Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Lego in the classroom: A Learning Tool

During half-term I am visiting an amazing fellow Masters student in Denmark to take part in a Lego 'Serious Play' conference. Businesses are now paying Lego for 'strategy kits' from which business leaders construct processes, metaphors for their organisations, and so on. This works as it is concrete and memorable. Lego can have a similar effect in the classroom. Have students use old Lego bricks (you can find cheap bags on ebay) to create items relevant to your subject - redo the Battle of Hastings, make a neural pathway or reinterpret a poem.

The process of 'play' is creative and knowledge-building for students, and the outcomes are both meaningful and visual causing them to transfer more easily into long-term memory.

For more info on this

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Return of DTT: Student Handbooks

Hello all.....

A hectic summer has meant a late start but I am now back. I will be putting all the week's posts up first on and then putting daily chunks on here assuming I am able to get near a computer in the morning. My new job has shifted my time priorities a little so I may not be quite as timely as before but I will do my best.

On with the first post for 2009-10:

Student Handbooks
As an experienced teacher I know the best way for my classroom to function however the students I meet each year do not. After beginning with questionnaires, name and team games so that students can get to know each other it acn be very helpful to give your students an introductory handout or handbook (depending on their age and complexity of the course). I try to avoid too much of the 'rule' based stuff but I do give information on what the course is, why I like it, what students should do to achieve well and what they can expect from me. You can find examples here:
Year 10 Citizenship, Year 12 SHD Diploma & Year 13 Psychology.

This year, for the first time, I printed extra so students could take an extra copy for their parents. I was amazed (and heartened) how many students took the extra copies and have since mentioned how helpful it was as their parents usually bug them relentlessly about the content of their school work.