A week before the Beaumont TeachMeet, a shopping trip to Poundland resulted in a large bag of random objects which we thought would inspire a room full of enthusiastic teachers to come up with teaching tips and tricks. We weren’t wrong. A week of sorting of the “Washing line of Ideas” and a lovely long list of “stuff you can do with things costing a pound” has been created.
A total of £11 was spent and for that £11 we got A LOT of “stuff”. What struck me when sorting through the ideas was how creative people can be when presented with a fairly random object. I certainly wouldn’t have predicted that the pipe cleaners would generate the most ideas. Thank you to all who contributed, especially the person who wrote on a hanger “When there is no wind….. Row!! HANG in there and learn to learn!”
- Don’t get caught in the rain! Groups of students get to stand under the umbrella and each are asked a question. If they get it wrong they have to stand in the rain. It could be used for competition.
- Students have to answer a question and get the number of points from the total of their domino.
- Depending on what domino they have, e.g. 6 and 5, students write 6 new things they have learnt and 5 things they want to know.
- Instead of numbers your dominoes need themes (6) and topics (6). Pupils can only lay a domino by matching these appropriately.
- Draw items of food in the plate e.g. a full English in the food write the revision notes they can digest (confident) and revision notes they can’t digest (not confident).
- Draw a clock face on the plate and then use it to help learn the time in a modern foreign language.
- Make a web of learning – start with one student who summarises something they’ve learnt, throw to another student and they add to it. All students contribute and a web of learning gets created as the string moves around the room.
- Who am I? Hang pictures from the hanger and students have to guess who the person is.
- Hang key words for a topic like a mobile.
- Students hang a question on it as they leave the classroom. Next lesson they have to take a tag and answer the question.
- In a Genetics lesson, use a balloon and stickers to make a Martian from two parents. Pupils choose which features are passed on from parents.
- 1 student would blow up a balloon whilst other students speak in a foreign language for the time it takes for the balloon to be blown up.
- Whole class have to pass the balloon around without it touching the ground whilst speaking a key phrase.
- Write questions on the balloon which is then passed around the class. Where they catch the balloon they have to answer that question.
- Put clues/answers within the balloon and allow students to pop at certain points in the lesson.
- Find your pair, to ensure students work with new people at random.
- The suit = style of reflection for lesson. Clubs = summary points, hearts = emotion of character, diamond = key word vocabulary, spade = quality questions to ask for next time.
- A painless way to group students randomly. Hand one to each student as they enter the room and they self organise according to number, suit or colour. It is easy to then shuffle the groups.
- Use for card games for numeracy, statistics and probability.
- Ask students to explain the principle of moments using the peg.
- Each student gets a peg and is asked to label their place on a line to show progress during a lesson. Peg a key word on students back. They can then pick this from a topic. Class go round and guess key words on their back.
- Mould the pipe cleaner into the shape of a line graph. The graph can show anything e.g. change over time, tension in a plot.
- The Christmas tree of knowledge. Students have their own tagged pipe cleaner and add a fact to build the class Christmas tree.
- A question is written on a luggage label and throughout the lesson they add labels to the pipe cleaners with key points to remember. The pipe cleaners are then collected in and returned to them to remind them what they have learnt.
- Turn the pipe cleaners into bracelets. During a debate the audience can use them to vote for the better argued responses,
- Used instead of hats when doing DeBono’s hats for speaking and listening.
- Mould it into a hero badge which it awarded to a particular student. They have to write down why they have won the badge as well as an idea they don’t want to forget from the lesson.
Thank you to all the fabulous teachers who thought about all these ideas on a dark, rainy, Friday evening in November.