Top Ten Reasons why Seneca Learning is awesome.

With lots of teachers, leaders and schools getting used to remote learning, Seneca Learning has certainly helped me.

I have known about Seneca for about 2 years. I was lucky enough to be asked to write some of their KS3 content and promoted its use among colleagues, striving to become a Seneca Learning Pioneer school.

See my blogs and classroom based inquiry here:

Seneca Learning: The Start of the Journey…..

Seneca Learning – classroom based Inquiry: The Questionnaire

During these past few weeks and months as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit schools, Seneca has really stepped up.

These are my top 10 reasons why Seneca Learning is a great remote learning tool to have in the back pocket.

  1. Students ( and teachers) really find it refreshing. So far, very few students have got moaned when I mention Seneca Learning. The online resource really has something for everyone. To add to the mix, they listen.
  1. Teachers and students are constantly suggesting ideas to Seneca, which are quickly implemented. The customer service in my experience is second to none.
  1. It doesn’t matter if you have a class of higher prior attainers or lower prior attainers, they can all access it. Admittedly the lower prior attainers struggle the most, but the programme allows them to go through it at a slower pace and of course use other supportive resources at the same time.
  1. The resource can be access on a range of devices and the courses / units can are short, sharp and to the point. The fact students can repeat and redo to improve is excellent. Personally, I enjoy using it more and more as a tool for CPD on my own mobile phone.
  1. CPD – the teachers CPD is a quality resource and is evidence informed from some of the great teachers and leaders on twitter and beyond. They include:

  1. Student love the competition between each other in their classes and year groups. This acts as great motivation for learning and revision
  1. Students really get on board with the nation and international revision tournaments. My students last year racked up 1000s of extra hours of revision across all subjects – this can only be a benefit in their preparation for their GCSEs.
  1. Progress overviews – one the latest and much needed additions to Seneca are the progress exports, you are able to download and analyse data straight away to see how your students are getting on and so plan for intervention.
  1. The main attraction for me is that it uses cognitive sciences to evolve its platform. The evidence based research is second to none. This is one of its biggest selling points.

Our Neuroscience Experts

We work with top neuroscientists to continuously improve our platform. Our research has found that students learn 2x faster using Seneca compared to a revision guide. This groundbreaking research involved 1,120 students and was published in the peer reviewed academic journal IMPACT. We also provide free CPD courses for teachers to help apply these practices in the classroom.

  1. Its free. Seneca wants to remain free. The cynics among you may point out that there is a premium package. I personally have not explored the paid for premium sections, however I know students that have paid for the extras and they have been generally pleased.

How do you find Seneca Learning?

let me know

Mid Topic Retrieval Quizzes to aid metacognition

Retrieval Practice is a strategy I wish I embedded into my practice very early on in my teaching career. It has only been in last year or so, that I have embraced the technique and tried to implant it into my everday teaching.

I first read about retrieval from IMPACT, a journal I receive as a founding member of the Chartered College of Teaching. [Interim Issue, May 2017 & Issue 1, September 2017] . I have written further blogs on retrieval practice.

 I really caught the bug after I saw so many teachers sharing retrieval grids on twitter based on the design by Kate Jones   – see her blog about this here. 

I created my own grids and you can find examples here of ones I have upload to TES and free to download here. I even got students to create their own to self quiz each other – the template can be downloaded here.

The grids do take  time to create and it was a lightbulb moment when I saw Adam Boxer was collating what he called ‘retrieval roulette’ activities. If you have not come across this as yet, I fully recommend that you take 5 minutes to explore this page on his blog. 

It has become ingrained for students to enter my lab, turn to the back of their books (BoB) and complete theebbinghaus-diagram 6 questions for a low stakes assessment. If they do not know the answer – I now get them to write the question out as well. This example of routine self quizzing is a win win starter and is linked to the “Forgetting Curve” which was first described by Hermann Ebbinghaus. Ebbinghaus explains that information is lost over time and in order to “recall” this information we must first “retrieve” it. He also suggested that if you have forgotten something and then retrieve it, it will stay in your memory for longer. I use this idea, and idea of retrieval practice which is explained very well with downloadable materials by . Why Retrieval works by   is also a recommended  read.

