Monday, 30 September 2013

Speed Dating

A TeachMeet always inspires me to do new things and re-try exciting things I've done before. #TeachMeetRE was no different...

Leigh Almey (@LeighAlmey) shared her presentation on 'The Argument Tunnel' which you can watch <here>.

This prompted me to change my Y13 lesson P6 to do some Speed Dating!

I first heard of this idea at #TMEssex last year from a HE lecturer who used it with PGCE students. It creates a buzz in the room and generates a high intensity atmosphere in the classroom, it's also fun.

As the class arrived I gave students an EdExcel Developments AO2 question and told them to get planning...

(ii) ‘The religious experience argument merely indicates the probability of God and this is of little value to a religious believer.’ Discuss. (12) - June 2010

They had 5 minutes to plan an outline to this question while I set up the room. Admittedly this is a reasonably hard question and I could see a number of students who had just set up a basic 'strengths/weaknesses' table which wouldn't allow them to rise to the demands of the question. Most ran out of ideas around the 4minute mark.

I then arranged them into two groups with a timer. One student instantly said, "This is like speed dating!". After all they sat in two rows, facing one another.

I then gave them a series of questions to talk about, carefully helping to develop understanding of this question and then reach some kind of conclusion:

  • What is religious experience? (1min)
  • What types of religious experience are there? (1min)
  • What conditions may lead to a religious experience taking place? (1min)
  • What does "probability of God" mean? (1min)
  • Is religious experience of value? (1min 30secs)
  • Is religious experience of little value? (1min 15secs)
  • What are your conclusions? (1min 15secs)

As you can see I altered timings and had each question appear on the board as it was covered. The timer and one side of 'the dates' moved after each go.

At the end I sent them back to their desks and told them to get writing... You could hear a pin drop as they furiously wrote away for the next ten minutes! I had to stop them writing as it was end of the lesson but they had plenty more than before the activity, yet essentially I had not imparted any new information to them.

The feedback was very positive: they learnt new things, they understood the terms better, they worked out what the question was asking... and they enjoyed it and were totally engaged!

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