Professional development resource – @IRIS_Connect by @TeacherToolkit

WOW! I came across this technology via TeacherToolkit – UK based edublogger. This looks so awesome as a tool for improving teaching and learning and building a growth mindset/learning community within a school. Scary at first but I think it really could be transformational.

He also finds it transformational and talks more about it here.

When I was at university we had to record ourselves teaching and then watch and reflect on the lesson, with our peers. It certainly helped me to see lots of things I was doing from a very different perspective. It was also amazing to reflect after a period of time, but while still being able to have the reality of the lesson fresh in memory – right in front of you!

I don’t know of anything like this in Australia but surely something exits… Does anyone have experience using video as a method of professional development in schools? Or know of similar programs?

Classroom Displays

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My current classroom in Taiwan.

This is definitely not something I would say is my forte`, but I have been trying to get better at making the look and feel of my classrooms more interesting and engaging. The thing I find difficult is achieving visible learning versus simply decorating – although there is also value in displaying student work. This year I have tried to use student work in a way that doubles as visible learning, and inspiration by displaying work that students have created, which can help them throughout their units of study.

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Text types and textual elements

For example, while looking at media and language in Grade 11, students delivered a presentation on the features of different text types – the slides of this presentation have been put on the walls and whenever students are unsure about aspects of a letter to the editor, editorial or any other sort of text, I direct them to the display to see if they can find the answer there. I have also put up other key words and pieces of information.

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Shakespearean insults & word wall.

I have taken a similar approach to displays with my Grade 10 Shakespeare unit, where we¬†spent quite a lot of time looking at the language of Shakespeare. We started with everyone’s favourite, Shakespearean insults, and also looked at a range of other words, finding definitions and creating a ‘word wall’. When students came across words they were unsure about while reading, I encouraged them to check the word wall. I also encouraged them to use some of the Shakespearean language regularly in our classes, and often greeted students with some of the insults that they had created – a silly welcome to English classes. How do you create displays in your classroom? In particular, how do you ensure displays are¬†engaging and support the learning process for students? Secondary or primary teachers, I’d love any tips!