Susan organized a lecture for the teachers from Euran kirkonkylän koulu (13.15-15.30).

Susan talked first using Alexander's Power Point about crossing the bridge. It gave good frame for the presentation. Susan, me and Anni gave examples about tasks we had given to the pupils. It was very inspiring to hear the teachers talking about thinking skills and reflecting their work. They explained about tasks they had done which gave room for thinking. Examples of tasks we had done opened up the things Susan was talking about.  We talked about the tools as well and gave them a translated list of the tools. We tried to refer to the tools every time we explained about a task.

I have started work with 6 trainees a week ago. Three of them will be focusing on thinking skills with the help from Tuula Merisuo-Storm. They start teaching 17.1.

A trainee in Finnish, 10 lessons:

  • thinking skills, what tools can I use?
  • different sentences
  • writing sentences
  • describing objects (riddles etc.)

Another trainee in Finish, 10 lessons:

  • thinking skills, what tools can I use?
  • writing a dialogue (maybe a different point of view)
  • literature
  • different sentences

A trainee in science, 10 lessons:

thinking skills, what tools can I use?

  • energy
  • electricity
  • safety
  • the Old Rauma buildings the pupils built, how could the houses be lit and heated up?

I'll see the first plans 17.1.
We are going to talk about thinking skills 17.1. I have saved information about this project and the work I have already done on the internet where Tuula will be able to look at it as well. I can't explain everything in an hour! the web sites will help them if they are motivated enough to go and have a look. the trainees are also very busy with other studies and tests going on at the same time. I'll try to focus on small meaningful steps for them and getting them interested about the quality of their teaching. They seem keen.



# Alexander Sokol 2011-01-17 19:03
Kirsi, your plans for the trainees sound very interesting. Please do tell us more as you go along. I am keen to hear about both successes and failures - I am sure this is the experience all of us can benefit from.
# Kirsi Urmson 2011-01-30 13:48
Different sentences -unit has advanced 5 lessons.
1. lesson
Aims: To revise different types of texts and to separate fact and fiction
The pairs got different texts on pieces of paper and they had to group them. How would you name your groups? The texts were real not made up by the trainee.
The grouping outcomes were discussed together. The task was not very difficult but the trainee was trying to add thinking into her plan.
She revised during the same lesson the double consonants in words which cause problems for weaker writers. They can hear only one and they end up writing a wrong word and so the meaning of the word sometimes changes with one letter missing.
The task: Write words that begin with t and have kk in the middle.
k - ss, n - pp, p - ll
The task was good because the pupils had to focus on writing the double consonant and they had to think which words to write. The trainee used the limitation tool here.
2. lesson
Aims: To learn to make different sentences. What is the word order in different sentences?
Task: To form sensible sentences from words given. All the words had to be used. The words were on pieces of paper with the capital letter and the end (. ? !)
The task was challenging for the pupils. They worked in pairs again and helped each other. I can't remember how the trainee helped the pupils when difficulties came up. The task was not easy but not too difficult either. When the sentences were ready they were grouped together into three groups: statements, questions and exclamations.
The pupils were told to bring an object of their own choice for the next lesson.

Very often the trainees try to do too many tasks during one lesson which prevents thinking totally. This time the trainee tried to concentrate on one task only which gave her a better starting point for improving thinking skills as well. A lesson plan might look good with a lot on but doesn't help the pupils developing their skills.
3. lesson
Aims: Forming sentences. Describing an object by using different parameters. Trying not to reveal too much in the first sentence.
Task: Write at least five sentences about an object. All the objects were put on one table. Some didn't remember to bring one.
All the pupils started writing away, even French speaking pupil!
In the end of the lesson the pupils started reading out their sentences, at first one sentence which led to guessing the objects. After some objects I advised the pupils to read their sentences in a quicker phase and so the the others had to take two or three parameters into account trying to think what was the object. The pupils liked this very much. They were very keen to find the solution. "Don't ask Sonja yet. She knows the answer and we want think a bit more."
4. lesson
Aims: Read out loud the descriptions again and try to find the parameters when describing an object.
The trainee wrote the parameters on board after general discussion.
The parameters were tested by an other task where the pupils had to find who is the pupil the teacher is thinking about. The reflection on this could have taken longer. All the time there is not enough reflection. Even more time is needed!
5. lesson
Aims: To write sentences about a series of pictures.Where is the thinking part?
Write three sentences about each (6?) picture. Maybe we could make them into questions?
The trainee is very motivated and has given more room and time for thinking than she would have done before. She is very keen on planning the tasks and has had many study friends to come and see her lessons. They have been given a task to monitor the thinking part during the lessons. I haven't had a chance to see their feed back which was given to the trainee right after the lessons.
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