Reverse Instruction in IB SL English

  reverse instruction Today was our first day back to school after the holiday break and the first day of my little reverse instruction experiment with teachers and students. Jim Fitzgerald, who I’ve blogged about before, decided he’s be one of my guinea pigs….again.  What is Existentialism? Every good student-led lesson starts with a guiding or essential question and here is ours. It’s a simple task really for these 11th graders. Research existentialism and write a blog post about what you believe it is linking to 3 or more resources in the process. So here’s how we set up the lesson. Day 1: Introduce the question and the plan Plan: Half the class (9 students) will research the question and write a blog post based on the research they found and what they believe existentialism to be. Their blog posts will be posted by Wednesday at 5pm. The other half of the class (9 students) starting Wednesday at 5pm have until class starts on Friday to read the 9 blog posts, leave thoughtful comments, take notes, and prepare for a fishbowl activity Friday in class where they will talk about what they’ve learned and what they believe existentialism to be based on the research of their classmates. Day 5: Friday’s Fishbowl: Friday in class the commenters will be in the fishbowl along with Mr. Fitzgerald discussing what they believe existentialism to be quoting their classmates and the research they linked to in their blog posts. The researchers will sit in a circle around the comments not allowed to talk to them (much like watching fish) but will be engaged in a chat-room (within Moodle) with each other discussing what is being talked about by the commenters in the middle. I will monitor the chat-room. At the end of class…we bring everyone together to debrief about their experience. The following week we give another question and we switch roles. The commenters become the reports and the reporters become the commenters. I’m really interested to see if the blog posts, comments, and discussion improve the second time through this lesson. How we use class time: Monday: After explaining how this lesson will work, I took about 30 minutes to talk to the researchers (which is all of them in the long run) about how they find quality information on a topic they know nothing about. We talked about how Google works,...

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