Monday, 4 May 2009

Bulletin Boards: The Skills Tree

A simple yet effective bulletin board is "The Skills Tree". I was lucky enough to inherit this from Ms. Morrison, my classroom predecessor. On each branch were the skills crucial to our study (in this case, Active Citizenship). At the end of a lesson each student takes a post-it note and writes down the skill they used most during the lesson and why. As they leave students stick the post-it note to the corresponding branch.

Voila! A neat reflective plenary and quick feedback for you as the teacher to see which skills were developed. Alternatively, if you're feeling flexible with your planning, ask students at the beginning of lessons to pick the skill they are least confident and put their post-it note on the relevant branch. You can then brainstorm skill development with students and practice during the lesson.

This can easily be extended to other subjects -- perhaps grammatical rules; with history consider comparative or essay skills; in science think about identification, description, explanation and evaluation. Any other ideas?