A blog for students on the FDLT at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

December 12, 2016
by Jean
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OFSTED and marking

In a blog post on November 28th I discussed the recent School Inspection Update as regards deployment of teaching assistants. Also in that document was some discussion of marking:

“The last three school inspection updates have included information about our myth-busting work, including drawing attention to the reports from the DfE’s Workload Challenge review groups that looked at marking, planning and data management.
As I have said before, marking has proved to be one of the harder myths to bust. In part, this has been because we have continued to report on it extensively at some inspections, especially with reference to areas for improvement in previous inspection reports from some time ago. I remain concerned that we continue to see some inspection reporting which gives the impression that more detailed or more elaborate marking is required, or indeed that it is effective in promoting pupils’ achievement. Inspectors must not give the impression that marking needs to be undertaken in any particular format and to any particular degree of sophistication or detail; the reference to marking on page 10 of the school inspection handbook deals with this.

As both the Workload Review group on marking (March 2016)  and the Education Endowment Foundation (April 2016)  reported, there is remarkably little high quality, relevant research evidence to suggest that detailed or extensive marking has any significant impact on pupils’ learning. So until such evidence is available, and regardless of any area for improvement identified at the previous inspection, please do not report on marking practice, or make judgements on it, other than whether it follows the school’s assessment policy. Also, please do not seek to attribute the degree of progress that pupils have made to marking that you consider to be either effective or ineffective. When reporting, please do not make recommendations for improvement that involve marking, other than when the school’s marking/assessment policy is not being followed by a substantial proportion of teachers; this will then be an issue for the leadership and management to resolve” (OFSTED, 2016, p1-2).

You might find this useful to consider in relation to the marking policy of your school and specifically for FDLT year 1 students working on the PDT 1004 Assessment Project.

Link to the Teacher Workload: Marking Policy Review Group

Link to the Education Endowment Fund Resources on Marking

Reference:

OFSTED (2016) School Inspection Update. Issue 8. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-newsletter-2015-to-2016 [Accessed: 12th December 2016]

November 28, 2016
by Jean
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Teaching Assistants and School Inspection Update.

Last week the latest issue of the School Inspection Update was issues by OFSTED. It referred to the deployment and use of Teaching Assistants (TAs) and this information may be of interest to you. It draws on newer research published by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) published since their guidance report Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants

It reports on seven projects where “TAs delivering structured interventions to
pupils who are struggling with literacy and numeracy. All seven projects have shown
a marked positive impact on pupil’s learning, typically adding around three to four
additional months’ progress, and creating a compelling case for action in schools” (OFSTED, 2016, p12). You can read about the projects here. You can download a pack of free practical resources here. The resources may be of interest to you as students, TAs and HLTAs although they aimed at schools.

In the OFSTED update it is suggested that these areas should be considered by OFSTED inspectors as they inspect schools:

  • How do senior leaders ensure that TAs are deployed effectively in line with
    this evidence?
  • Are TAs supplementing the work of teachers or replacing them?
  • Is there a well-planned programme of training and support for TAs who
    deliver out-of-class interventions?

These are questions you might like to consider in relation to your own roles.

Reference:

OFSTED (2016) School Inspection Update. Issue 8. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-newsletter-2015-to-2016 [Accessed: 28th November 2016]

November 21, 2016
by Jean
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Considering the data!

molOn BBC Radio 4 ‘More or Less’ examines the data behind the headlines. Tim Harford responds to listener questions, seeking experts to deconstruct the research and statistics that underpin what we read in the media.

As students you often hear us say “return to the primary sources” and this is what happens on ‘More or less’.  

Last week one of the items referred to  headlines in the popular media about teacher retention. You may have seen these yourself. In particular the listener refers to this page on the BBC news website linked here. . In the edition broadcast on 11th November 2016 the issue was discussed. You can listen to it here and it begins at 11.00 minutes in. It also refers to an earlier investigation of the same sort of question from 2015 which you can listen to here. I’m not going to tell you here what the verdict is – you can listen for yourself. I will just say that you might be surprised!

This confirms that it is important for all of us to consider what we read and hear in the news critically. For you as students it reinforces that need to track down and evaluate primary sources for yourself.

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November 14, 2016
by Jean
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An interview with Dylan Wiliam

I recently came across an interesting link on Dylan Wiliam’s Twitter feed. He was recently interviewed by a maths teacher, Craig Barton, and this interview is available for you to listen to as a podcast on his blog: MrBartonMaths.

Dylan Wiliam – Author, Researcher, Trainer and Assessment for Learning Expert“On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, I spoke to Dylan Wiliam.

Quite simply, Dylan is one of my heroes. He was the inspiration behind my Diagnostic Questions website, and his many books, presentations and writing that I have eagerly consumed over the years have always left me filled up with new ideas to try in the classroom.

