student shouts out (shame I wanted think, pair, share again about it:) sir that is friction! Bang on! So all describe what you have demonstrated what will happen to the rock during this time? – melt they said as a table yes then what will happen? Think, pair, share link to the tank- The melt will rise like in the tank the red dye:) bingo!
We then had 20 minutes left over to the class to again Use any of the multiple intelligences to demonstrate the movements if the four plate boundaries:)
I opened it over 2 lessons like the Y9 class to complete, exhibition present-feedback-evaluate-judge-reward.
By the end of the lesson I had a song, 6 stop motion animations, a dance like this one on YouTube some of my students made http://youtu.be/yCwS7ikN0_0 , a university lecturer podcast, an image collage and a few more gems.
My next thinking of the day was planning the school geography website that I’m going to create alongside students and the other geographers in the department. In the coming months watch out for the GeographyLord.com nothing yet but come back in a month or so;) (name because school is Lord Lawson).
I’ve enjoyed watching the progress of Mission Explore and Discover the World Iceland booklets. I had a hand in this epic resource by visiting Iceland and creating missions for it. I know you’ll love them and if your school goes to Iceland for a trip be sure to contact Discover the World for the packs to download:)
My final part of the learning day involved me visiting Northumbria University to meet the Chief Examiner of AQA with some Y12 students. They listened and did some work in his workshop but the joy came from a student called Paige who told me and I quote ‘Sir you owned everyone’ She seemed super happy with the efforts I’m putting in to prepare her for the Geog 2 exam! I love moments like this:) I loved 2 of the students respond to his questions and he responded with ‘Oh that is very clever I love that very technical’ and ‘ohh that is fantastic identification of this photo’. What I have in my minds eye is the smiles they have me saying a thank you for your efforts in helping us get ready for this exam:)
So I go to bed now with a clear, content mind which is buzzing away with what to do next.
So tomorrow is Urban100. A 500m transect walk in Newcastle taking 100 pictures one every 5m and creating a visual and mapping show from it. I plan to do it day and night to make comparisons between the two. I would love for you to do the same thing as part of #urban100 http://urbanearth.ning.com/events/urban100?xg_source=activity
I’m planning on Mission:Explore missions in Edinburgh and Italy for field trips coming up this year in March and July and I’ll begin planning the Italian classes for the students going to Italy. Phew! But most importantly I can get cracking knowing I’ll have a clear head in the morning:) I bid you good night!