Great opportunity to access free training

Now that Christmas is nearly upon us, I’d like to offer TWO weekends of free webinar watching:

  • 12:00 am (midnight) on Saturday 18th December 2021 to
    12:00 am (midnight) Monday 20th December 2021
  • 12:00 am (midnight) on Saturday 25th December 2021 to
    12:00 am (midnight) Monday 27th December 2021

All times are GMT.

On both weekends you will be able to access previous material delivered by great trainers. The list of webinars is as follows:

Developing a Mathematics Professional – days 1 to 4

Nilsbird training offers Developing a Mathematics Professional as a way of inspiring mathematics teachers to consider different ways of approaching the teaching of mathematics. It covers: why mathematics, strategies, problem solving and questioning techniques.

Educating the 21st Century Student – days 1 to 3

Nilsbird training held the online conference Educating the 21st Century Student in August of 2021. It brought together six great trainers who covered: what’s the best way? multi-topic mathematics questions, active learning and science, which is more important: content or skills? engaging large classes using low resources in secondary english, thinking mathematically, active learning in a social context, using an analogue clock in mathematics, adapting mathematical tasks for use in the classroom, science enquiry for active learning.

Helping Students Learn Subjects Through English as an Additional Language

This webinar provides help for those teachers who support students who learn subjects through english as an additional language.

Teaching in the classroom on a single computer with no access to the internet

The webinar provides help for those teachers who are trying to teach using only a single computer in the classroom.

Free ICT toolbox

This webinar provides information about what free software etc. is available for teachers to use.

During the two weekends, more detailed information about the content of the webinars will be available.

To gain access to the two weekends of free webinar watching, email conference[@] to register your details.

I do hope you will make use of these great opportunities for free training!

Till next time,

nilsbird training

Changes at nilsbird training

From today nilsbird training has changed! You might be wondering what I mean! Well, I had a think and thought: should I take the plunge and become, what we call in the United Kingdom, a limited company? Now there are advantages and disadvantages to this, which I won’t go into, but I felt it was worth a try so here we are: nilsbird training is now the trading name of nilsbtraining ltd. Not a vastly different name, I have to admit, and, in fact, my twitter and facebook handles are @nilsbtraining.

So, what will the change of status mean for the work of nilsbird training? On the face of it, not a lot, to begin with but, as I move forward, and potentially grow, you might see a greater range of options for training and, maybe, some provision for your students as well.

Thinking skills seems to have taken a bit of a back seat since I last wrote some posts! With the marking season around the corner (and, in fact, I have already gone round it, really!) that seat will stay filled until December now. Hopefully I can pursue some good, positive ideas then!

Blog post themes will expand, over the next few months, as I embark on pastures new. Do sign up for the blog email notifications to know when a new post has been put up.

Finally, my next blog post will be about a special weekend in December where I will be allowing access to previously broadcast webinars – for free. Sign up for the blog email notifications to know when the next post has been put up.

Short but sweet this time!

Until next time.
nilsbird training

Mathematics Question 19 and other things!

In the previous blog post, I mentioned about the publication of Mathematics Question – Number 18. Now Mathematics Question – Number 19 has been published. Download it here. It is the third question in, “The skill of thinking” series. As with Mathematics Question Number 17 and Number 18, it is written for Grades 5 to 8. It asks students to think about different ways that four friends can spend time at a ten-pin bowling alley, over a six month period.

Also in the previous blog post, I mentioned about upcoming webinars and a week-long mathematics course. The dates for these have now been published:

Tuesday 12th October 2021 16:00 GMT Free ICT Toolbox to Help in Your Classroom

Tuesday 19th October 2021 16:00 GMT Teaching from a Single Computer with No Internet Access

Wednesday 20th October 2021 16:00 GMT Helping Students Learn Subjects Through English as an Additional Language

Monday 25th to Friday 29th October 2021 16:00 GMT Developing a Mathematics Professional – 5 Days Training

As with all the training nilsbird training tries to provide, the fees for attending the above events are being kept low so that teachers from different economic backgrounds can attend.

The standard price for a webinar is $7 (£5.11). However, until 48 hours before the training is due to take place, it is heavily discounted to the amazing price of $2.50 (£1.82). The standard price for Developing a mathematics professional is $35 (£25.54). However, until 48 hours before the training is due to take place, it is heavily discounted to the amazing price of $10 (£7.30).

Finally, nilsbird training’s first live stream event of this Autumn will be at 16:00 GMT on Wednesday 6th October 2021 on it’s YouTube channel. The topics will include CPD (continuous professional development) and active learning:

So, apologies for another information-sharing blog. My next post will be about the mathematics questions so, hopefully, there will be something of interest for you in that. During October I would like to continue to discuss the idea of thinking skills, mentioned in the previous blog post.

Bye for now,
nilsbird training

Mathematics Question – Number 18

A new mathematics question has been published – Mathematics Question – Number 18. Download it here.

The question is the second in a series called, “The skill of thinking”. Written for Grades 5 to 8, the question asks students to think about different ways of purchasing books; from an online store, or a physical book store. There are membership schemes and discounts for students to think about. As with Mathematics Question Number 17, the idea of the question is not to work with complex mathematics, but to bring together related information to solve a problem.

