Welcome to my attempt to archive and share some experiences at making learning more visible in my classroom

Friday, 20 June 2014


Can't remember where this came from but it is a way to understand how confident students are in their knowledge of some key ideas.  It's a simple tick quiz.  Here's a version on Hitler's consolidation of power.

You can use it in a variety of ways -

1) ask pupils to make only one tick - tells you a great deal about their confidence if you see a repeated pattern of "I think..." responses. [Easier to mark and interpret]

2) ask students to tick each row - illuminating if students begin to tick more than "I am sure this is right" !

Why was the Enabling Act so important?

I am sure this is right
I think this is right
I think this is wrong
I am sure this is wrong
It allowed Hitler to become President

It meant that Hitler had won the election

It allowed Hitler to make laws without the Reichstag

It gave the Nazis a majority in the Reichstag

Planning learning around concepts

Talking with Darren this week about planning learning around the threshold concepts which unlock further learning in Science has been interesting.  These have been comprehensively mapped here so teachers can visualise the relationship between concepts used in science learning, but also consider what students find challenging about these ideas and where alternative conceptions get in the way of full understanding.

Here's an example of what it might look like for learners K-12 learning about the living environment.

Obviously this got me thinking about this in History.  Here's a 3 minute version for teaching a sequence of lessons from a recent project:  "How significant are the Lindisfarne gospels?"  Finding the starting point for pupils becomes part of the overall plan.  Pupils arrive with prior knowledge that needs challenging, validating and piecing together with new pieces of content knowledge.

I find this useful because it illustrates opportunities for connecting ideas and where skills can be brought in too. The question of how to judge historical significance is a useful way to engage students in "thinking like a historian" and so I think exploring the three dominant models with students will be a good starting point.  You can get a brief overview of what these mean here.   Here's another version for beginning to teach power and authority to Yr 12 students studying Richard III and Henry VII.