Sketchnotes – Part 2

The Literacy Shed conference continued for a second day today and with it came my second experience of sketchnoting. It was another fantastic day with presentations from Rob Smith, Lee Parkinson and Bryn Goodman. Each having a different spin on visual literacy and each with different, but also some overlapping, ideas on teaching English through visual literacy and technology.

I found a comfortable seat and set my pad and pens ready. I had trimmed down my pencil case from yesterday so that it contained just the essentials. I drew my header and portraits and waited for the presentations…

It was another great day and I have thoroughly enjoyed sketchnoting. I will definitely be doing more of this in future!  Perhaps it’s time I started to really learn Photoshop!

Thanks for reading, favouriting and retweeting.



My First Sketch Notes

Over the summer, I sat down and decided that I was going to doodle some more.  I have always loved doodling and drawing and colouring and all manner of little arty things. People have commented on my diary and note book that I take to meetings and have complemented them so I decided to try to do a doodle a day.

But I wasn’t sure what to doodle… until I realised that a perfect stream of inspiration was at my very finger tips in twitter. I had a scan through and before I knew it I and found several tweets that I wanted to doodle which I did here.  The feedback I got was lovely which has inspired me to try to complete a doodle a day through the year which I will upload another time.

This increase in doodling led me to sketch notes. These are a visual representation of a meeting or presentation and I was fascinated with them. I watched a TED talk about talking notes in a more visual way:

…which inspired me to find out more about sketch notes.

I found a link to @rohdesign – the twitter handle of Mike Rohde who is a pioneer of sketch notes and has published books on the topic. After a few clicks it was on its way and was my Sunday reading. When I finished the book, I was desperate to try it out and I didn’t have long to wait. I was going to see John Murray (@readingexplorer) at the Literacy Shed Conference.

So, in a long winded way, I offer my very first humble sketch notes:

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It didn’t all go smoothly!  I tried to add some colour afterwards using my fancy pens but disaster struck… it leaked through page 2 and ruined page 3! I could have wept, but instead decided it was a good chance to improve my work and copy it onto a new page, minus the bleed through.

Also when I took the photos, it was dark and the artificial light didn’t give a good picture so I use a super vivid setting with a flash which explains the very vivid colours!

They aren’t the best sketch notes in the world, but for a first attempt, I am quite pleased.

And to make things even better, it is a 2 day CPD so I get to do it all over again tomorrow!

Thanks for reading, commenting here and favouriting and RT-ing on twitter.


Extrinsic Rewards Feel EPIC!

Baby Smile
Should I be this happy? Photo Credit: initial-reaction via Compfight cc

It took me until I was 18 and in university to realise that I had to ask if I didn’t know what someone was talking about so I have grown to not feel ashamed to ask ‘stupid’ questions or admit that I am ignorant on a topic.  This blog isn’t about the merits of extrinsic rewards in the classroom as I haven’t read in depth any research about it, but it’s about today’s experience.

As I was twittering with the telly on in the background, I saw that @ukedchat had published a list of the UK Ed Chat community’s favourite UK educational tweeters

I scoured the list for anyone I knew and was delighted to see @bryngoodman on there (it was alphabetical order) so I tweeted him that he was on there. I was genuinely pleased that a nice chap like Bryn, who freely shares his ideas, was on the list. Then I went back to see if anyone else I regularly tweet with was there… and they were! @grahamandre, @WatsEd and @redgierob were on there and, to my delighted surprise, so was I.

At the top of the page, it said you could download a badge to say you had been nominated so I did and placed it proudly on my blog!

And this brings me to extrinsic rewards. 

It gave me a warm, fuzzy glow like the ready break advert and I showed my wife and kids. I was as pleased as punch! Twitter giants probably won’t give it a second thought but for me (with performance management round the corner!), it was a genuinely pleasant experience to be nominated by fellow tweachers for this.

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean a great deal. But to me, on this Saturday evening, I feel chuffed. @Bennett31 suggested that I make it into my own chufty badge!

But the reason I posted this is that, if this is how I feel at 37 when a group of tweeters that I don’t know say I am in the top 100 favourite UK educational tweeters (I am aware that there might only be 101 UK educational tweeters!), then just think what a phone call, email or post card home can do for the morale of our pupils.

