Thursday, 30 June 2016
Colour of My Dreams
I'm a really rotten reader
the worst in all the class,
the sort of rotten reader
that makes you want to laugh.
I'm last in all the readin' tests,
my score's not on the page
and when I read to teacher
she gets in such a rage.
She says I cannot form my words
she says I can't build up
and that I don't know phonics
and don't know a c-a-t from k-u-p.
They say that I'm dyslexic
(that's a word they've just found out)
... but when I get some plasticine
I know what that's about.
I make these scary monsters
I draw these secret lands
and get my hair all sticky
and paint on all me hands.
I make these super models,
I build these smashing towers
that reach up to the ceiling
and take me hours and hours.
I paint these lovely pictures
in thick green drippy paint
that gets all on the carpet
and makes the cleaners faint.
I build great magic forests
weave bushes out of string
and paint pink panderellos
and birds that really sing.
I play my world of real believe
I play it every day
and teachers stand and watch me
but don't know what to say.
They give me diagnostic tests,
they try out reading schemes,
but none of them will ever know
the colour of my dreams.
- Peter Dixon
Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Research in the classroom – becoming a more learning rich organisation.
I wrote an 8 minute presentation for the inaugural Deal Teach Meet which took place this evening. I chose this topic because I aimed for us to become a research literate organisation this school year and gave everyone a research budget. However I neither taught myself nor our staff how to actually become research literate or even where to start. It wasn't a total disaster, there has been reading, sharing and good practice visiting. However I would quite like to do it better next year. So I asked some advice from those that know research. The headlines are:
1. Think about why we would research
2. Find out some principles that underpin what research is (how)
3. If you decide you have researched x thoroughly & want to go for it, decide what you are not going to do any more (y) and be really sure that x is of more value to your children than y.
4. Decide whether you want to be research informed, a researcher or a research lead. All are valid.
4. Use resources that are free and available ie academia edu and the education endowment fund toolkit.
5. Get out to teach meets & research events, get into Twitter & share. As the title of this evening's teach meet suggests it is good to share. Most folk on Twitter will help if they can for free as they believe so passionately in what they do.
Links from my presentation -
@tombennett71 @hgaldinoshea founders of @researchED1 http://www.workingoutwhatworks.com/
Research Ed is well worth a look and the events are brilliant. The next is in York on July 9th. There is usually a London one in Sept.
Why research? http://www.theconfidentteacher.com/2016/06/evidence-informed-teaching-no-luxury-extra/ one point of view on why research is valuable.
The principles that underpin research -Daniel Willingham – cognitive Scientist & professor at Harvard. Science of learning principles.http://www.danielwillingham.com/daniel-willingham-science-and-education-blog
www.academia.edu you have to sign up to access it. You can read research there and submit papers also should you wish to. @drmattoleary @geogphil submit papers there -worth following on twitter also.
http://www.suttontrust.com/ the education charity that set up the Education endowment fund toolkit. Unfortunately the media cast a shadow over this resource when it first came out with the 'Research suggests all TAs are a waste of money' headline. This was a vast pity as it put a lot of teachers off what is actually a very valuable free research resource.
You can also apply for grants from the foundation for your own research
Already mentioned research ed- Teachmeets are also a good source of ideas & research @teachertoolkit organises TM London, it’s worth getting out a bit further if you can http://www.teachertoolkit.me/tmlondon/
Canterbury Christchurch University research centre for children, families and communities is a good local source of knowledge and research https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/our-work/research-knowledge-exchange/research-centre-for-children-families-communities/research-centre-for-children-families-and-communities.aspx