Monthly Archives

March 2011

AB tutor a teaching tool

By | PGCE, POT 2, Teaching | No Comments

At KES they use a client control piece of software cann AB tutor that is similar to RM tutor. This is a great tool for showing and demonstrating to pupils work that requires fine details. It simple takes over their screens and allows you to show them what is happening on your screen. It is really useful for monitor pupils work and to see what applications they are using. This is a good test to see if they are on task without actually walking around. I have also been using it to display pupils work at the end of the lesson which has been really great for plenary seshions. It really helps give instant feedback to pupils on the work they have created and is a good quick way of formative assesement.

I used ab tutor after i recieved some feedback that pupils couldnt see the screen and needed more feedback on their design work.

Although KES own the software some of the teaching staff do not use if for ICT lesson so i was able to give a seshion on how to best use it after I had become familiar with it myself. This was great for colaborative work and for helping others members of staff to get up to speed with this technology.

Positive and negative behaviour reporting

By | PGCE, POT 2, Teaching | No Comments

Here at KES the school use their SIMS database to track and manage behaviour throughout the school. The two standard routes are RED and GREEN Referrals. Red being for misbehaviour and Green being for positive merits and behaviour around school.

In a lesson I recently taught there were some boys that where causing allot of distraction and after several warnings i had to ask them to stay behind at the end of the lesson. The behaviour was not terrible but due to the distraction to other pupils that was causing them to go off task i issued them with a red referral for disruption to the class. More recently a pupil was playing a game on his iphone 4 during one of the activities (I did think if what i was doing was not engaging enough but it was a creative Photoshop lesson on filters and effects). I confiscated the iPhone until break and asked him to come back to collect it then I issued him with a verbal warning and said that it was not acceptable during lessons. I then issued the red referral on the sims systems and marked that the action was taken and that no follow up was required. Pupils at KES are brilliantly behaved and this is not saying that there are many cases like this. But it is still good to have high expectations and not tollerate anything like this.

On the positive side I had a about 4 pupils that created some outstanding work in Adobe After Effects which i was able to give green referrals for. It was a good way of officially marking their achievement.

It was interesting to lookin through my class lists and note the ration of green to red referrals and the quantity of both and then match this to the attitude and performance in class. It was interesting that the pupils I referred reflected the style of behaviour that was being tracked on the sims system.

These referrals then get issued and followed up by the tutors. Which is a great way of following up on incidents or positive work.

Year 8s After effects lesson 4

By | PGCE, POT 2, Reflection, Teaching | No Comments

Class

Year 8

What we did?

Please see lesson plan for full details.

The main objectives and purpose of this lesson was to ask pupils to use Adobe After Effects to create a short video clip to advertise the activities week at school. It was to mainly focus on the use of special effects and building up the video in a manner that looked effective creative and appealing.

What went well?

I was able to explain the initial part of the lesson with ease with in my time frame in the plan.

Pupils responded well to selective questioning rather than hands up. The questions were a good process of reviewing previous lessons.

The general working atmosphere was purposeful safe as I used a quiet tone to keep the mood of the lesson quiet. It is interesting how if you are quiet in your delivery the lesson atmosphere is quiet.

The creativity and experimentation was fantastic as they were using the special effects. It was great to see them really explore their creativity and try out different effects and apply them to their videos

I found that when an issue came up again and again I was able to pause what they were doing and address this issue head on.

I found my monitoring and feedback to individual pupils was effective simply by just viewing what was happening on their screens and patrolling around the classroom.

I initially did not show enough detail when demonstrating the various parts of the screen but when i placed an example of it up on the screen it was easier to see what was going on.

What could have been done better?

I really need to work on my timings at the end of the lesson and will be making sure that I have the end of the lesson time noted down and memorized in my head as I thought I had 5 minutes before the end of the lesson but I didn’t.

I found that a few pupils needed to be watched and I was slow to react to them and meet their needs with the harder parts of after effects.

I could have possibly planned my intervention times better as they were a bit ad hoc.

I am still needing to learn names in a better manner.

Use of Data in Independent Schools

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Yesterday I attended a training session on how KES use data in the school to monitor and track pupils’ ability.

