At the end of the last academic year I asked my students for feedback. They were honest and constructive.
Pupils in a number of groups mentioned that they liked having the key word lists but they’d always forget about them because they were stored in their books or folders.
I was so impressed that they’ve started to recognise the importance of literacy and in particular subject specific terminology, that we discussed for some time how I could help them next year and we came up with a number of ideas.
I particularly liked the one idea of velcroing specific key words on the ceiling above individual students, these would be the words that the individual often struggles to spell correctly. I said I might use that idea once we are in the new build but for now it’s on the back burner.
The other big idea we discussed was the use of key word keyrings. Once mentioned, they loved this idea. Lots of ideas emerged from them such as a list of geography key words, history key words, names of all the continents and oceans and then a list of topic specific key words that would change each term. I also suggested they could make some for homework with definitions of new key words, they were on board.
As soon as the Summer holidays arrived I ordered some snap rings from Amazon, made key word lists for the topics that didn’t already have them and made the generic key word lists the students suggested.
These will be stored in the baskets on each desk. The orange and yellow key word lists will change with the topics studied by year 7 and 8, whilst the white ones will remain on the key ring all year.
Since it was their idea, I really hope they engage with and make excellent use of them.
How do you develop literacy in your classroom?