butchers paper, the floor and sprinklers

Today I had a very interesting and highly purposeful lesson. it invoked brainstorming. Now usually in this session I would encourage students to sit around a table and discuss issues then write them. But after talking some to early learning colleagues and noticing the big roll of butchers paper, I decided to try the ‘old fashioned’ way – big questions on the sheet and students discuss and write on the sheets with markers.

Firstly getting out of the seat was a positive step – out of the seat and onto the floor. Secondly the discussion around the room – while it took a while to develop, the comments and clarification that students were having with each other regarding the topic was more than I expected. Thirdly the sheer delight in students collaborating to solve problems in a way where the weaker students could ask or make comment in a non-threatening way (unlike answering a question in front of the class) but still understand and clarify any misgivings about the topic.

I know that this may sound quite basic to some of my colleagues, but it reaffirmed to me that we must keep the learning experience fresh to our learners. It would have been do much easier to have done a PowerPoint but to have the level of discussion with each other was magic.

As a new technology head I was amazed to see the basics working so well. But new technology is about collaboration, discussion and learning in the classroom.

On the floor, marker pens and butchers paper…a little bit like running through a sprinkler.