Lesson ideas from an Innovative Teacher, Part 1

Stuart and I have been talking about the teachers we work with all over the UK (here), including those who create Virtual Classroom Tours (explained here) and travel with us to Innovative Teachers Forums around the world (described here).

We're about to embark on the grand-daddy of all Innovative Teachers events at Microsoft, our worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum, being held this year in Hong Kong. Literally hundreds of award-winning teachers from all over the world will be flown in for this event and will get the chance to share their innovative classroom learning activities with each other.

This year's event is the first week of November, and Stuart, the teachers and I will be blogging "live" from Hong Kong during the event. We're bringing two teachers to the Forum to represent the UK: Peter Carney from Bowring Community Sports College in Knowsley, and Dan Roberts from Saltash .NET Community School in Cornwall. Both teachers won prizes at our European Innovative Teachers Forum last spring in Croatia, and thus qualified to attend the worldwide event.

In addition to being excited about the amazing programme of events in Hong Kong, we at Microsoft are proud of Dan and Peter and the work they're doing with students at their schools. We want to share their Virtual Classroom Tours with you so that you can learn from them as well.

This week, I'll talk to you about Peter's VCT. You'll have to tune in again next week to learn about Dan's.

Peter's work is part of a larger curriculum reform that is taking place at his school. He was part of a team of teachers MrCarney working together on this learning activity, which took place with year 8 students over several class periods.

Students were given a "real-life" project to solve; specifically, one of the teachers in their school had stolen £2000 earmarked for a school trip. Students were required to work as teams to analyse data and evaluate a range of evidence in order to eliminate suspects and find the "criminal". The tasks they were required to complete included fingerprint analysis, viewing of fibre samples from the "crime scene", and memory activities based on CCTV footage.

The student teams then had to create a presentation, in whatever format they chose, presenting the work they did to eliminate the suspects and their idea of who-dunnit.

Peter's fantastic VCT, containing all of the lesson plans, student activities, assessments, and examples of student work, is on the Innovative Teachers Network for you to use in your schools right away. (Click here to link to it directly.)

Next week I'll tell you about Dan Roberts' VCT and the 6-foot chicken he's bringing to Hong Kong.


*Note: If this is your first time accessing the Innovative Teachers Network, you will not be able to access the VCT directly from this link. You'll need to go to http://uk.innovativeteachers.com and register to create a username and password for the site. Then click the link above (where you'll be prompted for your username and password) to get to the VCT.

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