A huge part of my classroom dynamic, has always involved getting children up on their feet, sharing knowledge and ideas and working with one another to push the whole community’s learning forward. Since the arrival of Coronavirus, and the precautions put in place to counter the spread of the disease, many, if not most, of us have been forced to endlessly order our inquisitive and eager students to 'Sit down!' repeatedly. Sharing resources has been outlawed and the peer-editing of work had become a thing of the past. That was until I had a little brain wave...
This morning, following the completion of some writing, I did what I've been doing regularly for years - I asked a child to share their work with the group. It was on-task and they had clearly listened carefully to the narrative. It was, however, lacking in content, included unnecessary repetition, was punctuated incorrectly and was littered with grammatical errors - in summation, it was a pretty standard piece of year four writing that hadn't been carefully checked through by its author! As a team, we could definitely do better!
My initial thought had been to copy the short piece of work on to the whiteboard for assessment, but after having been introduced to airdropping in recent weeks (so behind the times I know...), the potential of using this system to allow the entire class to view the work of an individual suddenly seemed obvious. I requested that the child take a photo of his paragraph. This was then delivered, in seconds, to each member of the group who, after a click of the edit button, marked up! Mistakes were highlighted, spelling mistakes ringed and punctuation added. Just five minutes later and we were ready to discuss, as a team, how the text could be improved and expanded upon.
This was an incredibly easy way to swerve the barriers that Covid has laid down and to embed some student-led learning back into the classroom - which has felt a little drab since everything changed all those months a go. It served as a refreshing and positive much-needed experience during these really tough and challenging times. Why not give it a go yourself and let me know how it works out for you!
If you have been utilising any other innovative learning methods since lockdown, please share them below, or get in touch. I would love to hear about your work. Stay safe everyone!