Tackling Climate Change Head On

The climate crisis is real. Recent developments in government legislation with the introduction of the LOMLOE means it will now be compulsory for schools to tackle issues surrounding climate change: indeed, one of the five guiding principles is an increased focus on sustainable development and global citizenship. In today’s post we are going to look at the changes the law introduces and how you can adapt your classes to meet them.  

 What does the law say?

Continue reading

Breaking the Boredom with Properly Planned Projects

Teachers and students are living through trying times. With the constant change in regulations resulting in students going online, then back into class, then into a hybrid class and back online, it’s no wonder teachers and students alike don’t know if they’re coming or going and motivation can wane. All I know is we teachers are doing the best we can.

The Spark

One thing I have found to be a huge help has been the use of projects in class. Using projects is  is a great way to help students make real-life connections with the material, as well as increase motivation, participation and collaboration – all while working on all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), having fun and learning at the same time. There are clear learning outcomes. The students have a tangible end product which they can be proud of. And can we keep using projects if our lessons are moved online? You bet we can!

In this blog post we’ll look at how to get the most out of projects with our teens.

Continue reading

Shortcut to Success. Eight hotkeys making Zoom classes a breeze

Are you a victim of cumbersome cutting and slow screen switches in your online lessons? Perhaps you’re doing lots more clicking than you need to. And I’ve got some simple solutions to mute the madness.

There are a vast number of hotkeys in Zoom, each with its own very particular function. I’ve picked out the eight hotkeys that have made my online lessons a great deal smoother and more efficient, enabling me to move seamlessly around an activity and from one part of the lesson to another.

Continue reading

How to Hybrid. Part 2: Hybrid Hacks and Activities

 

What’s been the biggest hurdle for you since switching to hybrid teaching? In my experience the big four are tech issues, dividing your time and attention between two sets of students, students not interacting properly and lesson planning.

Now, there is no quick fix for all of these issues; much like when we went online back in March there is a period of adaptation having some students face-to-face and others online, but once you and your students have fully adapted to hybrid classes you could have the best of both worlds. In this blog post, I’m going to explain ways to achieve this.

Continue reading

How to Hybrid: Part 1, The Set Up

With new, essential, restrictions coming into place at a daily rate it seems our classrooms are quite a long way from returning to the old normal. For some of us our new normal, like it or not, appears to be leaning towards a Hybrid classroom. A class with students both online and face-to-face.

In today’s post I’m going to go over the different types of hybrid classes I’ve come across and look at ways in which you can set up your classroom. I’ll also consider how to deal with potential challenges that may pop up with some hybrid hacks. In part two of the blog, there will be sample activities to help facilitate interaction in a hybrid environment.

For those wishing to delve deeper, a webinar I delivered on the topic  can be found at the Teacher Training Hub.

Continue reading

Zooming Around: 17 Tried and Tested Activities for Your Online Classroom

How many of us would’ve considered ourselves proficient in online teaching a year ago? Not that many I don’t imagine. I remember in September 2019 I downloaded Zoom so I could be part of a teaching podcast with a former colleague of mine. It was the first time I’d even heard of the platform. I’d taught people through Skype and even WebEx but these were normally 1-to-1 lessons. The time spent in confinement and the rise of Zoom allowing for full online classes is a whole new world. That said, life is an unpredictable and let’s be honest it’s been a very steep learning curve for all of us.   

A couple of weeks back, I wrote a blog a about The Masked Classroom and the importance of harking back to some of the activities us teachers did in yesteryear, when we could move around the classroom and students could properly interact. Today’s blog is quite the opposite because I’m going to run through 17 of my favourite and most successful games to keep our Zoom Rooms as engaging as possible. Not simply an endless stream of PowerPoints and Kahoots.   

Continue reading

The Masked Classroom: 13 engaging activities you can still use

 

There are no questions about it, the landscape of the classroom has changed. No matter which way you look at it, teaching may never be the same again. From one day to the next we went from face-to-face teaching to being stuck at home trying to figure out just how to get our ideas across to our students through a computer screen.

We’ve since been thrown back onto the front line and a great number of us are back in the classroom. Only now we’ve got brand new issues to deal with. In this blog post I’m going to provide you with 13 activites that will keep your classes active and engaging despite these essential restrictions which have been put into place 

Continue reading