Step forward a few months. Our CPD across my school for this academic year is based on applying ‘metacognition.’ While I reflected about how I use and can better embed metacognition in my own lessons, the more I saw the links between retrieval and metacognition. I did not want students just to experience teacher led retrieval but know which strategies work best for them and support their learning. Karpicke (2009) shows that students do not retrieve often or early enough, so I wanted to make sure students were self-reflecting at every learning opportunity.

I have used plickers in the past to assess progress (  Using Plickers to assess for Mastery ) however for this I wanted something more substantial in their books. I wanted it to cover retrieval, metacognition and teacher feedback to aid my workload and to inform my future planning. I decided upon a mini quiz half way through a topic and trailed it with a year 9 triple science class. The topic in question was from AQA Physics  “the Particle Model of Matter.” I created a 20 question quiz that I uploaded to TES for you to download. If I was lazy I could that used the questions I use at the start of lessons however I wanted fresh questions. We then self marked these questions and I allowed time for student reflection.

What has gone well?

Where are my knowledge gaps?

Why have I got knowledge gaps?

Am I able any strategies I have used to content I have remember to content I don’t remember?

How else am I able to learn?

This ticked the boxes in my own 3 step success criteria:

Retrieval Practice

1)      Students had a ‘surprise’ quiz with no access to books

2)      Questions were just from the topic we were studying some of which had been taught by a student teacher. (5 from Kinetic Theory, Specific Latent Heat, Specific Heat Capacity and Density)

3)      Questions were self assessed

4)      I decided to record the score when I gave written feedback

Metacognition

5)      Chance to reflect on what is going well so far in the unit of work

6)      Identify knowledge gaps

7)      Link knowledge with their topic checklists. See how I use checklists with my classes here.

8)      Give the students chance to reflect on how they have learnt

9)      Aid reflection on how to transfer useful skills and strategies

Assessment

10)   I have printed this out on yellow paper (school policy)  so they are the building blocks of any written feedback I give to students.

The feedback I have written as been quick and to the point so will hopefully allow for more learning. The weaker areas of the topics will be explored in more detail in future lessons as retrieval based starters such as these 20 starter activities to stretch & challenge students

I gave out to students as a surprise ‘test’ or ‘quiz’ as I called it as I thought it would really see the impact of retrieval. I have not told students yet, but I plan to issue the same quiz out again after term to see the effects. (More on this later). I may also complete further mid topic retrieval quizzes after I have instructed students to complete various topics on Seneca Learning to see if that makes a difference as well. There are lots of different pathways where this could go, I am sure I will blog the results in the future.

retreival mid termretrieval practice mid term

Karpicke, J.D (2009) Metacognition Control and Strategy Selection: Deciding to Practice Retrieval During Learning. Journal of experimental Psychology. 138(4)469-486.

Follow me on Twitter for future updates:

Promoting science in primary to secondary transition

A little over a year ago my secondary school signed a partnership with all local primary feeders. A charter was signed [this was not to become a MAT] but with the objective:

Our joint vision is to provide the best possible and most rewarding education for all children and young people in the collaboration as they progress through our schools. This will improve their life chances by delivering improved results (academic and non-academic), offer broader horizons to all and enable them to make sustainable life choices.

Schools will maintain their individual ethos, identity, vision and values as a commitment to meeting the diverse needs of our children and young people and their families.

This charter underpins the working practices of each and every member of our schools. It is not intended to be prescriptive of individual practice in our schools.

This has led joint INSETs and meetings. I have been working closely with our primary science colleagues with the overall aim of improving student outcomes at both primary and secondary by collaboration.

