Teacher Geek by Rachel Jones – a review 

‘Ok, hands up …. Who is a geek? No correct that, who is a Teacher Geek?’

For those of you who work in the classroom leading the learning of others, I hope that you all are. Education needs teacher geeks like us who are perhaps slightly obsessive about teaching and learning and are always on the look out for new ideas, tips and tricks to try and to include in a teaching toolkit.

In Rachel Jones’ new book, Teacher Geek, she emphasises just tweaking one’s teaching can make a significant impact upon the learning of students. Written in an engaging, yet informal style, Rachel takes us through key areas of teaching and learning encouraging us to use everything to hand, from technology and the classroom to setting written tasks with a twist. The toolkit offered here is a real mix of unique and innovative thinking to reminding us of some of the more traditional teaching methods which still have a place in the modern classroom if applied correctly. All are certainly worth trying and experimenting with finding out what suits your teaching style. Regardless of what your teaching style is there will be something here for everyone.

What I particularly like about this book is that is it clearly written by a current practioner who understands the pressures of the role of the modern teacher and the need for updating one’s teaching methods yet realises the difficulties that we face in terms of the lack of time to explore new ideas. This can help explain that the ideas in this book are very easy to implement with the emphasis upon tweaking rather than radical overhaul with the constant focus upon improving the learning of our charges.

The book is very readable and accessible with each chapter full of ideas with clear examples and can be read in a short space of time. This enables you to read the book in small chunks guaranteed to make you think about your own work and what you can tweak to maximise your impact. A highly recommended book which deserves a place on every CPD bookshelf.

Key events in British politics between 1918 and 1945 card sort exercise

These activity resources focus upon British political history between 1918 and 1945. The resources comprise of an instruction sheet and a sheet of event cards on which they key interwar political events are typed on them. Students have to complete a graph exercise on which event cards are placed one them depending on whether they are a success of a failure and when they happened. The event cards can then be coloured coded depending on who the event impacted – Labour or Conservatives. Great activity for an introduction to the period and aimed at A Level students.

Key political changes in Britain between 1918 and 1945 worksheet

Key political changes in Britain between 1918 and 1945 event cards

Britain Transformed, 1918-97 – summer project on Prime Ministers

Like many teachers, we are teaching new A Level topics from September. I am teaching the topic Britain Transformed, 1918-97 and have been asked to draw up a project for students to complete over the summer in preparation for the course starting in September. Quite a difficult task when the information given on the course content is rather vague and there are no text books to go to for guidance. Therefore, I have created quite a broad independent research task based upon British Prime Ministers of the period which will give students an idea about the period we are studying as well as sharpen independent learning skills. Thought I would share it on here as it may give others who are teaching the same or similar topics some help and save time.

Induction to Year 12 Summer Project – Prime Ministers

Prime Minister – note matrix

How far was the Weimar Republic successful between 1923 and 1929 visual hexagon resource

This visual hexagon activity focuses upon the record of the Weimar Republic between 1923 and 1929. Students should be encouraged to identify the images and how they link to the central question and then make links where each side of a hexagon touches the side of another hexagon. Great reviewing activity!