Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Exam Questions: "Do as I... Do!"

So today I decided to try a new idea with my Y10/4 RE class. I said I wouldn't help them with this quite challenging Part C question: "Explain why abortion is controversial." (8 marks).

I just started writing, unannounced on the board. The chat started. I stopped. They were quiet, I kept writing. They were fascinated... I was doing exactly the task that I'd asked them to do.

We are still at the stage of lots of questions: Can you check this? Is this right? Can I write this? They want to do well, but need to now grow in confidence.

Once finished I went and sat down at the back, still offering no help. Students started reading and then writing. At this point, I was a little worried that I'd get 25 similar answers.

At the end, we looked at our answers. They said I had 8 out of 8, which was reassuring. We looked at why: 4 developed points, scripture, connective words etc.

I asked how theirs compared? Not sure, not willing to say. I asked who had copied anything directly, no one owned up. I got them to check one another's knowing they would easily dob on one another... No one! They said they had used the material but that it had been more useful to see HOW to develop rather than what.

So interestingly, despite me giving them a model answer, it was used for technique rather than content.

I wonder if I will have the same results with Y10/2. I fear some of them will take the easy option and just copy... I found it quite therapeutic, yet also proved to them "I still got it!", while not allowing them to ask for help, retaining independence.

Not sure I am ready to try this with an AS/A2 essay just yet...

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