Dylan Wiliam is Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at University College London. In a varied career, he has taught in inner-city schools, directed a large-scale testing programme, served a number of roles in university administration, including Dean of a School of Education, and pursued a research programme focused on supporting teachers to develop their use of assessment in support of learning.” (Barton, 2016, lines 3-12)

 

Many of you are working on your PDT 1004 Pupil Assessment assignment so you might find this podcast both interesting and useful. If you click on this link it will take you to the podcast – scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Dylan Wiliam is @dylanwiliam on Twitter and Craig Barton is @mrbartonmaths.

 

Reference:

Barton, C. (2016) Dylan Wiliam – Author, Researcher, Trainer and Assessment for Learning Expert. [online] Available from: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/blog/dylan-wiliam-author-researcher-trainer-and-assessment-for-learning-expert/ [Accessed: 14/11/16]

 

 

 

April 29, 2016
by Jean
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Animating science!

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

This week the FDLT Y1 group at Park Campus worked with Sophie Burrows, from IntoFilm, to make short stop motion animations. In the module they have been developing their science subject knowledge so they each chose a science idea to represent in their animated films. Sophie introduced them to the ‘persistence of vision’ that underlies the process of stop motion animation and to the app iMotion, which we used with iPads.

Before beginning to film there was a huge amount of research, planning, designing and making. Students created paper and plasticine models and backgrounds and used resources from the University School Experience library in their IMG_0481preparation. We were in the Pytchley room so we had the additional benefit of being able to use the white board wall as part of the background – students were able to draw and write on it and use this within their film-making.

We were lucky that other tutors came along to help, as learning this process can be quite demanding so I was grateful that Wendy Yarnall and Abbie Deeming were around to help. Later in the session, as the animations were completed students exported them into an editing app called iMovie. Sophie was able to demonstrate how to add titles, sounds and music and repeat within the films before we added them to a YouTube channel.

You can see the animations that the students created here:

This was the first time that the students had used this process and even this quite rapid introduction has equipped them trying this with their pupils in school. IntoFilm support film making and Film Cubs in schools and they can be contacted here.

You can read research about using animation in learning and teacher here:

Fleer, M. and Hoban, G. (2012) Using ‘Slowmation’ for intentional teaching in early childhood centres: Possibilities and imaginings.
Australasian Journal of Early ChildhoodVol.37(3), p.61-70.

Hoban, G. and Neilsen, W. (2014) Creating a narrated stop-motion animation to explain science: The affordances of “Slowmation” for generating discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education. Vol.42, p.68-79.

Pugh, S. (2013) Stop motion animation as an innovative approach to engagement and collaboration in the classroom. The Student Researcher. Vol 2. No 2. pp109-120.

Reid, D., Reid, E. and Ostashewski, N. (2013) Combining iPads and slowmation: Developing digital storytellers in an early learning environment. World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. pp. 1539–1543.

January 21, 2016
by Jean
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500 words

500 wordsBBC Radio 2 launched the annual ‘500 words’ writing competition for children this week. You access the website here.

It is for children aged between 5 and 15 in two groups – 5 to 9 and 10 to 13.

There are some great resources to help children start writing which can be accessed here – tips and resources.

Interested adults (teachers and librarians) can volunteer to be judges and help to read about 30 stories and score them.

 

December 18, 2015
by Jean
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FDLT animates!

Over the last few weeks the FDLT Y2 groups have been using animation, greenscreen and video editing apps to create short films.

2015-11-30 10.22.34This year we used the animation app ‘iMotion’ to make the animations. This is a relatively simple to use free app (there is a paid for version with a few extra features). This time when we used it some of the groups experienced a problem in that if they stopped animating and watched their films back when they continued the film did not always continue on from what they had previously done. We were able to correct this using iMovie but it was frustrating and sometimes demotivating.

2015-11-30 11.03.42Something else we tried this year for the first time was filming the animation against a green screen and then adding a background using the DoInk greenscreen app. This allowed them to set their story against one or more photographs that they had chosen. As we used it we also found that the animation could be moved around on the screen to a better position and the photo could be adjusted too. This app was very user friendly and a student recommended the DoInk animation app which is something we will investigate for next time (to help overcome the problems outlined above).

After the animations were made and the photographic background added we used iMovie to edit the films. For some this meant reordering their scenes and for all it meant adding sound. Some students chose some music from the limited range available on iMovie. Others added narration, dialogue and sound effects as well. Films can also be edited in YouTube, which has a much larger choice of music.

Along the way students also used the photosforclass.com website to find photos; Dropbox, to save films at different stages and YouTube to share and edit films. It was impressive to see the level of team work, creativity and perseverance from the groups of students as they worked together to create their animations. They can seen on this YouTube channel:

The students learn how to animate and use green screen so that they can explore how to use digital technology to support and enrich learning across the curriculum. Underpinning much of the activity was narration, imagination and storytelling – many of them told stories and designed story boards in order to develop their story before beginning to animate.

