Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Relaxing Saturdays..

Where did they go? Did I imagine them? How come despite cleaning and washing all week everything breeds and mutliplies in time for Saturday? Ah well. Onwards and upwards. Everything has been  moved kitchenward. Can’t get in the kitchen door but another push and it’ll be sorted. For another week…

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September 19, 2009 Posted by | Nonsense | Leave a comment

So what?

I keep asking the question so what? In our haste to implement CfE are we asking so what enough? What do I mean? It’s all about the self reflection thing. Self reflection isn’t just about HGIOS and the umpty twenty other tools we use. It’s about knowing what your key purpose is in a school, clearly understanding that and taking a stance. Looking at what is going well and having an impact on learning and asking – so what will change if I implement such and such. I think we need to stop and ask this at the moment. An example? Take sensory spelling – we understand the basics behind that, but are we asking the question in our classrooms about progression in our lessons? Are we sometimes just asking kids to carry out additional activites because we feel thats what expected? If they can spell a word in context shouldn’t we move on and ditch some planned activities? My plea at the moment is that as professionals we remind ourselves of challenge, pace and always ask so what? Don’t do things to impress AN other – do things because you believe it will make a difference to learning. Don’t stick an add on in school if it won’t have any impact. Keep asking questions! Does active learning always mean playing a game and fun? I’m all for enjoyment but real enjoyment of learning isnt always without pain…That deep learning zone that we all want to  reach involves deep reflection, deep thinking, practise and sometimes that’s hard. And if we lose sight of that check and balance we won’t do any favours for the children in our care. Rant over!

September 19, 2009 Posted by | learning | | 1 Comment

Learn to Learn

I’m not at all sure what my oldest son does at his work. He’s twenty two and it has something to do with money. Anyway this evening he said its time I sorted out what people learn at schools. I think he overestimates my actual role and abilities….Also understand here that he’s had a lifetime of switching off when I go into school chat mode….

We’ve had a hoot over the past few days with Derren Brown’s exploits and for years we’ve watched repeats of many of his shows over again, working out the minutiae of what he does. Both of us enjoyed his book with memory training stuff in it – all the visualising stuff etc, but the bold boy puts it into practice. So at the moment he’s been studying for some investment type exams – really dull stuff (to my mind at least) and he’s been waxing lyrical about how helpful these techniques have been to his studying. The point he made was to do with practising any such technique (which he’s been doing and I haven’t), and he referred me to Gladwell’s Outliers (which I reminded I’d bought him!). He asked why he hadn’t learned this stuff at school. Now I think his schools did a great job of developing his ability to learn, but I also think we’re getting even better at it now. What he suggested we need to do is help people learn how to learn and really push that! Is that not CfE in a nutshell? And does it maybe not also remind us that what we’re trying to do is build on the great practice out there, becuase they did a pretty good job with him before CfE? When quizzed further on this he said that they had done stuff similar to this at school but the thing was they never got to try it out – so maybe in primary he’d been taught some mnemonics but they never got to make up their own and he reckons that’d have made a difference. Active learning maybe?

Meanwhile I’m feeling busy at the moment lots of HMIe follow through activity, training, improvement plan visits and the like. But finding, thanks to a wee push from Jaye Richards and Ollie Bray that I’m loving twitter. It’s really helping my job and helping develop my personal learning network further. I don’t think you have to use such things to develop your pln and learning but I do think (and this becomes an even more embedded thought as time goes on) that the technology itself is not just a tool, or add on to what we do as teachers. The act of using the technology develops something quite different and important in our learning and gets us right to the core of what our key purpose is. Have a look at J Connell’s recent article, his way with words is ever so much better than mine. But also his article talks about the “creepy treehouse” syndrome and I do think we need to consider that really carefully. When the younger son spies me cavorting around on my laptop – he and his pals snort and say – aha “Momma Reid on twitter, Momma Reid on myspace..Momma Reid playing with i google” and they see my efforts as the worst kind of that syndrome, because for them anything I am catching up to understand is for them already past tense….

September 18, 2009 Posted by | education, ICT, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Early Years News

Nice article about Cathkin Community Nursery.

Had great time at Glenburgh Nursery today. One of the EY workers who I used to teach (how old does that make me…) is about to set up a blog for the children to do emergent writing on. Another thank you to Ollie Bray who has inspired all sorts since his talk the other week here! Lots of nice things going on in Glenburgh. It was a hive of activity today with their individual achievement booklets getting put together for the new starts – lots of nice links within these showing movement in their CfE implementation. Its always great to visit Glenburgh.

Yesterday I had a really good time meeting with secondees who are working on assessment for SLC. They were so up for the challenge, looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Interesting talk with HT at Bankhead PS the other day, they are always innovative and this year are revamping their dialogue meetings re forward planning – they are calling this process their triangulation meetings. It sounded like real reflection and a focus on ,improvement was already happening through this process. They also showed me their new things in their grounds, from handmade places who had made them the most beautiful, sturdy outdoor play things. They were rightly proud of what they had in place, made me wish I was little and running about their playground.

September 4, 2009 Posted by | education | , , | 1 Comment

Learning

Just a wee thought here, in my sad QIO way I get quite excited by standards and quality reports, improvement plans and the like because I think they are great tools for focusing attention on improvement in terms of the impact on children’s learning and meeting their needs. So again in a sad wee QIO way I stuck our recently completed area Standards and Quality report into wordle.net and nearly cheered when a big huge word came out in the middle after adding about 50 pages of text.

The word was LEARNING….

September 4, 2009 Posted by | education | , , | 2 Comments

Ollie Bray talk at Camglen Area

Ollie Bray has uploaded the slides he used with area staff recently in the Canbuslang Rutherglen Area re 21st Century teaching tools. Lot of very positive feedback from his talk and Jaye’s warm up routine.

September 2, 2009 Posted by | education, ICT | Leave a comment