When pupils enter the school at year 7 there are up to 100 new pupils and in order to assess what ability level they are. The test is by a Durham company called MidYis http://www.midyisproject.org/ which basically assess pupils’ inelegance and ability in various areas such as English and maths. Apparently the testing is helpful to indicate and show the more able and less able pupils at the top and bottom end of the spectrum. The top students score about 140 points and the bottom students score around 70 points. The problem they find is that the correlation on a graph on what they are achieving and what they should achieve is quite broad as they are at the top end of the spectrum of the ability when you compare against the national averages. KES find it important to compare their results against other Independent schools as they are way above average when you look at national averages. Most of the pupils are strong and capable which makes it hard to distinguish between the two when it comes to the middle of the road cohort. The main purpose of this test not for pupils but to track how certain departments are doing when they take the MidYis in year 7 compared to the MidYis results in year 9. Each testing session costs £500 per year group.

KES find their own in house results more useful when it comes to tracking pupils’ progress in a statistical manner. They use their SIMS system to set targets based on 3 years of previous results and then plotting graphs with what they should be achieving based on what they are achieving. This basically shows how departments are doing and if they are under or over achieving. It is sometimes hard to use it as gospel as exam years change particularly in subjects like English literature.

The main point that is important here is that according to KES they don’t want to let the data and results that are mathematically calculated dictate how well their pupils are doing and they only use the results from the SIMS and exam results as an avenue in to show pupils where they are at and what they could be achieving. It is great to see that that they are trying to steer away from being completely data driven.

From my point of view it is really interesting to see how this statistical data changes between independent schools and maintained schools and I can personally see the difference when teaching in a academically selective school as the pupils are more able and you need to set work at a higher level to stretch and expand their ability. I have seen in comparison to Norton Hill School that the ability is lower and I have had to adjust my teaching to cater for these pupils. This is not a problem or an issue but just something that I have been learning particularly when it comes to differentiation in the classroom.

Year 7 Photoshop lesson 3

By | POT 2, Reflection, Teaching | No Comments

 

Class Year 7

What we did? please see lesson plan.

Our main focus this week was to use the clone stamp tool to clone away a ball from a sports image.

We used two techniques the clone stamp tool and just simple copying the surrounding texture and pasting it over the ball.

We also looked at how to insert text into an image.

What went well?

The delivery at the beginning varied slightly but I was able to show them various tools as a recap that helped re enforce their prior learning

They were on task getting on at a rapid pace. I had to make sure they had completed each section before they moved on

I managed the questioning well and tried to use a series of visual demonstration using my hands.

After a bit of feedback from my mentor I used an acetate and solid colour paper to explain how layers can allow you to edit across a multiple layers to preserve the file.

I was able to get the pupils up the front and play the spot the ball game to be actively involved with reviewing and assessing the pupils work.

The pupils enjoyed searching for their own images on the internet and it was a good motivator to get through the controlled given images.

What could have been done better?

I found that i needed to keep things going fast as i had the pupils up at the front for a bit to long and the demonstration can go in one ear and out the other ear.

I found that depending on the time of day the pupils are more or less responsive so I need to have reaslistic targets for the different classes i teacher at different times of the day.

I feel that sometimes in my behaviour management i try and justify everything i say and reason with the pupils but this does not have the greatest effect.

All in all another good series of lessons. I was pleased with the response with the work that was created.

Attending Year 9 and 10 Parents Evening

By | PGCE, POT 2, Reflection | No Comments

During my POT 2 Placement I was able to attend 2 Parents Evenings.

For the Year 9 one I was there for the whole evening from 4:30 PM until 7:30 PM We had between 5 and 10 minutes the main purpose of this parents evening was as follows.

  • To review their progress from Year 8 to year 9
  • To Review their progress across the topical tests they had and highlight and strengths and areas for improvement
  • To say what targets they could achieve in the next collaborative group project to improve their areas of weakness for certain programs
  • To promote the ICT GCSE Course for the next year as they where choosing their modules.

As we went through each pupil was able to ask questions on areas that they found hard and we where able to praise the pupils that had done well and then target the pupils that needed improvement. It was hard as many of the bright pupils that achieved high scores did not want to carry on with the GCSE as they saw other subjects as more valuable and beneficial. We had to re iterate how valuable ICT is in the modern era but not force them. I liked how my mentor just encouraged them to do what they enjoy.

