PLC Activities from Teacher Tapp!

Welcome to our Teacher Tapp Ghana webpage for PLC Discussion Activities.

On this page you will find:

  • Links to articles you can use for PLC discussions AND discussion questions
  • Resources you can use for introducing colleagues to Teacher Tapp.

If you have any questions or we can help with using these resources, please get in touch with baz@teachertapp.co.uk

Article 1 (18/02/2020)  – Using pictures to help students remember knowledge

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion questions

  • What is ‘dual coding’?
  • What is the difference between working memory and long term memory?
  • How can images help reduce strain on working memory?
  • Think about three topics you teach to students. What are some images you could use in your teaching to help with dual coding?
  • What are some other ways you might put too much strain on your students’ working memory when you are teaching?
  • Do you think it is a good idea to read aloud from a textbook to your students while they are reading from the book at the same time? Why not?
  • If you try dual coding in your lessons next week, how can you find out whether it was effective or not?

Article 2 (19/02/2020)- Helping Students learn to Fail

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • How do you personally feel about failure? How do you treat yourself when you get something wrong?
  • What are the dangers of not letting students fail in the classroom?
  • If students don’t fail, what else won’t they do?
  • How can experience with failure make students more independent learners?
  • According to this article, what is the right way to think about assessment?
  • How should you treat your students when they get things wrong?

Article 3 (20/02/2020) – Do we teach boys and girls differently?

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you teach more boys or more girls?
  • In your experience, what are some of the differences between male and female students?
  • What are some of the way that you might treat male and female students differently?
  • Is it right for you to treat male and female students differently? For example, are you just meeting individual students’ needs when you treat them differently?
  • What are two things you can do in your next lesson to treat boys and girls more similarly?
  • How can you make sure girls have the ability and ambition to succeed in your classroom?

Article 4 (21/02/2020) – Should you get your students to put their hands up to answer questions

A link to the article can be found here

Discussion Questions

  • What is targeted questioning? What are some ways of using it with a class?
  • This article describes an ‘Action Research’ Project. What is the research being conducted and how is it run?
  • What were the findings of this Action Research project?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of ‘hands up’?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of targeted questioning?
  • Which of these approaches do you use in your classroom? Which will you be continuing to use? Why?

Article 5 (22/02/2020) – Improving Student Literacy

A link to the article be found here

Discussion Questions

  • What are some of the aspects of reading that are important for successful comprehension?
  • What is the most important thing students need to do to develop reading fluency?
  • What sort of texts should you choose to read with your students? What are the things you should consider when selecting texts?
  • Which of the activities could you use your students in your subject?
  • Why is reading fluency important in your subject? How can you continue to support it?

Article 6 (23/02/2020) – Talking positively to students

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • What does the article say about the relationship between evidence and teaching practice?
  • What were the consequences of the teachers use of positive language?
  • How was positive language used to manage student behaviour?
  • What are the benefits of positive relationships with students?

Article 7 (24/02/2020) – Should you tell stories to students?

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do students like hearing stories?
  • What are the problems with using stories in your teaching?
  • What can you use instead of stories?

Article 8 (25/02/2020) – An Introduction to Cognitive Load Theory 

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • What is Cognitive Load Theory?
  • What are the three types of ‘Load’?
  • What is the consequence of an activity exceeding cognitive load?
  • What is the consequence of a ‘working memory failure’?
  • What are some ways of reducing cognitive load?
  • How can you use these strategies in the next lesson you are planning in your subject?

Article 9 (26/02/2020) – How to focus on learning rather than activities

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • How does being ‘task-focused’ effect the language teachers use with their students?
  • What does the research show about why ‘activity focus’ is bad for long-term learning?
  • How can teachers change their practice to make it more learning-focused?
  • How can you apply this in your own lesson planning and how you speak to students?

Article 10 (03/03/2020) – Differences between genders in the classroom

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you treat boys and girls differently in your classroom?
  • Have you noticed differences in academic performance between genders? Why do you think there are these differences?
  • Girls tend to outperform boys academically from an early age – why might this be?
  • What are some strategies for supporting boys’ learning and handwriting from an early age?

Article 11 (04/03/2020) – How important is ‘fun’ in the classroom?

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • Why might children find school boring? Is this true of your students?
  • What is it important to develop writing skills until they are ‘automatic’?
  • What is the argument the writer makes against teaching just for exams?
  • What is the argument the writer makes against ‘group work’? Do you agree?
  • What does this writer believe a teachers main job is? Do you agree?

Article 12 (10/03/2020) – Assessment for Learning Activities

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • What does the article claim is the ‘ultimate goal of teaching’. Do you agree?
  • Which of these strategies would be the easiest for you to integrate into your teaching practice?
  • Which of these would be difficult for your to integrate? Why? Would it still be worth adding in?
  • What is the purpose of this kind of assessment for learning?

Article 13 (11/03/2020) – How to teach a large class

A link to the article can be found here.

Discussion Questions

  • What are some of the challenges of teaching a large class?
  • What is ‘differentiation’? How can you use it in grouping your classes?
  • Do you use a seating plan? What would you focus on if you started using one?
  • How can you keep easily forgotten students in mind when teaching?
  • How can you avoid marking for a large class? Can you assess within the lesson?
  • The article is about class sizes of 30. This is not large by Ghana standards. Does the advice still apply?

Use these links below to download simple resources you can use to get your colleagues using and benefiting from Teacher Tapp:

Teacher Tapp Information Sheet (Ghana)

What is TT for Ghana Teachers Powerpoint(CPD Day)

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