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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Creative Learners

I've decided that I like PLTS. I think it's quite a good starting point for any scheme of work in ICT.

I'm part of a teaching and learning group at my school. Today we had a discussion about PLTS. The best part, for me, was the demonstration of a lesson activity in which we were treated like the students. It was an English Poetry lesson, and instantly I was struck with fear, when I saw the white board covered in words that had been jumbled by http://www.wordle.net/ and was asked to try and work out what the poem might be about. Being dyslexic, this is like my worse nightmare, especially being surrounded by well educated teachers. However I found after a while that it was ok to just have an idea. That I was not going to be judged by my answer as the activity was to get students to think creatively about the poems they are studying, to put their own interpretations forward.

We went on to then look at the poem after discussing our different ideas. We were asked to decide how the narrater might be feeling and to find a quote to back it up. The teacher then wrote these feelings on the board. This lead onto s further discussion about wether we thought that the narrator was male or female. It was really enjoyable.

It reminds me that when I come up with what I think are strange over the top creative ideas, that it is ok. I'm trying to make some of the more boring criteria more interesting giving different types of learners a chance to succeed.

Recently we have been teaching year 9 about communication. One of the lessons main objectives is to be able to give technical information to a non technical audience using ICT effectively. In the past the lesson has involved every student writing a presentation to explain how to access email from home. I then have to sit through every student giving the same presentation to the class. The KS3 Co-ordinator and other members of the department started to discuss ways in which this task could be improved. Through discussion it was decided to change the task so that students may choose any content for their presentation as long as they give technical information to an audience. I gave this task to a top set and a bottom set of year 9's with excellent outcomes.

Presentations so far include:
How to chat up girls
Rules of cricket
What not to wear
How to cheat at school
and How to play Battlefield 3.

I'm going to be so well informed after I watch all these presentations. I feel like my students are more engaged and that creativity does have a place to engage my students. After all, students should have some fun, right Mr. Gove? *sigh*

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