This is my second in a series of short blogs about simple but highly effective ideas to use in the classroom. This is one I used to use a lot with a very mixed GCSE class, in terms of both ability and confidence. This meant it was important to find ways to encourage and enable everyone to participate. The idea is very simple. After delivering a concept I would just give students a cue card with an opening statement written on the board:
This can be applied to a wide range of contexts including ranking, I believe the most important factor is x because …, exam questions, I believe business x should do y because …
Cue cards are small and the class therefore didn’t feel they had to write too much. However, more confident writers could use both sides.
Didn’t feel like just writing in an exercise book.
Liked the fact they were expressing a personal opinion and there was no right or wrong answer.
Safe way to develop opinion and evaluative thoughts.
I would collect in and read a few out anonymously to show different opinions, rather than just having the confident students wanting to always offer their views. I guess it is a version of a hands down activity.
The cards could be stuck in books later or added to classroom displays, where each week one card was added as a reminder of that week’s activities and learning.
One of my favourites was always:
I believe all schools/hospitals should be in the public/private sector because…
Students would delete the options to decide what they wanted to write about.
If you want to try this one students could watch the “Understanding public and private sector” YouTube video first.