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#pracped16 – Sketchnotes

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

practical_pedagogies__choose_your_sessions_I’ve just got back from the Practical Pedagogies conference at the International School of Toulouse. Organised by Russel Tarr, the two day conference brought together educators from around the globe. Here’s the rationale behind the conference which explains why I travelled to Toulouse at my own expense to speak (I wasn’t paid to it):

“Educational conferences can be prohibitively expensive for ordinary teachers, and often focus on abstract theory delivered by professional academics with very little hands-on classroom experience. Such events often appear more concerned with making money than with genuinely improving the quality of education being delivered within schools.

In contrast, “Practical Pedagogies” comes out of the belief that the best teacher-training conferences are delivered by practising teachers, for the benefit of each other and their students, as not-for-profit events.”

I attended some excellent workshops and chatted to so many people that further inspired me.

Below are my sketch notes of the conference that document the sessions I attended. I hope that they give you a flavour of the conference. You can find out more by checking out the Twitter hashtag #pracped16 (which was trending at various points in various countries over the two days!) or by looking at the conference website. I’m sure that many will share their presentations and that there’ll be lost of blogging so I’ll update the post over the next week or so to share them.

Opening Keynote by Ewan McIntosh of NoTosh.

Opening Keynote by Ewan McIntosh. @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Curriculum, controversy and current affairs: manoeuvring in a multicultural world by Mariusz Galczynski

Curriculum, controversy and current affairs: manoeuvring in a multicultural world by Mariusz Galczynski @MariuszEDU

 

Philosophy for Children across the primary Curriculum by Jenna Lucas @JennaLucas81

Philosophy for Children across the primary Curriculum by Jenna Lucas @JennaLucas81

 

I'm a teacher: Get me out of here! by Mike Watson @WatsEd

I’m a teacher: Get me out of here! by Mike Watson @WatsEd

 

Coding with cards by Yasemin Allsop @yallsop

Coding with cards by Yasemin Allsop @yallsop

 

The Art of Voice:bringing characters to life by Ben Culverhouse @ben_culverhouse

The Art of Voice:bringing characters to life by Ben Culverhouse @ben_culverhouse

 

You shipping it? Closing keynote by Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

You shipping it? Closing keynote by Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

#pracped15 – impressions and sketchnotes

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

IMG_5969Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.40.04I had the joy and pleasure of going to France last week for the Practical Pedagogies conference at International School of Toulouse. It’s not every day you get to go on a course that involves a ‘plane journey, and I was wondering about the wisdom of my exploits as I sprinted from one side of Brussels Airport to the other with 20 minutes to make my connecting flight thanks to high winds delaying my incoming flight… I made it, and it was well worth the travel and the late night.

What a conference! Why? Well, there were many reasons!

    1. The welcome received at IST was wonderful. The staff went out of their way to help us. For example, I tweeted that I was having plug adaptor woes (mine didn’t have a ‘top hole’ so wouldn’t go in the socket, the one loaned by the hotel wouldn’t work either as my plug wouldn’t go into it…) and within minutes I was presented with a working adaptor and was able to charge my ‘phone (thanks also to Chris Mayoh who seemed to have a case full of adaptors that he was lending out!)
    2. The organisation. Never have I been to such a well organised conference. Things ran to schedule, the gaps between sessions meant that you always had time for coffee even if you stayed behind to ask a question at the end of the previous one, and I never felt the vertigo I often feel as I rush from one place to another without breathing.
    3. The company. What a great bunch of people! I laughed until I cried at points and enjoyed the friendship offered by those I already knew, those who I’d only previously known online, and those who were completely new acquaintances. Fun and games involving hats, Lycra, yards of beer and bowling alleys spring to mind.
    4. Ewan McIntosh. That man has been so pivotal in my thinking and development as a teacher and learner, right from when he was still a language teacher and spoke at Language World at Oxford Uni. He will forever be known in my house as ‘the man who made Mum buy a Nintendo DS’ for which my sons are very grateful. Every time I hear him speak or read his blog he challenges me to think and consider what I do, how I teach and how I can best facilitate learning. And he is also very human and it’s great to talk to him. Loved this description of him:

And  5. The variety of sessions was amazing! Covering any subject you could name plus cross curricular ones as well as technology and even ukelele playing. It was very hard to select just 7 (I was told I had to choose my own session) but I did.
To sum it up in a tweet:

  I tried to sketch note all the sessions I attended, only failing twice as I couldn’t draw during the Drama workshop and it was hard during the AIM one as I needed to use my hands to gesture (and I’m also rubbish at drawing hands!) Anyway, I’ve uploaded my notes below.

