The Element by Ken Robinson – Words of Wisdom

the wholesome bowl

“Much of western thought assumes that the mind is separate from the body and that human beings are somehow separate from the rest of nature. This may be why so many people don’t seem to understand that what they put into their bodies affects how it works and how they think and feel. It may be why so many people don’t seem to understand that the quality of their lives is affected by the quality of the natural environment and what they put into it and what they take out.”

The Element by Ken Robinson was definitely an eye opening read!! I will be pushing it onto all of my friends and loved ones (can’t keep that much wisdom to myself).

Along the way I found myself continuously racking my brain in search of my own element, wandering if I had stumbled across it already and missed a life changing…

Ver la entrada original 55 palabras más

Teach ‘Em How to Dougie? No Teach ‘Em How to Think!

Conversations with Dr. Ruth

thinkerThink about it: If you could teach your children (biological kids or students) to think, they could tackle just about anything with success. As an English Language Arts & Literacy teacher, I focused on teaching my students how to analyze, make claims, provide supporting details, and craft their written and spoken arguments based on what the read, heard, viewed, and thought. When students could successfully articulate their views, they were able to see the connection between school work and real life. They developed a life-long skill that they could apply in any situation or subject area.

Just as school work requires specific types of thinking for specific tasks, we use these same types of thinking skills to make day-to-day decisions in the real world. As parents and educators, we have to be intentional in helping our kids develop their thinking skills so that they make sense of the world and…

Ver la entrada original 305 palabras más

Pinning your interests – why Pinterest is my new educational obsession


I like finding things in the Internet but in the past I often emailed myself a link to it or printed the page out now I simply add it to my space on Pinterest.

My boards within Pinterest are organised and make rediscovering my online educational gems much easier.


I have boards for curriculum areas, whole curriculum skills, professional development etc.

It ultimately saves time and jogs my memory when looking for those great ideas once more.

So feel free repin anything that might interest you!

Ver la entrada original

T & L activity of the week – Learning grids

paddington teaching and learning

Learning grid

This strategy is a useful revision activity that can be used in many different ways – to practise skills, make comparative judgements or encourage creative thinking.

       This activity works best when students produce their own learning grid – in each cell they write or draw a issue/skill relevant to the lesson topic;

       In pairs, students roll a dice to determine which cell they will explain;

       They then explain the topic in the cell to their partner and explain how it is related to the previous cell;

       In English, each cell could be a different descriptive writing technique and students roll the dice and then write a sentence using that technique;

       In Maths, this activity could be used to simplify algebraic expressions by removing brackets. In pairs, students use the dice to identify two cells and then work together to expand…

Ver la entrada original 4 palabras más

Mr Michael Gove – let me introduce Sir Ken Robinson.

stephen perse foundation

Tin hats on. Michael Gove has stirred up another hornet’s nest, this time about school holidays (too long) and the school day (too short). Gove attracted the epithet “Gove the Holiday Snatcher” in one of the red tops – a topical reference to Lady Thatcher who, as the Education Secretary, assumed the role of pantomime villain when she was dubbed the ‘Milk Snatcher’ for ending school milk for children.

It is difficult to know how to interpret Gove’s most recent pronouncement. He did not so much open a debate as unleash a cacophony of noise. Gove’s now trade mark tendency of making grandiloquent statements with little reference to an evidence base underpinned his declaration on school holidays. Twitter, where embedded teachers engage in virtual guerrilla warfare against Gove, was on red alert as outraged educators hissed and booed Gove’s latest hobby horse. An inconvenient truth quickly emerged. A document, collated…

Ver la entrada original 481 palabras más

April INSET – Deep learning and ‘Wow’ factor.

paddington teaching and learning

deep learning pic

Some really thought-provoking slides from Peter and Harrison’s session on shifting away from ‘pace of activities’ to ‘pace and depth of learning’. Plus a full set of ideas and resources for adding ‘Wow’ factor to lessons.

Deep Learning INSET April 2013



The Eight Motivation Triggers




Ver la entrada original

Why High Content?

Alexander Technique

There was a pivotal moment when I decided I needed to write about Alexander Technique.

When I was still a trainee learning to teach Alexander Technique, (1982) I attended a conference that brought together various lineages of A.T. teachers in Ojai, CA. At the end of the conference, the group got together and asked the attendees if anyone had any questions. I did, and I had the nerve to ask my question too. I asked the whole group of teachers, “What are the principles that everyone who is teaching here has in common?”

