Effective strategies to check progress in lessons

Report
Active strategies to check progress in
lessons
John Mitchell
The Hemel Hempstead School
Follow me on
Twitter –
@Jivespin
Introduction
These strategies I have gathered from a range of INSET courses
and books which I have found useful in checking student
progress in lessons.
They can be used as starters, plenaries or mini-plenaries in
lessons and add engagement and curiosity to lessons. I have
tried to give examples to each strategy and these examples I
have used in my History lessons.
I hope you find these strategies useful and please feel free to
contact me on Twitter [@Jivespin] if you need more information.
Tagxedo images
Tagxedo images are images that are like
word clouds but rather than sticking to
clouds you can use any image you like to
form the shape.
I have used various speeches, key words
of a topic and poems to make up word
clouds summarising a lesson or a source.
This one is of Hitler’s first speech as
Chancellor in 1933. I used this as a
plenary and for students to pick out a
word in the cloud and to explain its
significance in one sentence.
www.tagxedo.com
Target practice
This activity requires each student to have a
copy of the target sheet – usually A5 size.
The teacher then reads out ten facts,
statements or key words relating to the
topic studied.
The students then must sort out these into
two categories – those that are a ‘hit’
[which usually are true or correct
statements] or a ‘miss’ [which usually are
false or incorrect statements].
The following two slides show this in action
for a Year 7 class on Roman towns.
Starter
 Write the following features of a town on your target
sheet If you think the feature would exist in BOTH a Roman and
a modern town write it in the HIT area of the target.
 If you think the feature only exists in a modern town,
write it in the MISS area of the target.
Which of these features exist in a Roman
AND a modern town?
 Take away food shops.
 Public baths.
 Pedestrian crossings.
 Policemen.
 Public lavatories.
 Sport stadiums.
 Blocks of flats.
 Theatres.
 Shops of all kinds.
 Town houses.
Answer ........
 All the features exist in both Roman and
modern towns, so they are ALL HITS!
Tweet me!
Ask students to write a Tweet to summarise their learning
in your lesson. Limiting students to writing a message of
only 140 characters really gets them thinking and to
consider what real progress they have made in your lesson.
Facebook Statuses
Ask students to write a Facebook status for the historical figure
they have studied in that lesson. For example – what would
William the Conqueror write as his status after fighting the Battle
of Hastings?
One step further – www.classtools.net has Fakebook, where
students can write whole profiles for historical figures.
Mixed doubles
Taken from a Question of Sport, this strategy involved creating a
numbered grid and filling the grid with twelve images or words
that are links to a particular topic.
Students then roll two dice [if you can get them with 12 sides all
the better] and looking at the grid they have to explain a link
between the corresponding words or images.
This gets students talking about the topic studied and the
following slides are examples of the grid. A great revision
exercise is getting the students themselves to create the grids.
The New Deal
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
The First World War - Overview
1
2
3
4
Somme
Alliances
Britain
Shells
5
6
7
8
Trenches
France
Haig
Germany
9
10
11
12
Rifles
Race to the
Sea
Machine Gun Over the top
Bingo card
The New Deal bingo card
Taken from the icebreaker,
Human Bingo, this activity
requires
students
to
complete a bingo card by
asking each other the
questions on the card. They
need to get up and walking
about in the classroom and
aim to get a different person
for each question.

Read the statements below.

You have 10 minutes to talk to as many people as you can to match a name to
the statement.

Try to put a different name in each box.

Don’t use any name more than twice.

When you have finished, help someone else, but don’t tell them the answers!

The bingo is over when everyone shouts ‘BINGO!’

So...find someone who:
..........................
Knows who
became US
President in
1932.
..........................
Can tell you the
year that FDR
created the New
Deal.
..........................
Knows what the
TVA stands for.
..........................
Can give you an
acrostic about
the New Deal.
..........................
Can tell you what
a fireside chat
was.
..........................
Knows was NRA
stands for.
..........................
Can give you the
three aims of the
New Deal.
..............................
Knows what AAA
stands for.
..........................
Can tell you what
an alphabet
agency was.
..........................
Knows the only
alphabet agency
that still exists.
..........................
Can tell you
which political
party FDR was a
member of.
..........................
can sing a jingle
about the New
Deal.
..........................
Can tell you what
Hoover’s first
name was.
..........................
Can tell you the
symbol of the
NRA.
..........................
Can tell you what
FDR stands for.
..........................
Can tell you what
CCC stands for.
A-Z of a topic
Taken from the icebreaker, A-Z,
this activity requires students
to complete an A to Z card of a
topic or what they have
learned in the lesson.
I use an A-Z spinner from the
Tell Me Game to randomise
the
classroom
discussion
bringing together their words
from this activity which can be
done either individually or in
pairs.
What’s inside my head?
This is activity involves the teaching
thinking of a key word/event/idea
related to a topic. The students need to
write 1/2/3 on a piece of paper.
The person who is giving the clues asks
the group to guess the key
word/event/idea they are thinking of
by giving three clues to the answer. On
each clue, the group members writes
down beside their 1,2, 3 what they
think the word is.
The clues range from the very broad to
the last that is highly focused. Each
clue is a separate round.
Example
Key event – Dunkirk Evacuation
Clue one – Event in the Second World War.
Clue two – Happened in 1940
Clue three – Involved the BEF crossing the English Channel.
What is the question?
The teacher gives the class an answer, such as The New Deal. The class need to
think up a question for that answer.
This can be differentiated easily by challenging the group members to create
two or more questions that all generate the same answer.
This can encourage effective discussion as well as check understanding.
Choose a number
Student picks a number –
the rest of the class
summarise their learning by
creating a sentence with the
number of words chosen by
the student.
Choose a number AND a letter
Student picks a number
and a letter – the rest of
the class summarise their
learning by creating a
sentence
with
the
number of words chosen
by the student. All the
words must start with the
chosen letter.
Useful websites
www.classtools.net – some great and simple tools to use in the
classroom on this site including a random name picker and
Fakebook.
www.wallwisher.com – an online post-it note notice board. Can
be used as a platform for students to contact you about revision
and setting homework.
www.tagxedo.com – probably the best word cloud tool available.
www.glogger.com – a website that helps you create posters.
Great for revision.
Thank you for reading
For more resources follow me
on Twitter – @Jivespin or my
blog at –
www.jivespin.posterous.com

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