By Mike Watson
In under 20 mins a week - I’ll try to share some quick ideas from my classroom. Thoughts & advice especially aimed at Trainee, Student, SCITT and ECT teachers. Expect a wide range of themes and stuff for experienced teachers too. For suggestions for episode content - @WatsEd on Twitter.
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 21) Rise & Rosenshine!
Welcome to Season 2! Barack Rosenshine’s 'Principles of Instruction' is a must read for teachers. I mean everyone knows about it now, right? It’s not that you don’t follow them, but because you do - and you can get 1% better… and that’s worth it! This is my summary of what it means to me, and what you might be able to do for you. Reference made here to Doug Lemov's 'Teach Like A Champion'
January 18, 2023
Class Dismissed… (Ep.20) - "Good Will Hunting"
“People call those imperfections, but no, that’s the good stuff.” Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) In this, the last episode in Season One, before the Christmas and New Year break - I will reflect on 3 teachers who have helped to shape and mould me and my practice. In doing this I hope that you can reflect on the teachers that inspired you to be where you are today - because there will be at least one teacher from your past who you remember, maybe because of what they did, maybe because of how they made you feel - but you remember them, right? Those are the inspirational people who put you on the path you are on now... think about that... that's the good stuff!
December 20, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep.19) “The Hound of the Baskervilles”
“That which is clearly known hath less terror than that which is but hinted at and guessed.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Who better than Master Detective Sherlock Holmes to headline this week's podcast? Was there a greater fictional questioner or reasoner? A character who used all his acumen to solve some of the most cunning puzzles. Well, being able to explain thinking is really tricky, and yet really important. Here are some of my thoughts on why it matters so much to promote good quality reasoning and how it supports getting learning to stick. There will also be some top tips for using questioning carefully and getting children to give better quality justifications and reasoning for their thoughts.
December 13, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep.18) “Battre le fer pendant qu’il est chaud!”
"Strike while the Iron is Hot!" Teaching a langauge can be scary for the non-specialist - but actually it can be really rewarding and fun. Done with a little style and panache, a few jokes and a halfway decent accent (No Officer Crabtree please!) children really love it - especially when they first start out in LKS2. This week, I will share some ideas on the teaching of MFL, I will talk about French as it is my preferred option, and the one I can speak a little bit of - but you can easily apply these thoughts to Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese or which ever option your school has selected. (A slightly longer running time this week as it's subject specific focus)
December 07, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep.17) "The Colour of Magic"
“Rincewind tried to force the memory out of his mind, but it was rather enjoying itself there, terrorizing the other occupants and kicking over the furniture.” - Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic If you’re old like me it’s ‘Differentiation’, but applying Adaptive Teaching Strategies to your classroom can make a massive difference to the progress and outcomes for your pupils. Essentially, the outcome is that all children know more and remember more - that's the real Colour of Magic (a sort of greenish purple!) Here’s The What? The Why? & The How? Credits: Matt Bromley Kirsten Mould Caroline O'Regan
November 29, 2022
Class Dismissed... (Ep.16) "We Didn't Start the Fire..."
As Billy Joel wrote... "Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, space monkey, mafia, Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go, U2, Syngman Rhee, Payola and Kennedy, Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo! We didn't start the fire. It was always burning, since the world's been turning" That's a lot of history to learn, so this week, I am going to share some thoughts on lesson planning, as it is likely that your workload is starting to increase and it can be a really daunting task. Especially when it seems to come so easy to more experiened colleagues and mentors. If you have the right approach - then you can reduce the time it takes and the stress it can induce! How can you prepare a lesson with a logical flow that better supports the learning of your pupils?
November 22, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 15) “The Vegemite Sandwich”
‘Buying bread from a man in Brussels He was six-foot-four and full of muscles I said, "Do you speak-a my language?" He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich!’ (Men at Work 1981) Knowing the right words to say, write and use is incredibly important, especially in our classrooms - so why is it important and how do we make sure we support children in learning it?
