Friday, 7 November 2014

9 things you could do instead of using a worksheet

1. Understanding word problems.  Pupils could create their own sets of questions (based on a question/process you've modelled). You may need to provide some word/phrase banks to get them started.  They can swap the questions amongst themselves and respond.  They can evaluate the questions - if they're too easy they can try to work out how to make them harder.  

2.  Understanding sentence construction or parts of speech.  Pupils could collaboratively generate sentences, passing folded pieces of paper around the table (in the style of consequences).  Each child starts the sentence with a name or article + noun ("John" or "The house", for example) then folds the paper to hide the word/phrase and passes the paper to the child to the left who writes a verb ("runs" or "contemplated", for example).  The round continues (you'll have several pieces of paper circulating at once), with at each stop the addition of another part of speech.  The next one could be adverb ("cautiously" or "often", for example).  You decide an end point and then open up the pieces of paper to reveal the sentences: "John runs cautiously."  "The house contemplated often."  You could add further rules: For this round each word must begin with a T.

3.  Articulating knowledge about a subject.  Pupils could create a mind map or a poster or a display or a presentation.

4. Measuring (length, area, perimeter, etc).  Pupils could draw shapes then find the perimeter or area.  Squared paper might be useful.  Pupils could draw shapes with a perimeter of precisely x cm.  How many rectangles can you draw with a perimeter of precisely 12 cm? 

5.  Presenting research.  Pupils could design their own templates for presenting findings (and then use and evaluate them).

6.  Sentence construction.  Provide a stimulus (a picture, for example) and get pupils to describe what they see.  In the distance there is a snow-capped mountain.  Beside the river a small man with a dog is walking.  This should be a speaking and listening activity, at least to start with.  If children can construct sentences through talk they'll have a better chance of being able to write sentences on paper.

7.  Practising mathematical operations.  Give pupils selections of numbers.  They choose which ones to use to practice the operation you've been working on.  They understand the meaning of challenge (because you have high expectations and have ensured that learning is challenging), so if they find practising with a certain set of numbers too easy, they know to look for numbers that present a more demanding challenge.

8.  Articulating knowledge/understanding/opinion derived from an image/map/artefact. Pupils could think and talk about what they see.  Like you would.  Adults don't look at maps, or paintings, or a Ming dynasty jug, or listen to a piece of music and then fill in a worksheet - they think and talk...about how long it might take to drive from San Diego to Yosemite, about what makes Duchamp's Fountain art, about the blue and white dragon handle, about whether Andy Williams is better than Pharrell Williams.  To facilitate this with children you'll need to get them to think about questions.  And you'll need to model ways of talking about images and artefacts.

Fountain (1917) attributed to Marcel Duchamp

Dragon-handled jug Ming dynasty, early 15th century CE
9.  Practising mathematical operations II.  Here's the answer.  What's the question?  How many different ways can you make x?  Or you could add rules to make it into an investigation: How many ways can you make 48 by multiplying two numbers together?  ...Three different numbers together? ...Four different numbers together?  Is there a pattern?  What is it?  Can you work out the formula?

No comments:

Post a Comment