Saturday, 6 July 2013

TeachMeet Hounslow - a Friday night sharing ideas with fellow enemies of promise...

I was lucky enough to be a part of TeachMeet Hounslow last night both as a presenter and as an awed audience member. The evening was brilliantly organised by @teachertoolkit and @ssgill76 with a variety of CPD opportunities that tied in with the main TeachMeet presentations - 'bring and brag' with your favourite resource, tweet competitions, Q+A with the presenters and the chance to chat with other likeminded colleagues.

I attended my first TeachMeet a couple of months ago at Featherstone High before presenting at our internal Greenford High TeachMeet the other week. I got up the courage to present on "improving speaking and listening through collaborative learning" and was overwhelmed by the positive responses that I got from fellow teachers.

I've tried to sum up what I learnt last night below (giving credit to the brilliant presenters - apologies if I credit any of ideas to the wrong people, the pace of learning at TeachMeets is pretty fast!)


Colour code key words (and activities of ideas) based on difficulty - red, amber and green

Word matches for informal and formal language versions of the same word/idea

Gallery critique of peers work - feedback should be kind, specific and helpful and include SO THAT (from @fullonlearning)


The Talk Toolkit (I need to work out how to get hold of a copy of this!!)

Getting students to observe groups of students talking and then giving feedback

Question wall - where students can go up and pose questions throughout the lesson


Groupings - colour coding your class spreadsheet so students have a colour group (based on ability) and a home group (mixed ability). Write the groups on their exercise books to get students in the habit of remembering those groups

Students can win points in their groups

Students can work in expert groups then go into their home groups to complete a task using their shared expert knowledge


Whiteboard tables that can flip to work as vertical presentation whiteboards (one of my favourite ideas from the evening)


Show me everything you learnt - in a box

Using lego, play dough and tin foil to show ideas


Student toolkit of student led starters and plenaries (something else I need to go away and get hold of a copy of!)


Using edmodo as a learning platform - useful tutorials on youtube by Tom Hopper and @syded06 apparently


More ideas than I have space to write about because they were delivered with brilliant pace and enthusiasm! Find @ICTmagic on twitter to see their link to their presentation. My favourite idea was using free software with a webcam to time lapse science experiments, I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my webcam that I ordered there and then


Loads of pearls of wisdom from Steph (full powerpoint available at including marking is planning, seating plans are your friends, empower students with choices, aim higher box


Again, so many brilliant ideas - find them at

My top three from @ASTsupportAli would be the share and replace board (just a few plastic wallets stuck up in a communal staff area where people can take resources they like as long as they put one of their own in), having a help desk (complete with dictionary, revision guide, cheat sheet, etc) and using a receipt book to give feedback when marking


BRING AND BRAG - bring along a resource, and brag about it!

@kohlmand Paper plate plenaries - using a paper plate to complete plenary work or summarise a topic, providing the plate in three for starter, main and plenary work then voting with sticky dots for the best plate (#poundlandpedagogy!)

Create a giant target in your room and get students to move their name card into the centre as they progress

Comic Life app

Hang washing lines in your classroom with pupil progress pegs that they can either move throughout the lesson or over a term (more #poundlandpedagogy and definitely something that I'm going to use right from the start with my classes next year)

Show Me app - turning tablets into mini whiteboards with the ability to annotate pictures


In a bit of shameless self-promotion my presentation can be found here:

and my 'bring and brag' was revision bunting! Cut out flag shapes and then get students to write on them before stringing together and hanging up in your classroom (I've clearly missed my calling as an interior designer...)

I love the simplicity and efficiency of TeachMeets - come along for free informal CPD and learn more in a couple of hours than you will have done over years of conferences and more formal CPD sessions. There is no hidden agenda with TeachMeets, it's just a room full of people who want to improve Teaching and Learning for the students that we work with.

p.s. This has turned out to be a horrifyingly long blog post - I blame all the brilliant people that shared ideas last night, the next one will definitely be shorter!

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