I haven’t done it before as I wasn’t sure if it’d be that effective, but I’m resolved to give it a go now… ‘coz I feel EPIC!

@gazneedle – one of the UK’s favourite educational tweeters! 

10 Book Challenge

I have been nominated to do the ten book challenge by @BrynGoodman. Much more relaxing than the summer’s ice bucket challenge and I can do it from the comfort of my armchair in my living room while watching a bit of telly!

The idea is that you choose ten books that have meant something to you through your life and then nominate 10 others. The list doesn’t have to be in a particular order so here goes:

1.The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien: I was first read this as a child in Year 6 by my head teacher. Mr. McCarthy read the first few chapters and I was hooked. The only problem was that the book was checked out of the school library for the rest of the year because of the amazing way he read it. I finally read it some years later and it was better than I remembered.

2.The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett: This was a book that I read at university and was pure joy as complete escapism.

3. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett: Time travel, fantasy, familiar characters who have grown over a long series of books… heaven!

4. There was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly by Pam Adams: A child’s book that I remember having as a child and read so many times that it fell apart and was still read and read.

5. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman: Read on my honeymoon in the Maldives. A fabulously weaved narrative through all three books

6. An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley: I read this at GCSE and it was the first play I read and went to see. Watching it being performed at the Bradford Alhambra made everything click into place.

7. George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl: Or more specifically Rik Mayall’s performance on Jackanory. I have vivid memories of racing home from school to watch the master storyteller at work.

8. The Twits by Roald Dahl: With such descriptive language and vicous nasty characters, how could you not use this with a Year 2 class?

9. Asterix by Goscinny and Uderzo: I have fond memories of childhood and checking this book out of the library more times than any other.

10. The Beano, Dandy, Whizzer and Chips, The Beezer by DC Thomson & Co. Ltd.: The weekly comics and Christmas annuals that could give my mum an hour’s peace fed my love of reading and fostered a life love of comics.

As you can see, I have chosen books for sentimental reasons and the feelings they rekindle in me as I even just think about them. For me, having a warm, fuzzy feeling for a book that you read twenty years ago makes it a book worthy of going on my top ten.

I now nominate @Bennett31, @Emmsibo, @larnawhatwhat, @AndrewMapahead, @MrKMurphy, @grahamandre, @shoorayner, @MRSalakas, @Jon_Brunskill and @MartynReah



#SharingIsCaring – Edu-doodles

Lets Do It-Return to work-Full Metal Jacket

I’ve always loved drawing, although I never took art as a subject and I know I am not the best at it, but I love the doodling I do on CPD and, while some might see it as disrespectful, I can remember discussions, whole sessions and more from the doodles I do on my pages. Staff in my school know I doodle but also know that I am listening and (hopefully) make decent contributions to discussions so I feel comfortable doodling in my diary or notebook.

And then I came to twitter. I have been on twitter since 2009 but it wasn’t until 2011 that I started to use it a bit more, tweeting the odd thing. And I then went to my first TeachMeet early in 2014 and my eyes were opened! I started using it for education tweets and my timeline came alive; I realised that twitter could be used for so much more. 

I started following @pw2tweets and looked at his website. He has a section called ‘Sketchnotes on Education’ where he shares his thoughts on educational topics in a visual way. These are excellent and I enjoyed them so much that I took him up on his offer at the top of that page which says ‘Share your educational Sketchnotes on twitter using the hashtag (#EduSketchnotes)’

I saw that @jon_brunskill was asking prominent twitter teachers (and twitter teachers in general) to give their snippet of advice to an NQT in 140 characters for his blog and podcast. This seemed like a great opportunity to do some Edu-doodles to compliment his podcast. I sat down with a little sketchbook and drew some of the tweets that I felt lent themselves to a visualisation and put them together in a slideshow in my own blog

The response was amazing (for my limited twitter exposure!). Favourites and retweets showered my timeline and this has given me even more confidence to share more with teachers on twitter both with my doodles and sharing ideas or resources. But it has also given me more confidence to join in conversations instead of lurking. I feel more up to date on current trends in education and it is like my teaching career has been given a new lease of life. 

When I saw the #SharingIsCaring hashtag, I thought it was a great way to sum up the best of twitter and so this is me sharing. Keep it up everyone.