Sunday, 3 November 2013

Can smarties make you smarter?

Well, they can do if you adapt the general knowledge quizzes on the back of the mini packets into a literacy starter.

For my middle and lower sets I wrote the questions and got students to write the key words in their books before going through the answers and getting students to self-assess (you can get them to use green pen to mark the parts they got correct and red pen to make corrections if you're feeling keen!)

For higher sets and my mixed ability sixth form classes I asked students to write five of their own and then swap with their partner to answer their questions, before returning the questions to be checked. I gave a couple of examples and explained that I wanted them to write questions in the style of "what <insert letter here> is ..." where the rest of the question will allow others to guess what the letter, or letters if they used a phrase, would stand for. It took some students a little longer to understand how to write the questions than others but it's definitely worth persevering with and I'm hoping they'll remember the next time we try the same activity! When I asked one sixth form class why they found it difficult they said it was "because I had to think"...

I've used this to recap learning from the last lesson, or to start a revision lesson. If you have classes where students don't all arrive at the same time due to lesson changeover then having about 8 questions (with an extension task of writing your own) is a great way of getting students settled.

Some examples:

C1.5 AQA Core Science

Answers: Cracking, Heat, Catalyst, Saturated, Unsaturated, (it turns) Colourless, Fermentation, Hydration (of ethene)

C1.6 AQA Core Science

Answers: Crushing, Pressing, Filtering, Steam Distillation, Energy, Nutrients, Higher, Attraction, Miscible, Immiscible, Emulsion

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