By Denise Cook, English dept.
I’ve been working on all that for the last few weeks, how to turn it into something I can actually use in the classroom. Come the beginning of term, it’s time. I decided to go forward with a general idea of ‘giving them space to learn’: I would provide the scaffolding and technical information, but so far as practical they would take responsibility for their own learning in the classroom space by deciding how we go forward. Once the blanks (lessons) are filled in, which I’m planning to do over the next two weeks, give or take an hour, I’ll print and distribute.
In my four lessons this morning we talked seating arrangements, timetabling and the differences between their learning experience on p.2 Tuesday and p.6 Friday. We discussed having a mobile-free lesson once a cycle. To my mild surprise, nobody raises any objections. Is that a function of them really not minding or being compliant?
But a picture is worth a thousand words, said someone. Here are some from my first morning’s attempts at bringing the pupils on board with social emotional focus for academic progress (sorry: that’s a mouthful. There isn’t a handy buzz phrase available yet).
I asked them to set their own goals for the term/course. (NB: Both offers of a goal for class work-shopping were from boys.)
Yr 11 goal workshopped on the board: ‘Do all my preps by the deadline’
Yr 13 goal: ‘Get A*s’
I gave them these worksheets to help them bring together the information, the feelings/needs and their (self-determined) goals.
Points of interest: the U6th form are most extrinsically focused (unsurprising, perhaps – they’ve been in the system longer, they are looking beyond school…) All very illuminating and helps me to get to know them. We started discussing the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation – we’ll pick up the discussion as we go along.
Lastly I asked the U6 form, whose set I have just taken over, to use the feelings words from the list to give me some anonymous Post it feedback about how they felt at the end of the first lesson – one apparently misunderstood what I was asking them to do and two didn’t hand in their Post its. Those are also forms of feedback.
The basis for several more illuminating conversations over the next few lessons. I’ll keep you posted.