At secondary level, science is always the ‘unofficial’ core subject and English and Maths always seem to take priority. The importance of science across the curriculum is often undervalued. Students know they need ‘English and Maths’ to get into college and post-16 ventures however science always seems to play second nay third fiddle.

Many primary schools have devalued science as well, mainly due a lack of specialist teachers and no science Y6 ‘SATS’ exam only teacher assessment. Some primary schools have reportedly been quoted in saying they do not do any science in Y6 as SATS is their main priority – and students are often coached through the papers . This means students studying in year 7 have large gaps and ‘target grades’ are over inflated and it is of course secondary schools that have to pick up the flack here.

So over the past year this is what I have been involved with in terms of a primary and secondary partnership:

Opening communication between all primary lead science teachers. After this it was important to agree on a shared vision and identify areas of development.

Leading workshops on KS1 to KS4 science: Primary colleagues came to our science department. Prior communication highlight ‘investigations’ as area that could be improved. I went through each unit that just be taught at KS1 and then how it is built upon to GCSE. Each primary unit was discussed in more detail and ideas were shared between colleagues on what ‘SC1 / How Science Works / Thinking Scientifically’ investigations could be completed.

A major restriction for science in our feeders was not just lack of specialism and time (the science lead teachers do not have a TLR for the role, so they are not paid nor do they have allotted time) but also lack of equipment available to them. It was agreed that we would share as much equipment as possible and in future INSETs and Twilights, secondary colleagues would train primary colleagues in how to use them.

Future action points which will be prioritised over 2018-2019

Students working together – get more secondary students working in the primaries, and primary science students working together from different schools.

Standardisation testing – develop an assessment for Y6 to post SATs but marked by secondary. This is planned to be an interactive test using equipment IE putting 50cm3 of water in a small beaker and large and asking which has more water or showing a ruler which is larger 20mm or 4 cm.

Issues and problems encountered

All of this is difficult as there is no extra time for this and so requires the lead science teachers from the other schools to attend after school meetings – this proves problematic.

Quality assurance once projects have been embedded is hard – with no time for sharing and CPD. Many of the joint twilight meetings are not subject specific
I will be writing more about this journey as and when.

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Embedding Twitter in Learning – Celeb Tweets

Over the past couple of years I have seen plenty of examples of how to embed twitter into learning tasks and activities for students- much of this boils around the idea of an exit ticket or plenary. I try and reduce the amount of paper given out so have never been that keen on this. Great Resource templates can be found on TES by:

I used this template to create a resource that can be used to assess knowledge and in this case research. I asked students to research Marie Curie as part of the radioactivity unit from the GCSE AQA Physics spec. I then used the pre-made template and hints to allow the students to express some originality (which is difficult in Science at times) to think about what Marie Curie would have tweeted at certain times in her life.

twitter

Students reflected very positively to the activity even though very few of the students (Y9) has used or seen twitter.

The reaction was also very good on Twitter with many colleagues from all over the world commenting from a variety of subjects with lots of suggested ideas of how they plan to use it.

The template can be downloaded from TES for FREE using this link

Examples:

English: What would Lenny tweet to George in various points in Of Mice and Men

History: What would Henry 8 tweet to each of his wives?

MFL: Translate and Tweet

Art: How would (insert artist) tweet to explain his work

Please tweet me your ideas and comment to add yours

 

T&L Ideas Shared at S4S5, Science INSET day

As part of the programme of activities for colleagues attending S4S5 day in science,  we wanted to run a competition. Thank you for all organisations that donated a prize or two and thank you to all the colleagues that took part.

The competition designed by involved colleagues networking and talking to 5 different teachers from 5 different schools to collect and write down 5 teaching and learning ideas on a form. These forms were then put into a tombola and drawn during the closing keynote speeches and various prizes given out. Earlier in the day I ran a discussion on what we are doing in our departments for KS3 Science.

