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How do you spend your A-Level lessons?

Discussion in 'English' started by figgins, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. I have inherited an A2 class that appears to be used to sitting in a circle and being instructed by the teacher with a bit of general discussion thrown in. This is exactly how I was taught A-Level 25 years ago.
    Is that basically what people here do? I have given them some bits to research and present, but wonder if it's too late to try different approaches with this group. These are clever students who could do an awful lot more and I aware that they are all going to university soon and will need to be independent. (I have been a teacher for many years, but not done A-Level before.)
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Well, it's not how they'll get As, that's for sure.
    Set them a past question and see where their strengths and weaknesses are and take it from there.
  3. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    I agree with gruoch, you'll at least have some idea of which AOs they are strong and weak on so can plan from there.
    They will probably welcome some new approaches, intellingent students can only stagnate with such dry teaching methods. Go with the research and presentation, that's always my approach. Encourage them to be the teacher, I'm sure they'll flourish. They have to take charge of their own learning otherwise they will struggle with university.
  4. It's not the talking heads, it's what the talking heads are saying that's the problem (BBC man).
    I've nothing against students presenting, but if you give each only a fairly miserly 10 minutes, you can only do 5 presentations in a 60 minute lesson - allowing for inevitable lost time. It can't be a mainstay of whole class teaching.

  5. I know you can feel trapped by old methods but sometimes students still need some scaffolding. I have found that modelling how to analyse a key scene, is helpful.
    My students also enjoy Reader's Theatre when I choose key scenes. Members of the group then hold a forum discussion that involves questions that lead into analysis of the scene based on their adaptation of the particular scenes. These exercises often generate rich discussions on writer's craft and the features and elements of drama. Thematic concerns are also discussed. It serves as a hotseating exercise with a little tweak that I lead only as a facilitator to ensure that key points are discussed.
    I would often link this activity to a past question. Let me know if it works for you.
  6. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Oh, what a sore subject this is! We've just been told off, essentially, because we make the kids listen in every lesson... and we even make them read books. Not sure how any lessons can be done without teacher talk of some kind, or how lit will work without books, but never mind...
    Today's lit lesson will go like this. I'll introduce the theme of the lesson (not sure how... mime, maybe?!) and then we'll read some of the play as a group. Then they'll be given a theme to discuss based on the reading. Then we're watching a short film which relates to the material, and then they'll make some notes (oops, another banned thing) and then we'll read some more.
  7. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Disgraceful behaviour!
    This may lead to having to actually think and interpret. Probably a little too challenging. I'd show them a DVD.
    Any DVD will do, don't worry. Have it playing as they come in, then you won't have to say a thing. Then let them have a chat. About anything at all. A quick wander round the room with a bit of added ttxting ticks the kinaesthetic box nicely.
    There you go - nicely VAKuous and you haven't said a word [​IMG]
    Then I can mark your papers and understand why 'Frankenstein' is a play.

  8. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I should not be happy about that - they're doing Faustus!
    This is precisely the issue, isn't it? Actually, what we do works well - ALPS 2 or 1 every year says so - but we're being forced down a path of changing for the sake of it, because it ticks a box.


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