Induction session 8.6 - Faculty of Education Workshop May 2014
1 Workshop: OER4Schools - Developing innovative mathematics and science teaching in sub-Saharan Africa
Please bring a laptop, tablet, etc. We will access the OER4Schools resource online, or use our OER4Schools memory sticks with the offline resource.
Note that to keep heading numbers simple, we are going to continue with top level headings, rather than creating sub-sections of section 3.
2 Welcome to the workshop
Introduction to the workshop (15 min). Let's go round and hear from each other. What are our backgrounds, and what are we interested in? What do we want to get out of this workshop? Let's appoint two scribes, and take notes. Let's share contact details.
3 Introducing cumulative talk - creating a story together
Cumulative talk is talk in which all participants agree and add to the previous talk (or sentence).
Cumulative talk (20 min): Creating a story together. All the participants get up to rearrange the seating. Arrange the group in a horseshoe seating arrangement(a) if there is room. If not, choose another arrangement allowing participants to see each other. Facilitator starts a story by saying one sentence. All participants then contribute to the story by adding sentences.
A good story would:
- be contextually appropriate: for example, use common names of characters and a setting familiar to participants
- have a theme relevant for participants such as education (girl-child receiving schooling later supports family), importance of forests and wildlife (saving a snake later becomes useful for the invention of new medicine), treatment of diseases (steps taken by a family to treat an ill person) etc.
- be short and have few characters, and
- have a problem which is collectively resolved in the end
For instance, you could create a story about welcoming a new child to the school, perhaps a child with an impairment of some kind. The facilitator starts by saying: "The other day, I heard my neighbours talking about whether their child should be starting school, because their child has difficulty walking, and they were not sure whether children like that should go to school." (Relates to Index for Inclusion, A1.1 Everyone is welcomed.)
Facilitator can introduce the notion of Talk Rules during this activity, if needed. Some examples are:
- “everybody listens when one person talks” because they have to add to what has previously been said
- “respect others’ ideas” by adding to their idea, rather than changing it
- “make sure everyone in the group understands”
- “try to reach consensus in the end” (participants don’t need to actually come to agreement, but the process of trying gets people to listen to each other)
You may want to ask participants to generate their own examples of Talk Rules.
The activity we just did is an example of “cumulative talk”, where participants build on what the previous person has said (“cumulative talk” is one way of moving towards whole class dialogue).
4 Introduction to questioning
Questioning, offering opportunities for classroom talk, and listening to learner responses are an essential part of interactive teaching. They help teachers to determine:
- what learners understand
- what they misunderstand, and
- what they are actually learning
4.1 Reflecting on current questioning practice
The idea behind this activity is to make the need for this session explicit.
You will need a piece of paper.
Choose some topics that participants are teaching this week (from the curriculum), and display the topics (on blackboard or flipchart). Some examples are:
- the importance of water(Relates to Index for Inclusion, C1.2 )
- living together(Relates to Index for Inclusion, C1.13 )
- transport(Relates to Index for Inclusion, C1.5 )
- types of fertilizers (organic and inorganic) and their advantages or disadvantages(Relates to Index for Inclusion, C1.1 ),
- uses of different parts of a plant(Relates to Index for Inclusion, C1.8 ), and
- health(Relates to Index for Inclusion, C1.6 ).
Same-task group work (5 min): in pairs: Coming up with some questions. Choose a topic from the paper. Using the paper, write a list of up to five questions that you normally ask/would ask the pupils in class.
Allow only about 3-5 minutes for this activity so that spontaneous questions are recorded.
After 3-5 minutes, explain what open and closed questions are (see background reading below) and ask the whole group for a couple of example questions of each type, for illustration. Write these examples (no more than two of each question type) on the blackboard or flipchart for reference during the game, or ask a volunteer participant to do so. When you are sure that participants have got the idea of the differences between the question types, proceed with the game.
During the game, ensure that participants do not feel less motivated if they offer more closed or surface types of questions. To ensure this:
- Refrain from judging questions. Record/discuss questions factually without expressing any emotion.
- Mention that all types of questions have value and can be used for different purposes. Closed and surface questions are also important to some extent.
- Maintain positive body language by listening attentively.
. To start the game, ask participants to look at the first question (on their respective lists), and work out whether it is open or closed, and then move to the corresponding side of the room. When participants have categorised their first question, take a few examples from each side of the room to clarify that they have been correctly categorised. Participants move on to the second question on their list and categorise it in the same way.
Game (5 min): on open and closed questions. The facilitator will ask you to categorise the questions on your list (one at a time) as open or closed and to move to the corresponding side of the room. Work through your questions one at a time and categorise them as closed or open when asked to do so. . Be prepared to explain your rationale to the rest of the group.
4.2 Reading about open and closed questions
You can print this content on a separate sheet here: OER4Schools/Questions you can ask.
5 Browsing the OER4Schools resource
Same-task group work (10 min): Browsing the OER4Schools resource. Now browse to http://www.oer4schools.org and identify a topic that is useful or of interest to you. If you have brought a laptop (or another device to which you can connect a USB stick), you should also browse the offline version provided. The offline version contains all content from the http://oer.educ.cam.ac.uk, including all videos. There is a lot of content but, for now, focus on the OER4Schools resource. As you are browsing, make a note of what you find, and consider:
- PMI: What do you think is a plus, what is a minus, what do you find interesting? Why?
- How would you be able to use this resource for your own purposes?
5.1 Making a plan for the use of the resource
Whole class dialogue (10 min): What did you find? We now discuss what you found. You should now have a good overview of the OER4Schools resource. OER4Schools is a complete programme, but you could also use parts of it. Is there overlap with your own activities? How might you be able to use OER4Schools? Or perhaps there is something that you can contribute?
5.2 Quick feedback
- What did you find most valuable?
- What suggestions do you have for the OER4Schools team?
6 Follow-up activities
Agreeing follow-up activities (10 min). What activities are we envisaging following up from this workshop? When are we doing them? How do we feed back? Let's agree a few activities that we might be able to do.
Part 1: Activity 1.
Part 2: Activity 2.
7 Activity summary
At the end of each session, we provide an overview of the activities in this session, together with their suggested timings. Although this appears at the end of the session (for technical reasons), you should keep an eye on this throughout the session, to make sure that you are pacing the workshop session appropriately!
Total time: 90 (min)
Activities in this session:
- Introduction to the workshop(15 min).
- Cumulative talk (20 min): Creating a story together.
- Same-task group work (5 min): in pairs: Coming up with some questions.
- Observing, thinking, reflecting (5 min): Facilitator talk on open and closed questions.
- Game (5 min): on open and closed questions.
- Whole class dialogue (5 min): Reflecting on current practice.
- Observing, thinking, reflecting (5 min): Reading about open and closed questions.
- Same-task group work (10 min): Browsing the OER4Schools resource.
- Whole class dialogue (10 min): What did you find?
- Agreeing follow-up activities(10 min).
If you have printed this session for offline use, you may also need to download the following assets: