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Interleaving, spiralling etc.

(22 Posts)
CatAndFiddle Sat 09-Feb-19 06:38:37

Sat in a variety of pointless meetings lately, where a host of buzzwords have been strung together with a couple of connectives.
I feel so irritated by it that I have to go to my "happy place" and let it all wash over me.
I had a career in management before I came into teaching, and, yeah, you had the odd bit of "going forward" and "low hanging fruit", but the nonsense factor in schools is on another level.
Most of SLT appear to spend their weekends on Twitter, swapping silly words with each other and quoting "the literature", which anyone with a basic grasp of the scientific method knows is absolute pants.
Interleaving? What's wrong with regular recapping? Surely teachers have been doing that for years anyway?
Is it just me?

OP’s posts: |
eyeoresancerre Sat 09-Feb-19 06:41:49

Nope not just you, we have a high energy ice breaker meeting as well as numerous other weekly meeting each week - all a load of nonsense and utterly pointless - just SLT waffling when I could be preparing for the next day. I sit there and just think they could send a staff email with the actions required and then let us get on with it.

Jackshouse Sat 09-Feb-19 06:46:56

When I was really irritated I used to look confused and ask what appeared to be a genuine question eg ‘I’m a little confused here. How is interleaving different to do a re-cap or having a mini quiz on a topic we did 3 months ago?”. Then watch them struggle to give you and answer often then finishing with “It’s not. Just keep what you are doing.”

SLT spent far too much time justifying their existence and not enough doing their actual job in my school.

Piggywaspushed Sat 09-Feb-19 07:38:43

Teaching used to be more jargon free than this! I think Ofsted may have been the first major acronym. Now no one says lesson plan, for example. It's an LP and LO for lesson objective (which, in itself is a silly phrase). I think WALT has now gone. It's come in from business and marketing , to be fair.

I do feel your pain and I have been bunged into a role where I am required to read and share this and then have eyes rolled at me.

That said, you could work in a school where your SLT make things up as they go along, are generally stuck in the early 90s and have no idea whatsoever what any current educational research or thinking says. That, genuinely, is also very annoying. Especially when it is spread across a few local schools so that you have training promoted to you that tells you that you are going to learn about different learning styles and that we need to do kinaesthetic stuff with boys. Purrlease.

But, yes, I have read about interleaving many times and thought the same as you. Also, 'direct instruction' : that's just teaching??

Piggywaspushed Sat 09-Feb-19 07:40:03

And I have no idea what spiralling is... isn't that something hipsters do with their veg?

Decormad38 Sat 09-Feb-19 07:43:37

Spiralling- something hipsters do with their veg. Ha ha 😆

Piggywaspushed Sat 09-Feb-19 07:43:51

btw , can I just say, that if you have been taught that 'interleaving' is recapping the people teaching you it didn't understand themselves or you lost the will to live and weren't listening That's 'spaced learning' : obviously...

I could tell you want interleaving is but it would take about 10 minutes (because it is ridiculously convoluted )to explain,and I sense you may not want to know or care grin

CatAndFiddle Sat 09-Feb-19 08:51:45

Spiralling is where you keep coming back to a topic throughout the different key stages, each time in a greater amount of depth, until pupils achieve 'mastery'. Apparently.
Yeah, admittedly, I tuned out during the interleaving speech.
Most of the research is bollocks though, piggy. We are abandoning ideas from the 90s that were plucked from dodgy research, and replacing them with different ideas...plucked from current dodgy research.
There is a teacher in my department who has been there since time began. I had the great fortune to have him as my mentor in my nqt year. He teaches as he has always taught, having refined his technique to an artform over many decades. He builds relationships with the kids and draws out and builds on ideas through questioning. He has a legendary status amongst the kids. He has watched buzzwords and fads come and go. And he carries on teaching.

OP’s posts: |
TheFifthKey Sat 09-Feb-19 08:57:12

I have my teaching down to a fine art - talk to the kids a bit, tell them some terminology, show some examples, ask questions, get the kids to do some stuff, get them to write some stuff in silence. Check if they remember it in later lessons.

Funnily enough no matter what’s the most recent fad, I always manage to be following it without changing my actual teaching at all...

MissMarplesKnitting Sat 09-Feb-19 08:59:45

My dad was the same, a legend on his own classroom. Kids adored him.

Interleaving = recapping tests.

Spiralling = taking kept concepts and putting them throughout the 2/3 key stages basically.

It's not bloody rocket science but SLT done half like jargon (or even better, an acronym) as it makes them look ahead of the curve, sorry a smartarse.

Teach them stuff. Take time to check understanding. Model hard stuff yourself and gradually remove the amount of help you give on a skill....test little and often. It's not hard.

ArmchairTraveller Sat 09-Feb-19 09:07:16

The longer you teach, the more you see that the labels change but the teaching stays the same. Sometimes you watch an old friend sashay down the catwalk, applauded by all as revolutionary and shiny, and you give them a knowing wink.
But without the jargon, truthspeak, blackwhite would we know they were SLT?
The list of jargon from Orwell’s 1984 is so relevant to education now.

