TSFL: Teaching Science as a Foreign Language

The Language of Science One my favourite factoids (which I cannot recall the source of and therefore substantiate) is that pupils learning GCSE science encounter more new words than when they study a foreign language. Usually directed at MFL teachers. Usually they don't believe me! It is quintessentially captured in the following quote from Via, … Continue reading TSFL: Teaching Science as a Foreign Language


Science Snippet 3: Worked Example Effect

This snippet will work well in the majority of subjects and has taken inspiration from several sources. The examples given are from my science lessons. The Worked Example Effect It first peaked my interest when I saw a maths example where problems were shown to pupils "in parallel" to help manage cognitive load by really … Continue reading Science Snippet 3: Worked Example Effect

Science Snippet 2: Integrated Instructions

Since reading Adam Boxer's excellent blog on the Slow Practical, in which he explores the cognitive demands placed on pupils by practical work, I have been carefully guiding pupils through experiments. As Adam points out, one of the disadvantages is that it takes more time and while practical work does need to be guided for … Continue reading Science Snippet 2: Integrated Instructions

Science Snippet 1: Growing a Question Tree

Question trees can be really useful aids for pupils to work logically through a process and build up both declarative and procedural knowledge while being supported in their thinking. They provide an opportunity for pupils to deepen their understanding independently as they progress through a task. This week my Year 10 class were having a … Continue reading Science Snippet 1: Growing a Question Tree

This is Interleaving: a Concrete Example

The Misconception Interleaving has been under significant scrutiny recently on Edutwitter. A blog post from Jonathan Firth and a TES article from Mark Enser in particular have sent my mind spinning away on this topic. Too many diagrams (like the one below), showing interleaving, create the misconception that you should teach different topics each consecutive lesson. This … Continue reading This is Interleaving: a Concrete Example

Thinking Differently with Extra Thoughts

Inspired By a Maths(?) Story Some of the buzzy terms flying around education at the moment are things like 'spaced practice' and 'interleaving'; having read some articles about how people have reordered their whole curriculum programmes to be both 'spaced' and 'interleaved' it put these concepts on a pedestal for me. I saw them as … Continue reading Thinking Differently with Extra Thoughts