Social Media in Your Classroom?

How often do you take a sly look at your phone when the teacher’s back is turned?  It’s so tempting isn’t it…

What are the chances of your teacher saying “get your phone out and let’s start connecting!” ?

One innovative teacher in Norway has begun doing just that.  Each child has a tablet and they write their blog.  Sometimes connecting to other countries for information.
Check it out:
How do you reckon social media could be used in your class?

Strategies for Exam Success

Last time in Why is it harder to remember answers during an exam? we saw what happens in the body when we are stressed or scared. 

This time let’s find out some of the things you can do to reduce your anxiety and feel more in control and relaxed, yet alert.

Before and during the exam

  • Breathe, this is the quickest way in to bring down your nervous system from hyper-arousal. Breath in slowly through the nose for a count of 3, hold 3, exhale through the mouth for 5 (you change the count to what suits you) however, it’s very important that the exhalation is longer than the inhale and hold. As you do this it’s very important to keep your jaw completely relaxed (floppy) and your tongue very loose in your mouth. Continue reading

Why is it harder to remember answers during an exam?

I wished I had learnt how my brain worked when I was at school…

If the brain is so incredibly sophisticated and powerful, then why can it let us down when we need it the most?

Now imagine: It’s exam day… you’ve done all the revisions and prepared really well, but you feel stressed.

This is what happens:

  1. Your brain receives a stimulus (the exam is here).
  2. The exam is perceived as a ‘threat’.
  3. You get sweaty palms, your heart pounds
  4. You are struggling to remember the answers you knew so well
  5. You feel panicked

In Science you may have heard of Continue reading

Attitude and Impression on Open Day

This has to be one of the best kept secrets this side of the Thames!

Last Saturday, as part of Open House 2013, I went to an open day at Radnor House School in Twickenham.  It was fabulous, the school itself is a listed building adjoining Pope’s Grotto, however, it is the location, right by the river, that really wowed me, fantastic!

We started in the little café in the school with a cappuccino and a variety of wonderful cakes (made by the school chef ). This opened onto a lovely terrace right on the Thames with great views and where we could just sit, drinking coffee and watching the world go by. This is open to the students and parents as well as staff, aren’t they lucky?

We were shown around by the Head Master Mr Paton, who was accompanied by 2 students. I must mention Amy (I think that’s her name). I lost my husband somewhere along the way and she was incredibly helpful, escorting me  back to the grotto, “in case I got lost in this place”, I can definitely see her being terribly organised later in life, she was so lovely!

Her helpful attitude started me thinking  about what school children might consider as their strengths. I don’t just mean in school lessons, but as a person. You know, most people tend to put themselves down, telling themselves things like; “I’m not good/confident enough”, “No one likes me, I’m not popular”, “Classmates think I’m weird”, “I’m useless as sports”, etc..

This won’t help with confidence, will it? As a little exercise, right now, list all your good points and strengths, never mind about what others think, what do you think. So,for example, you might say: I’m polite, helpful to adults and schoolmates, I’m a good listener, I’m humorous, I don’t take myself too seriously, I enjoy my differences, I’m organised, I’m good at expressing  myself, I’m considerate, I think deeply before making decisions, I’m gentle, I’m happy, I’m enthusiastic, a trier, etc.

You may not realise it, but all of the above are ‘soft skills’, that is, ‘people’ skills that we all need in life. They are often underestimated but are very valuable both in life and the work place, after all, think how important it is to be able to ‘get on’ with people, anywhere. They matter as much as academic achievements.

So what are your ‘soft skills’ and what would you possibly like to strengthen?

Let us know.

Cool at School

So how was your first week at school, what adjectives would you use; interesting, fun, awful, exciting, frightening, creative, inspiring, motivating, boring. Whatever the adjectives, if they aren’t positive, how could you make it slightly better, so that experience a better time there.

Today I was passing a whole gang of new college students around the 16yr mark and a lot of them were smoking and swearing, by their attitude I suspect they thought they were cool!

However,  about 3 of them were neither smoking nor swearing, yet still part of that group as they were walking along together.  I was really drawn to those 3 because they seemed so confident, just being themselves not needing to prove how cool they were.  Interesting isn’t it when you  really observe people’s behaviour what’s really going on!

By the way here is a link for some cool resources for school you may want to download.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/

Let us know what you are up to at school any helpful unusual tips or stories!