Saturday, 28 April 2012

Year 12 - First try with hexagons

Year 12 Media Studies - Representation in TV Drama (only 3 lessons into the unit)

Well, I tried the hexagons but I don't think I did it right.

Basically, students had to deconstruct the opening of Shameless and explore how representations of social class are constructed. The hexagons were meant to help them break down the analysis by focusing on all 4 micro-elements (camerawork, mise-en-scene, editing, sound), on examples from the extract, and on effects created (bit PEE style)...

Hopefully, the hexagons would help show that different elements combine to create certain representation. It worked ok eventually but I should have got the students started with the hexagons in stages - maybe focusing on just one branch or finding one relevant example from the extract and working our way back...

A keeper but needs to be done better. And I was observed for PM... Madness.
 The lesson plan is a bit of a blur with some obvious problems now that I look at it AFTERWARDS even though the lesson actually went OK and the kids GOT THERE IN THE END - just a bit more slowly than I thought they would. (Top ALPS prediction is C) We didn't do everything listed there of course!

Some of the slides used:

And some photos:

The ever present TV Drama laminated mat:

And the self-assessment grid to be used over the series of lessons:

Saturday, 21 April 2012

First steps SOLO style (December 2011)

Year 11 - Lord of the Flies - Conflict in Chapter 3 (December 2011)

Been reading many blogs and I think I "kind of" get it.
I also read about hexagons to make links but had no time to do the cutting. I used normal rectangular cards instead.
I created a set of SOLO success criteria - probably too complicated but they kind of match the mark scheme.
There is also a sheet to help students reflect and work out what to do next to progress + a slip to set target.

These are early notes/ getting my head around the lesson:
Solo Ideas Conflict in Chapter 3
My aims: To get students to talk about the chapter (literally articulating understanding - still early days with the novel) and the theme, to make links, to consolidate their understanding. Most able students should start seeing the big picture and link to context/ author's intentions. They should also explore the language.
--> Students in groups, arranging cards and linking them, clarifying and discussing links (and arguing over some of the links in 2 groups but agreement was reached) in response to "How does the author present the theme of conflict in chapter 3?"
--> Groups split and visit another table. Hosts explained some of the branches they've created, followed by discussion of what was done similarly/differently in the other group.
-->Some class feedback: I asked for some responses - fairly challenging questions! (no hands up). Fabulous ideas shared.

--> Springboard for a piece of writing on Conflict in chapter 3 of Lord of The Flies.
This to be completed at home.
Peer-assessed next lesson. Chance to redraft a paragraph / section. Then self-assess, reflection, target setting.

VERDICT: Ok really. They didn't really question the language of the taxonomy. Should have spent more time on it but time is short before holidays... and only one lesson with them next week.
Two groups going off task during initial discussion - my fault: should have scaffolded more or shown a clearer example. With a bit more guidance, they were off in style!
More importantly, they felt it was useful and loved sharing their "branches" with other students as they felt they were teaching others (!)
I was able to mark their writing using the SOLO symbols in the margin as well as referring to the Success Criteria. Really helped formative assessment.

Follow up: A lot of the writing was ok but rarely beyond relational. Spending the time drafting in class would have been better but we don't have this time.
Most students still very reluctant to peer-assess (really not used to it and lazy about it) but most could accurately set a target.
Nearly all made significant improvements.
Most were willing enough to reflect on next steps.

I must:
Keep going encouraging peer- and self-assessment.
Clarify and go back to the language of the taxonomy.
Remember to take the camera into lessons!!!

Solo Conflict Blog Version
Words on card - plus some blank ones handed out: Words Conflict

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Chapter 1 LOTF - early lesson (Importance of Context and Characterisation)

Year 11 - Lord of the Flies

Context: Why it's important to know...

Characterisation: Focus on language choices

Just a quick one to remind myself that we really enjoyed this early lesson.
Stuck a montage of pics from the film opening on the board (and a copy/pair) and played the intro soundtrack (with kids singing etc) - just lovely!
Students made quick notes, had a couple of minutes to discuss their ideas then shared with class. Luckily, we had a few History students who were able to shine in front of their peers at some point. Some of the key issues to do with context emerged straight away.
After some reading (we went back over the initial description in the following lesson to analyse the rich language and its connotations in more detail), we looked at characterization using some stills from the film.
Easy to do. Great outcomes.
Lesson 3 Grabs Ch1 Characterisation in Lord of the Flies

Character Study - Using pics as stimulus

Year 11- Lord of the Flies. Chapter 6 - Ralph character study

A quick one again. Never underestimate the power of stills and pictures.
Starter: Just a quick series of stills from the film to probe their understanding of events and of the subtle character relationships and how they shift.
Chapter 6

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Getting started with LOTF

Didn't teach this class in year 10. Now sharing with colleague (week A: one lesson/week; week B: 3 lessons/week)
Recently started Lord of the Flies whilst they're studying something else with other teacher.
Unit interrupted by Mocks (and prep for...) and stretched over nearly 2 terms as a result of not seeing them more regularly. 

It also means that some lessons have seen me 'squeeze' 2 things into one session, particularly Week A...

They are a lovely class overall, mixed ability from F to A* with the majority on C/B predictions (our own predictions) but potentially a few As as well.
They are very happy to be spoon-fed.
So one aim is to cure them of that a bit as most of them will be continuing on to do A'Levels.

In early lessons, many of them have struck me with how articulate they are orally, but many are much weaker in their written responses. Therefore it's a no brainer to use Speaking and Listening tasks as springboards for extended writing tasks. We're aiming for lots of reciprocal teaching, following solid input of course.


Well, this is one way to get started with Lord Of The Flies.

 Worked really well though students were very quiet initially... Then absolutely smashing.

The phrase "human compass" came out halfway through and all were in awe of the boy who came up with that :)

 The only thing was that I couldn't stop blushing at the mis-attributed/made up quotation (Socrates) and had @oldandrewuk tut-tutting in my ear... but hey, it worked nonetheless.

Oh, and we never got to that slide about the plane crash. I'm glad we didn't. Didn't feel right anyway.Human Nature

Yet another blog... This time for myself.

At least I can keep all the links to great blogs and sites in one place :)
Anything here is really for my own benefit... storing ideas in one place!