It was good for mee to see this as I was able to look at the tracked scores that they achieved throughout the year and focus on what pupils found hard so that i could tackle these in my Learning Objectives. This term I will have free rein over them as so it will be a good opportunity to focus on their specific learning neeeds and sett targets to meet them.

For the Year 10s this was mainly to

  • Review their current progress with their GCSE Coursework as many where quite behind. They where given exactly what they needed to prepare for each of these pieces of coursework.

A few year 10s needed to be prompted to get a move on and this had to be done in a firm yet diplomatic way with parents present

For both of these evenings I was able to contribute with a few points and thoughts on what i will be teaching their pupils.

The main difference I say between my Home School and Complimentary school was that parents where on the whole more supportive of their children and work and took a definite interest in what subjects they where doing but mainly the area of achievement as parents where paying at my complimentary they wanted to see the results.

Signed Trevor Medhurst

Please email tgm@kesbath.com for confirmation

Photoshop lesson 2 – Year 7

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Lesson Reflection Document

Class Year 7

What we did?

We were creating an Elvis at the Abbey project with a pop theme to it.

Lesson 2 was all about working and making tweaks to the sky using a gradient tool on Photoshop.

Please look at attached lesson plan

What went well?

It was great to see that the pupils where using their inner creativity to create some really good-looking items of work.

They where able to grasp the points that I needed to re-enforce through questioning

I made sure the chairs where set out as they came in as it really helped the pupils focus and be really quiet for the introduction. I have noticed how when I don’t do this it is slightly more chaotic and hard to get through the introduction well

I was able to introduce AB tutor well to the classes at first I found that they where really excited about the whole concept but if I just did it and asked them to put their hands of their laps it stopped that initial excitement. The AB tutor really helped with the finer details that I had to explain with for example the new layer creation and add to selection tool box.

The time at the end of the lesson was a good time to show of the pupils work and give constructive criticism.

I found I was able to be more confident with the lesson the more I had taught it showing that experience is so valuable to self-development.

I set some good extension tasks of finding and adding in another “Friend of Elvis” to be put in from the Internet.

I used some good classroom discipline to keep them under control when the noise level became too loud.

What could have been done better?

In my earlier lessons I found that my explanation was quite rushed and not as thorough as It could have been this had a repocusion later on as there where so many questions almost too many for me to handle at once. I found in the last lesson that I did when my delivery was clear and concise they where able to really get on with the work with out too much guidance.

I need to keep an eye on pupils that are running behind due the extremely hi ability sometimes the less able can get missed.

I have to make sure I keep the plenary time for assessment of learning and ict skills not just an artistic critique on their work.

Conclusion

All in all I feel it was a good set of lessons that where executed with good pace and clear guidance.

Year 11 GCSE Coursework Lessons

By | Observations, PGCE, POT 2, Reflection, Teaching | No Comments

Working with year 11 Course work

I have been team teaching year 11 coursework lessons that are a completely different approach to normal guided teaching. The first thing is that they are all working away on their own documents and so they are all at different levels this means that you have to initially be familiar with the actual coursework requirements and structure. I have been spending the time reading through the Candidate booklet and familiarizing myself with what exactly the pupils have to do.

The pupils here are KES are doing the AQA syllabus and have to create two tasks

1) Set up a website for the driving school.

2) Set up a system to manage driving lessons and provide a link to it on the website.

So currently as they are on the old spec they are allowed to have a pre made template with headings and guidelines. They then have to do the following to create the project and then write it up in this format.

There is an analysis section that applies to both (10 marks)

Then they have to do a write up on each of these areas below

Design (20 Marks)

Implementation (40 Marks)

Testing (10 Marks)

Self Evaluation (8 Marks)

Report (6 Marks)

Evaluation of others use of ICT (6)

Total (100)

Currently the pupils I have joined are at a stage where they should have completed a preliminary stage of each of these areas some of them are at varying levels and have created a comprehensive report and others are quite far behind for example one pupil has almost finished with a 250 page report and another has still not completed making his website.

They key to helping out in a course work lesson is to be able answer questions that arise swiftly in a ‘get in get out fashion’. The way to be able to offer this assistance is to have a solid understanding of the exam board and the mark scheme so that you know exactly what is required.

