Recently I had to put together a summary of important details related to the GR12 Maths curriculum in South Africa in relation to a workshop I was preparing. I thought it would useful to preserve a record of the documents I retrieved for this purpose. I also did a MindMap which divided P1 and P2 into two theoretical 3 hour revision sessions, weighted by the mark allocation applied in the final exam.
Link to full GR12 Exam Guidelines Document
Link to CAPS Document for FET Mathematics
Recently I finished reading the book Deep Work by Cal Newport after hearing it referenced in one of my favourite Ted Talks. It deals a lot with the issue of using our time in productive ways and especially limiting our use of technology to things that actually add value to our lives and education. It definitely helped shape an awareness in me, that not every tech tool that seems useful is worthy of my time. Time is our ultimate scare resource and so we would should allocate our time, including our technology usage in a way that is most conducive to us reaching our goals. It’s well worth a read in the context of how our modern lives are being saturated with technology and how we as individuals need to set appropriate boundaries to deal with this.
Link to full MindMap
I have been thinking a lot lately about the fundamentals of education. There is so much written about new innovations or new ideas on the web these days and it’s easy to get overwhelmed as a teacher. It’s also hard to know how to capture the good stuff you see out there, and actually use it to make your the learning environment a more effective and exciting place to be.
A strategy that I am being drawn to more and more is mindmapping excellent pedagogical content I see on the web to retain and process the information. I can then come back to it a later stage and customise it for my context and hopefully add even more useful information to this new resource that informs my ever growing skills as a teacher.
I have a small example below taken from one of my favourite Youtube Talks done by Robert Duke. In it he mentions what he thinks are the fundamental skills of effective teaching. This is something all teachers would benefit from bearing in mind whenever they plan for learning engagements. However it’s easy for this view point to get lost, amongst the business that is the normal school day. However by creating a mindmap you create an efficient visual template, you can use as a base, the next time you do planning for an original learning engagement. Below is the simple example I created from the talk I mentioned above.
The tool that I use most of the time is called MindMup.
Link to Full Mindmap
A while ago, I saw a fantastic Ted Talk on how to give engaging presentations and I decided to make this mindmap to preserve the information in an easy to access format. It’s a great mindmap to glance over before giving a presentation, as it reminds you of a lot of the fundamental stuff you should be bearing in mind, if you want to reach your audience.
Full Page MindMap Link
Ted Talk Link
The beginning of Term 4
The 4th term was reserved for getting ready for final presentations and the presentations themselves. They happened on Monday the 23rd of October and we used about two and a half hours to get all the presentations done. It turned out to be a fun event, with an atmosphere of inquisitiveness and celebration. All in all, for the entire 20% time project, we used around 25 lessons of class time (+-20 hours). Some students used only this class time, however some of the best projects used considerable amounts of the students own free time.
Highlights Video of the whole process – 2nd half dealing with the presentations
Reflections by Students and the Teacher who organised it
Final Debrief after Presentations
Feedback after we had completed
Why it’s useful
All schools need to be thinking constantly about professional development for their entire staff. The Google offerings are extensive, free and have an active community of teachers / educators/ administrators behind them. This is an ideal resource for anyone who wants to get their school moving in the direction of effective professional development. From personal experience I can highly recommend the materials that have been put together. They are all based on current educational research and have been put together with the spirit of fun and inquiry that Google seems to approach all its work with.
I stumbled across this book a while back and was struck by what a nicely collated collection of activities, games and methods it was, especially for a teacher who is trying to make their classroom active as opposed to passive. It’s real value is in it’s simplicity and grouping of activities by topic , it’s a great thing to glance at , to give you a creative spark for your lesson. I managed to create the Mindmap below, listing some of the strategies mentioned in the book.
I recently read a fantastic book that I am going to refer back to as I design my future learning engagements. It was well researched and easy to read. And it does a great job of highlighting how much the structural elements of the brain are always at play when learning is happening.
The 11 brain rules mentioned can be summarized into the following subsections:
If you are involved in learning or education then this book really is a must read!