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

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Visual Hexagons

All you #hexagon lovers out there using Google apps will enjoy the ability to create drag and drop visual hexagons within google draw or google slides.

Here's a 2 minute video to show you how from +JKeet - Teacher Tech Tips

Here's an example of how I've used it in the classroom - Year 8 are learning about development indicators.  They first have to interpret the meaning of the images and then categorise them into social and economic indicators.  Next they re-arrange the hexagons to show how they are related to underline the complexity of measuring a country's 'development'.

Related posts:

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

What might be happening here...?

I like to use this as connect the learning activity with Year 7 students.  It is Peter Bruegel's painting from 1562 called the "Triumph of Death".  Even though we're a few hundred years out in terms of the first outbreak of plague in Britain the scene conjures emotions at the idea that the world had been turned upside down by plague, war and famine.  There's so much rich discussion to be had about the imagery and the possibilities that the students come up with to answer the questions are a fascinating insight into their thinking....

Monday, 22 June 2015

Scale of Challenge in Source work

There is a definite hierarchy of skills, thought processes and mechanisms to working with historical sources.  Without getting into a debate about how GCSE courses force or feed a particular type of experience of sources for our students I thought I would publish my thoughts on the different ways in which we can ask students to interact with sources.  On reflection I have made it highly compartmentalised yet if you teach any history you will know this is not how historians think.  So why might it be useful?  Perhaps if you are planning a sequence of lessons with sources or planning across a key stage.  You may be considering writing Learning Targets for your students and looking for some indicators that students are able to do different things and write about sources in increasingly complex ways. 
Health warnings: 

1) If you try to make a student climb a ladder with rungs like this they'll never get off the ground.

2) It ignores the obvious ways in which to add complexity to a source task such as a) the nature of the source (pictorial, propaganda, length of text, reading age etc) b) the content / period of study c) the combination of sources selected d) asking the student to select the source.  Co-incidentally these are all useful ways to differentiate.

3)  Trying to assess using this will lead to a slow and agonising mark book and utter confusion.

Thinking / Question / Activity
Recognise Sources
I can identify the nature of a source
Is this a primary / secondary source?
Who created this source?
When was this source created?
What kind of source is this?
Is this source fact or opinion?
I can describe what a source tells me

What can you see in the source?
What does the source say?
What does the source tell us about?
What important features / parts are there in this source?
What do you know about X from this source?
I can make Inferences from sources
Is this source fact or opinion?
What does the source tell us about...?
What does the source suggest about...?
What else can we learn from the source….?
I can cross refer to other sources
Which sources agree about….?
Which sources disagree about…..?
Do all the sources agree about…..?
I can contextualise
What was happening at the time this source was produced?
Why was this source produced in?  (relate to context not provenance)
What does the source tell us about this period?
When do you think this source may have been produced?
I can cross refer to my own knowledge
As above and -
Is source X accurate about?
Does the source agree or disagree with your knowledge of …..?
Which sources agree?
Which sources disagree?
Do all the sources agree about?
Close analysis
I can analyse the language (tone) used in a source
Does the source support the view that….?
What words / features of the source suggest that…?
What is the tone of the author?
What does the use of the word/s “........” suggest about the view / author?
Why has the author included the phrase, “.............................”?
I can detect the purpose and / or the intention / and or message of a source
Who is source X aimed at?
What does the author want to draw your attention to with source x?

What is the message of source A?  Does that fit here??
Why was this source produced in ….(year)....?
Why was this source published / written?
I can evaluate the utility of a source for a particular question

Is source X accurate about ?
Is this useful source for learning about……?
How can we use this source for learning about………?
How useful is source x for learning about………….?
I can explain the limitations of a source (based on the content of a source)
What is missing from this source?
What does this source not tell us / mention?  (!!!)
What else do we need to know about this topic that the source does not refer to?
I can evaluate the reliability of a source

Who created this source?
Is source X accurate?
What is the author’s view of………..?
Why did the author produce this
How reliable / trustworthy is this source about…..?
Do you trust source X’s view about……?
I can evaluate the limitations of a source (based on the provenance)
Who created this source?  Do they have an axe to grind?
How accurate is source x?
What is the author’s view of………..?
Why did the author produce this?
How reliable / trustworthy is this source about…..?
Do you trust source X’s view about……?
I can comparing the content of sources (utility)
Which source is more useful for learning about…..?
Which source would you choose to illustrate……?
Account for the differences between source X and Y
In what way does source X support source y?
I can comparing provenance of sources (reliability)
Which source is more reliable?
Which source so you trust more about……?
In what way is source x more trustworthy than source Y?
Comparing content and provenance of sources
Which source is more useful for learning about…..?
How far is source X more useful than source Y about….?
Evaluation of sources
For all of above+

How far do the sources support the view that…..

“Statement”. How far do the sources agree about statement?
If you have a view on this add a comment.