I posted recently about RE teachers learning from PE teachers. One of the ideas I came to was that a game is a good way of learning. Since then, I’ve come across a couple of things which work on this idea.
“It’s ‘Jump the van over the river: 30 points’ vs. ‘Can I get this beat-up van with a popped tire to go fast enough to jump over that river? Let’s find out!’ One is following instructions, the other is invention.”
(from “Metagames and Containers”)
I still haven’t even tried putting this into practice (using puzzle-format games in RE) but the idea appeals to me, if I could just figure out a way to make it work. It’s so much easier to fall into traditional modes of teaching (reassures you, makes you feel like a teacher).
My current mentor uses a complicated spreadsheet to log his students’ marks and turn them into graphs. At first this struck me as overly meticulous, but having spent some time with his Year 8 class, I can now see the benefits of his method. The data is regularly shared with the class. The graphs go up and down to show how individuals and the group are hitting, missing or exceeding targets. Success in the assessments automatically changes the seating plan (also linked in to the spreadsheet).
It all clicked when I started speaking to the students and noticed how they were seeing it as a game. Raising your level in Humanities causes the graphs to go up and down. Students I talked to (admittedly from a G+T class) were desperate to raise their level and find out how to do it.