Classroom starters and plenaries: creative ideas for use by Kate Brown

By Kate Brown

Presents secondary tuition lecturers with a variety of hugely inventive feedback for lecture room starters and plenaries. >

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A bonus point for naming a company that uses teleworkers’. You can take points off for wrong answers, though this can discourage students who are unsure of the answer from having a go. ◆ A potentially more relevant and motivating method of varying the score with the difficulty of the question or the quality of the answer is to draw on the scoring methods used in sports. An easy question could be one cricket run, a more difficult question two or three. Or, in ascending degrees of question difficulty, correct answers could win a red ball (one point), yellow ball (two points), green ball (three points), brown ball (four points) etc.

This is more of a challenge, but can produce some impressive results which indicate that students have a firm grasp of the material and can think laterally around the topic. For example, tectonics might be ‘Thick earth crust, the oceanic, nudged in currents, subducted’. It is much harder to create a sentence, like this one, which makes some sense as a whole. An easier option is simply to select words that are relevant to the topic and start with each of the letters of the key word. This way, tectonics might be ‘Tectonics, Earthquakes, Continental, Tsunami, Oceanic, Niigata, Igneous, Convection’.

This activity results in students having a definition in their notes that they really understand and can use in the future. : Glaciation – the process of covering part of the earth’s surface with glaciers or masses of ice. glaciated adj. Variations ◆ For added challenge, ask students to include other key words in their definition. For example, ‘neurone’ and ‘signal’ in a definition of ‘reflex actions’. ◆ This activity can also work as a more straightforward recall exercise of key term definitions you have already provided.

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