English, Education, Solo, Literacy
 
I've been at two tweachery things this week, both of which were superb- thanks to @funkypedagogy and @1johngillard for organising! I wanted to get something down on my blog as a record for myself and others (if you fancy reading it...).

Something I've been working on is independence- I'm probably like a lot of teachers in that I'm a big talker, and I need to stop it. I've been called on it a number of times in observations, and it's time for me to start putting into action a way of me handing it over to the kids. A common mantra of mine is that looking at results and Performance Related Pay, we can not legislate for what students do in an exam hall. I kind of hold to this, but actually, I need to recognise that it's a reality, and I need to face up to the repercussions of handing the lesson over to my students and trusting that they will make the right choices. 

It's been easily the proudest two weeks of my teaching career, in that I've chosen carefully when to use certain activities and structures, and it's worked. 

I thought I'd share those with you here :)
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1. UNLEASH THE OUTER GRID!!! 
Does what it says on the tin. Begin the lesson by asking students what they already know and share back to the front- a very easy way to gauge where they are.As the students move through the lesson and learn, they simply add this to the outer grid. However, the most important aspect of this is the conversations it facilitates between my students and myself (and more importantly, each other). Like anything, it needs to be used more than once to be at its best, but constantly asking students to add to their outer grid as the lesson progresses. This is a fantastic way to really begin to see the rates of engagement and progression throughout the class.

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2. Charge Them...
I'm fairly sure I've broken a number of laws in doing this, but don't get in touch with the people at Buck House and we'll be fine :)

It's an idea I nicked from a former colleague and adapted for myself. Simply stick your head on a recognisable piece of currency (various websites can offer you the chance to do this) and then explain to students during group with that they must exchange it to receive 5 minutes of your time, which may not be divided.

What's fantastic about this is not only the hook for the students, but more importantly, the kind of conversations I heard when I asked if they wanted to 'cash in.' Students were discussing and saying things like 'no not not we need to later when we...' which was fantastic because it showed me they were beginning to look ahead, work together and plan as a group.  

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3. Fox Thinking Tool
Easily differentiated in terms of the tasks you place in the doughnut, which is cut up, and also divisible into different numbers of pieces.

Students are given a task each based around the same stimulus or topic, and must come together to feed back and write down the key points in the central section. A fantastic tool to use and structure activities. Template can be downloaded below.

fox.docx
File Size: 86 kb
File Type: docx
Download File

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4. Taxonomy of Errors
Stolen from @kevbartle- now my favourite tool to use to feedback or feedforward in the classroom.

I've blogged about it elsewhere here. This simple way of listing 'levels' of errors allows students to identify the levels of errors they are making in order to improve. 

I love this because it's a way of allowing students to understand that it's OK to make mistakes, and that they are in fact a vital part of the process. Giving them a tangible way to witness and analyse their own errors has transformed the progress my students are making compared with before. A fantastic tool.

07/06/2013 11:41pm

Loving the note idea. ; ) Will use.

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English, Education, Solo, Literacy