Ewan McIntosh - opening keynote @ewanmcintosh @notosh

Ewan McIntosh – opening keynote @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Novel departures - Estelle Ash and Isobel Patrick (IST) @estelleash @isobel_patrick

Novel departures – Estelle Ash and Isobel Patrick (IST) @estelleash @isobel_patrick

 

Boosting language acquisition through a FUN reading program - Patricia Burgaud and Joanne Allcock

Boosting language acquisition through a FUN reading program – Patricia Burgaud and Joanne Allcock

 

Stimulating writing using technology to encourage reluctant readers - Julian Wood @Ideas_Factory

Stimulating writing using technology to encourage reluctant readers – Julian Wood @Ideas_Factory

 

Immersive Learning - Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

Immersive Learning – Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Practical Straegies for teaching EAL students - Nick Fretwell (IST) @Nick_Fretwell

Practical Straegies for teaching EAL students – Nick Fretwell (IST) @Nick_Fretwell

All in all, an amazing time during which I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot too. I hope there’s a #PracPed16 – or 17 if Russel needs longer to recover 😉 – already planning what I might offer to present! (This year’s offering is in the next post!)

If you want to find out more, check out Russel Tarr’s reflections on the event, and notes etc are here

PS I think that every good school needs a ‘crime scene’ in the foyer complete with police tape, forensics suit and evidence. Talk about capturing the imagination!

#PurposedPSI

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

On Saturday I attended the Purpos/ed Summit for Instigators in Sheffield, meeting with others to debate the purpose of education and discuss how we might ‘kickstart’ a wider debate on the subject.

Part of the time was given over to 3×3 presentations by attendees – 3 slides in 3 minutes on the question of the education. The random fruit machine from Classtools didn’t pick me so I decided to rcord what i might have said.

Without adrenaline and anyone to tell me to be quiet, it went on for a bit longer than 3 minutes, but here it is.

I challenge you – what do you think the purpose of education is?

Find out more and join the debate here.

‘TeachMeet styley thingy’ #etwpdw

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Yesterday, as the European eTwinning Ambassadors PDW at National college of School Leadership in Nottingham drew to a close, I took part in what Drew Buddie aka @digitalmaverick entitled ‘a Teachmeet style-y thingy’.

Drew introduced the idea of an ‘unconference’ explaining both TedX and Teachmeet before opening the floor to others to share their 7 minute micro or 2 minute nano presentations.

I was first up – see the next post for my presentation – and later for a video of it (if it’s not too hideous!)

Other presenters were-

Lieven from Flanders who shared his magnificent projects, all documented on his blog. These included repurposing old computer mice, decorating them and then using TuxPaint to animate them (MouseArt), using Pivot to make animations of bubbles (B@llobees) and also to make animated characters @ni & M@te who travelled to other schools and found out about them.

Two things that particularly struck me were firstly when Lieven said he liked ‘making the unexpected valuable’ which struck a chord, and also the use of technology to back up and enhance more traditional methods eg the Kindergarten pupils made bubble pictures with paint and straws, and those pieces of art were used as the background for the Bubble animations.

Next up was Paddy who talked about his eTwinning project Wii will rock you which used the Nintendo Wii as a stimulus.  I enjoyed this presentation as Paddy underlined that it was not all about playing games, but that the games were the starting point for other activities – writing letters, designing CD covers, planning tours with travel plans and money considerations, cooperation with other children, publicity and negotiation.  They also worked on a joint sports day with a school in ireland with some ‘traditional’ sports day activities as well as Wii based ones.

Then Susi Arnott shared about using comic strips and Comic Life, and how the process of looking at comics enhanced the understanding of texts and enhanced literacy skills.  She mentioned Bitstrips which I will be investigating!

Drew used Twitter to ask why people went to Teachmeets- responses included:

‘the range of ideas’

‘a cross subject sharing of ideas’

‘non threatening’ collaborative spirit’

‘celebrating work done in my classroom’

‘meeting like minded colleagues leads to great PLNs’

‘at least 20 ideas for use tomorrow’

‘widens my ideas’

Nick Falk finished up the meet with a nano-presentation on the use of QR codes and QR readers in mobile phones.  Very interesting, and something I need to investigate!

No camel, no fruit machine and no alcohol; but otherwise pretty like a normal TeachMeet! Oh, and no cupcakes.  Sorry @niiloa

Things that make my pupils smile #MFLSAT

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

I normally make Slideshares of my presentations and add the audio for Slidecasts.

However, the lovely @eyebeams was UStreaming the MFL Show and Tell from Nottingham today so I’m able to embed the video of my presentation!

Hope you find it useful.  Although my pupils are primary aged and some of the ideas are very ‘primary centric’, I think that there are many things that secondary colleagues can take and adapt to their situations.  teh fun doesn’t have to stop at the end of KS2, you know ;o)

Children see, Children do.

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

This video speaks for itself.

