Videos and Open-ended activities

Photo source: Foundation for a Better life (Facebook)

Barbara H. Sakamoto is going to give a webinar next Friday ( Feb 22nd) on ‘Getting the best from big, small and mixed-ability classes’

She also created a Wallwisher, now called Padlet for all of us share our tips.

It made me reflect on my own experiences with mixed-abilities groups (small groups) and how I work with them to make sure all of them have the chance to develop in their own way and I have a chance to check where each of them is. I totally agree with Barbara that even within a group of students placed in the same level of a course can have an age gap, for example, and we need to take into consideration their needs as well. I shall remember this.

Working with short videos (videos clips, short stories) and open-ended activities really have helped me working with mixed-abilities groups. There is a number of ways I work with them and unfortunally I haven’t really registered them as I should have. This is one of my PD resolutions this year. Keep an online portfolio of the worksheets and Learners’ samples, and also the blog as a reflective and registering tool.

If anyone have tips on how to work with mixed-ability classes, please do share on Padlet wall. I have already added my two cents and here is a post that has an example of how I usually work with my teens and open-ended activities. They love when sound and image are used in class. That really draws their attention to the subject matter.

Check out these short videos, great advice there!

Arranging large groups

What is a mixed-ability class like?

On teaching Village we can read and learn from other teachers too through the post comments on ‘Boisterous Boys and Bored Girls” and also through Barbara’s Facebook page.

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2 thoughts on “Videos and Open-ended activities

  1. Thanks for sharing! Teaching mixed-ability and multilevel classes is something I’m really interested in at the moment. To anyone interested in practical approaches and activities for such classes, I would like to recommend reading: Hess, N. (2001). Teaching Large Multilevel Classes. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

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    • Hi Jeroen,

      Thanks so much for recommending the book. I find it so challenging with small groups that I cannot imagine what is like for educators with large groups.

      I combine the skills in class in order for everyone to benefit. For example, this morning I have a small group of 8 students and 2 of them are real beginners. They can’t understand anything I say in English, and the other ones can. So, it is such a dilemma when to push and when to support them. First thing I ask students is to cooperate and help each other as much as they can. That usually work well too.

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