How important are thinking skills to you as a teacher? Do we just take them for granted when working with students, or do students actually need support with developing them? There is even a Thinking Skills examination provided by Cambridge Assessment International Education (17/18 year olds).

I think there is a new topic for a future blog coming here. What are thinking skills and do we need them? Let’s see what I can do!

The webinar preparations are coming on and the dates will soon be published. Just looking at providing three webinars in October, plus a week-long mathematics course.

Don’t forget to watch out for the live stream event in October – via YouTube. The focus will be CPD and Active Learning.

That’s it for now.

nilsbird training

What’s the plan now?

Well! This post is just a brief, short post to share some new ideas for 2021/2022. Here goes!

The mathematics questions are back! Question Number 17 has been published. It’s the first in a new series called, “The skill of thinking”. Question 18 will be published on Monday 20th September 2021. All the questions can be found at here. (Don’t forget the Mathematics Questions Newsletter is now part of this blog.)

Supporting CPD/Professional Development returns with some webinars in October 2021. Watch out for a blog post with all the details. The high standards shown in Standard for teachers’ professional development are what nilsbird training wants to aspire to!

Nilsbird training is embarking on a new venture – live streams via YouTube. The first will be on October 6th at 16:00 GMT. Themes will be CPD and active learning. Watch out for a blog post with all the details.

Thinking again about CPD/Professional Development, complete these three statements and let nilsbird training know what your needs are for 2021/2022:

1) Over the next year I want to learn more about … so that I can improve my students progress in the classroom.
2) Over the next year I want to improve my understanding of … so that I can improve my students progress in the classroom.
3) Over the next year I want to improve my … so that I perform more effectively as a teacher and support my personal well being.

That’s it for the moment.

nilsbird training

Telling the time – part 4

For this post on telling the time (my last, I think, for the moment!) I’m going to look at some of the written approaches I took.

Depending on the age/ability of the students, I tried to go as far as I could with my written approaches. At the start, it was important that students knew the basics.

This information was put into practise.

As I linked in fractions with telling the time (see the previous post), appropriate questions were used.

As some students progressed, harder questions were given, mixing in fractions when appropriate.

The most able students were set the task of planning a journey involving time.

I did not shy away from asking higher-level thinking questions, such as 15 minutes is the answer, what is the question? (The students did find this question particularly hard!)

So, the end of the posts about telling the time. I hope you found them interesting. I certainly learnt a lot that I didn’t know before!

The multi-topic mathematics questions are returning next week, so the newsletters will appear again. Something to look forward to!

nilsbird training

Life is still busy but great news today!

Life never gives up on what it throws at us and, in my case, that’s the marking season, which is now upon me! So, things like my maths questions have taken a back seat for the moment. Do keep an eye out for number 17. I’ll let you know when it will be available.

This short blog post is really about the great news I have: Educating the 21st Century Student, an online teacher training conference for Zambia, and beyond – Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th August 2021. This is a conference I am putting on in partnership with Chingola Private School Association – based in Chingola, Zambia (in the Copperbelt Region!).

© OpenStreetMap contributors,

All the details about the conference can be found via You can sign up there to be kept in the loop about all the arrangements for the conference. There are some amazing speakers lined up (including me!) and it’s a great price too – $30 for all three days!

I still need to write about how I’m teaching the time and fractions at the same time, but that will have to wait. Back to the marking!

See you next time.
nilsbird training

A lack of commitment!

As I work as a tutor I get to see a lot of different things concerning learning. With online tutoring I work with older students who, for example, are genuinely keen to improve their mathematics knowledge/want to get the right grades. With face-to-face tutoring I work with younger students (as mentioned previously) who vary in their enthusiasm and commitment.

Recent experiences in the face-to-face environment have shown me that some students seem to ‘rule the roost’ when it comes to not cooperating and just doing as they please! No doubt such students might have genuine behaviour problems but certainly they show a complete lack of commitment to their learning needs. (I would say they are definitely old enough to know how important learning is!)

So, what are to be done with students who just ‘can’t be bothered’ and will leave the classroom whenever they please?

You thoughts, as always, are welcome!

nilsbird training
PS How would you teach telling the time to those who have missed the opportunity in the curriculum? My thoughts on this in the next post!

Motivation – how to engage students? Part 3

Today, I’d like to add some more thoughts to this engagement question.

Thinking about some 9/10 year olds I worked with this afternoon, I began to think about what level of our UK GCSE (16 year old examination) they might sit in 6/7 years time. (Assuming this examination still exists!) It is clear to me that the students are already pretty good at mathematics and therefore I would predict they would sit the highest level.

So, assuming my prediction is correct, how do we keep the engagement going/keep them interested for another 6/7 years? (I think this is especially important to think about, when work the students can do/cover now will be revisited during the first few years of high school, and then within the actual GCSE examination.)

What would you do with such ‘bright’ students, as they progress through school?

Let me know your thoughts!

nilsbird training