The best laid plans of mice and men… the astute amongst you will notice that I have not stuck to my plan and so the Wiki / Wordle lesson ended up being today. However, it turns out that I saved the best ’til last!
A couple of weeks ago, this link was sprinkled like confetti all over the mighty Twitter.
I am currently revising key skills with my Year 11 in preparation for their mocks and decided to use it. I set up a Wiki page on Wikispaces (surprisingly easy), set them all up with user-names and passwords and wrote the following instructions.
The results were fabulous! First and foremost, EVERY student improved their writing having identified weaknesses with the Wordle starter. Seeing the words in pictorial form helped them identify what they needed to change about their language choices in order to better meet the brief. The Wiki encouraged them to think much more precisely about editing their work because they knew their friends (and me) were logged in and watching what they were doing. There was a real buzz about the place. Every time a new post came in there was a little yelp of excitement. Best of all, the class barely needed me there to achieve. This was true independent learning. I was definitely facilitating rather than teaching!
One pupil (usually quite unmotivated) even found some internet links about writing to persuade and started an additional discussion topic where he pasted them for his friends to use. Awesome! Even more awesome, when I started a discussion forum entitled ‘what have you learned from your friends today’ many of them excitedly posted specific skills they had improved, which demonstrated that they had really engaged with the assessment process and thoroughly understood how to improve.
At the end of the lesson, one pupil went to give me their original piece of writing to mark and then took it back and said:
‘actually Miss, you don’t need to mark this now do you? I already know how to make it better. I reckon I can get an A next time!’
That’s got to be a mark of success! Thoroughly recommend Wikis and Wordles to all.
I am now off to put some quality time between me and work but I am looking forward to developing my discoveries this week into more concrete aims for the rest of this term. Thank you THANK YOU to all my Tweacher friends and my colleagues at school for their interest and encouragement in the past couple of weeks. It’s so nice to be buzzing about teaching. We are lucky to do what we do!
Happy bonfire night!