This is Part 2 in a blog series about how I teach Structure and Bonding at KS4. Part 1 discussed the teaching sequence I used to follow and the main challenges and misconceptions presented in this topic. Before introducing anything new about bonding types and the resulting structures, I spend time reviewing the particle model … Continue reading Teaching Structure and Bonding (Part 2): Laying Foundations – The Particle Model
The KS4 Structure and Bonding topic builds links between so many aspects of chemistry and it’s one of the first parts of the course which really starts to give meaning to a subject which can so often seem very abstract to students. This is why it has always been one of my favourite topics to … Continue reading Teaching Structure and Bonding (Part 1): The Challenges
“... And while flight paths are now generally frowned on, the underlying idea strangely persists. I sometimes worry when I hear the expression ‘fulfil his/her potential’. It’s almost anti-curriculum. It masks assumptions that curriculum content itself doesn’t have agency.” Christine Counsell Feelings of guilt immediately followed my reading of this tweet a few days ago. … Continue reading Potential
“It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.” Seneca As teachers we are all too aware of the limited time we have available for teaching, perhaps we think it is too little. However, for most of us, the time we are given is not within our … Continue reading Making the most of assessment time
An assessment is only worth doing if it is carefully planned with a clearly defined purpose - are you trying to monitor progress, forecast grades or elicit the learning needs of your students? Assessment has often been synonymous with summative tests in my thinking. As a science teacher I have always given students a test … Continue reading Where next? Assessment in the Principles of Instruction
“Don’t worry, they always get that question wrong, everyone struggles with this test.” I recently found myself saying this in conversation with a colleague in my department. Comments which people had been making about this particular test for as many years as students have been sitting it. Reflecting on this conversation in the light of … Continue reading Assessment – what’s the point?
Don’t ask me. How often these words have gone through my mind as I’ve sat in a classroom, or a meeting, trying at all costs to avoid eye contact with whoever was asking the question. Afraid of being noticed and afraid of being overlooked. This is a contradiction I have battled with in my mind … Continue reading Don’t ask me.
“Physics is boring.”, “Physics is hard.”, “Physics is just remembering all the equations.” Comments I have heard all too often from students. I’ve been thinking about why many students have this perception of physics, whether it’s justified, and how we might be able to move away from it. With the increased requirement for students to … Continue reading Equation-centric physics teaching – why I’m leaving it behind.
The past year has been transformative in my teaching career, not because I’ve joined a new school, taken on a new role or taught a new subject, but because I have discovered the world of educational research and evidence informed practice. I purchased Daniel Willingham’s Why don’t students like school? in June 2017, but it … Continue reading A transformative year
Learning. The primary goal of teaching is that students should learn. But what is learning? What is the purpose of learning and education? If I can answer these questions a whole host of others appears on the horizon – What do I want my students to learn? What’s the best way to teach them? How … Continue reading Learning to teach