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Challenging my students, challenging myself

In the beginning…
At the beginning of last year one of my colleagues, Annie Davis (@anniedavis123), created a cool unit for unfamiliar text for year 9. The mission was to work in groups to create a language workbook for other students to use to learn about parts of speech and figurative language. Each group had to include a definition of the term, an example and an activity/task to do to practise using each term. The workbook had to include a title page, contents page and answer page. This was the first year of compulsory BYOD for our year 9s so the workbook would be created digitally using apps such as Keynote and Creative Book Builder.

And then…
It sounds like fun, right? Well last year I looked at this task and thought: Wow that will be fun but I don’t have enough time and I don’t know whether I can cope with facillitating this activity. Instead I chose to teach a more teacher directed and simpler unit based only on the parts of speech.

This year, I looked at my unit on parts of speech and thought how boring! Me in front of the class teaching them what a noun is! I had another look at Annie’s unit and decided to go for it. This year it didn’t seem like such a challenge to let go of being the ‘sage on the stage’. It’s great to realise that I have grown in this BYOD journey and become more confident.

I have to say it is progressing really well. The whole class are enjoying what they are doing – working collaboratively, being creative in thinking up quizzes and activities, and learning parts of speech and firgurative language as they go. I have told them that if they all get Merit or Excellence for their workbooks then they do not have to do an end of unit test. They will have demonstrated the knowledge already. Consequently, everyone is aiming high and want to know what they have to do to gain an Excellence.


2 thoughts on “Challenging my students, challenging myself

  1. Was really wonderful to have the virtual tour of your class and see how engaged your students are. The earning marks without the need of a test is such a great way to cater fir the needs of students who do not respond to traditional testing.
    Awesome and inspirational Christine.


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