Adventures in Moodle

I’ve been really enjoying getting to grips with Moodle again and using it with almost all of my classes.  I’ve been experimenting with it in a few ways and thought I’d outline those ways here to help with my thinking.

Q+A Forum

I’m planning on teaching a lesson based on Penny Pyramid which came up on dy/dan some months back.  As a homework, I set up a Q+A Forum with the picture and asked students to ask as many questions about the starting picture as they could.  The Q+A forum format means that they can only look at the responses of others after they have made their own submission.  This has thrown up some good questions that I’m going to use tomorrow – thankfully the most popular question has been –  ‘How many pennies are in the pyramid?’, so we’ll run with that tomorrow.

Online text assignment

I have been looking at Trial and Improvement with my Year 11s and found a BBC Bitesize activity called Xara the Psychic.  This only has one question that is to be answered and so I set up an assignment requiring online text.  Students had to solve the equation and post their answer.  I was then able to mark it and give detailed feedback online.

Parent evening appointments

This has been great – I have Year 11 parent evening really soon (22nd September) and rather than lose the sheet as I always do I used a Moodle choice activity.  I listed all the times and limited the number of people who could make that choice to one.  I can then export the choices as an Excel sheet and never lose it – genius!

What’s next?

It is early days on trying to implement Moodle well into my teaching.  I have appreciated it over the past week and I think my students have as well.  Homework submission has been high which can be unusual for my school.

Have you any great ways you use Moodle to teach Maths? Or any other subject?



Warmed up

By tomorrow afternoon we’ll have finished our first full day of term.  Today was Year 7 and 10 induction alongside Year 12/13 interviews.  I had two hours of meetings and a lesson with a group of Year 7s, most of whom I won’t be teaching.

For all that it felt like a useful day!

It’s really easy to get bogged down in the little things and avoiding the things that matter.  I know that without being careful I can waste hours ‘looking for inspiration’ and not commit to anything of use.  I’m trying to get better at that.

My work goals this year are about using Moodle well, using cooperative learning effectively, helping my students to become better thinkers who see some value in Maths and to improve my use of AfL within the classroom.  At the moment, I’m thinking about hinge questions and I’ll probably blog about that soon.

I’ve stretched my muscles, warmed up my limbs and bounced around on my tippie-toes for a bit.  Now I’m ready for the action – bring it on!

Overwhelmed but optimistic

INSET day today – weird to go back on a Friday and then have a weekend before anything meaningful happens.  Today was a lot of meetings and a little bit of preparation.  I really thought I was on top of things but the nature of the beast changes when you are actually in your classroom, I find.  Suddenly I’m being distracted by the 101 things I need to do and I find it hard to focus on the important.  Overwhelmed was how I felt but with an underlying sense of optimism!

The school updated the website and is relaunching it.  It doesn’t seem that much different to what was there before but they have installed Moodle alongside it.  This is great – noone else is really using it but I’m setting it up for all of my classes.  I’ve used Moodle before but forgotten lots, so looking for ways for it to help with the learning and assessment of my classes.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the weekend and look forward to teaching some students on Monday.  Normality, here we come!