Sunday, November 27, 2011

personal learning plans

I guess we all, as teachers, try out ideas, find they work, use them for a while and then forget about them. One such idea for me is based on some commercial schemes but I used it to good effect about fifteen years ago, before school VLE/MLE systems were much in vogue, and before many other great bits of software. I'm thinking of trying it again and blending some of the newer ideas in.

It's not earth shattering. It involves designing individual plans for each student with some paired and group work, some individual work, a 'game', a test etc. I usually find about five tasks is good. Obviously it works best with small groups but it can be managed with larger groups if you have your sets of resources clearly labelled and organised so that students can find things and replace them easily (they do this all the time at primary school but we forget this and they lose the skills concerned at secondary if we are not careful). Unlike commercial schemes (which I have nothing against), I like to keep the whole class on one topic or theme so that I can do some class teaching or small group teaching if appropriate. It can be linked to levels/criteria for improvement and so on. I like to start with something which checks prior learning. Lesson starters and plenaries can easily be whole class and can use extended dialogue and assessment for learning techniques.

Here's an example of a task sheet which I am going to use over the next fortnight with my year 11 C/D class.

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