Friday Mindset #87

Free resources, fresh ideas, sessions and offers

Happy Friday!

Man, these five-day weeks are harder than they look. We’re knackered. All our summer training dates are full now (if you’re desperate, give us a shout and we may be able to shuffle a few things around…) so we’re shifting our focus to the Autumn term for training purposes. if you want a CPD session in late August, September or October, get in touch!

Ad-break over, let’s dive in.

Something to try...

We’ve been thinking about compounding. Just as the successful student snacks rather than binges - just a little every day can keep you on track - students who struggle allow the negative compounding of errors. Every day, teachers say complicated and confusing things, introducing ideas which require hard thinking. And every day, there’s the chance that a misconception, misunderstanding or misremembered idea accrues. Students we’ve seen in pre-exam panic over the last few weeks have been the ones who’ve let misunderstanding compound.

  • They had a chance to clarify in class and missed it.

  • The day after they had the chance to ask their teacher but didn’t.

  • On the way home that night, they had the chance to ask a friend but instead turned the conversation into a moan-fest.

  • That weekend they had a chance to look it up but never got around to it.

Imagine this happening over and over again across the course of a year.

So next year we’re going to be introducing the idea of catching clarity. There are five chances for students to get clarity on new concepts and ideas, we’ll argue. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages, and there’s a good opportunity to discuss them one-by-one.

Here’s a powerpoint for you to check out if you’re interested:

…and one-more hat-tip to Dan Green, the Assistant Head of Sixth who, you’ll remember, was delivering VESPA through a series of audio-recordings and generously sharing them with us. This one, about thanking your past-self, might go quite nicely with the activity above. Thanks again, Dan!

Something we're reading...

This is a complicated paper, no doubt, but there’s some fascinating findings.

Researchers in a Czech university were interested in (i) how much and what type of verbal contribution students made in year 10 classes, and (ii) what impact it had on their grades.

They measured the frequency of four responses to teacher questions: 1. no response, 2. word/phrase response, 3. complete thought without explanation and 4. complete thought plus reasoning. Then they measured the length of response in seconds, and tracked the class until they got their results.

You don’t need to read it all - scroll down to the halfway mark and you’ll reach “5. Discussions, Limitations and Implications” and you’re up and running. (Spoiler: an increase in talk time of 100 seconds per lesson leads to an increased test score of nearly 14%!)

Our latest offer...

Final shout-out for our free Zoom webinar on implementation next month, folks.

We'll cover some of the steps we took when implementing VESPA, and explore what other schools/colleges have done. There'll be a powerpoint and accompanying 'checklist' handout, giving you a term-by-term running order for a number of activities that help you get a programme (any programme) up and running. Here’s the deets:

Implementing VESPA - a checklist approach

Wednesday June 14th, 3:45-4:45 on Zoom

Just email for the zoom link.

And that’s it for now. All the best to you and yours,

Steve, Tony and Martin