On placement this week we wanted to get the students started on part of their assessment. Just leaving them to their own devices is not the best option with this group. So a plan was needed to make sure they actually started to do some research and thinking about the task and to work on it instead of doing anything but.
They were split into groups of 3 students, mostly able to choose their own members with a few mumbles when someone had to move out of their comfort zone.
Three tasks were posted up on the board and each group had to carry out all three tasks. They were given the additional task of deciding amongst themselves how they would allocate responsibility for each task… they did this pretty quickly and with minimal fuss.
Each individual student then had about 20 minutes to work on their specific task, researching online, asking for advice from teachers or whatever they chose. Then they had a few minutes to feed back to each other within their group on what they had done for their task. Once that was done each group fed back to the whole class and this gave rise to some discussion amongst them and some interesting ideas and thoughts being formed.
They then had a ten minute break and after that they were given around 50 minutes to begin to work on their assignment which really had been done as the three tasks had covered the content. They really knuckled down to some work and with minimal prompting and some advice and discussion when appropriate everyone left the class with at least a good start having been made on their assignment.
The post break period was unusually quiet and focused. The method seems to have worked very well and will be one I’ll definitely lock into the memory bank as being far more productive than sending them off to the library or setting them off blindly on an assignment.