Posted on The Space of Jeans
Observing the world, reading and viewing gives one a great opportunities to ask questions; reflect on one’s own practice and try to make meaningful, practical suggestions.
How do we get all learners to be engaged, feel involved and show them that their voice matters?
How do we involve all children in discussion, learning and collaboration?
Is whole class discussion the way to start lessons, to pull everyone in?
I’ve been watching some video clips that our literacy co-ordinator shared with me. My first observation is that the children look like they are half asleep. The same two children raise their hands and are called on constantly. The teacher talks and talks …
What strategies might we use to draw all of our learners in?
- Stop asking for raised hands. Instead, ask everyone to think and place their thumb next to their chest when they feel they have a thought. Hands in the air hinder the thinking of the children who take time to think. They know that the “hand up child” will be called on , so there is no need to think.
- Access prior knowledge – use thinking routines (in parts and with purpose) eg I used to think and now I think (know)
- Use Google Slides / Docs so that every child has a place to share their ideas and link to those of others.
- Allow every child a point of entry by using big questions and deep provocations.
- Less teacher talk – allow children to ask the questions and then find out what they are interested in and what they see the need to find out about.
- Using thinking routines like Connect-Extend-Challenge, Think, Pair Share , Compass Points , See, Think, Wonder
- Share ideas in small groups rather than whole class discussions all the time. Get group to come up with a headline / big idea / question / insight to share.
- Use place mat thinking routines to come up with a definition.
- Use a chalk walk to collect thinking and extend ideas.
At the end of the lesson, check in with children. Ask them to share a puzzle/ insight / something they learnt/ how they are feeling. Is it possible to engage all learners, all of the time?