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Transcript of Enrichment
One area that this could be particularly effective would be when studying Private Peaceful. During my Enrichment observations I saw one teacher create makeshift trenches from the school desks and, with the lights switched off, played sound effects to his pupils. This is something that could be expanded upon even more, so that pupils get an extended understanding of what was influencing war poets and writers. Within Manchester Art Gallery's 'Interactive Section' pupils are encouraged to use the art piece to create a conversation and consider what the two people may be discussing. This could be an effective means of introducing dialogue to key stage 3 pupils as they would have some contextual features to fall back on if they were struggling. This art piece and activity prompted ideas that could be used within Literacy. Like we were given meaningless items to create an art piece, pupils could be given words and punctuation (which independently are similarly meaningless) and asked to order them into a story. This could be used to either support low ability pupils or to stretch higher achieving pupils (by giving them lower frequency lexis to widen their vocabulary etc.) School based ideas For higher ability pupils, artwork could also be used in order to create internal monologues. This could help pupils with their character development. This piece proved to be an excellent tool for developing inference skills, as were many of the other images. This in particular prompted numerous different discussions of what may have happened to result in this, using the 'clues' to come to numerous potential back stories. This could therefore be used as an introduction to AF3. Much of the art had prompted poetry to be written about it, and this was available to be read alongside the art inspiration. These could be used in much the same way, particularly with gifted and talented pupils. Views of teaching high achievers "Within my high achieving groups, I ensure that pupils are totally aware and comfortable with the AOs and mark schemes; I stretch them with wider conceptual ideas, lots of model essays, social and historical context, and encourage them to challenge the examiner. I also get them to write engaging intros and conclusions using rhetorical questions and semi-colons, and use peer teaching, presentations and quizzes as tools for teaching and learning. There is also considerably more scope to introduce them to theorists E.g. Todorov's theory of narrative and Stuart Hall's belief of 'Ideologies'" There are slight differences in the activities I use with top and bottom sets. For example, top sets seem to love more creative tasks, they prefer group work where they can interact, and market place activities work well. Lower sets don't always have the confidence to lead or work in teams and can be de-motivated by such activities. As previously mentioned, Art opens up a great deal of potential for cross-curricular links. This painting, in particular, would be an effective means of accessing elements of history. An image such as this is also something that could be effective in engaging boys and also the amount of detail within the image could prompt some excellent written pieces. Similarly, much of the Modern Art had the potential to stretch pupils' inference skills and prompt discussions. Many of the pieces could be used as a Speaking and Listening activity for high achievers as they could debate the different interpretations. The amount of information made available to them could also be built up, from the image alone, to the name, to some snippets of the artist's comments. Over my fortnight of observation I have been privy to numerous excellent lessons, here are some of the ideas I came away with... Roles in groupwork Shakespearean insults Differentiation Drama As the introduction to one lesson I observed, the teacher encouraged pupils to create a makeshift ‘trench’ from their surrounding desks and penning themselves in. This was an incredibly good kinaesthetic activity, and once they are comfortably stood within their trench he asks them to sit down. With this alongside the darkened room and the video playing on the board, it gives them as close a representation of the crowded and horrendous environment as can be achieved within a classroom. This began to get me thinking about what other aspects of novella etc. could be ‘brought to life’ in this way. Holes: Cross-curricular with P.E, representing the exertion of what Stanley and his peers are being asked to do: all day, every day. This would be particularly effective if pupils were studying the book over summer! Even Macbeth could be introduced with ‘witches’ coming in and telling pupils wonderful things (You’re going to be rich/ a footballer etc. [this could even be personalised to your individual class if you know them well]) to demonstrate the fear and excitement that the character must have felt at the opening of the play and give them an insight to the difficult decision the main characters faced. Stone Cold: To demonstrate the fear Link faces we could open all of the windows in the classroom (cold), turn off all of the lights (night), and put on a scary soundtrack of ‘things going bump in the night’. One class I observed was also made up of groups, with each member of the group being allocated a specific role.