Below is an overview of the T&L ideas that colleagues suggested (I s4s1have attempted to order them):

Marking & Homework

  • Use homework booklets
  • Use a 1-20 marking grid template
  • Use a whole school HW booklet (1 subject = month so each subject would have about 3 a year)
  • Mark with code letters – No comments
  • Ready made codes – use highlighters
  • Use red, amber + green trays for students to put HW in for easy AFL
  • Use self and peer assessed HWs

Assessment and Revision

  • Use post it notes to write exam questions on – students have a snowball fight to answer
  • Put exam questions around room – students have 5 minutes per double page spread
  • Separate end of topic questions in PLC sections so students can identify strengths and weaknesses. Teacher can track intervention.
  • Use invisible key words
  • Use Socrative [app]
  • Prepared booklets for topics
  • Intervention groups to work with LSA/TA
  • Use mock data & compare to AQA data & then make up grade boundaries
  • Start “GCSE” from Y7
  • Levels Vs Words
  • Use A3 revision sheets then students add to it in small groups

Questioning

  • Have a question box for students to use to pose any science based questions. These can be used as a plenary.
  • Use ‘devise’ questions with triple scientists
  • “Virtual whiteboard” for recall
  • Students develop own questions for topics (Quiz, Quiz, Trade)
  • Here is the question what is the answer
  • Create higher order questions
  • Colour code lolly sticks for experiment extension – green state control variable and red evaluate etc.
  • Ignore the experts

Practical

  • Use lab books
  • Use food to model EG egg cell pizzas
  • Using jellyfish in acids and alkalis lesson
  • Olive oil condom
  • Reuben’s Tube
  • Use datalogger for momentum
  • Use a Frisbee when teaching momentum
  • STEM robots
  • Rainbow Fizz experiment
  • Cookie Mining (Quarrying)
  • Use Ipads to take pictures of learning moments for books
  • Different practicals in KS3 to GCSE
  • Use playdoh to create blood
  • Soap molecule bubbles – hydrophilic and hydrophobic

How Science Works

  • Plot straight to graphs and ignore tables
  • Move from describe to explain a graph
  • Look, cover, write & check equations
  • Students create own question from graphs using given command words to learn the difference between them

All other Teaching and Learning

  • Use I.D.E.A.L as plenary (Identify, Describe, Explain, Analyse/Apply, Link)
  • Kung Fu circuit symbols and Tai Chi graphs (Capra Physics)
  • Use Wordament [app] as a starter
  • Use Hexagon picture link to develop and consolidate ideas
  • Use masses in a box for a counterweight
  • Visual Imagery puzzles for engaging starters
  • Use specialist teachers from Year 7
  • Take part in I’m a Scientist Get Me Out of Here
  • Repetition to help retain
  • Use of virtual whiteboards
  • Use of Images as starters
  • STEM club to run over a half term instead of 1 a week
  • Space exploration [apps]
  • Get STEM contacts
  • Using cancer to help teach cell division
  • Using Doddle
  • Use Plickers [app] for instant feedback
  • Use Bristol/Bath university out reach (spectroscopy in a suitcase)
  • Mindfulness
  • Twitter – expert groups for lower sets
  • Don’t use textbooks

 

KS3 Science – what are you doing?

As leader of achievement for all KS3 at my school and a county science network the above question interests me a lot.

For the last couple of months I have been planning on organising a county INSET day for 150 science colleagues across the county and more. I may blog more about this in the future especially what went well and what could be improved.

As local middle schools attended it was decided to run a KS3 workshop while the GCSE exam boards were presenting to KS4 colleagues. I decided to lead the workshop to put use of the training I have had recently  from STEM learning network to become a science CPD lead facilitator.

I knew I would have around 30 to 35 colleagues from across middle and secondary schools that had chosen to attend my workshop session. I decided to run it using a jigsaw type activity with each table group discussing the 5 questions I posed and then each table group labelling themselves A to E. After all the questions were discussed I then got all the As together to discuss what was deliberated in the original table groups. This was written on A3 sheets which I collected in.

