The excellent training session delivered by Mike Hughes earlier this school year raised some important questions and provided some interesting food for thought. How refreshing to hear that learning should be the core of what we do, not ticking boxes (although unfortunately they still need to be ticked somehow!). In order to achieve this, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to add “bits of polish”, make “tiny changes” and “tweak” what we do so that the following questions can be answered:
– “How much learning has taken place?”
– “What can they do when they leave the room that they could not do at the start?”
– “If I had not done this would the learning have been impaired?”
Are our students OCCUPIED or ENGAGED?
(ie: “Read page 7” or “Read page 7. What’s the most interesting sentence?”)
Which is key to effective & meaningful learning?
Learning can only take place with dialogue. Yet, if the task isn’t well-designed, the quality of the dialogue is poor.
This again highlights the importance of questioning in the classroom.
Examples of “good” questions taken from Mike’s website:
• Why not?
• Can you add to that?
• What do you think of that answer?
• Can you give me a reason / example?
• Which was the hardest?
• Did you have to do… differently as a result?
• How did you get to that answer?
• What was the thinking behind…?
• How would Einstein/Shakespeare/Pythagoras answer that?
• If that’s the answer, what’s the question?
• What haven’t I asked yet?”
2 examples of task which lead to better dialogue:
– Diamond 9 with a key question designed to get the pupils talking (“Who’s the key character in Romeo and Juliet”?)
– The heart of the matter (arrange information from really important / relevant to not so important – if 2 things are connected link them up to show deeper understanding)
What is the difference between UNDERSTANDING & KNOWING?
(ie: can pupils remember the teacher’s words or can they explain what they have learnt in their own words?)
In order to show that they know, pupils need to do something with the information given.
“Magenta” Principles: Pupils demonstrate their understanding
- Reduce (“Underline the 6 key words”, “What’s the most interesting sentence?”)
- Change (“What animal would Juliet be in a Walt Disney film?” – change into a poem, mime)
- Replace (“Can you answer the question without using the word…?”)
- Add (“Can you think of a word that isn’t there but could?”)
- Connect Diamond 9 & Heart of the Matter
We talked about lots more than that but I hope I have managed to capture the main themes of Mike’s session!
For further reading, check Mike’s website www.mikehughe-ets.co.uk and twitter https://twitter.com/MikeHughesETS
Following on from the CPD – some of us have tried to adapt some of Mike’s principles. See below for some inspiration!
Castles – compare contrast (THW) Hippocrates card sort activity Mike Hughes Year 7 Mike Hughes Year 10 Mike Hughes Year 12 THW Castle pictures