Author Archives: laurabrook

Using Thinglink to extend model making activities

I first came across Thinglink when introduced by a colleague who teaches MFL (@ProfeScammell), she said it would be excellent to extend the model making activities we do in Geography and she was correct! I began by having a play around with Thinglink myself by signing up and creating a couple of Thinglink pictures myself. I did this so I could create some instructions for the students and be able to help them in case they happened to get stuck. Luckily, for an ICT novice such as myself it was relatively straightforward.

The first use was after creating our own sustainable houses. The time it took to make them meant that we didn’t have time to assess them within the lesson so it was a perfect opportunity to try something new. At the end of the lesson I got them all to write their name on a post it and place it by their house so I could take a photo on my phone to upload to our shared drive.

I booked the IT facilities for the lesson after and made sure I had uploaded all of the photos to a communal area for all to access. It took about 10 minutes for all of the students to create their own account using their school email and me to resolve any issues. Note to self – make sure students write down their passwords for future use! They then began by finding and uploading their image and began to “tag”. Part of the success criteria was to try a variety of tags – highlighting key terminology, incorporating images from the internet and adding YouTube videos. Students were engaged and enjoyed figuring out the features on offer. Out of 28 students only one had heard of it. I think this added to the engagement as it was something new and different. They had the remainder of the lesson to finish their Thinglink ready to be peer assessed next lesson. The final lesson we logged into Thinglink again and students searched for their partner’s houses. They wrote a WWW & EBI comment online and published it.

 

Step 1 - Creating an account

Step 1 – Creating an account

Step 2 - Uploading images

Step 2 – Uploading images

Step 3 - Adding tags

Step 3 – Adding tags

Adding images into tags

Adding images into tags

Peer Assessment Criteria

Peer Assessment Criteria

All in all I think a very enjoyable two and a half lessons. I felt it added more purpose to the task of creating the houses, especially when some question the value of model making. It was a more engaging and interactive format than merely adding post its as labels.

Next time? I am definitely going to use Thinglink again – it’s use is infinite and across the key stages, it could be invaluable as a revision tool for GCSE and A level students especially due to its sharing and searching capabilities. Teachers and students can also create their own channels.  I’d get the students to write down their passwords! I’d also spend some time getting the students to look and search for other Thinglinks available on the topics we are studying for some alternative ideas. For myself as a teacher I am going to investigate and follow other Thinglink users for teaching and also subject ideas in addition to creating my own channel where I can create and upload images but students can also add theirs to a communal area.

Reflecting on exams – how can I improve?

Usually the best ideas are born out of necessity, having over 100 students sitting either an A level or GCSE exam in the coming weeks marking was becoming the only task I had time for. Whilst marking numerous pieces of work I realised I was writing the same thing over and over and… over. Surely there must be a more efficent/streamlined way of doing this that still remained personal to the student?

I created a marking grid based on the mark scheme and marked a couple of tests to pilot whether I had included everything necessary. I copied and pasted the blank grid as many times as there were students in the class. The grid took between 15 – 20 minutes to create but streamlined the process massively as I marked each test, this was then printed off and attached to the exam paper of each student. As I went through I created a tally of common mistakes on a piece of paper of WWW (What went wells) and EBIs (even better ifs) that were common for the majority, I then used this to create a reflection poster for us to go through as a class as opposed to just talking through the main errors. It was a combination of addressing the common misconceptions and being given the opportunity to react to the feedback they had been given – a colleague introduced me to the concept of “show me growth” which is incorporated here.

After showing they had purposely reacted to the feedback students were given the time to reflect – why had they lost marks and crucially what are their next steps in order to be successful for their forthcoming exams (post it and footstep boxes respectively)?

I feel there are many advantages to these posters –

  • 1) It has streamlined my marking process immeasurably
  • 2) It requires active participation from the students
  • 3) It is taken away and can be used as a revision tool
  • 4) I have further developed this by creating “Show me growth” worksheets of AFL questions that share similar principles to the ones they had already completed so they can use their feedback and improved answers to enable them to make outstanding progress on future tasks.

There are some drawbacks, however, they are fairly time consuming to make initially, they are class specific – I have two year 10 classes but their targets are very different due to the make up of the class and it also needs to be differentiated by ability (I made a higher and foundation sheet for one of the classes). Overall though I’ve had some very positive feedback from the students and colleagues who have utilised this resource.

Personalised to each student and filled in as each test was marked.

Personalised to each student and filled in as each test was marked.

Addressing the common misconceptions.

Addressing the common misconceptions.

 

Completed by the student.

Completed by the student.