LiveLearning Tips – Week 1

Student Engagement Tips

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Often, students are nervous to share ideas in the forum of chat or verbal contributions. A good way to combat this is to pose a question, set a time limit, and then give a countdown to hit ‘Enter’. The competitive element kicks in, and students are much more confident to put their answer out if they think that the whole class is involved!

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Another quick tip is to use the ‘Raise hand’ function for impromptu polls. As above, ask a question but this time with a Yes/No (or other limited responses) and take a note of how many of the class give each response.

Google Mote

Voice note feedback that takes seconds!

  1. Download ‘Mote’:
  2. When you wish to give students feedback, navigate to a piece of work. Mote is available in Slides or Docs, but you may need to enable in your browser.

Press the  icon and your device microphone can record up to 90 seconds of feedback.

Second Device Use

Simple oversight of the chat and your screen.

  1. Follow the steps to create your live lesson in Google Classroom as usual (click link, enter as host, secure settings etc).
  2. Using your mobile phone or another device, enter the Meet code on the Google Meet app.

You will now be able to see a ‘student’ view on your second device, and maintain responses to the chat without interrupting your screen.

Google Grades

Quick and easy marks to speed up reporting.

  1. When setting assignments, ensure that you set them to be marked /3.
  2. Create a ‘Material’ on your classroom with a key to marking.

E.g. 3= excellent work

2 = good work

1= acceptable work

0 = incomplete or poor effort

BLANK = not submitted / no attachments.

Use ‘Grades’ to inform your reports, at a glance!

Research summaries – Tom Sherrington

This week’s tip is a gold mine of information around educational research. I’m not going to claim any credit – I was completing a course this week around Retrieval Practice as part of the Teaching & Learning offering and came across a reference to the above blog.

What is it?

Tom Sherrington has summarised and collated a range of research that is relevant to our practice and combined it to support teachers to root classroom activities in research.

What topics are covered?

  • Dunlosky – Student strategies to boost learning
  • Rosenshine – Principles of instruction
  • Coe – Review of underpinning research for ‘What makes great teaching?’
  • Dylan William – 9 things every teacher should know
  • And many more!

How long will it take to read?

There are some that are longer than others, but often Sherrington has focussed the attention to specific pages.

Give it a go, and let me know if you have any ideas for future posts.

Tip: Twitter for teachers

There may already be several Twitter converts among us…but if you aren’t one of them, here’s a few reasons why you may want to join.

  1. Twitter can save you time. Numerous wonderful teachers publish their resources – for revision, lessons or blogs to inspire – and these are accessible for free. Sigma have their own Science page, Humanities and there are countless others!
  2. Quick reads = big impact. There are fascinating insights into pedagogical developments that prompt thought and reflection on our practice. Some examples include articles about metacognition, retrieval practice or classroom based oracy.
  3. News, including informal discussions about examinations, approaches to online learning that are essential to modern practice, often filters through in digestible chunks.

Give it a go, and let me know how you get on! For tips on who to follow, check this out:


Teaching and Learning working groups: 11th November 2020

Looking forward to delving into our areas for development:

– Challenge

– Scaffolding

– Online learning

– Vocabulary


@teacherhead explores ideas about attitudes and mindsets, and their influence on attainment. Ideas of embedding challenge into routine has certainly got me thinking of ways to implement #teachtothetop, leaving no child ‘under-challenged’.


Great article by @WordLib. Love the ideas on modelling!

Online learning

Teaching Online: Using ‘Lecture Pauses’ Helps Retention

@TeacherToolkit up next for our ‘Online Learning’ research. Not only a great reference guide to other blogs he’s written, but sharing thoughts about encouraging reflection whilst teaching online.


‘We Did Vocabulary Last Year’

Last, but never least: vocabulary. For this, there’s one key expert to consider @HuntingEnglish and the idea that one can never ‘over-do’ vocabulary.