2. Scribe/ feedback,
3. Reader/ check understanding,
4. Timekeeper and resource collector.
Within this scenario, the teacher makes it clear that it is the responsibility of the 'number ones' to ensure that their group is quiet, otherwise they will be the ones who are punished. This, within a higher ability group, is incredibly effective! AfL In one year seven class, pupils entered the classroom and collected a small slip, each containing a different Shakespearian insult; these were drawn upon throughout the lesson in order to normalise and naturalise the language from an early age and facilitate the transition when they eventually do coursework on one of the plays. Market place Manchester Museum Manchester Art Gallery "I tend to differentiate in different ways for top and lower sets. For top ability I tend to give tasks that stretch the student's knowledge further e.g. independent work or further exploration of a topic. For lower sets I tend to differentiate by extension tasks and frameworks/sentence starters." This is a technique that I have attempted to use with my lower sets and also used within my interview lesson. It was also demonstrated within one of the top set classes I observed and displayed how much more effective this is with more able classes. The term 'Market Place' is used to describe a kinaesthetic activity where pupils need to recover particular information from posters around the classroom. As this proved considerably more effective with high achievers, I feel that it would be a particularly effective way of introducing higher-end pupils to different theorists and theories. Challenge Cards One possibility to challenge pupils is through ‘challenge cards.’ These allow pupils to have a challenge specifically for them whilst completing the same tasks as the rest of the group. They include items such as ‘use three different connectives’ and ‘use at least 5 different types of punctuation’ and have either a definition or an example on the reverse. These can be discreetly offered out to the highest achieving members of the group, with pupils choosing one of the cards at random. PUPIL AS TEACHER One lesson I observed had the lesson open with a selected pupil going over the learning objective/title/date whilst pupils copied it down. Following this the 'teacher' ran over the assessment criteria based lesson outcomes and then selected her peers to give a simplified version. These pupils translated outcomes were then written up on the board, ensuring that pupils understood *exactly* what they needed to do to get a level 5, level 6 and level 7. A continuation of Primary school? Within higher sets it seems a lot easier to make the primary- secondary transition easier; within the year seven groups that I observed, pupils were trusted and therefore encouraged to move around the classroom freely. The paintings would also be useful and original devices in developing pupils' skills at giving 'alternative interpretations' and considering the 'impact on the reader'. Pupils could choose one of the paintings within the gallery and do an extended P.E.E paragraph where they consider the two aforementioned skills. Performances: With higher ability pupils, adaptations of Shakespeare's works (etc.) are also more possible. For highest achieving pupils such as Elliot (one y9 pupil who is currently working at A level standard) one possible means of pushing him may be through comparing two conflicting interpretations of a performance. Alongside performances of Macbeth, questions such as 'Who do you think was shown to be most to blame?' could be posed as an alternative essay question. The two versions of Macbeth that I have seen over this course have portrayed the characters very differently.
For example, within the Globe adaptation, the witches were shown to be particularly prominant in Macbeths downfall (they even featured in the 'dagger' soliloquey- tempting him with the dagger that he sees. They were also evident on many other occassions, including prior to it beginning.
Alternatively, the Stratford version focussed very much on human frailties and placed the onus on Macbeth and his 'deep and dark desires', removing many of the witches' scenes. For example, they cut the 'fair is foul and foul is fair' line, which (IMO) also deletes one of the key pieces of evidence for the paradoxical question regarding whether Macbeth's actions were a self-fulfilling prophecy. The witches' original opening scenes are also integral as it demonstrates the witches planning their meeting with Macbeth and they are also seen to be revelling over other misdemeanours they have caused.
Other questions could also include things such as 'What might the door at the back of the stage have represented?' As it was a powerful piece of iconography and could prompt interesting discussions surrounding the historical and social context.
