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A Taste of PEEL - extracts from PEEL resources

PEEL procedures, developed by classroom teachers over many years provide a way of promoting deeper learning in students in a number of different areas. Below are three examples of procedures/teaching strategies that PEEL teachers have developed to promote better understanding of knowledge and ideas.

All three procedures can be found in  The complete book of PEEL teaching procedures. The articles referred to in the text can be found in the PEEL online database PEEL in Practice

Procedure A28 constructing a continuum (Posted 19/06/2017)

This procedure was developed by Pat Beeson and Misja Carbo and refined by the PLC PEEL group. In Sequencing in Science and Geography they give two examples and also detail how the procedure was developed and elaborated in both classrooms and PEEL meetings.

Getting students to construct a continuum is relevant to any content where there is a sequence of many stages and where the order matters: reclaiming land from the sea, what happens to food during digestion, river systems and the historical development of safe surgery are some examples. The teacher prepares a set of (large) cards (laminating helps), that students have to assemble into a sequence or continuum. There have been two variations reported. In the first of these, the teacher assigns two ends of the room as the beginning and end of the continuum. Each student then takes a card, decides if their card refers to something early, middle or late in the sequence, goes to that part of the room and negotiates an exact order with their neighbours (students whose card refer to adjacent stages). The class ends up in an agreed line. Pat and Misja describe several extension activities using the continuum such as redistributing cards and reforming the continuum on sending different foods down the digestive system with the students role playing the action on their card when the food passes them.  Helen Ball (Year 11 Biology: Two activities for processing information) had students give a verbal explanation of why they were standing next to someone and what was happening to substances that passed from what they represented to the next stage.  Then she had them repeat it going in the other direction if this involved the movement of different substances (e.g. oxygen moves from the mouth to trachea to lungs to pulmonary capillaries, but carbon dioxide goes in the reverse direction).

Chris McKimmie (Sorting as a Group - CPR Health) and Lyn Boyle (Developing an Understanding of River Systems) both ran the process as a whole class discussion around a long table. Each student had a card (given out randomly) and, when their turn came, placed this card where they thought it should be on the table. While placing, they were allowed to move any cards already placed, but they had to justify both their placement and any such rearrangement.  Sara Taylor (Analyzing text using parallel timelines) used this variation to sort out a novel that had two interacting timelines.

In both these variations, the fact that every card must be placed somwhere means that all the students have to get intellectually involved and make a commitment to where they think their card might go.

The students clearly must have some basis for decision making. This could come from knowledge gained from previous lessons, or from personal experiences (eg, degrees of intimacy in sexual behaviours - see Boundaries in a Relationship). It could also be that the content allows the students to deduce or make reasoned suggestions about what should follow what. In all the cases reported, the students were working out part of the sequence, ie it was not a pure revision activity.

Vojtech Markus (Collaborative work on the interactive whiteboard) used an IWB to create a slightly different form of continuum in his senior biology class. He gave the students a geological time line of the ages of the earth -this then was a scaffold for the continuum. Vojtech also gave the students a list of different organisms that appeared at different times in the earth s history and (in groups) they had to put the organisms at what they thought were appropriate places on the timeline. Each group also had their own timeline, but Vojtech also put up the geological timeline on the IWB and, after they had got started he had one group at a time add one organism to the "class" timeline. He decided not to let a group change something they though was wrong, but only to add something that fitted with the class timeline -so the individual timelines were not all the same as the developing class timeline. Eventually nothing more could be added without changing the class version and Vojtech revealed the "correct" answer -the IWB allowed both the class version and the correct version to be displayed side by side. All this generated a lot of debate and thinking about an area that involves a lot of pieces of information to organise.

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Procedure A35 Guess the Picture (Posted 12/06/2017)

One important challenge for students is to apply their knowledge in unfamiliar situations. When a large body of factual content is presented to students, as can be the case in senior school Science classes, students often spend time memorising facts rather than using ideas. Vojtech Markus in Guess the Picture describes a way of developing students problem solving skills when attempting to apply what they already know.

A series of sets of three slides are made, using Powerpoint, that contain photos, diagrams or any other non text image. On the first slide only a few sections of the photo are visible by superimposing a grid made of rectangles, filled with black with no fill colour or line colour. The second slide reveals more of the photos and the third slide has the entire photo. Students are shown each slide in turn and have to try and guess what they are looking at. They also have to say why.

