My interest in the idea of sharing pedagogical purposes comes directly with the contact I have had with the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning at Monash University in Australia. Now each of these teachers were very active in establishing learning agendas with their classes. The impact they were having was inspiring. Each classroom tool can have a purpose beyond delivering content, and this needs to be shared.
I suppose the purpose of this website is collate, crystalise and open dialogues about how to increase this within classrooms. As the quote from Carl Bereiter illustrates this classroom methodology can empower our students.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

"Choice of three"- Simple notes from a video.

This strategy is best used with a focused video clip, although I'm sure a "tight" teacher  input will work too. Obviously, it takes place at the start of a lesson and should only take around 10 minutes to complete.

The purpose of the strategy is two fold:

1.to make students aware of key terms at the start of a lesson.
2. to allow students to make detailed notes quickly, collaboratively.

Here is an example taken from Year 7 Science.

The procedure runs along these lines.

1. Issue the sheet, let the students briefly read through and discuss. Some may start to answer the questions.

This allows the students to begin to process the information. I always have the information in the correct order, as I intend to show the clip once only, after all I am going to develop these ideas throught the lesson.

2. Slowly read through emphasising new and keywords.

Some of these word will be new to the students, so when they the students hear the words spoken on the video it will be at least the second time they have heard it.

3. Emphasise the instruction that more than one answer MAY be correct, This encourages the students to take ownership of the content.

3.Play the "video", the students should tick or circle the best answer(s). 

If the video is too quick, a second viewing may be needed. It should take place at this point, without discussion and no further teacher input, other than listen out for the ones that were missed. 

4. At the end of the video, allow the students extra time to discuss and compare answers.

This will force the students to start to us this new language. "What did you get for the one about chloroplasts?"

5. The teacher now runs through the answers, and where opportune or useful, teaches around the key points. Not all answers will require this. 

This teaching will be more accessible for students now as the key terms have now been read, heard, explained, recorded and discussed. (in this lesson it will be worth while draw a animal and plant cell and labelling them and explain what each part does, as well as constructing a flow diagram from cells to organ systems.)

6.During this the students should in a different colour tick the teacher sanctioned answers in a different coloured pens.

This reviewing ensures the notes are correct, and an opportunity during the lesson for a teacher to see where the student initially struggled, and ensure that they have moved on. 

When designing these task a couple of things are useful to bear in mind.  Firstly, the guidance at the top benefits from a little ambiguity. This serves to encourage the students to think about the alternatives before making a decision for themselves.

"Circle the best answers. Sometimes one will be correct sometimes more. The video may help."

Secondly, the questions should be a affirmative, so "Which of the following are incorrect?" will not help make a set of useful notes.Thirdly, remember this is not a multiple choice quiz, and therefore not testing previously learned knowledge. Finally, be selective with the clip and the information highlighted within the clip. Ask what is important to in this lesson, what information is needed to make a start.