TESSA Working With Teachers

From OER in Education
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TessaResourceCycle.PNG Figure 1 Working with the TESSA materials

2 Which TESSA materials are suitable for your teachers? [Curriculum mapping]

ORBIT materials are appropriate for pre-service, in-service and upgrading programmes at a variety of levels and for teachers with a huge range of existing skills. Teacher educators working in different contexts (universities, colleges, regional and school level) are able to use them in a variety of situations and programmes.

It is important to remember that ORBIT is not an entire curriculum for a formal teacher education programme. The purpose of ORBIT materials is to enhance areas of teacher education curricula and less formal teacher development activities in particular relating to interactive pedagogy and the use of ICT to support such teaching.

Mapping into a programme

For existing formal programmes the starting point is to look at both

  • your own teacher education curriculum
  • the ORBIT materials, and the Teaching Approaches we describe

to decide where it will be most appropriate to use the ORBIT materials. The Teaching Approaches described in the wiki may provide useful entry routes for ‘focus’ points in Professional Development.

The next step is to consider the format of use of the ORBIT materials, how teachers’ use of the ORBIT materials will be supported and how you might assess this use. This will depend on a number of factors:

  1. The purpose and intended learning outcomes of your programme or course.
  2. The number of teachers on your programme and its format (on – campus, distance learning etc).
  3. Access to technology; internet and computers.
  4. Support: the number and frequency of contact sessions and the expertise of tutors/ supervisors/ mentors.

We envisage 3 types of approach, as in the table

Table 3 Different types of use of ORBIT materials

Form of use of materials Highly structured Loosely structured Guided use
Characteristics Selection of a set of ORBIT activities for all student teachers/PD members to carry out Lecturers select appropriate ORBIT activities for their own course Designated time for student teachers to select ORBIT activities
Teacher access to materials New teacher books which include several ORBIT sections Website and

printed ORBIT sections incorporated into pre-existing material

Website access by individuals

4 How can you adapt the ORBIT materials for your context without losing their essence?

All the ORBIT resources have specified learning outcomes which you should consider when adapting materials for your courses.

8 How can you deepen your engagement with the ORBIT community and others involved in working with teachers in an open educational resource (OER) environment? [Community of practice]

The ORBIT materials are OERs. This means that they can be freely shared, adapted and used by anyone.

You might start with the community closest to you – in your own context. If you are a teacher educator working in a college or university, these questions might help:

  • To what extent do teacher educators at my institution work together?
  • How could I benefit from increasing this collaboration?
  • Am I personally prepared to put the effort into working together?
  • How can I start a conversation about how to do this?

Teacher development may start in an institution, but schools and communities are involved as well.

  • How can you share your ORBIT experiences with others who work with teachers in schools and in your local community?

You could use the following steps for selecting and preparing to use ORBIT activities in the curriculum:

  1. Select an appropriate theme or teaching approach that you’ve identified as needing attention, or which is on your curriculum/scheme of work for the next few weeks – this might be one which you find particularly challenging to teach, one which your learners have struggled with or a new way of teaching that you want to try out.
  2. Locate and review relevant ORBIT materials to identify suitable sections which match your chosen theme, topic or skill.
  3. Ask yourself what you as a teacher have planned to achieve through teaching your theme and topic.
  4. Read the ORBIT activities and related case studies and resources.
  5. Select the relevant ORBIT activities or case studies that match what you planned to achieve. Find the resources you need.
  6. Adapt the ORBIT activities to suit your pupils and your surroundings

You should consider the prior knowledge and experiences either of the teachers, or the pupils they’re working with.

4 How can you teach using the ORBIT materials?

The ORBIT materials promote interaction and offer ideas for innovative teaching in your classroom to help your pupils’ learning.

Once you have selected and adapted the appropriate ORBIT materials, concentrate on the following:

  • planning your lesson
  • teaching methods
  • classroom management
  • time management
  • assessing pupils’ learning
  • thinking about and improving your teaching.

Planning is a continual process that helps you to think and prepare what is needed to help your pupils respond well to you and the content of what you teach.

For your pupils to learn from your lessons they need to be:

  • interested – if they are not, nothing of any value will take place
  • very clear about what you want them to do and achieve.

For further information on planning and preparing your lesson plans, see [[:Category:Lesson Planning]]

Things to think about and do before the lesson starts

-An ORBIT activity can take place across more than one lesson period, or for only a short part of a lesson -Some lessons can take place outside the classroom, but you need to have an alternative plan should the weather change. -It’s important to ensure you have all the resources you need at hand before the lesson starts -Organise your classroom to suit the activity -If you are using technology, have you tested that it still works? -Before you carry out an experiment, you may want to try it yourself or with your colleagues so that you are confident when trying it out with your pupils.

