Using Foldable lap books to improve theory retention in GCSE PE

This guest post was written by Dana Abdulkarim @DanaABDUL.

Context

In September 2014 we moved to whole cohort GCSE PE study, in order to preserve and ensure a high quality curriculum including PE at Key Stage 4. Previously whole cohorts studied the BTEC First award – the inclusion of the online exam has made this no longer a viable option. We have over 220 students in present Y10 and whilst a great number would have selected GCSE PE as an option, we have a varied spectrum of physical and theoretical competence. At the highest level, we have students who have surpassed 4 levels progress at Key Stage 3 and play sport to a high level (ideal PE candidates) and at the lowest, students without a ‘love’ for practical PE and entry level data below level 3 from Key Stage 2 SATs. Students have 2 hours of GCSE PE a week, one practical and one theory (Edexcel syllabus).

I teach two classes, one with 26 girls and the other with 31. Target grades within these groups range from A* – G, with 15% Pupil Premium. The challenges in theory lessons have been enabling access to the learning for all to ensure maximal learning and retention; supporting reluctant learners to organise their notes more coherently and tackling the very poor literacy levels within the group (some learners have reading comprehension ages below 11 years). As a teacher I try to teach using various methods and strategies, I am open to the use of technology and use a number of recognised ‘best practice’ techniques that are common place in sound pedagogy. I had come across the idea of foldable lap books via a colleague @jk_graves in Science 12 months ago; she presented their use and merit with nurture group Key Stage 3 science lessons and was able to demonstrate the impact on learning, engagement and retention for testing successfully with a small group of educationally vulnerable students. Besides being impressed by their impact I chose not to include this strategy in my teaching at the time. The move to whole cohort classroom teaching forced me to look at my own practice in the classroom and question the appropriateness of my approach with groups not 100% sold on studying my subject. In end of unit tests prior to trying this method, those students that would’ve opted to study PE performed as expected, they were highly engaged and motivated to demonstrate their theoretical competence; students more reluctant were performing below target level consistently and their work showed a lack of clarity in their knowledge and ability to link theory ideas. I also teach these classes Monday period 1 and Monday period 5, so enthusiasm and positivity can sometimes be still in bed or thinking about post school naps!

What are Foldable lap books?

There is a lot of information online about foldable learning, a great slideshow is available here; but essentially it is a 3D learning tool that encourages creative, interactive learning resources that organises student work to be something that they can use to refer back to. The key ‘hook’ is their ability to generate independent learning and the malleability to create any design necessary given the content. They are a kinaesthetic learning task and the use of colour and ‘folds’ supports the pedagogy needs of vulnerable learners.

What we did

I wanted students to create a foldable that would include all the key knowledge and underpinning theory that they needed for the respiratory system (1.2.4). In order to do this the first task was to design a WAGOLL including the essential content. Given the concept of a foldable was new to most students in the room I made the decision to be somewhat didactic with the design, in future I hope to allow more open license to the design after agreeing the content (success criteria). Students created a shutter fold with four mini doors.

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The syllabus asks for students to understand the respiratory system in four key areas:

1. Functions of the system and key definitions
2. Immediate effects of exercise on the system
3. Long term adaptations of exercise and the benefits to the system
4. The effects of smoking

Students also need to know and understand Oxygen debt and lactic acid. That is it! It is a very basic expectation, however the syllabus expects students to also ‘know and appreciate’ a great deal of underpinning theory:

• Mechanics of breathing
• Gaseous exchange
• Aerobic respiration
• Anaerobic respiration

The latter theory above is crucial in being able to appreciate the subtle differences of the former essential ‘syllabus content’ – it was here with the underpinning expected baseline knowledge that vulnerable learners were coming unstuck. They were finding the scientific application confused their notes and they found it hard to organise their ideas.

All underpinning supporting theory was added to the back of the foldable (mechanics of breathing and gaseous exchange) and the inside middle space (aerobic and anaerobic respiration), which was linked to oxygen debt and identifying sports and sporting actions that utilise different respiration. The doors were for the essential ‘syllabus content’.

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Following my instructions, students cut out their own doors and folds and got creative with the presentation. Students were encouraged to use imagery in place of text on doors with text beneath thus creating an immediate learning tool. The content, whilst I had decided upon the structure was left to students to create after discussions/ direct teaching/ demonstrations/ role play to draft in their work books and transfer to the foldable. I used all the resources I would normally use but in a way that demanded students listen, note take, select and manipulate to make sense personally. Peer checking of content happened after each mini stage of design. More able students were selected as ‘foldable experts’ to help teach theory or suggest content design to those struggling.

