Three ways to stop spoon-feeding and stretch students

Our passion to help our learners can accidentally lead to hindering them, writes Leann Collingwood – but it doesn’t need to
20th December 2020, 6:00am
Leann Collingwood

Share

Three ways to stop spoon-feeding and stretch students

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/three-ways-stop-spoon-feeding-and-stretch-students
Thumbnail

Our instinct as teachers is to instil a love of learning in our students and provide them with the ingredients they need for life.

But this desire to provide our students with step-by-step recipes for success may actually be having a more detrimental impact than we may first have thought.

Our passion to help our young learners could even be hindering their independence and progression in the classroom and beyond.

So, how can we avoid spoon-feeding?

Create a portal of resources

Your school is likely to have a shared area that teachers and students can access. The resource bank can include a plethora of helpful stuff, such as extended reading materials and exam questions. 

It can also include admin materials, such as topic checklists and specifications, and can be continually updated by teachers and readily accessed by students. 

This wealthy resource puts the onus on the student to seek out what they require in order to facilitate their own learning journey and, in turn, eases our workload, allowing students to access whatever they need, whenever they need it.

Try extension grids

Extension task grids are a great resource for students and can be uploaded to your portal or resource bank. Such grids help to feed inquisitive minds and can contain a number of tasks to encourage students to go above and beyond the specification, all while solidifying their knowledge in a subject area. 

Extension grids can take the shape of an A4 bingo card, whereby a range of activities are displayed allowing students to dip in and out of the tasks as they wish. These can include written tasks, video/documentary tasks, creative tasks, online course participation, listening tasks, and even trips and visits. 

The majority of teachers are constrained by the time available to teach the subject content in preparation for exams, and often are not able to go above and beyond the curriculum, despite wanting to. 

These extension grids are perfect for doing just that and additionally promote independence, reduce spoon-feeding and encourage students to challenge themselves.

Embrace examiner reports                

Examiner reports can offer extremely useful perspectives for teachers about general student performance in exams. But they can also be particularly advantageous to students themselves. 

Exposing students to exam questions and asking them to predict examiners' comments is a great way for them to think forward while allowing them to work out what examiners are looking for.

This method of flipped learning helps students to pinpoint general areas of strength and weakness in previous exam series, and allows them to learn from the mistakes of others.

These are just some of the ways us teachers can reduce the amount of spoon-feeding in our classrooms. Feeding students' curious minds in a way that allows them to take charge of their own learning journey, rather than just offering it to them all on a plate, will only foster good habits and prepare them for a rapidly changing world beyond the classroom

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters