Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Effective Meetings

Notes from the great discussion in our CPD session today:

Running Effective Meetings
Leading a Learning Community
To be outstanding in the category of leadership and management:
“All leaders, including governors, are highly ambitious and lead by example.” (New Ofsted framework)
Three key ideas
• What do you want to achieve
• Time and planning
• Encourage participation
What do you want to achieve?
• To be effective, decide what you want to achieve, plan for it.
• To be effective, ensure the venue is correct, plan for it.
• To be effective, consider how much time each item will take, plan for it.
Encourage participation
You want people to feel they have had a worthwhile experience. Worthwhile experiences come from everyone having a part to play.
Ways to encourage participation …
Results of group discussion:
• Feedback on paired observations and learning walks
• Share activities that have worked for individuals
• Sharing good practice
• Sharing resources e.g. websites
• Make sure everyone contributes
• Give some ‘quiet time’ or ‘break out’ time to carry out activities and come back
• Share positive feedback
• Try to avoid too much info giving – find other ways but build trust that people will read!
• Try to avoid too much ‘telling what to do’
• Have a feel good factor
• Know what your desired outcome is
• Have some meetings with just one or two agenda items – make them reflective, not action packed
• Try ways of developing collaborative work, collaborative decision making (Fronter forums e.g.)
• Keep focused
• Reflect back what people say to them
• Have group aims
• Make it interactive
Finally – make sure everyone knows the:
• Rationale
• Impact

Sunday, November 27, 2011

personal learning plans

I guess we all, as teachers, try out ideas, find they work, use them for a while and then forget about them. One such idea for me is based on some commercial schemes but I used it to good effect about fifteen years ago, before school VLE/MLE systems were much in vogue, and before many other great bits of software. I'm thinking of trying it again and blending some of the newer ideas in.

It's not earth shattering. It involves designing individual plans for each student with some paired and group work, some individual work, a 'game', a test etc. I usually find about five tasks is good. Obviously it works best with small groups but it can be managed with larger groups if you have your sets of resources clearly labelled and organised so that students can find things and replace them easily (they do this all the time at primary school but we forget this and they lose the skills concerned at secondary if we are not careful). Unlike commercial schemes (which I have nothing against), I like to keep the whole class on one topic or theme so that I can do some class teaching or small group teaching if appropriate. It can be linked to levels/criteria for improvement and so on. I like to start with something which checks prior learning. Lesson starters and plenaries can easily be whole class and can use extended dialogue and assessment for learning techniques.

Here's an example of a task sheet which I am going to use over the next fortnight with my year 11 C/D class.