November 15, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 14) 'I’m a Teacher Get Me Outside of There!' - Getting the best from an Outdoor Space
Those who know me from other Social Media platforms, will know that one thing I like to discuss and share ideas on is Outdoor Learning... So, here's a 12 minute podcast sharing some ideas for getting the best out of an existing outdoor space - without spending to much money and generally repurposing some materials and resources that are probably tucked away in your school somewhere.
November 06, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep.13) 'The Jumblies' Improving Children's Writing - A Strategy
(Shorter & more concise!) "They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day, In a Sieve they went to sea!" Edward Lear Writing… one of the biggest challenges teachers face is how exactly do we improve it? So much we put in and so much falls out through the collection sieve... so how do we plug the gaps and stop it sinking? I don’t know if there’s a secret, but here’s a plan I’ve found success with…
October 30, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 12) 'The Walrus & The Carpenter' Marking & Feedback
The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: ‘If this were only cleared away,’ They said, ‘it would be grand!’ Marking (Walrus) and Feedback (Carpenter) go hand in hand as important elements to effective teaching and learning - but how can we get he best out of what we do? How can we clear away the sand to get to those lovely little oysters of progress?
October 23, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 11) Making Learning Stick!
Making learning stick is really important, but how can we use Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) to try and get the best outcomes? This week, I’ll try to tell you what it is and how you can use it to your best advantage! Some theory and quick suggestions of how you might begin to put it into practice.
October 17, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 10) The Teacher, Their Empty Head, and what to do about it.
"The Teacher, Their Empty Head, and what to do about it." or "What to do when you don't know what to do." Sometime you will find yourself stumped, lost, confused, clueless, stressed and completely devoid of an idea of what to do tomorrow, this afternoon, next week, or just on Friday... Trust me, we've all been there (some of us more than once) so, what can you do to get past planner's block?!
October 10, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 9) 'The Quangle Wangle’s Hat' - Classroom Management
The Quangle Wangle's Hat is a story/poem by Edward Lear - it describes a bizarre hat worn by a strange creature... As teachers, we wear lots of bizarre hats and some of us are quite strange creatures! So, in this week’s episode, I will share thoughts, ideas and suggestions for Class Management - tips to keep your classroom engaged and learning.
October 01, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 8) How to know what they don’t know… the assessment conundrum
Getting Assessment of children’s learning right is a one of the biggest challenges teachers new and old face everyday - this week I share some ideas of what effective assessment practices might look like and some quick ideas for Assessment for Learning (A4L)
September 26, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 1) Mindset maketh the Teacher
18 mins of tips and thoughts about ways to approach the 1st few days in your 1st class and how to carry it forward - marking/relationships/priorities/organisation and more!
September 21, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 7) 4 Phrases - No More No Less
Fed up of repeating yourself? Tired of waiting? Want to get and keep attention? Here are my 4 phrases to help you make that happen.
September 20, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 6) It Takes Two
Term is underway… so, if you are are beginning ITT or the ECT years, what should your mentor/mentee relationship feel like and how can you get the best from each other?
September 14, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 5) To Ability Group, or Not to Ability Group? That is the question…
**Warning** It’s a long one! When you arrange a seating plan… what should it look like? Should children have groups? Should they move places? Should HA and LA pupils work separately or together? It’s a divisive topic - here’s my thoughts on the matter
September 05, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 4) Your number’s up!
What should be on a wall to support maths in your class? Purpose, Practicality and Psimple! (I know, leave me alone!)
August 30, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 3) Telling Tales
Telling stories to and sharing stories with your class should be high on your list of priorities - whether you teach in Nursery, Year 6 or anywhere in between! Here’s why…
August 23, 2022
Class Dismissed… (Ep. 2) - The Parent Trap!
How to build a positive working relationship with parents. Top tips to build a team that works together!
August 17, 2022
August 9, 2022
August 09, 2022