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Reading from the script

Saturday 2 November 2019

Sorry about the photo. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well this one's worth about 10. When I started this blog on the 8th December 2009 (my photography has at least not got worse) my aim was to make a record of the daily life of a physics teacher. Have a look through the archive sometime, there are 710 posts but you don't have to read them all. Wow, the site is 10 years old.

Anyway, this post is not about history its about the present. 4 years ago I dropped the "Lord of the board" style of teaching in favour of a totally student centred approach. Students work through the activities on this site. They can work in groups or alone but the tend to be alone. I sit at the front answering questions, giving the occasional summary and highlighting moments of TOK and NOS.

Lessons can be a bit quiet which is good for concentration but also sleep. To liven things up a couple of students had an idea. How would it be if students took it in turn to lead the class? We tried it out. The activity was projected onto the board and a student used it as a script, reading out the questions to the class. When I wrote the activities (and my books) I imagined I was standing in front of the class asking questions that would lead them along a path of understanding. The activities work very well as a script. The student presenter did not have to prepare a presentation they just read and the class answered. When they got stuck or answered incorrectly I put them right. A second student was on hand by the chalkboard to scribble when necessary.

I think it went quite well, certainly more noisy and for some students more focussed (when there is conversation it's not always about physics). As with anything new it takes some time to get used to. Maybe best used to review a topic rather than introduce one. The jury is out.


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