Teaching Tips for History Classes.


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Created by María Jesús Campos, Head of History and Geography Department at IES Parque de Lisboa (Alcorcon, Madrid, Spain) for "II Jornadas de Orientación de Auxiliares de la Comunidad de Madrid"

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Teaching Tips for History Classes.

  1. 1. TEACHING TIPS FOR HISTORY CLASSESMaría Jesús Campos Fernández.Head of Geography and History Department at IES Parque de Lisboa(Alcorcón, Madrid)
  2. 2. The Journey of a Teacher Assistant Novice Avanced Competent MasterAssistant Beginner Assistant Assistant
  3. 3. NOVICE ASSISTANT Is simply trying to survive Has many ups and downs Is textbook bound Is very busy and “alone” at times Learns an enormous amount Finds that planning and researching is important and time consuming Faces discipline challenges
  4. 4. ADVANCED BEGINNER Has gained experience which makes decisions easier Sees similarities and connections among subjects and content Is more strategic at getting things done Has greater understanding of how a lesson or unit fits into the total picture Takes responsabilities Realizes the classroom is his or her milieu
  5. 5. COMPETENT ASSISTANT Feels much stronger Finds that routines become automatic Has a sense of the situation and knows what’s going on Makes decisions based on lots of experience Uses higher-level thinking skills Has excellent assessment skills Manages class with ease and fluidity Engages in teaching that fits the aims
  6. 6. Knowledge of the content of the subject Knowledge Materials of theand how to language use them You need to become competent in: Knowledge of the child Planning Classroom growth and skills management developmen and skills t
  7. 7. THE WORK BEGINS BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASS OBSERVING • Mission Statements • Working with different Teachers and Students DISCIPLINE AND TEACHING TACTICAL ISSUES HISTORY • Creating a Learning • Challenges Environment • Tasks • How to Communicate with Students • Planning a Lesson • Delivering a Lesson
  8. 8. OBSERVING Observe and feel the class Different teachers Different groups “Steal” the techniques or approaches that best fits your interests
  9. 9. BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASS: MISSIONSTATEMENTS Main objectives:  To impart knowledge  To increase language skills  To impart skills that facilitate learning Have a far-reaching insight of teaching:  To empower students  To provide life skills  To open the eyes of young students to the world of learning  To help the kids’ social and emotional growth  To provide connections among subjects and between subjects and real life
  10. 10. BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASS: WORKING WITHDIFFERENT TEACHERS An opportunity to learn from experienced teachers, different approaches, methods and attitudes towards teaching. You may:  Collaborate or co-teach with the subject teacher  Carry out your own lesson or activity Develop your own procedure, approach or way of teaching
  11. 11. BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASS: DEALING WITHSTUDENTS Your responsability is to lead all the students to achivements in academics and life skills they will need in the future. You will work with students that are at different cognitive, emotional, physical and social stages.
  12. 12. When working with students always: Make them know that you are interested on them and their success Never talk down to them Support them, accept them but let them know that you are in charge Reward them for their achievements Do not give up when facing a difficult student Make them know there will be no rest in your class and that they will have to work and think whether they like it or not Create a safe learning environment: make students know that answering and taking risks is safe and they won’t be scolded or humiliated by you or by other students if they give the wrong answer
  13. 13.  Establish some basic rules. Never make a demand that your are not prepared to follow through on. Students need to know that if they break an established rule or procedure, they can predict the consequence with 100% accuracy. Agree some corrective measures with the subject teacher
  14. 14. Give an extra-assignment In the Take time away from their class break Change their seatCorrecti - Criticizein private ve - Don’t show angerMeasure - Condemn the sin and not the sinner s - Let the “offender” suggest a remedy - Insist on a real commitment to Talk after change class - Don’t “soften” the impact. -“Sandwich” your reprimand or corretion between two slides of praise and reinforcement - Use a respectful voice and remain calm - Don’t panic or overrreact - Never get into a power struggle.