The task is challenging for students particularly with the first slide where much is blocked out (think carefully about what to leave in here). It requires students to search their knowledge and see if they could make a link with some structural feature or other aspect of the images. Importantly misconceptions and weaknesses of student understanding are quickly revealed allowing for further discussion and revision of a particular concept. Sometimes students are able to guess correctly with the first very incomplete slide leading to some satisfaction.

The procedure can be adapted to a range of areas in Science and the Humanities such as a photo from a certain historical period, a scene from a particular country, a map or an electron micrograph of a particular type of cell.

Picture 1


Picture 2

r

Picture 3

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Procedure A 10 Translation tasks (Posted 5/06/2017

(Examples of other linked procedures are included below)

Translation Task is a name we have given to tasks that require students to take information presented in one form and translate it into another form. Turning text or notes into a piece of creative writing (see Procedure A7) is a translation task as is constructing Role-plays (A8), Turning notes into diagrams (D2) and Character Graphs or Fortune lines (D15). There are many other variations in both what students translate from and to. Michael Bucklow s very rich article How do we know what students already know, for example, includes asking students to turn their prior knowledge into (variously) a newspaper headline plus opening paragraph, an epitaph, an advertisement and a poem or jingle. Russell Downie (Haiku) asked students to turn previously learned material in to a haiku (this is a three line poem with the first line containing 5 syllables, the second 7 and the last 5 syllables) here the very brevity of the task forced deep thought and economy of expression.  Donna Jennings used URLs with animations as a starting point for students to make notes on the nervous system. Web-based scavenger hunt.

Translation tasks require learners to monitor aspects of their learning - to think carefully and systematically about the information they are translating: What are the ideas? Do I understand these? What does this mean? Often they do this by requiring the learner to distil information into highly summarised forms such as newspaper headlines, or cartoons. However tasks such as turning (detailed) pictures into dialogue stimulate learners to make a detailed, comprehensive interpretation of the information they are given - both types of task are valuable.  Because most translation tasks can be done in a number of ways, they provide opportunities for choice and independent decision-making (PEEL Principle 3). 

How do we know what students already know by Michael Bucklow  (Posted 5/06/2017)

A few ideas

  1. Select What s Relevant: List facts or events about a person or event. Some are relevant/correct. Some are not. /students tick/cross the list. Discuss answers whole class or in groups. (PS Where/when did they find out what they think they know?)
  2. Select What s Relevant: Jumbled cut and paste of extracts. Students choose those they think are about a person/event/place. They list them in order of importance or in some other logical sequence or grouping.
  3. Brainstorm Bingo: Students write down everything they think they know about a topic. They are told not to worry about whether they think a point is important or not. This can be followed up in many ways. One possibility is Bingo. Teacher reads out a list of points/fact about the topic. Students tick off matches with their lists. The first student to five (or whatever number) matches calls out Bingo .
  4. Translation Task: Produce a visual representation of a topic: collage, cartoon, sketch, comic strip, panel, symbolic representation, etc.
  5. List how the topic is similar to/different from an SRC meeting, a pop concert, a flea, eating chicken in the dark.
  6. Select What s Relevant: Present a list of adjectives. Students choose those they think go with the topic and explain why. They do the same for irrelevant adjectives.
  7. Translation Task: Students mime an aspect they think is related to the topic individually or in groups. Other students attempt to link the performance with the topic.
  8. Predict The Topic: Play a song. Say that the song is related to the new topic. Ask them to hypothesise what the new topic will be and why.
  9. Predict The Topic: Show extracts from a video on the topic, possibly with the sound turned off. As for 8.
  10. Provide a picture that is not related to the topic. Students asked to explain why it is not related to the topic or - even why it could be.
  11. Listening Discussion: One student says what they think they know about a topic. Other students do the same while explaining how their point relates to that of the previous student.
  12. Translation Task: Write a newspaper headline and opening paragraph for this topic.
  13. Promoting and Using Student Questions: If you could interview this topic, work out five questions that would provide key pieces of information about the topic. Try to answer some of the questions.
  14. Translation Task: If this topic had an epitaph, what might it be?
  15. Would there be information on this topic on the Internet? Why or why not? If yes, what kind of information would you expect to find?
  16. If you were a teacher and had to introduce this topic in a way that would interest and motivate students, how would you do it? If you think the task is impossible, explain why. (You are not allowed to use the word boring .)
  17. Translation Task: Devise an advertisement for this topic.
  18. Translation Task: Use what you think you know about the topic to produce a short poem or jingle.
  19. Angelina Jolie,  Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Jennifer Lawrence Tom Cruise, can all ask and receive salaries of about $25 million (US) per film. Which of these actors would be best suited to starring in a film on the topic. Why?
And.???


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