November's Bright Idea
Practising the GCSE writing in class
We all know how challenging the new GCSE is, especially the writing paper. We also have a lot of content to cover in preparation.
I tried this with my GCSE class last week and the feedback was really positive (and kids are pretty honest!).
It was really simple and quick to set up and it worked like a dream in class.
Put your class into groups of 3 or 4. Each group has a mini whiteboard and a GCSE-style question on the board (I got this from the coursebook). They simply work in groups to come up with a suitable answer, without any resources. You, the teacher, walk around the room, keeping an eye on what they write. Drop in a few tips as you go! I did point out errors, but didn't tell them what was wrong. They soon worked it out for themselves! When the group are happy with the answer, they copy it into their exercise books. At the end of the lesson, you tell them whose answer would get the most marks and why. My students weren't interested in prizes, they just wanted the glory of being 'the best'!
When I asked how they think the lesson went, they said it made them feel much more confident about what they knew and they enjoyed the group discussions the task generated. What's more, their answers were great!
Have a go and let me know how you get on!