I had a tutorial lesson today. Or maybe citizenship. Or PHSE. You get the jist…
The aim of the lesson was for the students to understand the concept of budgetting. In addition to the central aim I wanted them to appreciate what their finances might be like in the future and to compare their expectations with harsh reality.
So, printing off a semi-random budgetting sheet found on letting agent’s website we proceeded to fill it in as a class. It took the full hour.
We discussed the cost of renting vs buying, shopping at different types of supermarkets, repayments on loans for different standards of car and, with some degree of shock for the students, the difference between gross and net salaries!
At the end of it we packed up, threw the paper in the bin and went to lunch. I didn’t formally assess their work, they didn’t produce evidence of having completed tasks or showing progression in their knowledge and understanding. I would have been graded as Requires Improvement, or probably Inadequate.
And yet, I’m absolutely certain that EVERY student in that class learned something. They might not remember the figures, but they were surprised by how inaccurate their preconceptions about incomes and expenditures were, and they bought into the lesson really well.
I could have built in more activities – learning checkpoints, scaffolding, differentiated resources and mini-plenaries. And in many cases those tools are incredibly useful. But every once in a while I like to just spend the full lesson exploring something and not necessarily weighing the pig every 10 minutes to see if it’s gotten fatter.
But I’m in the middle of my appraisal, so sssh… it’s a secret! 😉