Shopping went better than the marathon!

16 04 2008

Just got back from London last night and am still trying to get over the marathon (thats psychologically rather than sore legswise).  I was bitterly disappointed to only run 4.32.17 when I had been going for sub 4.10 but you will have to read my running blog to learnn more (be warned – it’s a lengthly post!).  In it I probably beat myself up about it quite a bit, I would say I have stopped doing that to myself so severely about teaching but definately not in terms of running.

I did take some work with me and despite meeting two fellow runners on the train on the way down on Friday I started to fly through writing my presentation for the HT conference.  It was really flowing and I am sure that it is because like the presentations I have done on Malawi I know what I am talking about and it was easy to put in the structure.  Unfortunately waves of sickness suddenly came on and I was forced to stop for a couple of hours.  Instead of going back to it later I spent the time doing some reading of AIFL stuff, which I found really interesting and took a lot of notes on, and reading gossipy mags that Debs brought on the train.  By the time we finally ate dinner at 9pm that night after being on the bus, train and underground all day I had motion sickness and the whole restaurant was moving!

I made up for the lack of a good time in the marathon by visits to the amazing Imperial War Museum (It would be amazing to be able to take your class there during a WW2 topic) and the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum.  Then there was the shopping where I did walk a lot of miles (on Monday and Tuesday) which actually helped my legs with their recovery, don’t get me wrong though they are still not right and won’t be for a while and I was a fine sight going down stairs sideways (believe me if I could have gone down backwards I would have but I thought was going to look just a bit too odd!).

Some things I picked up or was reminded of from my reading (‘Asking Better Questions’ by Ian Smith) were:

  • Ask the pupils to identify ‘fat and thin’ questions
  • Don’t give the question – give the answer and ask why it’s correct ie Why can 7/9 not be simplified?
  • Turn the question into a true or false statement and ask why its true or false
  • Ask big questions ie philisophical
  • Ask for 5 ideas – it stretches those that need it
  • If someone says they do not know ask “What would you say if you did know?”
  • Get an answer and gather others, then go back to the first pupil and ask ‘which answer do you like best?”

I have not quite finished it, the last section is the most interesting.  It is titled ‘How to devise Challenging Activities’ and has some good ideas in it.  I will post them when I have finished it.




One response

16 04 2008

I think those questions are really great – and such a simple yet effective concept. Its easy to lose sight of some of the basics of our classroom craft at times. I’d love to try and work them into a GLOW ‘meet’ session somehow !

Well done on the marathon. I’m afrid I am a drive 200yds to the paper shop kind of person. It makes me tired just reading about your efforts !


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