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Icebreakers. Should they really have to relate to the lesson material? (FE)

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by coldmetal, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    I often show a video short at the top of my lessons, something that the kids will like; something to interest and fascinate and get the juices going. I do it because they will know I do this and if they miss it they miss out. If they arrive late I often leave them outside. I think It encourages punctuality. I had a 'Learning Walker' observer turn up who said it had nothing to do with my lesson. In fact it was to do with a previous discussion in the lesson which I mentioned. They said keep any icebreakers on topic. Do we agree?
  2. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    It doesn't really matter who agrees - that is the feedback you have been given so you will have to take it on board.
  3. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Agree to a certain degree. Learning walkers always have to suggest 'targets for improvement' in order to justify their existence. However, you're a bit early in the year for a learning walk Mike. Please remember not to rock the boat.
    There must be plenty of appropriate Graphic Design clips on youtube.
    Please update your avatar to a happier avatar. We all want to see you looking happy and confident.
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes :cool:
  5. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    You have an ice breaker at the beginning of every lesson? Or just at the start of term?
  6. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    I'm assuming you're not just showing random things from You Tube and that you've worked out how the videos you've selected will help you teach the students what they need to learn. If so, you'll easily be able to explain the link to any observer and you've nothing at all to worry about.

    If the video reinforces previous learning that you need to make sure the students don't forget, a video may be useful as a quick way of doing that so could be a good use of a few minutes. Again, nothing to worry about.

    The purpose of the video at the start of a lesson shouldn't just be because it's something "the kids will like" and "they know I will do this". That's just entertainment. There are lots of useful, interesting videos out there. If you like to begin your lessons with videos, choose videos that are relevant to what you're teaching. Students and observers won't have any problem working out why you've picked those particular videos and you won't have to justify your choices.
    Laphroig, Pomz, sabrinakat and 2 others like this.
  7. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    I don't see anything wrong with getting students to think creatively. Perhaps you could embed the video clip into a ppt slide with 'how does relate to what we did last lesson?' written on the slide - as long as there is a link and as long as you follow it with a discussion. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with that. :)
    SundaeTrifle, Pomz and peggylu like this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why would you be showing film clips that have nothing to do with the lesson?
    How is there time in a lesson to do anything but teach and learn?

    If I was monitoring teaching and saw someone spending the first 5-10 mins of every lesson doing something utterly unconnected to learning, I'd be objecting as well.
    Laphroig, Pomz, bonxie and 1 other person like this.
  9. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    1: What you are talking about isn't an Ice-breaker. An Ice-breaker is something you do with a new group at the start of term to 'introduce' people.

    2: Do you need something like this at the start of a lesson? I don't think so. It sounds silly to me, and based on a flimsy logic of 'the students will turn up on time for it'

    3: The content should be in some way connected to what you are doing, yes. That can be a tenuous link for me, but there has to be some discernible point. From what you are saying, i don't feel there is.

    Overall I agree wholeheartedly with the learning walk response from the information you have given. Sorry.
  10. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    thank for your input - It matters to me otherwise i wouldn't have posted it.
  11. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    I think you might pretty well object to anything and you hvae shown in similar posts...
    install likes this.
  12. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    A lot of lessons... it was extension of an idea frorm a CPD session with a visiting expert. A minute or so at the start of something the students would like (this is FE remember) so a creative music track / video etc only 2 or 3 minutes
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Naaaa I don't object to teaching and learning.
    I also don't object to pupils making progress.

    Watching some random film clip in the hope pupils want to see the film and so turn up on time, doesn't really fit with the point of lessons.
  14. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    disagree... many students feel lecturers are out of touch and are all about the boring stuff. In the creative industries life's not like that a lot of it's about the good fun stuff the creative stuff. their young minds are expanding and they are looking for allegiancies and enemies many feel they can't learn from people they don't like... spending 2 minutes of a 3 hour lesson on something fun and exciting and interesting I feel is a good investment. If you disagree, fine - I felt it was a valid point to raise for discussion. Maybe for learning walker sessions I'll save the bang on topic ones.
  15. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    If students aren't turning up on time, then you shouldn't be sacrificing or watering down your own teaching to compromise.

    Speak with your line manager(s) it is a whole department or college issue. They need to support you.
  16. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    Students are turning up - attendance different - This is a thing that I feel helps that and encourages punctuality but also gets the lesson off on a bright and positive spark, wakes them up in the morning, gives the session some added impetus - thanks.
  17. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    If these intro clips are short (2-3 mins), engaging and also link learning from previous lessons to present learning, I can't see why anyone would have a problem with this.

    They sound like a novel way to review, reinforce or briefly assess prior learning across the group before introducing the LO's for the lesson taking place.
    Pomz, install and mikecom like this.
  18. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    I'm guessing you teach one of the less creative subjects and likely as not in a school, if not, I wish your students good luck.
    install likes this.
  19. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Why don't you just do what you're told.

    It would make your life a little easier.
  20. Joannanna

    Joannanna New commenter

    Is there not a danger that, if students know the clip is likely to be irrelevant to what they're learning, they'll skip it anyway, so they'll still be late? It's early days at the moment, and you're a 'cool' teacher. But the honeymoon period will soon be over and chatting with their mates will probably trump a random vid.

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