This year I’m making a big effort to really teach strategies in depth. I’ve always felt strategies were essential in learning in general, but especially in encouraging learner autonomy and with supporting students with learning difficulties; because, as with so many things in the classroom, many of the strategies I teach are automatic for some students – but not for all, and these are the ones who really need them to succeed.
So, I thought I’d share with you how I do this.
This lesson plan and worksheet is about vocabulary, our school has a policy of learning weekly vocabulary lists, I don’t necessarily agree with it, but that’s a story for another time. I ask the students to think-pair and share all the reasons WHY learning vocabulary is important and note them on the board. I then do the same with HOW they can learn their vocab, if necessary I suggest a few to start them off. If the group needs more support I give them the accompanying worksheet at the start, rather than at the end. Then once they have a few ideas, I ask them to choose their own and as you can see on the worksheet, they write their top two or three in the box provided and then either cut it out or rewrite their top 3 reasons somewhere they can see regularly – at the front of their books, on a post-it on their desks, etc.
Please feel free to download and use the worksheet above, as you can see I’ve left it in word format so you can play about with it if you like. If you’re wondering about the think bubble – that’s where the students write the lesson number so they can file it easily in their folders, for example this is S1 – Skills lesson number 1, and goes in the SKILLS section of their folder. I tend to give quite a few worksheets to avoid students having to copy too much from the board, which means we have to rise to the challenge of organising, and not losing them!
Do let me know what ideas you’d add to the lists, and also watch this space for more strategy lesson plans – let me know what you’d like to see in this section!