Very thought provoking as a parent and an educator. I’m taking it as a challenge at the start of a new academic year.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSVMht1VrMc&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0x999999&border=1]

Positively Spanish

Friday, January 23rd, 2009


Long time no blog, eh? Life’s been rather hectic over the last week or so – and I really should blog about it!! However, thought I’d flag up this opportunity as it has just arrived in my inbox and looks great!

The Consejería de Educación, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes Londres, has arranged a full day of activities for teachers of Spanish in primary schools. Taking place on Friday March 27th at The Instituto Cervantes, the day looks packed like ‘una lata de sardinas’ with fun and examples of good practice, with workshops on things like storytelling, food, CLIL, .. showcases and a performance of a play written and produced for children who are learning Spanish in KS1 and KS2. And all for £25!

It doesn’t matter if your Spanish isn’t brilliant as the email stated –

‘The whole event will be friendly to teachers with a limited competence in Spanish.’

You can download details of the day, the programme and abstracts of the sessions here on the Consejeria site.

Despite living in Birmingham, I’m seriously considering going, as the sessions on storytelling, extending writing, five minute activities and starters for the Spanish classroom all look very interesting – and that’s just from a curspry glance. Added to which, I’d love to see El viaje de Matilde presented by A cuerpo as I blogged about it a while back and, now that we have a new Head at school, now might be the time to plant my suggestion…

Closing date for applications to attend is March 16th so if you fancy it, why not ask your manager if you can attend?

Fun at Fernhill.

Monday, February 25th, 2008

I have now officially been up for 12 hours (it’s 4.45pm!) and could do with a snooze, but I can’t because a) I might sleep past by stop, b)my contact lenses will stick to my eyes and c) my mind is buzzing!

I’ve spent the day at Fernhill School and Language College in Farnborough, Hampshire at the invitation of Steph Hopkins. Having met at Joe Dale’s Isle of Wight Conference 2007 where I did a couple of sessions on Primary Language Learning and eTwinning, Steph had asked me to speak at her conference entitled Creating a compelling curriculum. Although it’s a long way from Sutton Coldfield to Farnborough, I readily accepted as it’s flattering to be asked and I do like a day out :o)

My session was entitled Keeping it compelling (more of that later!)

The day consisted of sessions led by Steph in the morning about the new Secondary Curriculum, the SLNs and then a session on phonics rhythm and song, followed by workshops in the afternoon

CLIL led by Louise Wornell from Ringwood

Podcasting with Steph

Blogging and wikis with Alex Blagona from Northgate High School and

Keeping it compelling with me.

Once more, I would’ve liked to attend all the other sessions, and am hopeful that I’ll be able to catch some of them – sure Joe Dale had all his iRivers in action ;o)

Steph’s sessions were really interesting for me. As an ex-Secondary MFL teacher it was good to see how the curriculum has changed in the few years since I taught it, moving towards a more creative approach and less proscriptive content. Almost made me miss it – I did say nearly! I’m sure it would be very different. We considered how MFL can contribute to the whole curriculum dimensions of the Big Picture such as Enterprise, Creativity, Community and Healthy lifestyles. My group were considering Technology – nice one! Managed to mention EdTechRoundup, various blogs (including those of Joe, José 2 and MarieFrance) and things other people are doing with Google, Twitter, Facebook ..as well as my own blog. In fact I could’ve gone on for ever but reined back so the rest of the group could have a say!

It was also good to see how things have changed from the point of view of informing what happens at KS2. It makes sense to me that KS2 practitioners need to have an understanding of what is happening at KS3 just as KS3 need to be aware of the KS2 Framework for their work to make sense. It’s all about being ‘joined up’ or ‘pulling together the threads’ of language learning.

There were some very interesting snapshots offered from various members of the SLNs represented at the event. They have chosen to focus on boys’ attainment and use of TL, and I really enjoyed hearing about the creative ways in which schools were addressing these aspects. One group of lads at Fernhill have been split into two teams competing in a Bundesliga to win points for their team – Bayern Munchen or Werder Bremen – with points awarded for use of TL and against for poor teamwork such as calling out. Another school were using the pupils’ interests as the focus for work on healthy lifestyles, having a lesson lead by a group of pupils on an aspect of the topic such as sport, diet etc. And Wavell School are rewarding pupils bringing in items from their travels etc related to MFL with house points, valuing pupils showing initiative and interest in the wider aspects of language learning. I particularly like the way that they had asked pupils what they’d like to do in terms of content and activity in MFL and then acted on it with a carrot and stick approach – give them what they want, and remind them they asked for it when they complain they think it’s boring. Genius!

Steph’s session on Phonics, Rhythm and Song deserves a post of its own – so it shall get one!

Blogging – a world of opportunities.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008


Checking my Google reader I came across the latest post by Jeff Utecht on his blog, The Thinking Stick.
In it, he relates how he has spent today teaching 9th graders about blogging –

The classes were each 80 minutes long…plenty of time to setup a blog, write a short blog post, learn about posts vs. pages, walk through how to manage comments, change themes, update options, change password, and have a discussion on the use of the blog.

