Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Improving your work in science

I haven't had a good experience with key stage 3 schemes of work in the past 5 years. (Until I came across Segue and Wikid from Upd8). I was happy to learn that at my new school, we use the QCA units in my department.

However, now that I am now teaching from the QCA schemes again I am not particularly happy about them. I am won over by the themes and how the UpD8 schemes allow progression of skills and thinking and do not cause the teacher (or me at least) to focus on knowlegde. I think that this helps the student develop into a scientific thinker during key stage 3.

We are not supposed to use levels at school. Dylan William has been listened to and levels are not to be given out. I rely on them see: "are-levels-my-crutch" I need the APP grid to help me give advice to help the students improve. I don't just want to teach content. Science changes, an analytical mind will be capable of working things out, if it is able to develop at school.

So how do I help my students go from "I want to remember lots of things" to "How can I explain this in a more detailed way"?

I have tried. The presentation below contains examples of level ladders that I asked the students to use. But they found it very difficult, and I am not entirely sure why.

I know that now I need to use my questioning and dare I say "academic mentoring" to move the students on towards more independence in their thinking.

I can't get away from using levels. Even those that use SOLO are assigning a level, it just isn't a number, to their students and/or their work. The levels are labels to help us as teachers, and it helps lad mark the progression.

My previous post shows the type of activity I am doing at the moment. http://geordiescience.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/trying-to-develop-thinking-in-classroom.html I hope that by using APP explicitly I can help the students to realise that only be thinking and adding detail to their answers can they improve in science.

It worked before, can I get it to work again?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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