Archive for June, 2012


Year 7 flying SOLO

After a disastrous (well in my opinion) disastrous day trying to use hexagons for revision with a low set 8 group, I was wondering whether I should give it all up for a bad lot.

However after much sympathy and encouragement from a my new friends on twitter @LGolton and @CanonsOPP I resolved to try again with a lovely and accepting year 7 group, who already think I am completely mad so it wouldn’t matter if it all went horribly wrong.

I introduced the terminology using a Sparkol presentation which was met with gasps of awe, (so easily pleased)… I then gave them a blank rubric and used Tait Coles (@Totallywired) X-factor card sort which, after first asking them to assess where they were on the rubric.

The kids sorted the cards easily and we discussed why they chose the levels and got them to discuss the links. I next asked them about Exeter Chiefs ( slight modification from Leeds Tait,) at which point most of the kids said they were at Prestructural. So once again card sort and off they went allocating the terminology no probs.

So now for the test. We have been covering the topic of rocks formation etc, but had not put the whole rock cycle together yet! Using the blank rubric, I asked them to assess where they thought they were and fill-in why they thought they were there.

They were very honest, with most saying they were at Multistructural , with a couple still purporting to be at Prestructural .. Yet how is beyond me…!

Now to the hexagons, I divided groups into 4, gave them the hexagons and asked them to make the links and to see if they could put the rock cycle together.

Well off they went like long dogs after a rabbit, the TA’s were amazed at how quickly they took to it.

I got to spend loads of time talking to each group discussing their links and extended their thinking and developing connections, so much so, that my ole’ devil from training days ( last year) reared its ugly head; TIME….. which I ran spectacularly out of, so didn’t get to draw they cycle out using their new knowledge.

Oh well next lesson. So feel happier to day and will keep going SOLO till I get all my classes on board.

I just have to become extended abstract now.

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Saunton Sands

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As I sat on the balcony of the Saunton Sands hotel ready for a day on the dunes sampling the Biosphere, I realised I was surrounded by A level teachers. Opps a bit out of my league. Oh well the sun was coming out and it looked like the 5km walk was going to be interesting!!

I refreshed my understanding of the techniques of sampling and I learnt how to do a Simpsons Diversity Index calculation and no it wasn’t how many different pastries there were in the basket!

At the moment I am glad to be teaching KS3/4, but am fired up to take the year 8’s out to sample the daisies on the field over the next week and now feel confident I know what I am talking about.

Well Kinda!

Hello world!

Well here goes, this is my first attempt at a blog and I am sure to make some mistakes along the way but hey ho!

I am a Secondary NQT Science teacher in a small coastal school in the lovely seaside town of Dawlish. This isn’t my first career however I am hoping it will be my last.

I am a mother of two growing children 16 and 12, so have a fairly good grip on teenage angst! And a publican by previous profession so not a lot shocks me!

I am attempting to develop my teaching and learning and have become a Twitter fan thanks to @ELK99 and @LORDSI, who introduced me to its charms.

Through Twitter I have discovered SOLO so now have joined the underground SOLOarmy in trying to develop a new way of thinking in my classroom and hence will share my experiences good and bad.

I thought my PGCE was a rollercoaster ride and one that I was glad came to an end. However this NQT year seems to be an even faster, steeper and more exhilarating ride, with no end in sight yet.

Hence it is time to reflect and see where we go from here.

Hang onto your hats it should be fun.