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Impact and reflection

 
Normally I would teach this area of the syllabus over 3 or 4 lessons with a test at the end. Using the foldable took the same amount of lesson time, 4, with the test at the start of the 5th lesson. Student voice during the learning was positive with the groups highly motivated. Many of the more able students in the group at first questioned the method, but found that they enjoyed it with comments like, ‘this is already making my revision notes’ and ‘I am going to do this with the cardiovascular system we just did’ commonplace. Similarly, they enjoyed taking on roles to help others, I think they enjoyed that the usually reluctant and poorly motivated students were engaged. Students that were more vulnerable also praised the strategy, they too valued the creativity element and some commented that they knew ‘a bit more about how they learn better with pictures rather than words now’ achat de viagra belgique.
 
As a school we encourage using images in place of words a lot, but it wasn’t until the foldable task that they ‘got it’! In terms of the impact on test results, the data suggests that it was on the whole positive. Most students improved their test average grade by 10% or more from the previous cardiovascular system test (similar content expectation). The area where this strategy had most impact was with those students that often scored between 40-50% in tests, C-E grade students. In this band some students improved by up to 40% from previous tests. The most able benefitted from the clarity of their notes to learn from as they too improved by an average 6%. Where the foldable appeared to make little or no significant impression was for students averaging 10 – 25% in tests, F-U grade students. Whilst they were better in the multiple choice recall questions, they still struggled where they had to consider the underpinning knowledge and apply this to a sporting scenario. Interventions have been put in place for these students working alongside in-house learning support strategies to increase access to learning by challenging their literacy gaps. A subject specific dictionary and definition cards are one example.
 
Obviously student achievement in the test cannot fully demonstrate the impact of the foldable, students are becoming more ‘test savvy’ and are starting to understand how to approach the question (BUSY exam question preparation). We have also done lots of work to improve their ability to tackle the 6 mark question using ‘IDEA answering’ developed from work by David Fawcett. I think as a learning tool it has merit, I am using it with my Y11 GCSE option group as they start to prepare for the summer examination. For some more complicated elements of the curriculum I might look to use this again to help students organise their ideas, similarly if I set a ‘choice presentation’ homework ‘creating a foldable’ might now be an option. I am adapting the ‘interactive learning tool’ idea to the display wall – I am presently recreating the respiratory system foldable as a display, who knew pizza boxes could be the perfect shape to create doors?!

Million Pound Drop

This guest post was written by Ben Pollard @bpollardPE.

Using game shows as ideas for engaging activities in lessons – ‘The Million Pound Drop’

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I’m not really a person who believes that you need a ‘starter’ in every lesson and I certainly wouldn’t say my lessons follow any specific type of format relating to such things. I do however always strive to come up with inventive ways to engage pupils in the learning process and whether this comes at the start of the lesson, during it, or at the end, original ways to both engage pupils and assess their learning are incredibly important to me in my lessons. A while ago I started using formats from TV quiz shows in lessons to do just this. I have experimented with a number of these, one particularly successful one is described below.

The Million Pound Drop

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One I used recently which received particularly positive feedback from the students was a version of ‘million pound drop’. For those not familiar with the format, it is essentially a multiple choice quiz with 4 potential answers per question. Players start round one with £1 million (usually divided in to £50K bundles) and have choose which answer to put their money on. They can divide their money up between answers or if they are certain about one answer, they will put all their money on that. They only keep the money that is on the correct answer when it is revealed. The winners are obviously the group who has the most money left at the end of the game.

The reason I particularly like using this game with students is that it challenges the strength of their convictions and promotes a great deal of discussion and consideration between groups. It also links to the multiple choice part of their exam in the particular specification that we follow. We always go back over the questions at the end of the game and discuss the areas which we feel we most need to recap as a class, which is obviously incredibly important in the long run for the group. The game works really well for this as pupils have a clear visual sign of the questions they feel most comfortable on, by reflecting on how committed they were to an answer.

January, What have we been doing………..Controlled Assessment

This guest post was written by Martyn Beaumont @cantersno15.

With the majority of the AQA GCSE PE course complete we have spent the last month concentrating on getting the Controlled Assessment complete, hoping that my pupils can produce the goods in the controlled conditions we do it (which we now have).

Before I start I would like to make a few things very clear:

• Pupils produce their final piece of work in Controlled conditions over 4 hours (I cannot find any time frames set out by AQA but apparently this was suggested at an AQA course)
• Pupil research takes place under part controlled conditions
• Pupils are not allowed to use or take in any of their research when completing the final piece
• We adhere to all guidelines set out by the AQA controlled conditions guidelines
• We have had very good feedback from our external moderator about our Controlled Assessment

The AQA controlled assessment is in essence very simple and we look at in in four stages. Pupils have to show a clear ability to analyse one of their sports in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Then show their ability to put measures in place to improve them. The sport the piece is written about must be one of the four being used for the practical element of moderation. The four stages we use are:

1. Strengths
2. Weaknesses
3. Corrective Measures
4. Recording Measure

These sections are essentially what are set out in the AQA template for this piece of work. Although I show my pupils this template, I tend not to use it directly as I think firstly it looks scruffy, but secondly encourages pupils to write very little.