Wow! He goes on to explain how he related blogging to Facebook, comparing their new blogs to Facebook pages, and the sidebar widgits to all the Applications you can add to your Facebook page. The language of Facebook was familiar to the students so it made perfect sense to them! That was the first thing that struck me – making things relevant.

The second was the fact that the teacher was in the room, and learning at the same time. It’s a model I like – my best lessons have been when I’ve been learning with the kids – and particularly when they’ve been teaching me. I never tire of learning and hope my pupils are as eager to learn as me!

Jeff comments towards the end of his post-
‘This is the reason why I love blogs, they open up a whole world of opportunities.’

I’d just read Ewan McIntosh‘s article in The Guardian as well in which he concludes
The future (of using new technologies) is in teachers seeing for themselves what bounties await down this yellow brick road, before worrying about how they are going to bring Class 2C with them on Monday morning.’

I’m new to blogging and the like but I can see that the possibilities are endless. The kids need little persuading when I suggest using the latest tool I have discovered, and are learning without realising it much of the time.

For example, my 9 year old son had to do a topic on the Egyptians and decided to do half of it using Photostory3 – the quality and quantity of information he gave in his presentations was greater than he would normally have produced. And he learned how to use a new application – because he saw me doing it and it looked fun!

So, I’ll keep learning and taking the advice of John Hunter quoted in Ewan’s article –

‘Don’t think, try!’

UK pupils ‘least globally aware’ ?

Monday, November 12th, 2007



My BBC Online daily e-mail informed me this morning that, according to a British Council survey, ‘UK children aged 11 to 16 have the lowest international awareness among their age group in 10 countries’.

The article reported that 4,170 children with Internet access were asked about language learning and international affairs and the results were scored on an index from 7 to 0 –

  1. Nigeria 5.15
  2. India 4.86
  3. Brazil 4.53
  4. Saudi Arabia 3.74
  5. Spain 3.29
  6. Germany 3.24
  7. China 2.97
  8. Czech Republic 2.51
  9. USA 2.22
  10. UK 2.19

When questioned, children in the UK were least likely to want to try and understand world affairs, and saw themselves as citizens of their country rather than the world. Young people in Brazil were among the most likely to agree with the statement “it is a good idea for schools in my country to have links or partnerships with schools in other countries” but the least likely to be in schools that had such links.

The article finishes with the comments of Martin Davidson, British Council chief executive
“Our school children cannot afford to fall behind the rest of the world.
For the UK to compete in a global economy, it is vital that we encourage our young people to have an interest in and engagement with the world around them.”

Intercultural Understanding is a key strand of the KS2 Framework for MFL (although we’re supposed to use PLL (Primary Language Learning) to get away from the negative connotations that ‘foreign’ can have) As far as I’m concerned, opening the ‘window on the world’ is a vital part of learning languages. At Whitehouse Common, we’re taking this seriously and I’ve written raising international awareness and understanding into the SIP for PLL as a specific target.

Last year we made a start on this with an eTwinning project called Somos lo que Celebramos. Working with Colegio Público César Hurtado Delicado in Valverde de Leganés, near Badajoz in Spain, we compared and contrasted festivals and celebrations in the two countries. The project not only broadened the pupils’ knowledge of Spanish festivals and culture but also made them look at their own celebrations through new eyes. We won a Runners-up Prize in the National eTwinning Awards for the project too – I was very pleased – my head wanted to know why we hadn’t won!
(If you want to find out more about this, have a look at the presentation I prepared for The Isle of Wight Conference where I spoke about the project, and eTwinning in general – you’ll find it in my Box of Goodies. )

This year we’re on a roll and are pushing the boat out into deep waters! We achieved the Intermediate International Schools Award for last year’s efforts and this year, we’re hoping to achieve the Full Award (fingers crossed!)

We’re taking part in the Voices of the World project , have two Ted-E-Bears in North America and are about to become involved in a new Teddy based project with Silvia Tolisano. Our eTwinning project for this year is called Somos lo que comemos and hopefully will involve five countries comparing and contrasting food and healthy lifestyles in our countries (details being finalised at the mo!). Then there’s Hands around the World – 480 handprints to parcel up (and cut out!!) to be sent around the world to other classes as we compare ‘Holidays around the world’ and, later on in the year, a postcard exchange. I’m working on email links with South America and, following on from the success of this
year’s
European Day of Languages, I’ll be starting planning for next year after Easter!

I’ll tell you more about these projects over the next few weeks but just wanted to respond to the article with some examples of how we might address this – hopefully in a few years’ time, children in the UK will be more globally aware and see themselves as ‘global citizens’, as they are encouraged to reflect on their own experiences as they appreciate those of others.