Probably in an effort to avoid conflict among what was regarded at the time to be different styles of presenting Alexander Technique, all of the teachers dodged the question completely. Essentially they mumbled something about how important the principles were and pretended the question had been answered. For me it hadn’t, because they didn’t spell anything out…

Ver la entrada original 244 palabras más

T & L activity of the week – Tarsia jigsaw puzzles

paddington teaching and learning

Tarsia Jigsaw

Tarsia is a nifty piece of software that creates complex jigsaw style puzzles. This is a engaging way of introducing challenge and independent learning

       To download the software go to

       Input the information and the software will create a puzzle automatically for you;

       In pairs or groups, students then match up the sides of the triangles so that they complement or correspond with each other in some way. This could be matching keywords to definitions and examples;

       This activity can be made less challenging through providing a simpler shape (several shape options are available);

       Challenge can be introduced through using images instead of descriptions and removing triangles and asking students to identify the solution.

Ver la entrada original

21st Century School


In many of our documents we are encouraged as teachers and leaders to be lifelong learners. It is known as the 21st century school model. This term is one that is worth debating but that is for another week and another blog.

Does it really surprise any education professionals to read how online technology has not helped people to become lifelong learners? And how the childhood experiences about learning and education are the most significant predictors for the future interest in learning?

“Learning in later life appears to be primarily linked to positive attitudes to education that are usually formed during compulsory schooling. This means that young people who experienced early educational failure or felt alienated by the school system are very unlikely to participate in education as adults regardless of the opportunities available or potential benefits.” says Dr. Patrick White.

Don’t get me wrong. I love (learning) technology, and…

Ver la entrada original 253 palabras más

Beware Excessive Conceptualization

Thomas Cotterill

Conceptualization is a skill. The process involves working out an idea or explanation and formulating it mentally. Everyone can and does conceptualize, but like all skills, some people are better at it than others. Speed matters for many of those who consider themselves intelligent. They demonstrate their erudition and big IQ numbers – and impress others – with their ability to come up with swift conceptualizations of just about anything that crosses their path. Or so they think. In reality, we are all familiar with the person who can snap out ideas and explanations that sound plausible at the time, but which soon prove incomplete, inadequate, or just plain wrong.

Ver la entrada original 412 palabras más

T & L activity of the week – Challenge and Defend

paddington teaching and learning

This is a useful student-led questioning strategy that encourages high level thinking skills.

  • Students work in groups of 4;
  • A question is posed and each student writes a response on a post it note;
  • With their partner, they need to challenge the other pair’s ideas by questioning it and  also defend their idea to the other pair;
  • Swap the post it notes so each student now has an answer that is not their own one;
  • With their partner, repeat the challenge/ defend process (the idea is that it should be harder as students are not defending their own idea so it should require more thought).

Ver la entrada original

Teaching Business Students to Think Effectively

Management INK

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Dr. Gerald F. Smith, Professor of Management at the University of Northern Iowa College of Business Administration. His article, “Assessing Business Student Thinking Skills,” is forthcoming in the Journal of Management Education and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

UntitledMy paper tries to provide a substantive account of thinking skills that can inform their effective teaching.  Although it was written for and published in a management teaching journal, most of the paper’s contents apply to higher education in general.

In writing this paper, I was motivated by dissatisfaction with the very superficial way in which higher order thinking has been conceptualized and taught, in business schools and elsewhere.  The fact that very few students who graduate from college can think effectively is, in my opinion, explained in large part by our simplistic accounts of “critical thinking” and consequently ineffectual efforts…

Ver la entrada original 97 palabras más

Cash in on Learning: The Common Core: A Launching Pad for Thinking

Free Spirit Publishing Blog

by Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., Free Spirit Publishing author of Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century

FSP Author Richard Cash © by Free Spirit PublishingLast month I blogged about how the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will soon be driving the curriculum and instructional practices of our nation. Embedded within the CCSS is academic language (AL) that signifies the levels of complex thinking for which all students must prove proficiency. In this blog I will share with you ways to engage learners in your classroom through the essential thinking skills within the CCSS.

With the diversity of problems and issues that will confront our increasingly complex world, there will be a greater need for leaders to collaborate and cooperate to find workable solutions. Additionally, I’ve noticed a growing issue of “intellectual laziness” sometimes due to the advances of technology and standardization of assessments. An example of intellectual laziness is the student who gets frustrated…

Ver la entrada original 1.009 palabras más

Enseñar a pensar

Aunque suene pretencioso, eso es exactamente a lo que me dedico últimamente. Intentaré reflejar en este blog cómo lo hago, por si puede resultar útil a alguien. Vaya por delante que yo lo estoy aprendiendo de una tradición ya consolidada en el mundo educativo anglosajón de metodologías y propuestas didácticas de éxito. De éxito escolar, sobre todo.Image

Como soy novata en esto de escribir un blog, os pido paciencia. Y espero que los defectos formales que podáis encontrar no os desanimen si el contenido os gusta y os sirve.