The Set Up:

I spend one lesson teaching about the controlled assessment and what is needed to achieve as high a mark as possible. I make it very clear using the grades descriptors set out in the specification what will be needed and make it clear that I cannot help pupils in anyway once the controlled conditions start. Pupils research (in a computer room) over two weeks, which for us is four, one hour lessons. This is their opportunity to plan what is needed and pick up all the technical points needed to gain higher marks.
Pupils then complete four one hour controlled condition lessons to complete the final piece of work. No research can be taken in to the final four lessons and the final piece of work must start blank at the start of the first lesson and can only be completed during this time.

Below are a few key pointers that we suggest pupils use in each of the sections:

Strengths:

Include 3 different types of strength:

• One skill strength
• One tactical strength
• One fitness strength (usually a component of fitness)

Skill Strength

– Include annotated pictures where applicable to show what is good about what you
– Include technical points about the skill
– Include its impact on your performance and team performance
– Use key terminology for the AQA course

This then needs to be repeated for the other two strengths, but if honest not in as much detail as you would for the skill strength.

Weaknesses:

This is one of the most important sections in my opinion on the controlled assessment as it clearly shows pupils ability to analyse their weaknesses in depth. Again I suggest the same procedure as above:

• One skill weakness
• One tactical weakness
• One fitness weakness (usually a component of fitness)

Skill Weakness

– Include annotated pictures where applicable to show what good technique looks like and what elements you need to improve on
– Include technical points about the skill
– Include its negative impact on your performance and team performance
– Use key terminology from the AQA course

Again repeat these steps for the other two weaknesses but not in as much depth as the skill weakness

Corrective measures

This section shows the pupils ability to put in place corrective measures to help improve each of the weaknesses they have highlighted. I suggest that:

Skill Weakness – Choose two drills that will improve the weakness
Explain how they are carried out
Explain how they help improve the weakness and the impact that they will have
Use pictures (annotated), diagrams or drawings that show the drill clearly

For the other two weaknesses, choose one drill that will help improve it and explain as above.

Recording and Monitoring

This section is the pupils’ opportunity to show what they will do to monitor the weaknesses and show if improvement is taking place:

I suggest:

• For each of the weaknesses choose or create a test. E.g if the skill is penalties, then the test is a shootout consisting of 10 penalties.
• Create a table to easily record the test over a time period
• Suggest other ways that will help monitor how the performance is getting better. Think about the course content (ICT and media section)

Below is what a rough plan of how our controlled assessments normally look. I will not add a pupil example as I do not think that would be fair. This has been developed with the help of my colleagues over the past few years

Controlled Assessment Rough Template

Strengths

Skill Strength

Explanation of Strength
Impact of Strength
Annotated picture
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Tactical Strength

Explanation of Strength
Impact of Strength

Fitness Strength

Explanation of Strength
Impact of Strength
Annotated picture

Weaknesses

Skill Weakness (lots of detail)

• Explanation of Weakness
• Impact of Weakness
• Annotated picture

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Tactical Weakness

• Explanation of Weakness
• Impact of Weakness

Fitness Weakness

• Explanation of Weakness
• Impact of Weakness

Corrective Measures

Skill Weakness

• 2 x Drills with pictures, diagrams/drawings

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• Explanation of Drill
• Impact of drill of weakness

Tactical Weakness

• Explanation of Drill
• Impact of drill of weakness

Fitness Weakness

• Explanation of Drill
• Impact of drill of weakness

Recording and Monitoring

Skill Weakness

• Explanation of test
• Explanation of how it will be recorded
• Table to show it
• Any other ways to monitor

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Tactical Weakness

• Explanation of test
• Explanation of how it will be recorded
• Table to show it
• Any other ways to monitor

Fitness Weakness

• Explanation of test
• Explanation of how it will be recorded
• Table to show it
• Any other ways to monitor

This is just an example of how the controlled assessment could look and an explanation of how we set it up. We do not give this template out to pupils, it is just a suggestion I have used for this post. I would like to stress that we do not tell the pupils what to write, they research all the information and as suggested write a final piece starting from starch in the four hour window we give them on online casino Canada. Some of the pieces produced in this period of time have been very impressive, probably better than 10/10 when compared to some of the AQA examples. If you would like any help or advice please feel free to contact me.