Monday, 30 July 2012

How did Mr. Taylor do?

Every year I ask my pupils 4 questions at the end of the year. 1. What went well? 2. What didn't go so well? 3. What did Mr. Taylor do well? 4. What can Mr. Taylor do better next year?

The results are in, and here is what they look like. I'll give you a little background on classes, too, as we go along...

My pride and joy this year. Achieved far above any other class in the year, and probably the school. 23 kids out of 30 on or above target, 9 of those above. All in a year when at times they didn't know who'd be teaching them when they turned up. I've eluded to this elsewhere, but this may be the last time I get to be proud of them...

What went well?

What didn't go so well?

What did Mr. Taylor do well?

What can Mr. Taylor do better next year?

Summary: In the end everything did go well, and I agree that their other teachers weren't beneficial to their progress - but maybe that galvanised them when they got me back? It was so easy to teach them and to have fun with them, but because of their enthusiasm there were also times that I lost my temper a little. I should've treated this lot to more 'fun lessons' (as they call them) and maybe should've organised a trip for them, but you live and you learn...

A struggle due to the behaviour of a handful of boys who were constantly challenging. Very few pupils achieved their target and I think this is down to a) disruption, and b) over inflated targets.

What went well?

What didn't go so well?

What did Mr. Taylor do well?

What can Mr. Taylor do better next year?

Summary: Yeah, not a great deal did go to well, to be honest. Mostly down to low level disruption and particular pupils disrupting every lesson. I wouldn't say that I taught them particularly well and this is definitely an area that I have to work on - more severe sanctions and better management of challenging pupils.

I took 8H1 on late, due to maternity cover. My set 3 went to the cover teacher and I took on set 1. Because of the limited amount of time we've spent together I didn't ask them to complete all the questions.

What did Mr. Taylor do well?

What can Mr. Taylor do better next year?

Summary: It was easy to have fun lessons with them - mostly engaged students who are switched on and good at discussing maths in real terms and its applications to real-life. They've given me a lot of food for thought and just like 7Y1, I'm hoping I can reward this lot next year. One thing that we will definitely do is a Friday afternoon quiz/test and problem solving.

Our set 5 class isn't outstanding - too many kids who don't want to be at school and aren't bothered about failing. Little work ethic, poor punctuality and a 'Do it for me' attitude can be used to describe 70% of them. Hopefully the summer will force them to mature and they'll come back with a better attitude.

What went well?

What didn't go so well?

What did Mr. Taylor do well?

What can Mr. Taylor do better next year?

Summary: I can't say much went well, but I am hopeful for some Unit 2 Exam results (available August 23). I did all I could for them this year and had all pupils put their half in then we'd have some decent results to come back. It appears that the older kids enjoy sarcasm and 'dissing', and they've not given me a great deal that I think I can work with.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Best End of Term Lesson Ever.

I've been helping out with Year 5 taster days lately, which I've enjoyed a lot, and wanted to take one of the activities into my Year 7 class. The idea is that you make this:

It pretty much filled the room from floor to ceiling.

I've had a great year with 7Y1. They've performed above themselves, with many achieving above the median and (despite them being the weaker of our two set 1s in year 7) achieving the highest scores we've had for quite a while. I wanted to repay them for their patience (at one time their trainee teacher wasn't always there and for about a month they didn't know which teacher they would be having - which makes 31 of us! - and at another they had continuous supply for three weeks whilst I worked with year 11 in extra sessions) and reward them for being consistently awesome. As I told them before they left, I've enjoyed their classes so much this year and I'm a little sad that I won't teach them next year.

The activity is centred around tetrahedrons.

Build one and ask: Who knows what this shape is? What's its special name?

One of the class came in to work with Year 5 and demonstrated building one for the class, going around and helping others as we worked.

This is what you'll need:
(Six dowel rods and a pile of elastic bands)

Every joint must be banded tightly - so have loads of bands available as many will be snapped - so that the structure is as strong as possible.

Step 1: Get three rods and put them side by side. Put an elastic band around one end, tightly, so that your rods look like this:

Step 2: Twist two of the rods around, leaving two at a right angle to the other one. You're going to put two more alongside the one by itself, tying as you did in Step 1 at the other end.

Step 3: Open up as shown in the following photograph. It will be like having two pairs of chopsticks joined together.

Step 4: Pick one from each set of 'chopsticks' and pair it up with one from the other.

Step 5: Put elastic bands around where these rods cross - this is where you'll start to see the tetrahedron taking shape.

Step 6: This is where you add the final edge to your tetrahedron. Lay the final dowel rod across both ends and secure this rod in place using elastic bands.

Step 7: When you've attached the last rod, you're done.

This gives you a 'small' tetrahedron. To make one the size that we did you'll need 64 - I set the class the challenge of two each. Some struggled and made one, others were awesome and made 5!

Taking four 'smalls' you can make a 'medium'. Three on the base and one on the top. Band them in place (which can be quite tricky!) and make sure they're strong by lifting the top - if it's done well if won't alter in shape!

Taking four 'mediums' and joining together in the same fashion will give you a large - this is where the strength of the bands is so important.

Four of these will give you an 'extra large' - the one in the original picture at the top. It stands so tall and is so large that it took about 10 of us to lift it and hold it in place (on their toes) while I secured it in place.

Once finished it's very impressive - all the kids took pictures on their phones (I figured that relaxing the 'phones are to be turned off and at the bottom of your bags whilst in school' rule was OK 5 minutes from the end of the year) and a handful of staff found their way in, very impressed by the work that the kids had put in.

Such a brilliant end of term activity. Will do the same with other classes next year! :)