101. Gallery Walk
A gallery walk involves a teacher placing stimulus questions on flip chart paper (butcher’s paper) around the walls of the classroom.
The charts the teacher has put up are stations that students will stop at during the activity.
The teacher places students into groups. If there are 5 stations around the room, the teacher will create 5 groups.
Students get a set amount of time at each station to read the prompt questions. The students can write on the chart paper with their group response and also respond to other groups who have already written their points.
Once all students have rotated through the stations, the students end up back at the station where they began. The teacher the. gives each group 3 minutes to present to the class a summary of the comments written on the paper at their station.
- Students get to learn from others and see other groups’ responses.
- The students are up and moving about which may help the concentration of bodily-kinesthetic learners.
- Some students may not participate fully. Consider getting students to rotate who writes on the paper at each station to mitigate this challenge a little.
Note whenever you would encourage metacognition in a lesson within your lesson plan. This will help anyone reading it know that you’ve thought about giving students strategies for “thinking about thinking”.
Metacogntion is about thinking about how you think. Strategies include:
- Thinking aloud
- Writing your steps to reach an answer
- Explaining your thought processes
- Reflecting on your learning and considering faster ur more efficient processes
- Helps students understand the processes required for thinking deeply about an issue.
- Gives students the strategies and skills to learn any task, not just the ones at hand.
- Metacognition is difficult because it requires explanation of your thinking. However, it is necessary if people want to know how to think.
103. Case Studies
Case studies are in-depth examples of an issue being examined. A case study should show how an issue or theory looks in real life. Teachers can present case studies through videos, newspaper articles, magazine articles, guests coming into the classroom, etc.
- Case studies help students to see how theories and ideas look in real life. This can also help a student understand the relevance of the topic being studied.
- A case study may help students make sense of a complex idea by putting it in real concrete terms.
- Case studies might not be representative of a generalized issue – they may be outliers or flukes. Pick your case study carefully and discuss whether it is a typical or outlier sample.
- A case study of city planning may be an innovative city that has recently been designed.
- A case study in mathematics may include looking at the mathematics underpinning a famous bridge’s construction.
- A case study during a unit of work on refugees might look at the experiences of one real-life refugee.
104. Mystery Making
Educators can create ‘mystery’ in their classroom by carefully structuring lessons that give ‘clues’ to a mystery that needs to be solved by the students. Ask the students to act as detectives and place clues around the classroom (like a gallery walk). Have students move around the classroom taking notes on the mystery which will reveal an answer after thorough investigation.
- Creates a sense of excitement in the classroom, helping students to engage.
- Forces students to use critical, logical and lateral thinking in order to find the answer.
- Ensure the mystery is not too far outside a student’s zone of proximal development so that the mystery can be solved.
Storytelling in the classroom involves teaching through narrative-style stories rather than telling (‘didactic learning’). Teachers can tell stories by reading books (see: Read Aloud strategy), turning a dry explanation into an allegorical story off the cuff, or bringing people into the classroom who have an engaging personal story to tell.
- Stories can draw students into a topic through the creation of a sense of excitement and entertainment.
Steiner-Waldorf Schools: Rudolf Steiner called the teacher the ‘chief storyteller’ whose role is to create a sense of enchantment around learning through stories.
- Invite guests into the classroom who have stories to tell.
- Use stories that have a moral of the the story, then analyze the moralistic message.
106. Newspaper Clippings
Use newspaper clippings to link topics and theories to current affairs. Teachers can bring in recent newspapers to let students search through them for relevant stories or use old newspapers to search for how a topic was discussed in the past. Alternatively, teachers can get students to search for newspaper articles online.
Teachers could also assign reading through newspapers and bringing newspapers to class as a part of their homework.
- Newspaper stories can show students how the topic being discussed plays out in real life.
- They also show students how the topic is relevant to the present-day lives of people in the community,
- Newspapers are increasingly uncommon – consider adjusting this to use online news sites and printing out articles from the web.
- Some topics won’t have relevant news articles associated with them. Do a search in newspapers and online yourself for articles before using this teaching strategy.
107. Self-Paced Learning
Self-paced learning involves.letting students progress from activity to activity in their own time. For this approach, a teacher lays out a list of 10 – 20 lessons that students can work on at their own pace. Students work on the activities while the teacher walks around and gives support.
- Students are encouraged to reflect on their own learning development and only move on when they are confident that they have consolidated the knowledge from an assessment.
- Less students will fall behind if the teacher doesn’t pressure them to move on.
- Teachers have time to work one-on-one with students while students work away at student-led tasks.
- Fast students will need extension tasks or personal projects to complete once they have finished and are waiting for slower students.
- There is often not enough time for slower students to finish.