Objective Quest – Day 3 : October 12, 2011
Quick update on the Learning Objectives google doc: we’re now up to 47 ways to introduce learning objectives! Only three more to go so if you have any good stuff lurking in the cluttered cupboard of your brain, please add it here.
Another 3 lesson day, punctuated by Jim Roberson doing some motivational speaking for our Year 10 & 11 students.
P1 Year 11 Connected Words
Lesson 1 was with Year 11 and our objective was To be able to explore the ways power is presented in Of Mice and Men. The chosen techniques was Connected Words. I gave different tables different key words to focus on and asked them to come up with as many connected words as possible in 1 minute. The keywords were ‘explore’, ‘ways’, ‘power’ and ‘presented’. They came up with some amazing ideas which sparked some really interesting discussion. My favourite connection was between ‘explore’ and look around’. This provoked an extended debate on what ‘looking around’ might look like in their controlled assessments. It was ridiculously easy to do and made for a purposeful start to the lesson. I’m already noticing a real trend; so far the low tech techniques seem much more likely to make students think in interesting ways.
Ease: 10 Impact; 9
P2 Year 10 – Missing Keyword
Year 10 finished their controlled assessment last lesson and I wanted them to self assess it before handing it in for summative marking. I absolutely hate this about controlled assessment – it goes completely against my teaching grain to work like this and I really struggle with the idea that I have to mark work and the students them have no opportunity to improve. The opportunity for useful formative feedback is completely lost. Anyway, that’s another blog post for another day. The objective was To be able to use success criteria to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ your work. It didn’t take them very long at all to decide that improve was the missing word. Not much material for debate, but it did get them talking about the objective so overall a plus. And of course an absolute doddle to do: in fact slightly less work than normal as you actually write one less word!
Ease: 10 Impact: 5
P4 Year 10 Odd One Out
This is my parallel Year 10 group at they’re at exactly the same stage so it was intended as a repeat of period 2′s lesson. The odd one out techniques suggests showing the class 4 statements or objectives and then getting them to work out what the actual objective is. I decided that using 4 statements would be a bit more meaningful than 4 objectives so I asked them which of the following statements they thought would make the most impact on the quality of their work.
1. You should make your work as neat as possible
2. You should count the exact number of words you have written
3. You should read through your work and check you have met all the success criteria
4. You should use the time to do a bit more writing
This was great and was useful for exploding a few misconceptions as well as getting the students themselves to justify the use of success criteria. Hearing comments like, “If you don’t use the success criteria how can you know how well you’ve done?” was music to my jaundiced ears. My work here is done, I thought smugly to myself. I hadn’t intended to do this, but in the event I decided to get the class to write their own objective based on statement 3 (which was of course the right answer!) This made for a much better lesson than the one earlier in the day: the students were more engaged in the activities that followed and came up with much more interesting comments at the end of the lesson. Yes, it was a bit more trouble to think of the statements, but the impact was tremendous. I was so interested to see the difference it made to what was essentially the same lesson. This one is only avoids being today’s winner by a whisker as it did take marginally more effort.
Ease 8 Impact 10