#110 Teaching from Home: Helen Williams – supporting Early Years students

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The Teaching from Home podcast series is kindly supported by Tes resources. Tes resources have created a home learning collection full of hand-picked free resources for teachers to use with children who are learning at home or to share with parents. You can also find this collection through the Tes coronavirus support hub at tes.com/coronavirus


Hello and welcome to another episode of the Mr Barton Maths podcast, with me Craig Barton.

This is another episode in my Teaching from Home podcast series – a series dedicated to supporting teachers who are working from home amidst the Covid-19 outbreak of 2020.

My aim is that you will hear from a wide variety of teachers, sharing a wide variety of experiences. There will be technology focussed episodes – just how does remote teaching work? But also episodes focussed on the practicalities of coping with setting students appropriate work whilst also having to look after your own children at home. Then there are issues of safeguarding, differentiation, mindset and more that I hope will come up as we progress. There will be maths teachers, teachers of other subjects, and primary school teachers. There will be teachers from the UK and overseas. Hopefully something for everyone. I have no idea how long this series will go on for – but so long as people keep listening and hopefully finding it useful, I shall continue!

This time I spoke to Dr Helen Williams. Helen is an expert in Early Years teaching. When Helen first came on the podcast in December 2018 she blew my mind describing lessons involving gold sprayed beans and asking me questions like “what is the number 3?”. Whilst we have considered how school closures might affect primary students – and what we as teachers can do about it – in my interview with John Hutchinson, I wondered whether early years was a completely different ball-game. And I couldn’t think of anyone better than Helen to answer my questions. This is a conversation packed full of golden nugget that will be useful not only for teachers of early year’s students, but also their parents. My little Isaac will be reaping the rewards tomorrow. Oh, and as a bonus, at the end of the show Helen responds to the Paul Kirschner and Carl Hendrick episode when I asked Paul how a teacher knows whether something has moved from a child’s working memory to their long-term memory, and a fascinating conversation ensues.

On Twitter, Helen is @helenjwc

Links from the show:

A blog post Helen wrote: https://famly.co/blog/covid-19/helen-williams-maths-at-home/

And the two US maths research sites:
This is a nice summary of the spatial awareness (and jigsaw) research : https://thelearningexchange.ca/importance-spatial-reasoning-geometry-kindergarten/
Camilla Gilmore talks of being aware of what CS doesn’t tell us as well as what it does here: https://impact.chartered.college/browse-issue/?issue=issue-8-cognition-and-learning
Nice simple intro to Baddeley and Hitch with short talk here: https://www.simplypsychology.org/working%20memory.html


My usual plugs:


Thanks so much for listening, stay safe, and I really hope you enjoy the show
Craig Barton

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