My inquiry for this year was mainly focussed on using SOLO taxonomy to improve the depth of analysis of design work. As we have worked through this I have come to realise that a major stumbling block for my students is their lack of vocabulary skills. This is stopping them from confidently managing the describe element of product analysis. I mention this in a post about my inquiry spiral here and we have been working on building some skills during the class onair lessons here.
My next step was to have a long discussion with members of the English department to plan some strategies. The first thing that we discussed was getting the students to do more READING about design and pulling out the key words and terms that have been used. This was an interesting approach to me as I would not have thought of getting them to read more before we do our own writing.
I have a new Year 10 group on the Technology junior rotations, and this new class have low literacy levels. I still want to do the same project that the rest of my Year 10 groups have done (we design a portable speaker to be 3D printed), so I thought this would be a prefect opportunity to try out some literacy strategies. What I learn form working some strategies with this group, I can build into my planning for NCEA next year (and Jump Start next term).
The work I have started putting together is on a Google Drawing that the students can make a copy of and work on. The description of the product is mostly taken from the Harvey Norman website with a few additions from me.
After another chat with the English department about this today, I have included a table where they take out the vocabulary, write what they think it means and then use Dictionary.com to find the definition.
I will see how this goes today and then tweak and adjust this to improve the plan.
Link to the Google Drawing here...
Update - after the lesson
For a first try doing this, I felt it didn't go too badly. They students were focused on what they had to do and tried hard with the activity. It involved me doing quite a bit of one to one work with the students, talking over their individual work with them as they were doing it. This is a good thing, as more one to one time is premium in a classroom.
I am including a couple of screen shots of student work on the day.
Where I need to focus is making sure the students read the definitions they are finding on Dictionary.com, not just copying and pasting the first thing they find as some of them don't match what we need. Ongoing feedback down the side of the work in comments helped them in the lesson so this needs to happen more often. It did not put them off when I was correcting them with what they had put on their sheets.