I teach my Y8 English class every Friday periods 1 and 5, and what a class they are!
In these introductory lessons we have been focusing on exploring the themes within the Gothic Novel of Frankenstein. I met with Natalie Race earlier in the week who shared with me some of her ideas from her Sequence of Lessons, and this really benefited the planning process for my own group. She clearly knows her stuff regarding the novel and her personal insights helped me to develop some key concepts so thank you Nat!
During the first lesson I focused on strategies that increased engagement in order to establish a ‘no opt out’ culture. Kagan Co-operative strategies are great for this, and ‘Round Rally Robin’, as well as ‘Think-Pair-Share’ are trusted techniques for bringing accountability to learners. I accompanied this by posing follow up questions after discussions that ensured that learners were actually listening to each other. For instance “…who was number 2 in your group? What did number 3 say about the themes in Frankenstein?” You can actually take this further by asking a learner from the far end of the classroom about what was just said – again increasing the accountability on learners for active listening and taking part.
I’ve also been placing emphasis on ensuring that learners have an appropriate level of sophistication in their oral responses in class. All too often, responses maybe be limited to a handful of words and this may reduce learners’ ability to express understanding in the written form. Consequently, I’ve been insisting that learners use phrases such as ‘for instance’ , ‘for example’ and ‘to illustrate this’ in order to provide the scaffolding needed to extend their oral responses.
My Y8 class handled all of this incredibly well today – I still love being a teacher!
* The video above was created and used during the lesson by recording clips with my iPad, the clips were then used in the Quik App, then uploaded to the Google Drive App, then played in the lesson during the Consolidate Phase.