The ORBIT materials promote interactive pedagogy, however, as a teacher you need to remain involved throughout the lesson, even when your pupils are engaged in group work. For more information on using group work in your classroom, go to the Category:Group work

Do not panic if something in your lesson does not go according to plan. Wherever possible, during your lesson planning, create alternative activities to ensure the success of your lesson.

Things to think about and do during and after the lesson

If you involve people from outside the school in your lessons, ensure you have an alternative plan should they not turn up.

Ensure that your alternative plan fits in with the classroom arrangements already made.

Should something unexpected happen just before or during the lesson:

  • acknowledge the problem.
  • involve the pupils in solving the problem.
  • identify parts of the lesson plan that can still take place.

Ensure that you follow up on any promises made to the class.

5 How does using ORBIT materials contribute to pupil learning?

You can turn the ORBIT activities into assessment tasks that can help you to find out whether your pupils have learned the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes described in your learning outcomes. Where this is not possible, you can develop your own assessment tool.

For more information on assessment go toCategory:Assessment

Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of assessment. It is important for you to give feedback to your pupils so that you can share what they did well, what they did not do so well, and how they could improve. Remember to use this feedback to plan subsequent lessons, activities and assessment.

You should also give your pupils an opportunity to give feedback on the assessment task so that you can find out whether they thought the assessment task was appropriate/not appropriate, easy/difficult, and any problems they may have encountered.

6 What do you think you learned from teaching with ORBIT materials?

You should reflect on your lessons to determine what worked well, and what did not work well so as to improve your teaching, and plan better subsequent lessons. In doing this, some of the questions you could consider are:

  • What challenges did I have while planning and preparing for this lesson?
  • How did the pupils respond to the activities
  • (participation, interest, excitement …)?
  • What did my pupils learn and how do I know this?
  • Were there differences in what they learned?
  • Were the outcomes of the lesson achieved?
  • What was I pleased about?
  • What surprised me?
  • What, if anything, was disappointing?
  • What difficulties were there in teaching the topic?
  • Was there enough time to do the activities?
  • Were the resources used appropriate and adequate?

Now you have responded to these questions, how do you feel about the activity and the way in which you use it?

Teaching and learning methods

Table 2 below shows some important active teaching and learning methods and some of the skills that you will need to use as a teacher.

Table 2 Teaching and learning methods

S/N Active teaching and learning method Some of the teaching skills you need
1. Building models Thinking about what your pupils will learn. Being able to build the model yourself.
2. Classification Using observation.
3. Collaborative activities Knowing your pupils, to enable you to decide on working groups.
5. Debate Giving all pupils an opportunity to participate.
6. Demonstration Identifying what materials you will use to demonstrate. Allowing pupils to handle, draw and discuss.
7. Discussion Giving all pupils an opportunity to participate.
8. Displaying real items (exhibitions) Organising your classroom or exhibition space.Thinking how pupils can share their knowledge, e.g. labels.
9. Games Thinking about what your pupils will learn.Being able to play the game yourself.
10. Group work Arranging your classroom in advance.Deciding how to divide your pupils.Deciding on a job for each pupil in the group.
11. Investigation/inquiry Planning the investigation/inquiry with your pupils.Deciding how pupils will report.
12. Making deductions Helping pupils to discover for themselves.
13. Mind mapping/ brainstorming Identifying clearly the issue or problem.Letting pupils know the rules.Giving a clear summary at the end.
14. Observation/ identification Using local resources.Using questioning.
15. Prediction Helping pupils form appropriate questions.
16. Problem solving Setting out the problem clearly.Identifying in advance areas of difficulty.Thinking of questions which will help pupils.
17. Project method Using group work.Helping pupils discover and think for themselves.
18. Questioning Thinking about the type of question – open or closed.Encouraging a range of pupils to answer.Encouraging pupils to think for themselves.
19. Reporting/oral presentation Using a variety of ways – oral, posters, etc.
20. Researching/exploration Defining the research question.Deciding on the research method.Deciding on how the findings will be recorded.
21. Role play Using group work to act out a situation.Thinking about where the groups will work – inside or outside of the classroom.
22. Simulation Giving pupils a clear brief.
23. Story telling/folk tales Identifying where you can find local and other stories.Using different people to tell stories – you, pupils and local people.
24. Student field work Planning.Setting clear learning objectives for pupils.Using investigations.
25. Think–pair–share Using good time management.