I recently observed DME in a Year 9 lesson as part of my coaching training. Whilst observing the lesson I noticed DME using a differentiated resource for the final task. The pupils had to write a paragraph using emotive language (as a culmination of the lesson objective) DME provided each pupils with an A4 piece of paper on which were printed two grids. On one side there were words written in red and on the other, words written in green. DME explained to the pupils what each side meant. For each word DME had provided a synonym to help the pupils extend their vocabulary and made her expectations clear to each individual. The pupils seemed to really like the grids and were thoroughly engaged with the task.
I felt the resource was really effective because each student knew what was expected of them and were not daunted by having to think of and find emotive words. They seemed to really like the idea of the synonyms on the grid so that they could use better words than they probably normally would. I even heard some of them saying their sentence out loud to see which word fit best. At the end of the lesson all pupils wanted to share their work. I loved this resource so much that I have asked for a copy to use with my classes.
One of the new apps we learnt about on our Comenius trip to the Netherlands was called Nearpod and it has had a revolutionary effect on one of my classes. 7S3 have been on the Fresh Start phonics programme since September and interest was frankly waning. I have found a quick and easy way to transfer all the teaching material onto Nearpod presentations and ‘hey presto!’ – they are back on board and engaged. They really enjoy the lessons because not only is the lure of the iPads still very strong but there is such a range of different activities.
There are answers in multiple choice quizzes, answers that are typed and open-ended, answers where you draw a diagram or circle/underline relevant words and phrases, opportunities to vote and give your opinion, videos and web links plus a live Twitter feed. Moreover, you can have a live session where you control all the students iPads and display their work on the board to enable collaboration and discussion – or – you can set the lesson to be used flipped-classroom-style with each student working at a different level or pace. It can be used for homework too. It is unbelievably flexible. I really love being able to view the students’ quiz answers all together on one screen in real time so that if they have made any mistakes I can redirect them to amend them immediately. Everyone ends seeing that they have all correct answers which is great for raising self-esteem.
Several teachers have enjoyed observing some of my Nearpod lessons and they all ask the million dollar question – how long does it take you to write the presentation? Honestly, it takes me 20 minutes – no longer than creating a PowerPoint for a lesson old-style. I am writing around 6 a week quite painlessly just using my non-contact time, knowing that next year I can use them again.
Please feel free to come along and watch me using it – just drop me an email.
In the meantime here is the presentation that the Dutch teacher, known as ‘iTed’, used to show us how to get up and running with Nearpod.
Have fun and let me know your successes and frustrations.
Dave Butler has had great success using learning grids in the music department.
Here are 4 of his best!
The sun has returned to Passmores once more and the Science department headed outside for some great group work to chalk out the periodic table on the flagstones at the front of school.
Check out these great pictures!
As part of year 11 students working on the structure of DNA they completed a task involving plasticine, straws, labels, board makers and videoing facilities on iPads. One group produced a remarkable video with sound and subtitles within a
single lesson. What is particularly fascinating is that the two boys producing this video are generally struggling with focus during lessons and due to the nature of the task felt motivated.
This is a resource that I have found really successful and already shared with the Collaboration TLC during one of our TeachMeet morning sessions.
The Pick a Number plenary is a range of open-ended questions that explore the lesson’s learning progress. Each student picks a number at random from the PowerPoint and answers the question based on the new knowledge and skills they have acquired. Sometimes I get the students to line up and answer them quick-fire one at a time with no one being able to pick the same number. It really works as it can be accessed by all age groups and abilities, ensuring engagement for every pupil. The questions and sentence starters enable pupils to reflect on the lesson and identify their learning. One of my favourite responses came from a student in a mixed ability year 7 group, where the pupil completed the sentence ‘the term . . . . . .was used in today’s lesson and it means. . . . . .’ The word they chose was ‘versatile’ and the description was spot on!
Open the attached PowerPoint and have a go!