Here is a brief overview of the topics and some of points raised and a link to other teaching and learning ideas shared on the day

Reporting

  • Mix of 1-9 and statements- however these are not used as much
  • Some have present, predicted and potential levels
  • Lots of schools have used conversation charts from levels, A-G grades to 1-9 grades
  • One schools that uses present grades also use + & – to indicate above and below expectation

Intervention

  • Don’t do a lot of a intervention at KS3 bar the usual seating plans in the science classroom
  • One school runs a drop in clinic – should this be enforced for students who are not on track from their latest reports?
  • Most schools focus their revision on KS4 and/or literacy and numeracy

Attainment & Assessment

  • Multiply choice marking with tracing paper
  • Mastery statements are used by some schools as is levels – Levels Vs Words
  • Levels (1-9) are counterintuitive
  • –          What does a 1/1+ mean in science? Is it ideal to inform of this?
  • Students being told one thing at KS2, this is different at KS3 and then changes at KS4

Marking and Feedback

  •  Don’t mark give feedback
  • Write a note of feedback notes
  • 1-20 codes in front of books and refer to these during marking

SoL feeding into GCSE

  • Make KS3 GCSE based
  • Use different practicals from the required practicals to avoid repetition
  • Use specialist teachers from Y7
  • Use of Kerboodle and Google +
  • Students to have 3 HW booklets that are project based per year. One per week for each subject in school. Each booklet takes 1 week to complete. Students are able to improve on completion and use google forms to self mark

The powerpoint I used during the lesson can be found and downloaded for free here

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Once posted to twitter Kristy Turner pointed me in the direction of her blog on the same theme.

You can follow Kristy on twitter here .

Interactive Foldable Periodic Table

I have been trying to create this resource for about 3 months – however all my other attempts were over complicated. Sometimes simple is better and more effective. At the time of writing I have not got much use of this, as I have already completed my periodic table topics however I think I will dig it out for revision etc.

The periodic is simple to use and put together the only downside is that the periodic table should replace the periodic tables given out in chemistry lessons mainly  due to the fact it is difficult to read the elements (the table has been modified from http://www.sci-borg.co.uk/chemistry-2.html)/ Students could still colour in selected groups/patterns/ions depending on the age group and need.

Suggested ways teachers can use  the table is that they add questions to the ‘flaps’ and students reply on the ‘base’ or the other way round. Students can also fill the spaces with facts related to the periodic table.

Some questions which could be used:

  • What do we call the elements of group 1/7/0?
  • Describe the reactivity in group 1/7/0?
  • Explain what group 1/7 have in common?
  • What are these metals called?
  • what are the properties of the transition metals/metals/non-metals?
  • What type of bonding……..?
  • The melting point…….
  • Density…………

The resource can be downloaded on my TES site – TRJ.

Enjoy the learning and teaching.

Recording the new GCSE Science required practical investigations.

Since the introduction of the new science GCSE specification the idea of scraping the ISA has interested me. The ISA (Individual Skills Assignment) from the AQA exam board, changed in recent years from one exam to two and so increased the amount of time that teachers spent on the preparation for it. I tried to do at least two ISAs for each science if I could, for each ISA lets say 6 hours (minimum) was spent on it – with 3 sciences, and 6 ISAs this would be a minimum of around 36 hours spent on the controlled assessment. We could know use that time to fill the gaps to enable more to progress. The difference between a grade boundary?

To replace this the system has introduced ‘required practical’s’ after much debate (and I could be wrong here) these are practical’s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics that the exam board could test students on in the exams HOWEVER there will be no direct checking from AQA that the practical’s have been taught but THEY DO need to be recorded. I believe (and this is just my guess) these would be more method based questions, analysis of secondary data and extended answer questions. The practical’s are not new, in fact I have taught them all  during the course of previous specifications nonetheless we now put more emphasis on them.

The question is how much extra work to teachers need to do and WHY? as Sinek claims there is no point in doing something if there is no ‘why’. The why is of course for the students benefit in reminding them of the practical’s closer to the exam, so do you..

