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URGENT CREATIVE HELP REQUIRED!

Discussion in 'English' started by shouldersof giants, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    I have an observation on Monday, with a class made up of the remnants of our pupils in y7 who have not gone to camp. There are 23 in the class, from level 6a to three EAL students with limited English! Also includes 4 SEN pupils two of whom are for ESB.
    The period before I am observing someone else in a different part of the school so I want to be able to dash in and get on quickly. My first thoughts were to do some PLTS or L2L stuff, but that might be more difficult to prove progress. I was thinking of some vocab work, as I could probably group by ability and differentiate tasks, but I dont want a load of worksheets, need some kind of context. My classroom is quite small, so its a hell of a job moving tables about for dramatic and varied kinaesthetic stuff, in a pacey way, especially with pupils who dont know my classroom and haven't developed the routines my classes have.
    I keep thinking of exciting activities but really I need a clear learning outcome to focus on, but its really hard because I havent taught many of these kids and so dont know how to find out prior knowledge for reading or writing skills (its an English lesson btw) and then ensure I can show all students have made progress.
    I know I could have refused to do this lesson but having explained the problem and being told that 'that's ok", I feel I should man up to it!

    Any ideas? Please!

    Thanks in anticipation
     
  2. Hello,

    I have an observation on Monday, with a class made up of the remnants of our pupils in y7 who have not gone to camp. There are 23 in the class, from level 6a to three EAL students with limited English! Also includes 4 SEN pupils two of whom are for ESB.
    The period before I am observing someone else in a different part of the school so I want to be able to dash in and get on quickly. My first thoughts were to do some PLTS or L2L stuff, but that might be more difficult to prove progress. I was thinking of some vocab work, as I could probably group by ability and differentiate tasks, but I dont want a load of worksheets, need some kind of context. My classroom is quite small, so its a hell of a job moving tables about for dramatic and varied kinaesthetic stuff, in a pacey way, especially with pupils who dont know my classroom and haven't developed the routines my classes have.
    I keep thinking of exciting activities but really I need a clear learning outcome to focus on, but its really hard because I havent taught many of these kids and so dont know how to find out prior knowledge for reading or writing skills (its an English lesson btw) and then ensure I can show all students have made progress.
    I know I could have refused to do this lesson but having explained the problem and being told that 'that's ok", I feel I should man up to it!

    Any ideas? Please!

    Thanks in anticipation
     
  3. as you don't know them why not set them tasks which will show you what they know - your lesson outcome could be something like 'class is new to teacher, students don't know teacher, this lesson is to introduce teacher and students to one another andto inform teacher of current level of knowledge/understanding of (whatever topic/skill) of each individual student' ... then maybe do something VERY simple like the analysis of a poem (a case of murder by whatever his name is???) ... you could differentiate by starting with have students ever hidden something(an opportunity for them to talk about themselves in groups and introduce one another ie get to know one another), then read and talk about the poem, then analyse it ... share ideas ... then story board it or take on the role of a character - the boy/the mother and write a diary entry for that character ... or if you are brave, role play ...
    sounds like a horrible time to have to do an observation but as long as you make it clear to the observer that you are new to the students and vice versa and that this is a getting to know you/them exercise they mus ttake this into account
    very very good luck!
     
  4. the poem is by vernon scannel/scannell/scanell ...
     
  5. What about doing some concrete poetry with them? I have just done it with my year 8s and the entire class was completely engaged and absorbed. I began by getting them to define a poem and then to say how a poet creates meaning. Then I gave them Edwin Morgan's sound poem, "The Loch Ness Monster's Song" and they discovered that meaning could be created through sound, punctuation and line length as well as actual words. They came up with loads of ideas about the possible story, which all were valid, and then we read Morgan's own account. Then we developed the idea of layout by exploring "40-Love" by Roger McGough, "Seal" by William Jay Smith, and "Suppose Columbus" by Charles Suhor (it's easy to differentiate through selection of poems to suit different levels. My top set 8s understood the Columbus poem far more quickly than I thought they would, so your level 6 students should be able to deal with it, whereas something like Concrete Cat by Dorthi Charles would be accessible to all, and as there is limited vocabulary involved, the EAL students should be well able to deal with it) Once we'd discussed all this, we reviewed our understanding of what a poem is and how meaning is created, and then they began creating their own. They loved it and completely understood that a poem is more than just words. We've now moved on to Found Poetry (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/word-mover-holes-30027.html#lessons) so that they can put into practice the things we've learned. For this I used the opening segment of Cider With Rosie but any short descriptive text would do - I've used Dickens before.
    These lessons have been the best I've had with year 8 over the entire year - they are a bright but really noisy bunch, and this has engaged their enthusiasm and creativity like nothing else I've done all year. And I have done it several times over a long career - the result is always the same. What ever you do, good luck!!!! Let us know how your get on.
     

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