This has been my mega week of CPD - on every day apart from Tuesday I attended some type of course or INSET. My favourite has to be the RGS Teach Meet on Wednesday evening organised by David Rogers, Jo Debens and the RGS. I was brave and volunteered to lead a short (6 minute) presentation focused on literacy and creative writing in Geography. I have to admit that in the minutes before my hands were starting to shake as there were so many excellent ideas being shared by other teachers. It was the furious scribbling in my notebook that calmed me down! If you are interested in any of the ideas - check out the hashtag #tmrgs or Jo's blog with the attached PowerPoint presentations - https://jodebens.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/tmrgs-presentations-geography-teachmeets-really-are-awesome/
My highlights of the evening were...
1. Jo Debens (@GeoDebs) had some excellent ideas about introducing Shakespeare's language into lessons (DART analysis, comparative text analysis about volcanoes and fact vs fiction) and also how to introduce numeracy (drawing polygons on Google Earth, step challenges and using numbers to tell a story).
2. Liz Pattison (@LizBPattison) had some fab ideas for 6th form students - I find these lessons some of the most difficult to plan due to the pressure of content delivery. She explained how she uses SOLO taxonomy, the 'Pyramid of Dreams', lead learners and highlighted the good work in essays. Some ideas that I am definitely going to use this week!
3. Rupert Littlewood (@mrlittlewoodgeo) talked about building favelas with Year 9 students. I have always taken the more simple approach to this lesson and I really enjoyed some of the ideas that Rupert had. Making students play roles such as building surveyors and accountants makes the task more like real life and involves them in every part of the process. It made me feel brave enough to try it with my trickier Year 9 classes.
My overall highlight though was sharing my own ideas and seeing phones/tablets being held in the air to capture my ideas. It was such a buzz as I sat down and saw the 16 notifications on my Twitter account! For anyone who is thinking about contributing to the GA conference Teach Meet or any other event - DO IT! Sometimes the scary things are the most worthwhile!