It would also be interesting to discuss why the creator of this version decided to portray the three witches as children. This could prompt discussions, which include:
- An attempt to highlight Macbeth's part in the whole affair (having read the text very few of my pupils blamed Macbeth most, choosing instead to focus on his wife and the witches); this version, however, seems to imply that the witches are used as an excuse to fulfil his already 'deep and dark desires',
- It highlights Macbeth's evil side by putting more emphasis on Macbeth's most horrific act (the killing of Macduff's wife and child/ren) This is something that he is solely responsible for and an unneccessary evil. The ghosts emphasise this as they are pivitol and seen regularly. WHY? HOW Over my two placements I have had minimal exposure to the top end of the ability spectrum, being placed, instead, with SEN or C-D borderline sets. I had encountered some experience both with a 'top set' year nine group in my Block A school (however this was a 'joint' top set, and thus lacked g & t) and within my Inklings group, which revealed the top achieving English pupils, some of whom I later discovered were already achieving A* at GCSE (in y9). Therefore, this research activity planned to give me experience of the behaviour, tasks and levels top ability pupils within Parrs Wood are working at and compile a portfolio of potential techniques that can be used with high achievers. Having only encountered it in these two mediums I felt that I would benefit from experiencing more top sets, particularly in year 11, as I had not yet experienced any poetry, nor had I taught a top year group. I then decided to cover Q32 alongside and develop ideas of how external institutions could be used in order to push top set groups or pupils, visiting a number of different places in order to develop these ideas. In some circumstances, paintings can be used as a starting point for creating writing, giving settings, characters or scenarios. For g&t pupils, the extension task could be given to a story (etc.) from someone else's perspective. With KS3 groups, this could also be linked in with the Twilight series and how the author was intending on writing a reworking of the initial book, however from the perspective of Edward, rather than Bella. This can cover varying levels of difficulty: For pupils who are quick workers, you could have them take the place of an alternative character in the piece. For pupils who are G&T, you could encourage them to write from the perspective of an inanimate object, for instance the tree Pupils within higher sets are increasingly aware of the success criteria and which of the lesson outcomes will achieve pupils which level or grade.
Within the lessons of one particular year eight group, AfL was used particularly successfully in a range of different ways. For instance, he would have members of the class explain the objective, or collaborately disect the skills required to achieve a level 5, 6 or 7. He would also include q & a session alongside his learning outcomes slide, so as to clear up any discrepancies and ensure that everyone was completely aware of what they needed to do to achieve their target grade and how they could move from 'all' to 'some' (etc.). This proved particularly useful when dealing with outcomes such as
'All: be able to base inferences about the novel from information in the text'
'Most: be able to base inferences about the novel from information in the text and discuss the effect on the reader'
'Some: be able to base inferences about the novel from information in the text and discuss the effect on the reader and consider wider implications of the inference'
This is also something that would be effective when working with something as complex as the APP grid, as it would allow pupils to discuss and develop an idea of the difference between 'explain' and 'analyse' for example.
Further to this, within group discussions, where questions were being asked, the teacher made it clear what level the consideration of such ideas would achieve, particularly for higher thinking areas. Learning Objective: To understand what I discovered over the
Enrichment process. All: Will take away some potential techniques to cater for high achieving pupils,
Most: Will apply these ideas when working with their own top set classes or g&t pupils,
Some: Will adapt and build upon these ideas within their own practise. "There's a lot more scope for doing drama based activities with top sets. There's no way I would have done that [created makeshift trenches] with any of my other groups, but because I know behaviour is good in this top set I felt confident to try it." "There's more freedom with top sets, you can set them a task and most of the time be safe in the knowledge that they're getting work done. They're a lot more interested in their levels and progress so AfL is really effective, they're much more likely to ask questions and put forward ideas." "Top sets are much more capable of active learning, they can take a lot more ownership over their learning because they don't need supporting as much." "It can be intimidating, especially with KS4, they seem to know more than you! But that's where discussion, collaboration and group work really comes in. It's so interesting for someone to put forward a really clever interpretation forward, that you've never considered..." Whilst, on many occassions, differentiation was predominantly achieved by outcome there were a couple of occassions where this was used very well. For instance, different coloured pieces of paper were handed out 'at random' in order to allocate different tasks, all of which were discussed was a whole group at the end. Whilst it was clear to me that this was the teacher differentiating for the different ability levels within his classroom, it could quite easily have been taken as covering as much ground as possible during the lesson.
In terms of extension tasks, many teachers gave these out verbally, rather than having a pre-planned idea in place, which seemed effective as it allowed teachers to personalise these, dependant on whether the person had worked through it quickly because they were gifted and talented or because they had missed out a certain element etc. Consequently, the extension task would often be something such as 'now consider the impact on the reader', a higher level skill required to get A* at GCSE. However, on other occassions teachers used the traffic light system to assess where pupils were up to, and gave a group extension task to 'green' candidates (to peer assess), whilst allowing 'yellow'pupils to complete their work.