Friday, 8 April 2011

Adding the E to a lesson

One of our wonderful RTLB teachers has been running new some lessons on self management aiming to teach children how to recognise their emotional levels, and strategies to help them cope. We run the lessons every few weeks, although truthfully it has been hard to engage the kids, if fact some downright hated it. We started co-teaching but the delivery was well a "delivery" at a wall or bored 13 year old's who were not relating to all this emotional talk or the style of delivery either.

The night before our most recent lesson I was doodling on the lesson plan I had received, trying to see where I could add some spark, and of course e-learning. To the left is an image of my scribbled thoughts.

I created the Google Docs table below and shared it with the group leaders, it was also projected on the whiteboard so everyone could see it being created collaboratively. The groups were mixed ability with student leaders who are still learning to lead groups. Each group of six sat together with one laptop and were assigned an emotional level to focus on. The leaders typed as the groups shared ideas. They then sent two students off with another laptop to take a photo of what a person may look like at that level. Those students then had to email it to the leader who inserted the photo into the table. The leader was expected to manage all their team members, as well as their part of the shared document. 
The other three teams members went off to make up role plays of situations where students are at these different emotional levels, and how they coped with it. They then presented them to the class, and I recorded them for our wiki. Many students discovered they giggled when they got worried about people watching them act, they didn't realise they were at that level themselves. We discussed how as spectators we could support them by being an attentive audience.

The classroom was a hive of noise, discussion, laughter and students talking, showing, playing and creating the concept of managing self. Everyone participated and we not only learnt about this important key competency as a deliberate act of teaching, but the students practiced it by virtue of being fully immersed in collaborative learning, catering to multiple intelligences. 

I believe e-learning help to engage with the use of technology, but it also provided a structure for collaboration and creative critical thinking.

Ministry of Education on TKI offer some suggestions for recognising and monitoring key competencies that I observed during the lesson.
  • learners performing real tasks in real contexts
  • learners interacting with others, rather than working in isolation
  • teachers monitoring key competencies with students, rather than ‘doing monitoring’ to students
  • formative opportunities that enable responsiveness, rather than summative
  • self and peer-assessment, rather than just teacher judgments
  • teachers reflecting on overall student performance in a task, how it might have enhanced content learning and determining areas for future focus