Piggywaspushed Sat 09-Feb-19 09:57:25

Interleaving is teaching non connected things - so not spending ages on one thing : eg teaching a bit of trigonometry and then suddenly teaching some stats, and then back to trig, then algebra.

DH is a maths teacher in a private school and definitely does not teach this way but my DSs' maths and science teachers all do and it seems so bitty. Definitely not recapping tests : those are spaced learning..

I agree it's bollocks. My concern is it is Ofsted admired bollocks so will gain traction : and then in 5 years we will all be saying what bollocks the knowledge curriculum is.

Don't get me started on KOs (I didn't know what these were until about a year ago via Facebook) . Knowledge Organisers aka Spoon Feeding.

Jackshouse Sat 09-Feb-19 09:59:44

Piggywaspushed thanks but I have escaped now. This thread just appeared in active.

I taught for 8 years and even I saw things reappear under different names.

noblegiraffe Sat 09-Feb-19 10:20:23

I think interleaving in maths is about mixing up the questions to include stuff that has been taught previously and not teaching them as disconnected topics all the time.

E.g. give a kid a sheet of multiplying fractions and they’ll times the tops, times the bottoms till the cows come home and you’ll think that they’ve nailed it BUT they are just mechanically doing the same thing over and over. So you’d do a mixed worksheet of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing so they have to pick their method before applying. That’s when it all falls apart because they could do it when it was just multiplying fractions, but not when they have to first recognise it’s a multiplying fractions question. Then you might do some questions where they have to find the area of a triangle (which they did two weeks ago) but it involves multiplying and dividing fractions.

CatAndFiddle Sat 09-Feb-19 11:17:34

Oh yeah, how could I forget knowledge organisers. How many of us have spent our evenings and weekends doing effect just rewriting a CGP revision guide. Some people have been making a fortune on TES on the back of those.

OP’s posts: |
BrigitsBigKnickers Tue 12-Feb-19 09:59:19

I feel your pain- I thought it was bad enough when planning was referred to as " brain storming"but I totally lost the plot when it was rebranded as a "thought shower" ( FFS)
Glad I am not a teacher anymore- what a crock of shit...

HexagonalBattenburg Tue 12-Feb-19 19:24:52

It's one thing I love having my parent or parent governor hat on - being able to cut through the edu-bullshit and watch 'em squirm. Had great fun looking around a potential junior school for one of mine a few months ago where the shiny young deputy head was full of bluster about his new initiative of "flipped learning" where the kids did some preparatory work (invariably watching some youtube video where they'll have flipped to Fortnite within 2 seconds) before coming into the lesson. "So, homework rebranded basically?" He mumbled and squirmed for about a minute before conceding that yep, he was going on and on about homework being some new fangled invention.

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Feb-19 20:33:13

Flipped learning is doing the homework before the lesson though. That’s the flipped bit.

Another flipping fad, mind.

Piggywaspushed Tue 12-Feb-19 21:20:12

God, I tried it once. None of the buggers did it. Gnashes teeth.

Comment about my typing noted on other thread noble. Luckily I can take the bantz. LOL.

echt Wed 13-Feb-19 09:51:45

Flipped learning, AKA:

Teacher: Read these chapters for tomorrow's lesson.( Actually, never say this, put it online. Better yet, post a Youtube clip.)
Next day.
Teacher: So let's brainstorm your reading of the chapter I set.
Class: Deafening silence, exactly the same as not having done the fecking homework.

Flipped learning my arse.

Tanaqui Wed 13-Feb-19 10:16:47

Flipped learning - er, would that be preparation, or prep, around for at least 100 years? And in fact a word that describes exactly what it is?

HexagonalBattenburg Wed 13-Feb-19 10:18:48

My other thought and comment was "so none of them will have flipping done it eh?"

Got a mumbled "well yeah" to that one as well.

Yes, I've probably really marked my card for next year - sorry DD1! Deputy head was actually quite a nice chap really - just desperately keen to climb the pole and nail his headship and once you got him speaking normally and not like some guy who'd had his entire brain taken over by shiny powerpoints you could actually have a decent conversation with him.

Head at this school was also still going on about Brain Gym... DH wouldn't let me misbehave on that one though! Then she started going on about her kids never being exposed to the evil of supply teachers - conversation at mingling time afterwards and she asked what I did for a living and I replied "oh I'm a supply teacher" was amusing. Even more amusing when I could see the Head of the kids' current infant school (who I get on really well with) out of the corner of my eye but obviously in earshot desperately trying not to openly start giggling at this all!

It's not JUST schools though - DH works somewhere that actually have a (get your sick buckets ready) "Blue skies thinking outside the box room". This innovation consists of a room, with a table and chairs in, and... this is the zany blue skies thinking part... whiteboard surfaces on ALL the walls so you can write your ideas everywhere. That's it.

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