  • just carry on as normal – just record in a markbook or spreadsheet
  • create a more formal document with the AT skills
  • create a working required practical booklet
  • get students to write practical’s up
  • ignore advice and wait until we know more.

My current plan of action is to get students to write up some of the practical’s and keeping them in a folder along with other assessments, checking their understanding of their method and mathematics.

I did write an AT skills booklet for each science for use within my  department however they remain unused and unwanted. If other teachers/departments can make use of them, please do so. They can be found on my TES page on a free download.

 

Top 10 pressure demos and videos for the new GCSE

 

 

Top 10 pressure demos and videos for the new GCSE

As I have started to teach the new AQA GCSE (2018) specification I thought I would share some of the demonstrations I have used to help explain the topics. As a non-specialist physics teacher, I felt the teacher specification could have explained what the students need to cover in more detai. I broke the spec down into various lessons. This series of lessons were taught with top set Y9 triple science, due to this reason I decided to use the true gas law names, these were not made explicit in the spec only the relationships. Some of the following may not be exactly true to the gas law however I believe they act as good models.

1)      What is pressure? Recap from KS3 (flipped learning/ H/W to watch this video), P=F/A. Modelling what is happening when we blow a balloon up?

2)      Enquiry into increasing depth, increasing pressure. Modelled with a displacement can with various holes in the side. Focussing on weight not density. Looking at dams and submarines and how they cope with intense pressure. Converting degrees Celsius to Kelvin.

3)      Summarising the two lessons above, embedding the idea of particles, energy, collisions and particles.  Video – Physics of diving

4)      Gay-Lussacs Pressure Law – Demos – candle on a plate of water, Egg in bottle, Boiling water with Ice, crushing can and give students data to graph and model

5)      Charles Law –Demos – putting balloon in ice and hot water , dented ping pong ball in hot water (can be done with a plastic water bottle as well)  model and then graph

6)      Boyles Law – demos – marshmallow in syringe or vacuum pump, make a Cartesian diver, balloon/lungs model model and graph

 

 

7)      Make sure graphs are correct with relationships clear. Get all students to explain what is happening to particles in each of the three gas laws, with diagrams. Work on the pV = constant. I will upload a #foldable I have created to support this.

8)      Use online assessment – plickers/quick-key/kahoot to assess learners and address any misconceptions.

This goes into far more depth than specification allows but should stretch and challenge triple scientists. I am also aware, pressure also appears in another area of the specification (forces) other than the particle model of matter. This section deals with the harder equations and understanding of atmospheric pressure and fluid pressure.

How have others approached this?

See my TES resources related to this here

Teaching genetic variation, reproduction & cloning – my approach!

Students tend to  favour biology in preference to chemistry and physics. When asked why? Common responses from students claim it is because they can relate to it more or that it is easier. I completely disagree with the latter, and students often can feel smug after a biology paper, and after it has been marked feel dejected. A biology paper can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is mainly due how much of the biology is theory based and requires the student to make point after point, often in a logical order whereas physics and chemistry questions are often black and white so you either know it or don’t. I tend to find as biology questions required more extended responses students tend to waffle and get confused, and miss the key marking criteria.

After having taught the AQA biology spec on DNA, genes, variation and cloning a number of times over the past 7 years – it has become clear it is one of the most wordy biology units and students often get confused between the topics inside it, such as the different types of cloning and even getting genetic engineering confused with cloning.

After watching ‘Jurassic World’ It became clear that the ‘Jurassic’ series would become a great hook to get students not only thinking about the content but also to get them interested and engaged with the Science. From Mr DNA to great genetic variation examples – the films could be used as a great educational tool.

The resource I made is free to download on TES however it needs adding to/altering and is a work in progress nonetheless thsuccesscrite foundations are there and it supports many lessons.

