Challenging our students

Workshop three - strategies we've been using

At our third workshop we heard about some of the successes our colleagues have been having and walked out with some exciting ideas to try out and apply to our lessons to challenge and stretch our students further.

Gap analysis

Kerrie and her year 12s used a gap analysis to assess their progress on certain topics. Any topic students scored less on they then had to decide how they would improve on this topic by setting targets and strategies for achieving them.

Short tasks- chunking

Mahala's strategy to engage her low attaining boys involved planning a lesson with short tasks to keep them focused. She also added an element of competition which further added to the boys remaining on task and keen to progress through the tasks.

Task variety

Jo's successful strategy appealed to the senses. In her sensory approach she also prepared many short tasks which involved seeing, doing and listening. Her pre planning for the lesson meant it was structured as students progressed through mini-tasks.

Visual aids and analogies

Dimitri employed visual aids in the form of imagery, cartoons and comic strips to engage his EAL students. By using simple, every day analogies his student were able to process the information by seeing it put it into another context allowing them to understand it. An interesting observation made by Debbie though was that this approach was not as effective at meeting the needs of SEN students.

Qualitative feedback

Andrea has been experimenting with qualitative and quantitative feedback to establish which is more effective in allowing students to progress. When her students were provided with only qualitative feedback they were faced with the challenge of trying to figure out what their level was. This threw students out of their comfort zone slightly but meant that they really had to reflect on their work and figure out how they could improve it based on the qualitative feedback provided.

Learning outcomes

We also discussed learning outcomes and how best to present them. Any ideas you can share?