Friday, March 28, 2014

Classroom Discussions

After listening to Mr John Hattie at the Festival of Education last weekend in Auckland, there were a lot of things that I picked up on about my own practice.
One of those things was this statistic :  "65% of teachers do not do classroom discussions" and this stuck with me as I am guilty of not doing this very often at all. This was one of the things that Mr Hattie listed as making a measurable impact to student progress in the classroom.

This week I thought that I would give this activity some conscious effort and decided to start with my Level 1 group. On Monday, I got them all round the front of the class and we looked at a selection of movie posters that I have collected together into a Google Plus album.
They had to tell me about the following things :-
  • What is the focus of attention?
  • How has this element been made the focus of attention?
  • How does your eye flow across the design?
  • How has colour been used to good effect in the design?
  • What style of lettering has been used and why?
Here are the posters that we looked at in this session.

To start with, they were a bit shy and I had to prod them individually to get them started.
Then it swung the other way, where they were talking over the top of each other and not listening too hard to what each other was saying. It was an ok start though, at least they weren't refusing to talk at all and they had an opinion we could discuss and compare.
Today ( Friday ), we gave it another try, and we sat round the front to discuss their own work as a whole group. They have done their design developments and are at the stage where they have to make decisions about what they are keeping and what they are not going to use for the final design. I thought it might be fun to do this as a class discussion, so they could listen to other people's opinions about their work.
They did this really well today and gave some quality feedback to each other. They gave feedback on the layout, the choice of pictures, the font and position of the main tittle and anything else that they thought was relevant to bring up.

Here are their design developments that we looked at today.

Level 1 Poster Design Development 2014

I am feeling the benefit of these discussions already, even though we are only 2 in to the process. It is giving me chance to listen to the students verbalise what they have been learning and get to know them a little more. It is good to see them have the confidence to discuss each other's work and give feedback that is useful to the others in the class.
I will definitely be doing more of this.

1 comment:

  1. This is great Karen. Always good to hear what they are thinking.