  15. 15. THE WORK BEGINS BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASS OBSERVING • Mission Statements • Working with different Teachers and Students DISCIPLINE AND TEACHING TACTICAL ISSUES HISTORY • Creating a Learning • Challenges Environment • Tasks • How to Communicate with Students • Planning a Lesson • Delivering a Lesson
  17. 17.  Do not be afraid of disciplining your class:  Anticipate problems and address them ASAP  Design the seating arrangement  Train your students to get ready to work  Keep in mind the student’s attention span: changing activities may be required  Develop your non-verbal skills: business face + laser stare + voice control
  19. 19. CHALLENGE The lack of knowledge in a field that does not coincide with your main field of studies. To know how to explain historical evidence, analyse sources, select relevant information and being prepared to answer questions about history.
  20. 20. Tasks you will be asked to develop:• Correct the teacher’s grammar or pronunciation mistakes• Create exercises or activities for the lesson• Carry out oral activities to develop the student’s listening or oral skills• Correct the material that teachers have translated or translate new material• Support slow-learners and help them reach the level of the class• Work with high-skilled students to deepen or enlarge the content• Work in the Global Classrooms program• Deliver a lesson
  21. 21. COLLABORATING WITH THE HISTORY TEACHER You should always work within the aims, policies and practices of the school you are a guest in, the bilingual section, the department of history, and the History teacher. As part of the team you should contribute with time, energy, imagination and initiative. You have to be open-minded, try things and experiment. When you do not feel confident or when you have questions, please, always…ASK, ASK, ASK!
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  24. 24. HOW TO BRING TOGETHER THEORY ANDPRACTICE: HOW TO PRODUCE LEARNING Plan, plan, plan Teach with academic rigour Engage pupils in active learning Do not abet student’s intellectual passivity Evaluate the student’s learning and your teaching
  25. 25. PLANNING A LESSON OR ACTIVITY Develop your subject knowledge Establish the objectives you want your students to achieve Reflect about which questions are posed by the topic Decide methodology and approach to engage students Select/create materials, exercises and activitiesDecide how you are going to evaluate your teaching and asses the students
  26. 26. 1. DEVELOP YOUR SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE Reflect about the importance and purposes of school history:  To help understand the present in the context of the past.  To give students a sense of identity  To give students an understanding of their own cultural roots and shared inheritance  To contribute to the student’s knowledge of other countries and cultures in the modern world  To train their mind by means of disciplined study  To prepare students for adult life  To help students develop critical judgement  Information to reflect in “The purposes of school history”
  27. 27.  Try to address gaps in your content knowledge. “If you don’t know it, you can’t teach it”. Identify the subject-language or vocabulary and master it. Identify the ordinary language that may not be known by students thus difficulting the delivering of the lesson. Identify “weasel words”, words that do not seem difficult but may seem confusing in some contexts. (Is “church” an institution or a building?) Identify historical “key concepts” that make possible to turn information into historical knowledge:  Time  Cause and consequence  Change and continuity  Diversity  Significance…
  28. 28. 2. ESTABLISH THE OBJECTIVES YOU WANT YOURSTUDENTS TO ACHIEVE Develop the student’s  Develop the ability to record historical knowledge and and recall information and understanding of the past. to deploy it appropriately. Develop English oral,  Sheds light on student’s writting and listening skills: economic, social and  History requires the use of cultural awareness. past tenses, not often used  Contribute to the student’s by students. thinking skills.  Rewrite or identify the words or phrases that may be  Develop other skills such problematic. Be ready to as: numeracy skills, explain the words when problem solving, ICT, team delivering the lesson. working, learning to learn  Students will have to produce an academic style in their communication and writing (passive form, cause and effect, comparisons, etc)
  29. 29. 3. REFLECT ABOUT WHICH QUESTIONS ORPROBLEMS ARE POSED BY THE TOPIC? How can you problematise the topic in a way which presents “thinking problems” for students? Which questions are you going to pose for the students to work on and attempt to resolve so that they develop historical understanding?
  30. 30. 4. DECIDE METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH TOENGAGE STUDENTS “Active learning”: present the content in a way which make the students want to find out about the past and create interesting, helpful activities to keep students “hands on” and focused. Relate the past to the present as much as you can so that students can see the point of learning about the past. Do not abet students’ intellectual passivity. Do not do “all the work”.
  31. 31.  Remember to use two levels of questioning:  First-order questions that simply ask the students to locate or write down information or reiterate what you have just explained. Useful to learn the concepts.  Second-order questions which help students understand history and make conections. Related to the concepts of chronology, time, change, cause, evidence, interpret ation and motive. Questions which require thought.
