Friday, 4 November 2016

Silent Challenges...

Some of my favourite lessons this year have been our silent challenges. The idea behind this is that instead of me 'telling' my learners what it it I want them to do, they need to read and understand from a series of written instructions what their task is. By doing this I have encouraged my learners to read for meaning and shown them the importance of making sure they understand what it is they have read. These tasks allowed the collaboration between my learners to shine at it's best.

The challenge below was set only for my reading group. One of the gaps in their learning was reading for meaning when a text is not scaffolded and unpacked. I decided this would be a fun way to show them why this was important and how they could make sense of a text that they had little connection to. To make sure everyone found success I created mixed ability groups so they could support each other. The learning arguments or dialogic discussions that took place were rich and afforded me great opportunities to make some important anecdotal observations.

The rest of the class saw asked for a similar challenge so I created one that embraced our learning in maths and inquiry. Never would I have imagined that 52 Year 7 and 8 learners would be outside testing flight distances and be so on task! The discussions I heard were based on adaptations that could be made to get more distance and were accompanied by laughter, team spirit and outstanding group collaboration.