2015-11-24 10.20.49Some students set their animations in non-fiction contexts that involved some research about their area (global warming, animal homes). Throughout they listened, negotiated, described, speculated, evaluated and asked questions (English). In addition this some students explored aspects of the history, science or geography curriculum to set their animation in context. All the students were engaged in designing and making sets and props and some made their own characters. Some students researched to find and evaluate images to use for their backgrounds (art and design, design and technology). All the students were engaged with using digital technology to make and edit their films (computing).

2015-11-24 13.09.44We hope that students will go and use these skills in their support for learning in schools as teaching assistants, or in the future as they become teachers. the potential for learning in the classroom or in after school clubs is huge. As adults they experienced an immersive and intensive full day of activity that might be better broken down into a series of smaller activities with children. This would give the chance for greater reflection between each stage.

Furtehr reading:

There’s an interesting blog post here about the educational value of making stop motion animations with children and also these journal articles exploring research:

Fleer, M. and Hoban, G. (2012) Using ‘Slowmation’ for intentional teaching in early childhood centres: Possibilities and imaginings.
Australasian Journal of Early ChildhoodVol.37(3), p.61-70.

Hoban, G. and Neilsen, W. (2014) Creating a narrated stop-motion animation to explain science: The affordances of “Slowmation” for generating discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education. Vol.42, p.68-79.

Pugh, S. (2013) Stop motion animation as an innovative approach to engagement and collaboration in the classroom. The Student Researcher. Vol 2. No 2. pp109-120.

Reid, D., Reid, E. and Ostashewski, N. (2013) Combining iPads and slowmation: Developing digital storytellers in an early learning environment. World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. pp. 1539–1543

 

November 26, 2015
by Jean
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Free ebooks!

free ebookRoutledge have made this ebook freely available to download. If you sup[port pupils in literacy or English this might be of interest to you. All you have to do is fill in an onlione form and you will be sent a link to download the book as a PDF.

You can also browse the website to find other useful books and resources. This is also available:

R ebookAlso available is an ebook that explores John Hattie’s Visible Learning – available at the link.

October 21, 2015
by Jean
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Assessing Without Levels

AWLYou may have noticed that in mid September the ‘Commission on Assessment Without Levels: final report’ was published. It can be accessed here.

At this same link you can access two videos where John McIntosh CBE, Chair of the Commission discusses the benefits of developing new assessment and Sean Harford, National Director, Schools, Ofsted, talks about inspectors of schools assessment systems.

In addition to this you can explore the Association for Achievement and Improvement through Assessment (AAIA) website here. On this website you can see the development of the assessment without levels approach over the last few years, leading up to this report. You can also see videos of Dylan Wiliam and Tim Oates talking about aspects of the approach and also access the NCTL research report.

If you are on the FDLT course this information will be useful to you in year 1 as you work on the PDT1004 assignment and it will be useful to all students and TAs as you seek to keep up to date with changes in education and schools.

 

October 2, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Pobble365

Every day a new picture is revealed on the Pobble 365 website. It is run by the very popular Lend me Your Literacy (LMYL) website. It emerged from Jonny Davies’s experience as a classroom teacher – he explains that he would look for a striking and extraordinary image to inspire thinking and discussion in his classroom. This is what Jonny says:

And this is exactly what happened in our classroom: each Friday morning at 09.05 I would reveal one of these unique images. As it appeared on the board, I looked around the classroom and I could see a mixture of open mouths, excited whispers and animated discussion. The children talked about whether the giant that was crawling out of the ground was searching for a companion or baying for blood, or whether the mysterious forest of eyes contained fairies or werewolves. The pictures I chose were surreal, abstract or conceptual. To the children these images were weird and wonderful, fantastic and bizarre.

Imagine your favourite children’s book: when you read it your mind becomes full of fantasy and colour as you paint a picture in your mind, bringing the pages to life. This is what these images did, even for the children who didn’t enjoy reading.

The provoked conversation gradually became filled with rich vocabulary as I channelled the children’s thinking towards describing a character or a setting. Their imaginations ran wild, and poured out onto the paper. I can still remember the goosebumps on my skin as the teacher in the adjacent classroom and I would sit down with a coffee at 4 o’clock and read through the writing produced. I thought to myself ‘this is what teaching is all about’. These are the moments that we must cherish as educators.’ (Davies, 2015, lines 20 to 46)

You can sign in to Pobble with your Facebook, twitter or Google account or by creating a sign in with your email address and a password.

Each day a picture appears and along with it some resources to help you use it with pupils. These include story starters, questions, a link to exploring sentences and other ideas. You can download the picture and ideas as a PDF or if you join as a teacher you can use the images in your lesson more directly.

Here’s a link to the picture for today, October 2nd. How would you use it?

There are many other interesting aspects to the Pobble website including, if you join as a school, being able to share your pupils’ writing and make and receive comments about it.

Comment below if you use Pobble365 or to share ideas about using pictures in learning and teaching.

 

 

Reference

Davies, J. (2015) Going Global: from Picture of the Day to Pobble 365. [online] Available from: http://blog.pobble.com/picture-of-the-day-to-pobble-365/ [Accesed 25/09/15]

 

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