This afternoon I had my Year 10 GCSE Spanish class, who, before the holidays, had been set the task of watching this video on the preterite tense and answering a series of questions, using a Google Form, to show their level of knowledge. The plan was for pupils to complete this homework over half term, as well as complete a worksheet on the preterite tense, and the results of the Google Form answers would then be used to determine the next course of the lesson for the pupils.
This morning, I was able to run the Flubaroo script on the Google Form answers (for tips with this, see @lancslassrach’s blog post). This quickly marked the answers and gave me pupils’ results in the form of a percentage. I then re-ran the script to send pupils’ responses back to them, with the correct version so they could see their mistakes – most of which were not including accents!
Today’s lesson then had a red, an amber or a green path to follow: if pupils scored above 75% they followed the green path, if below 40% they followed red, and those in between followed amber.
- Pupils had to self-motivate to work through the tasks and push forwards.
- I was able to really help the pupils that needed it.
- I could spend time working through pupils’ common mistakes
- The pupils worked at their own pace and could show me, individually, that they understood how the past tense worked
- The opportunity to talk pupils through irregular preterite verbs presented itself, and rather than it being a whole class presentation, I was able to quite quickly talk pupils through the concept and show them how to use the verb section in the back of the dictionary to check irregular conjugations
- Extension tasks for brighter pupils need to be more varied, not just translation of sentences (I must think back to Dominic’s session on differentiation!)
- Pupils were able to flit between the pathways if they had completed one homework task, but not the other. This enabled me to get them to complete the tasks that suited their own needs, skipping bits where necessary or including other elements that they needed to work on.
However it would be even better if (!) I orchestrated different styles of tasks, as this was quite a writing heavy lesson. Now that the class is used to this technique I will try it again, this time building in speaking and reading activities as well as writing ones. I also noticed at the beginning of the lesson how quite the pupils were – now, admittedly, I only have a small class of 7, but still, they are often more chatty and are happy to work together. The girls got chattier (in a good way!) as the lesson went on, but the boys stayed resolutely quiet, even though they ended up on a table together, working at a very similar pace. One pupil was absent today and I hope to still use the resources with him, to get him up to speed, whilst the rest of the class finish off their paragraphs in tomorrow’s lesson. I also want to come up with a way to help pupils move between the pathways – I gave one pupil the chance to move from red to amber with his next task, as he was clearly showing the ability to understand the most basic level, and he coped well with the amber work: it still challenged him.