I have already been looking through some of their work that they have been handing in at intervals and I have made corrections to the work. This is another way of getting to grips with the mark scheme and what they have to do to achieve the higher grades. This interval hand is a big demand on the teacher but is vital to offer

Here at KES there is a high demand to do well with most pupils aiming at the A-A* grade which means that you have to be really stringent when it comes to the actual mark scheme. This is obviously way above the national average that most state schools would achieve but is a good standard to reach and push to if I was to work in a State School.

Year 9 – Colaborative Group Project *1

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Lesson Reflection Document

Class Year 9s Colaborative Group Project

What we did?

We have started a group project that allows the pupils to come up with an advertising campaign to promote a corn maze or maze maze event. The whole point is that they choose what avenues of advertising they want to use and the programs that can best create these adverts.

So we broke up in to teams of 3-5 and i asked them to find a company name imagining they where the design and advertising team of this event or company.

They then created a document that I had prepared to answer questions such as what types of adverts they were going to use and who in the group was going make this section. I also asked them to think about their audience.

What went well?

I was able to get them split into groups fairly seamlessly this showed good management

I was able to emphasize how each team member needs to have a role to play and be a part of the team working on something constantly. I created the illusion that this was a professional group project but it also encouraged them to stay on task and not be sitting there with nothing to do.

I was able to go around and make sure that each group had an idea of what they were going to do and get some casual formative assessment by talking to the groups.

I was able to get them to email me their advertising campaign plan in order to some feedback to them via email.

I felt by giving them the freedom to do what they want within reason they took more ownership over their work.

The pupils even started making logos and design work on dreamweaver.

I felt i had good pace and kept them on task by setting mini lesson deadlines. I find that 1 hour is slightly longer to teach and the time can be chunked quite nicely

What could have been done better?

Pupils opted to use some of the less professional packages such as Published instead of Photoshop or indesign which meant i had to explain why it was  better to use the other programs.

Some of the boys where slightly un motivated to start with so I will have to find things constantly for them to do and watch them but not let the others suffer.

I could have used questioning a little bit more to tease out the different areas of software that more or less effective rather than just telling them.

Adobe After Effects Lesson 1 – Year 8

By | PGCE, POT 2, Reflection, Teaching | No Comments

Class

Year 8

What we did?

We have been starting an advertising scheme of work using the Adobe After Effects package. We mainly started by looking at a YouTube clip which was the Honda Cog Advert. I then asked them questions on what makes a good advert and what they enjoyed in the advert. I found that if i did the questioning before about what makes a good advert it was a good pre-curser into the actual video followed by the video and then questions on what they enjoyed in that advert that made it a good advert. We then went on and looked at adobe after effects and the mini bath advert project. I had to show them basic features of the After Effects package such as the composition area where I explained how 16:9 was a good native resolution for modern screens. I also talked to them about the Presets tab on the left where you have all the content and media imported. Timeline, transform and text editing was what I showed them next.

What went well?

  • The YouTube video was certainly a hit and I shall be using more and more of these as YouTube is not filtered and the pupils really enjoy it and it is a great way to tease out questions based on live and real examples from current media and advertising.
  • I found that chunking the sections of the deliver most effective as many of the pupils found it hard to remember the complex steps of adobe after effects. I found that when i did do too much I didn’t have enough time to really get them on task quick enough.
  • The managing of questions in this was interesting and I had to make queue system by giving them numbers.
  • I used AB tutor to subtly keep an eye to see if they were on task.
  • I also used AB tutor to display their finished work I also got them to gather around a PC and view their work.
  • I made sure that I gave them clear guidelines as to what to do and what I expected of them before the end of the lesson.
  • I could have got them to save and submit their work to a folder for assessment and comments so I am going to create folders on the shared drive that they can cope and past their finished work to.
  • I need to give more time for a plenary so as to give time for assessment of learning by questioning.
  • I found that demonstrating up the front was a little bit tough to show them the finer more intricate tools effects that where hard to see.
  • Adobe after effects is a hugely complex program that requires great concentration. I found the explanation of key frames quite challenging i think the only way to rectify this specific step would be do a written set of instruction that are very basic.
  • I feel my behavioural management was good in the lesson and i controled the pupils well

What could have been done better?

 

Overall these where good lessons that I thought where effective and produced good work. I believe they learnt a fair bit on how to use adobe after effects but joining the theoretical side of advertising to the technical side was rather tenuous as they could not create something as good as what they saw on the youtube clip.