Piper's Hill College
If you want an active and fun activity that is guaranteed to have 100% student engagement then try incorporating Relay Races into your class. Ms Greally hosted our November session of the teaching and learning club and she had all the participants competing and working in teams to complete the task!
So how do you set up a relay race?
Relay races can be used with any topic, vocabulary words, verbs, key concepts, definitions, basically anything. The teacher is in the middle of the room, usually with tables and chairs moved to the sides to make space. The students are divided into groups of 3 or 4. This can be chosen in advance by teacher for mixed ability or randomly assigned. The teacher gives each group a piece of paper with the question. The teams figure out the answer and write it on the page. One member of the team then brings the answer to the teacher and if it is correct, they can drop the sheet on the ground or leave it on a table, and the teacher gives them another question to bring back to their group. If they get it wrong, they must return to their team and try to figure out the correct answer again.
You can make the activity as long or as short as you like, depending on how many questions you have. You can also begin with easier questions and move on to more challenging ones.
It's a great activity that engages all learners, and it gets students up and moving. It is competitive, but the structure ensures that all students can get involved and participate. It would be great to use as a revision exercise or in preparation for a test.
Thanks to Ms Greally for hosting!
October's Teaching and Learning Club was presented by Ms Sunderland who showed how we could use the Spider Diagram (Star Diagram or Radar Diagram as they are also known). This is a great way for student's to reflect on their learning and see clearly and visually the areas they need to focus on. Below are examples of a blank diagram and one filled in by our geography students in preparation for a test. Student label each line and place a dot along the line to show how well they understand that topic. The closer to the middle the dot is, the less they understand while the further along the line the better they understand it. This helps student's prioritise what areas they should focus on more and if they complete this exercise before and after a test they can see how they have improved.
Our Teaching and Learning Club started back this week with the cooperative learning strategy- Teams Games Tournament, from the Instructional Leadership Programme. It's a great way to revise before a test, consolidate learning and the fun, competitive element ensures that everyone gets involved.
The rules and guidelines for the tournament can be found below:
The simple ideas are often the best and most effective. Ms O'Meara reminded us that Think-Pair-Share is still one of the easiest and most effective tactics that can be used in the classroom to assess knowledge and scaffold student learning.
As our Wellbeing Coordinator, she also highlighted how Think-Pair-Share can combat loneliness and isolation as everyone is made to feel welcome and part of a group. A student who may lack confidence in their ability or who may just be naturally shy will feel supported and encouraged to speak, first with just one other person and then to a larger group. Often the teacher may ask a question: 'What did this pair or this group come up with?' Students are more likely to feel confident answering when it is a group effort and they are not being put on the spot.
Ms O'Meara demonstrated Think-Pair-Share with a problem solving exercise used in Maths/ Technical Graphics. Students try to solve the problem on their own first, then share their work with another student. Each student should explain how they solved the problem which again, reinforces the learning. Each pair might then join up with another pair to compare how they solved the problem. By the time the teacher asks for feedback, students will have explained their answer and heard other answers a number of times and will feel more at ease with whole class feedback.
Thanks to Mr. O'Brien who hosted the Teaching and Learning Club for November and showed us how to use the Differentiated Learning Cube.
The differentiated learning cube allows students to self-assess by picking higher and lower order questions. Question sheets are slotted into the sides, and the cube is thrown around the room from student to student, who each take turns to read a question and answer it. It is a great tool for revision of key words, used as a hook at the beginning of the lesson, or as recap of the lesson. Furthermore, it can be used as a randomiser for groupwork. Visual and Auditory learners benefit from the colour-coded cubes and questions and answers being asked amongst the cohort. Kinesthetic learners also benefit from the physical interaction of the cube, and this allows for a break in theory heavy classes for more active practices. Students soon see the cube more as a game, whilst still retaining the underlining educational value.The differentiated learning cube allows students to self-assess by picking higher and lower order questions. Question sheets are slotted into the sides, and the cube is thrown around the room from student to student, who each take turns to read a question and answer it.
It is a great tool for revision of key words, used as a hook at the beginning of the lesson, or as recap of the lesson. Furthermore, it can be used as a randomiser for groupwork. Visual and Auditory learners benefit from the colour-coded cubes and questions and answers being asked amongst the cohort. Kinesthetic learners also benefit from the physical interaction of the cube, and this allows for a break in theory heavy classes for more active practices.
Students soon see the cube more as a game, whilst still retaining the underlining educational value.The differentiated learning cube allows students to self-assess by picking higher and lower order questions. Question sheets are slotted into the sides, and the cube is thrown around the room from student to student, who each take turns to read a question and answer it.
It is a great tool for revision of key words, used as a hook at the beginning of the lesson, or as recap of the lesson. Furthermore, it can be used as a randomiser for groupwork. Visual and Auditory learners benefit from the colour-coded cubes and questions and answers being asked amongst the cohort. Kinesthetic learners also benefit from the physical interaction of the cube, and this allows for a break in theory heavy classes for more active practices. Students soon see the cube more as a game, whilst still retaining the underlining educational value.
Our first Teaching and Learning Club of the new year kicked off on 2nd October with Ms Dempsey showing us how simple it is to use the iMovie app in class.
iMovie is an easy to use video creation app that allows for fun and interactive ways to introduce, recap and assess students understanding. The app is preinstalled on all student iPads and allows students to combine video and photo footage from their gallery to make short films. iMovie allows students to create voiceovers and import music as a soundtrack to their movie.
