During these very challenging times, educators across the world are all very focused on how we can ensure that the distance teaching we are currently undertaking is as effective as it can be. Whilst this is of course important for all students, it is especially so for students in Y10 who are approaching the half way point of their GCSE courses. We’ve been thinking about this at Durrington and are focusing on three key areas:
- Readjusting the Y10 curriculum
- Optimising the distance teaching of new material for Y10.
- Supporting Y10 to become better at self-regulation.
Readjusting the Y10 curriculum
The curriculum drives what students should be learning but as we know, learning from a distance is tricky. With this in mind it’s worth reviewing the curriculum that you had intended to deliver to Y10 during this summer term and moving things around. There’s very little point in attempting to distance teach really difficult ideas, as you’ll probably have limited success. So move this up into Y11 when (hopefully!) students will be back in school and move some of the simpler ideas from the Y11 curriculum down to be taught now.
Obviously this will be easier in some subjects than others, but it’s certainly worth thinking about.
Optimising the distance teaching of new material for Y10
As the closure period continues, Y10 teachers are having to move on to delivering new subject content at a distance. We can reduce some of the challenges this presents by readjusting the curriculum as described above. However, we still need to be considering what is the best way to teach this new material at a distance. A key consideration is how we explain and model these new ideas. Loom videos provide a great platform for this, as they allow teachers to explain these ideas as they would in a normal lesson. This can be further enhanced by using a visualiser to model these ideas to students on the Loom video.
At #rEDDurringtonLoom earlier this month , Paul Kirschner gave an excellent talk on distance teaching. The video is 8 minutes long and is well worth a watch:
You can download Paul’s notes from his talk here.
To summarise, Paul gives these key recommendations to optimise distance teaching:
• Keep it short. ʺTry not to do all of what you normally do in your online class.ʺ • Prepare well. ʺKnow what youʹre going to say, donʹt change it during class.ʺ • Provide structure. ʺList what students should do and see if they have done it.ʺ
• Prepare students. ʺIf you are going to talk about something, prepare them beforehand with stimulating their prior knowledge.” • Give short assignments before and after and require them to be submitted to you. ʺNot complicated or profound, but things they can do in a few minutes and you can see whether they are prepared (before) and understand (after).ʺ • Make use of the online resources available. ʺDonʹt try to do something better in an evening that that which has already been done well by someone else.ʺ
Supporting Y10 to become better at self-regulation
“Supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning outcomes
- Pupils learning at home will often need to work independently. Multiple reviews identify the value of strategies that help pupils work independently with success.
- For example, prompting pupils to reflect on their work or to consider the strategies they will use if they get stuck have been highlighted as valuable.
- Wider evidence related to metacognition and self-regulation suggests that disadvantaged pupils are likely to particularly benefit from explicit support to help them work independently, for example, by providing checklists or daily plans.”
The ‘Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning Guidance Report‘ offers some sound advice on this. It suggests that teachers should be explicitly teaching students how to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning. With distance teaching, the temptation is to focus solely on delivering the content, without thinking about developing students’ metacognitive strategies. It’s really important that we embed this into our distance teaching, as we would if we were back in the classroom:
- Do they have the appropriate resources to hand to complete the task?
- Are you setting tasks that will activate their prior knowledge?
- Are they clear about the learning goals?
- Are they encouraged to think about the strategies they are going to use to complete the task?
- Remind students to assess the progress they are making during the task.
- Ensure students know where to find the resources they will need and strategies they can use to unstick themselves.
- Provide exemplars for them to judge their progress against.
- Include regular quizzing for students to monitor their progress (give them the answers so they can do this)
- Encourage them to adapt their strategy for a particular task.
- At the end of the session, encourage students to review how successful they were with the strategies they employed and how they would approach a similar task differently next time.
- Encourage students to think about and ask questions to consolidate their understanding.
Over the coming weeks, the Durrington Research School Team will be producing some resources to support teachers with ‘developing self-regulation at a distance’.