Way out of focus

13th February 2004 at 00:00
After an awful lesson in which no one seemed to understand anything I said and I was bombarded with questions, I decided to produce a handout in order to reduce the number of questions and offer an alternative to my speaking.

I planned the briefest of explanations and, in theory, this should have meant that the class could get on with their coursework unaided. Did it work? No. I was still asked questions that my sheet gave the answers to.

Did I need another handout to explain the first one? My students seem unable to concentrate long enough to take in my explanations or understand my written explanatory guides. In this case, I am left wondering how they learn.

I think you have the right idea. But maybe your guide could be improved. A larger font could help in the case of dyslexic students, and a coloured overlay can be effective. Text that is too densely set out can also cause problems and should be 1.5- or double-spaced. Just because facts are spelt out doesn't mean they will be any clearer. I often make the mistake of using overly complex words or phrases, and I'm continually reworking handouts. Don't despair - just get some feedback on their effectiveness and change them to meet your various students' needs.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now