So a great crowd came along today to talk about some fantastic ideas. There is definitely some good, creative activities going on around the school. The best thing about sharing our ideas was how each idea spawned another and everyone felt able to add their thoughts.
Inner Circle/Outer Circle: Half the pupils sit (or stand) in a circle facing the other half who are in the outer circle. Each pair has a card with a question with the answer on the back. The inner circle ask the question to their partner in the outer circle. The game then moves on with each circle taking one step to their right, thus in opposite directions and picking up a new card with a new question for a new partner. At the end of the session pupils can work on any of the areas where they struggled.
Variations (and there were many! Here are a couple):
Repeated Questions: In a circle the first pupil reads out a question and the next person the answer, this process is repeated until eventually there is no need to read the answer as it has become ingrained. By this point the next question can be brought out and the process can be repeated and gather speed as it progresses.
Find your partner Q & A: Each pupil has a card with either a question or answer on it, moving round the room they have to find their partner.
Hexagons: Thanks to Jo Clarke @shampoozil for sharing this idea. Essentially, Jo showed us the hexagons she uses. It is an idea that easily transferable across year groups and subjects. The set that Jo brought this time had different key terms relating to a geography topic. The idea is to arrange the hexagons to analyse links and relationships between different ideas. Having tackled this we then checked out what the other groups did which in itself was a useful exercise as it was clear that this could open yet more discussion. Why did we link the way we did? What was the connection? And so on.
Hexagons are a great way to revise and can be used as a type of mind mapping activity, they are perfect for differentiation and for enabling students to think more deeply and further their understanding. To find out more about hexagons check out Pam Hook Solo Hexagons and if you would like to make some of your own you can use Pam Hook @arti_choke‘s Hexagon Generator
Take it further: The pupils could be charged with creating their own hexagons and can work in pairs or groups or individually. If you want to involve technology in the process you can use Triptico – Inspiring Imaginative Teachers to create what is called a Think/Link. Here’s an example of one:
These links can be moved around on screen and then reset. As with the paper version pupils can create their own. An added advantage with these is that pupil can classify each hexagon if they wish by changing the colour. This online version also allows you to add some notes/clues/extension questions if you wish. If you have any questions on this computer based tool then David Riley @David_Triptico is always happy to help.
In the meantime, I am grateful to Jo for sharing these edible hexagons on twitter….
Educreations: an example of flipping the classroom from the maths department. Educreations is web-based and is available as an app as well. With a video in place and clear instructions for pupils to follow there was ample time to help the weakest and enable those that can to move on still further. Questioning in class revealed the extent of what had (or had not been absorbed).
Take it further: import the video into Nearpod and set questions that check for understanding and give you immediate feedback on your pupils. Another option is to look at Educanon ( @educanon123) which looks like a tool worth exploring.
Connect Four: Back to plain old paper for the final activity based on a child’s game that you might remember. Here’s a picture to jog your memory:
And here’s the paper version. In this case, each square has a sentence with a mistake in it. Pupils work in threes, two to play the game and the third player to check for mistakes from the players.
I’m thinking that there might be an electronic version of this idea. Have asked @David_Triptico to see what magic he can come up with.
So, all those ideas in just about 25 minutes. The tea, sandwiches and cake were good too. In all it was time well spent.