  32. 32.  Combine different types of questions:  Recall: give details of events, people mentioned…  Comprehension: what does it mean? What effect did it have…?  Interpretation: who should be blame for…?  Invention: if you had been there…? What if…?  Evaluation questions: what is your opinion about the course of the action taken? Try to make students discuss about the topic and question themselves.
  33. 33. 5. SELECT/CREATE MATERIALS, EXERCISES,ACTIVITIES Taking into account the previous reflections create the exercises or activities that will help students learn the content, develop the skills and achieve historical understanding. Create low-order exercises and high-order exercises:  Low-order exercises: simple questions; definitions; explanation of concepts; dates…  High-order exercises: comprehension, interpretation, creative thinking, etc.
  34. 34. WORKING WITH WORDS OR CONCEPTS CHRONOLOGY Key Vocabulary Bingo  Sequencing the past Jeopardy  Key Dates Bingo Crossword-type clues  Timelines Outlaw  Family Trees Twenty questions Odd one out
  35. 35. COMPREHENSION: WRITING SKILLS COMPREHENSION: ORAL SKILLS Letters  Hot-Seating Postcards  Chat show challenge Newspaper article or front  Radio News Broadcasting page  This Day in History Obituaries and Epitaphs Diary Entries
  36. 36. DELIVER THE LESSON What helps learners learn: Teachers Explanation Working with Words (Meanings, word lists, translations…) Answering questions/Exercises Images/Visual Aids Group Work
  37. 37.  Combine teacher talk with questioning:  Take into account the students’ attention span.  Give “wait time”. Ask a question and give time for the students to think the answer.  Do not do “all the work”. Make the student know that you are going to wait for his/her answer, give clues and help but make the student create an answer.  Do not always ask students with their hands up so that the students’ brain need to be tuned in.
  38. 38.  Questioning techniques:  Do not call on a student and ask a question…..Ask a question, wait and call on a student.  Do not explain a technique that has been used before in the class. Make a student explain what they will have to do.  Ask a student: “Tell me in your own words what you heard me say”.  Call on another student to repeat something a student has just said or asked.
  39. 39.  Use pupil talk:  Make them create or identify definitions of subject specific words.  Make students establish similarities and differences.  Ask students to defend or justify a point of view.  Engage students on a group discussion
  40. 40.  Use group work but anticipate the problems:  Give simple and clear instructions.  Establish clearly the outcomes students have to develop.  Keep the students on task.  Check that every student is contributing.  Create alternatives for students that are reluctant to give feedback in a plenary.
  41. 41. ASSESS THE STUDENTS When working with students, the subject teacher may ask you to give your impressions about the lesson or activity, specially if you are working on your own with a small group. It is not that you are evaluating the students but checking if learning is taking place. When planning think how you are going to asses the students in order to think what elements need to be gone over again or reinforced. Give a feedback to the subject teacher:  Overall impression of the lesson  Information about each student’s learning  Your feeling about your own work
  42. 42.  Create your own rubric or scoring guide to grade the student’s motivation, involvement and learning:  Use among 3-5 columns and rows. Each column would represent a possible grade (points or Exceeds, Meets, Doesn’t Meet) and each row represents an aspect of the assignment.  Adapt the rubric for each lesson/activity.  You can teach your students how to use the rubric to evaluate their work and learning.
  43. 43. EVALUATE YOUR TEACHING What have I learnt from this? What would I do differently next time? What’s the relationship between the student’s knowledge, skills and understanding and the activities taking place? In what parts of the lesson did pupils gain knowledge? In what parts of the lesson did pupils gain skills? In what parts of the lesson did pupils gain understanding of aspects of the past?
  44. 44. SOURCES Bianco, Arnie. “Teaching Tips From Your One-Minute Mentor”. 2006, Jossey-Bass. Cummings, C. “Winning Strategies for Classroom Management”. 2000, Ass for Supervision and Curriculum Development Haydn, Terry et alii. “Learning to Teach History in the Secondary School”. 2008, Routledge Husbands, C. “Why Teach History?” 1996, Open University Press. Murphy, Julia. “100 Ideas for Teaching History”. 2005, Continuum. Wong, H. “The First Days of School”. 1991, Harry Wong
  45. 45. María Jesús Campos FernándezHead of History and Geography Department at IES Parque de Lisboa(Alcorcón, Madrid)