Bright spots // 9th December
Ms Thielen (Spanish) – Year 9 students were responding to feedback on a recent piece of work. Ms Thielen questioned students about a common misconception to ascertain the precise nature of the mistake and then used clear explanations and examples to model the correct use of language. Students were very much involved and were encouraged to offer lots of ideas with Ms Thielen correcting where needed and using other students to build upon the previous answer. Students were expected to make notes to correct their work as the teacher revisited questions on the board. The idea of revisiting work is a vital part of the learning process – giving students time to engage with retrieval practice (find out more about retrieval practice and other learning strategies here) is just as an important as introducing new content.
Mr Heath (PE) – Year 11 boys were taking part in a table tennis tournament. Despite this being a non-examined class, all students were in kit and involved in the lesson (high expectations). Mr Heath had the lesson set up so that students could practice and develop their table tennis skills through competition (a useful strategy for engaging boys). Projected onto the wall was a tournament fixture chart which tracked the different matches. Students owned this and would update after each match. Whilst students were playing Mr Heath circulated, challenging and supporting students. For some students this may be the only opportunity they get to take part in sport so Mr Heath was keen to ensure they had a great experience to promote healthy lifestyles to the students.
Ms Pickup & Ms Middleton (Accelerated reader) – Year students were reading silently in the library as part of an accelerated reader programme (1 session a week). Students are already into a routine of collecting a book and sitting at a desk quickly to ensure maximum reading time is available. Ms Pickup was able to offer praise and feedback whilst students were reading. Once students have finished reading a section they are able to to test themselves using the accelerated reader software – a great way to build memory and develop comprehension. The programme itself is supported by our librarian Ms Middleton who has put a lot of time and effort into setting it up and championing reading to students. This is just one of many initiatives that Ms Middleton has help set up to encourage students to read more widely. Another popular event are the author visits that occur regular in the BBA library. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to hear from and engage with authors of books available in the library. One of the challenges for all teachers is how do we get students to read more often in lessons? Some possible solutions here and here.
Ms Curtis (Science) – Year 10 students were working their way through some chemical equation practice. Whilst students were practicing Ms Curtis circulated the room questioning students and supporting them to develop their understanding. Questioning was targeted and the students who need the most support were visited first. Ms Curtis has really high expectations of students work which was evident in student work, with students demonstrating pride and progress. Ms Curtis has also developed student organisation (a key skill for busy exam periods) by modelling to students how to create flash cards for revision and then given time over for students to create these. She has also created a folder system for storing all past papers so that students can revisit these to develop their knowledge further.