In my teaching I have used iMovie in a number of ways and students have always amazed me with their creativity and the quality of videos produced. Some examples include:
- Using iMovie to challenge students to create a short video explanation of a new concept
- Using iMovie as a homework activity to assess students understanding of a topic.
- Using iMovie to detail their learning from a group investigation in science
iMovie has also been very successfully used by Transition Year students to create silent movies in English and Irish language short films which premiered in the school last term during Seachtain na Gaeilge.
The Padlet link below will allow you to see some of the work created by students and also features a short video that explains how to use iMovie.
So why not take a look, and discover the endless possibilities!!
We are still not sick of the snow here in Piper's Hill College with our penultimate Teaching and Learning Club looking at the Snowball Activity as a methodology!
For this activity, all you will need is paper, markers and music and the method is simple:
Students are handed a paper and a marker, either blank or with a question.
The learner writes a question or answers a question relating to their studied topic.
They crumble up the paper.
Then they throw the snow balls around...Students definitely have a lot of fun with this!
When the music stops, the student picks up the closest snow ball to them and writes a a response or answer to the question.
The activity can continue as more and more information gets added to each answer.
So, how is this activity useful in the classroom?
The purpose of the snowball strategy is to predict, justify and think critically.
It Engages student to think about what they are doing and understand a concept or topic better.
It enforces writing, responding to text, collaborating and importantly, it encourages students to respond even if they are unsure of the answer.
It is a great way to check student understanding and a fun, interactive method that includes everyone.
◦Found that the students who do not normally engage with each other were given an opportunity to do so.
◦It maintained concentration, especially with weaker students who enjoyed the active element of the task.
◦Students suggested that they play a catch version where they line up and catch a snow ball and answer that particular one, this could work for a rapid fire revision class.
◦Students hung their work on the walls and had walked around the ’gallery’ to observe each others answers and points. Students enjoy that their work is important enough to be displayed or used in another students revision.
Different Ways to use the Method:
◦Brainstorming for personal writing essays. Students can write their name and their topic on the top of the page before they throw, the pages are answered by a number of students before the original student collects their page.
◦Use as a for revision for tests, various students write a question and another answers and passes it on.
◦Students can display the finished sheets on the wall or collect to revise with.
This month in the Teaching and Learning Club we were introduced to Kahoot Challenge, a new feature to Kahoot.
Many of our teachers use Kahoot in class as a fun way to check and assess learning and it can be used across all subjects areas. Especially as our students have iPads, it's very easy to set up. and use in class.
With the new Challenge feature on Kahoot, you can assign kahoots as homework, so that students can complete it at home. You can ensure that it must be completed within a certain time frame also and as with other quizzes, you can view results and get an overview of how each student fared with the questions. We tried it out with an Irish language challenge and it would work great testing vocabulary in language subjects but also definitions and key terms across a variety of subject areas.
Below you can find a link to Kahoot with an easy tutorial on how to use Kahoot Challenge. Staff will be trialing it this month in their classes and we will see how they get on!
This month’s Teaching and Learning Club looked at Tarsia. With this software you will easily be able to create, print out, save and exchange customised jigsaws, domino activities and a variety of rectangular card sort activities. The activities created using this software can be presented in printable form, ready to cut out. Designed for mathematics it can easily be used for other subjects such as Geography, History, English, Science, Languages since it allows text to be included.
Below is a link for the Tarsia Presentation given by Ms Edwards and a link to the website where you can download this free software.
Link to presentation- https://prezi.com/view/hkdhscKuVn0LbaORMJX7/
Link to download software- http://download.cnet.com/Formulator-Tarsia/3000-2051_4-10584458.html
Brushing up on French Verbs and trying out Tarsia in our Teaching and Learning Club!
What is PWIM?
It is an inquiry based language strategy. Originally used to add to children’s vocabulary.
It uses pictures containing objects, people and scenes to draw out words from student’s listening and speaking vocabularies.
The PWIM goals are to:
1. Build sight vocabulary as a basis for reading, learning phonics and oral literacy.
2. Gain confidence in one’s ability to learn and foster growth mindset
Uses in SEN, LS and Resource:
★ Apart from students with a severe visual impairment an image is accessible to all.
★ An image is far less intimidating for students than a title or word they may not recognise.
★ Treat it as though the image is new to you as well and ask focused questions to elicit the response you want.
An example of PWIM used in the classroom is in Leaving Certificate English poetry when the above image was used to introduce the poem 'The Arundel Tomb by Philip Larkin. This image was projected on the screen as students came into the class and they were given a few minutes to analyse and study the photograph before the teacher began lower and higher order questioning.
★ What do you think is the relationship between the people in the photo? (husband and wife)
★ What do their clothes tell us about their social status/class? (she is in a dress/he is in armour type clothing)
★ What century do you think it is from? (1372)
★ Do you notice anything else about how the people are positioned? (side by side/holding hands/she has a dog at her feet/ he has a lion at him)
This prompted class discussion and critical thinking before the students engaged with the poem itself and generated a lot of interesting ideas and thoughts.
This strategy could be used across all subjects as a way of introducing a topic and perhaps tapping into students prior knowledge.
We look forward to seeing how teachers used the PWIM strategy in their various subjects after Christmas!