STEM: resources

I have been investigating resources for supporting the curriculum next year. We will be embracing the STEM ideas in a more structured way for the first time although other schools have been onboard for a long time. There are  a myriad of rich resources and approaches that other schools and organisations have shared by schools. The sites I find that meet our needs are being added to my Blendspace lesson on STEM resources. Although I like the STEAM idea that incorporates creativity (through the Arts addition), I am keen to get all our teachers on the same wavelength with STEM. There are still some who are not sure about why we are making this push. The following infographic (although from the US) gives us some ideas about why we need to get kids excited about science and maths.

Why STEM Matters
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Assessment Ideas

Another great infographic from Mia MacMeekin. This one gives teachers some great ideas. It would be useful to put up in the office as a reminder when I am trying think of alternatives that I can offer to students to show me what they have learned and/or what they know.

An Ethical Island

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Student Centered Instructional Methods

Another one of Mia Macmeekin’s great infographics. This one offers inspiration to teachers with a range of 28 different ideas for promoting active learning in the classroom situation. These suggestions are general in nature so they can be applied to various types of lessons and learning areas. There are brief statements included to give starters to teachers for planning lessons.

Students are the focus in in the learning processes mentioned here. They involve individual learning methods, group work and communication between students and some include using various technologies.

This is a great overview different methodologies that could make any classroom management more inclusive and welcoming to all students.

An Ethical Island

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10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic

There is still a lot of discussion about the internet and how useful/wasteful/dangerous it is for our children. Like all things, it is how you use it and whether you have developed the skills to get the best from it.

 This infographic from the Pumpic team makes some suggestions. The team has selected 20 services that they believe will teach your kids 10 skills for life. Starting from essentials, like reading and improving grammar, to cool ones: playing the guitar and programming. All of these is easy to achieve with educational games available online and apps introduced on kids learning sites

10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Pay attention, please… Engaging students in their learning

I like the opening lines above this infographic. After being a teacher for quite a few years now, all my observations show that one of the most important things for a teacher in a class of young people is to remain passionate about your subject and about learning. The students at my school will forgive quite a lot if you have that passion. If you have that deep interest, chances are that you will also be constantly reading and developing your knowledge and looking for new ways for students to learn about it.
The infographic offers a lot of practical ideas to be proactive about ways out of difficult moments without resorting to negative options.
Keep the passion, maintain the fire for learning and enjoy the time you spend with developing minds.

An Ethical Island


it is the students who are bored


sometimes it is the instructor who is boring.

Engaged students pay attention.

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This work by Mia MacMeekin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Teaching code via our “coding club”

We have recently started a junior coding club at our school, after not managing to have a subject put into the year 8 curriculum. It is interesting how to see how each week a few more boys are joining our ranks. It was also great to have some of our year 10 students offer to work with the younger boys as mentors and teachers. It has been many years since I have really worked in this area so it is a big learning curve for me but with the good will of the students we are all learning together  and having fun at the same time.

I thought I would include the infographic below. It sums up some of the questions we had to face when we wanted to introduce coding into the junior curriculum. Sometimes it is very frustrating but in the long run there will be a greater acceptance that coding is a useful skill for all students. It can encourage and develop a range of skills in our students: problem-solving, logical thinking, interpretation of data/information, innovation and original ideas,  abstract thought and creativity. Our students will learn to be creators, not just consumers at the mercy of other developers, or at least better understand the world they inhabit.

I still argue that we should  Teach coding to students, it’s an important skill. (A post I wrote 12 months ago). More articles are being written and research undertaken  that also support this view. One interesting article I read back in August was Coding overtakes French as UK’s most popular second language in primary schools. The headline alone piqued my interest.

So we continue with the coding club and lay the groundwork for all students to have access this most useful way of developing a range of skills. 
Teaching Coding in Classroom

Courtesy of: AssignmentHelpNet

Literature by numbers.

Always looking for some interesting ways to approach literature, books and reading for our boys, I came across the fun infographic below. This is an appealing infographic (from the DailyInfographic site) that takes a look at the numbers behind some famous works of fiction. There are word counts of classic novels as well as modern works such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings. Novellas, haiku, epic poems as well as works by particular authors (Hemingway, Shakespeare and Austen) are explained by their numbers.

Words by Numbers: Famous Literature Infographic