The idea of the resource is that it can support the usual practical experiments linked to this unit of work such as extracting DNA from fruit/onions, but it is all under the umbrella that they are to work for In-Gen in designing a new ‘Jurassic World’ and they must selectively breed raptors for behaviour traits, clone popular dinosaurs and know the pros and cons of this as well creating a  genetically engineered new I-Rex and describe the characteristics of each organisms and why they have chosen them.

I have used this with my bottom set AEN set, and they enjoyed the variation (no pun intended) within it. Students even wanted to discuss more and watch talks by Dr Jack Horner (they did so well we even watched Jurassic Park – and noted down every time a keyword/concept was mentioned)

 

irex

Feel free to adapt, improve and share.

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/jurassic-land-genetics-genes-dna-breeding-reproduction-cloning-engineering-gm-variation-11285458

Hexagon and Monthly Revision Strategies

The ideas for two recent strategies that I used to help my students revise are:

Monthly revision (based on an idea originally shared by @Just_Maths ).

Hexagons (based on an idea originally shared by @Jivespin)

Monthly revision

My students do not review their class learning as often as they should.

One way to help them revisit their learning, improve their memory and develop their confidence is through the use of the monthly revision resource.

The idea for a Science of creating a science version of the monthly resource made by @Just_Maths came about in a chat between myself and @aegilopoides , who then went on to make the template and Science calendar for her exam board. Since my students reluctantly revise, my aim was to help them revisit key concepts including the annotation of graphs and images covered during lessons. An example of the one for October is shown in the image below:

buk1

Following the model set by @Just_Maths means that each month’s answers are shared the following month.

Update: 13.2.17 – from the main author

) –  I have since added 3 AQA old Spec monthly revision resources to my TES account – TRJ. Download for free here:

2017 Core Science AQA Revision Material

2017 Additional Science AQA Revision Material

2017 Triple Science AQA Revision Material

Visual Hexagons

I have always loved this idea by @Jivespin since it helps it provides a visual hook for students to engage with. I also had a chat with @LesleyMunro4 who kindly outlined how she uses it within her own lessons.

My students find the 6 mark Science GCSE exam questions a real challenge to understand and then answer. Typically they would score a maximum of two marks. I used this resource to help my students use visual clues to deconstruct what the exam question is asking them, then use the information provided by each image to consider what they would need to include within a six mark question.

First the students use blue or black pen to work independently and note down what each image shows.

buk2

Then they discuss their ideas in a pair and add additional points to each image using green pen.

buk3

Lastly the students can explain how adjoining images are linked to each other.

buk4

When I tried this for the first time with my present GCSE group, I skipped steps 2 and 3 so that they could focus upon gaining confidence in what the images represented. I therefore allowed them to identify what each image showed, note their ideas using blue / black pen before reviewing each image as a whole class so that they can self-assess using green pen. The image below shows how the information was shared with the class.

buknew.jpg

My students struggled with this resource, the first time that they did it.

Below are examples of one student’s work with their improved answer:

buk5

buk6

So in future, I will provide some support by sharing a list of 10 sentences which may or may not relate to images being shown. Students have to eliminate the irrelevant sentences and then match the remaining seven before attempting to sequence them in a logical order in order to gain full marks.

Bukky Yusuf

Secondary Science teacher, leader, consultant.

More ideas and uses for the ‘hexagons’ can be found on the brilliant blog by Pete Sanderson – who not only has a fantastic blog but is a must follow on twitter

If you have a resource Idea or would like to contribute to this blog to share science ideas and resources please contact @TJohns85

 

The Idea…..

Hello.

Quite often I come across brilliant ideas, resources and T&L strategies that I can use in my science lab and day to day teaching. Most evenings on twitter I come across so many, I can not read them all and I email them to my school email and tell myself to read the link when I have more time….that time as every teacher knows is precious and quite often I never get around to it. I imagine other teachers are in the same boat. This will act as a store of resources and ideas for everyone to use as quick, valuable, personalised CPD.

I wanted to create this Blog, in order to collect the best ideas  from the best practitioners across the globe. If you are reading this please  and have want to contribute please get in contact with me via twitter @TJohns85.