Our Instructional Method in Action
At first glance, the instructional method may look complex; however, once you grasp the pattern and timing of the activities and let your natural teaching and facilitating skills take over, you’ll realize how simple this method actually is!
Start with one of the three levels of lessons that you deem appropriate for the learning level (or grade level) of your students. You will find the rhythm and frequency of assigning lessons that best fits your weekly lesson plan, but it is recommended to assign no more than 3 lessons in a given week. Students need time to digest and apply what they’ve learned, so covering a higher frequency of content will not necessarily yield higher results.
When you cover each of the five types of learning activities (pre-tests, practice exercises, writing activities, review games, post-evaluations) within a lesson, retention levels improve significantly. Covering each of the five activities over the course of three days is an adequate period of time, and the activities do not have to occur over consecutive days. A Monday (Day 1), Wednesday (Day 2), Friday (Day 3) spacing of activities works well and allows GrammarFlip to blend into the rest of the week’s lesson plans.
Pre-Work: Diagnostic Assessment
Build your diagnostic assessment while taking into account the age and developmental level of your students. Each topic consists of five fill-in-the-blank questions, so take into consideration the attention span of your students so that they may complete the diagnostic assessment in one sitting.
We suggest ten key foundational topics on which to assess your students (a total of 50 questions), but you as the teacher are always the best judge. Once your students have completed the diagnostic assessment, view your results to determine which lessons to assign. You can assign lessons from the “Customize Lessons” tab from the left-navigation menu.
Day 1: Pre-Test, Video Lesson, and Practice Exercise
Pre-Test (5 minutes per lesson)
In class, have your students complete the Pre-Test assessment prior to watching any videos or slideshows in that lesson. Actively monitor your students in class to make sure they are not viewing the video or slideshow. These results will provide you with a baseline of what each student knows regarding that topic prior to the delivery of any instruction.
Video Lesson, Practice Exercise (10 minutes per lesson)
After students have completed the pre-test, you may assign the video lesson and at least one set of practice exercises to be completed for homework. Students may watch the video and/or review the slideshow notes as many times as needed. The practice exercise will serve as a formative assessment for you to gauge their current level of understanding.
Day 2: Writing Activity
Prior to class, go to the Progress Reports found in your teacher dashboard to review the scores of the assigned set of practice exercises. Take note of any student who scored less than 70%. These are the students who have not yet demonstrated a clear understanding of the material, and these are the students you will focus your attention on during the upcoming writing activity.
Upon students arriving to class, allow them to ask questions regarding the lesson, and if needed, briefly review the material to help clarify or to remind students of the basic concepts. (It is recommended NOT to conduct a full lesson as this can establish a precedent of relying solely on the teacher’s instruction and will weaken student responsibility of learning independently via the video lessons.) Referencing your list of students who did not score well on the practice exercises, try to actively engage those students throughout your review.
Writing Activity (20 minutes per lesson)
Assign the Writing Application Activity associated with the lesson(s) covered. Referencing your list of students who did not score well on the practice exercises, circle around the classroom to each of those students to address any initial questions/needs.
After five minutes have elapsed, ask students to click the “Save” button on their writing portal page to capture their writing-in-progress (they should continue writing as they will not be finished). Return to your desk and open your teacher Writing Portal to begin reviewing students’ writing-in-progress.
Skim through each student writing portal to ascertain a general feel for how well each student seems to have grasped the concept. Some will clearly demonstrate mastery of the material (click the green check mark for these students) while other students’ writing may not quite demonstrate the same level of mastery (click the yellow check mark for these students). Use your best judgement to determine which students have grasped the concept versus those who haven’t.
Keep in mind, the writing application activities are still a formative assessment and it is recommended that they not be graded; rather, they are to be a sandbox in which students may play and engage with the concept.
Students are still learning how to apply the concepts covered in the lessons and will need your feedback to confirm whether or not they are on the right track.
At the 15-minute mark, have students save their work a second time and then ask a sampling of students to share some of their writing aloud (a sentence, an excerpt, or an entire piece, depending upon the lesson). As students share their writing, question them or ask them to point out the correct application of concepts in their pieces. Tell students to frame their verbal responses to your questions in a way that requires them to use and engage with the grammatical terms and language:
Teacher: What is your direct object in that sentence?
Student: The direct object is “ball.”
Teacher: Explain why the word “ball” is the direct object in your sentence.
Student: Because “ball” receives the action of the verb “kick.”
If you have access to a projector and can display each student’s writing as he/she shares it aloud, the rest of the class can follow along visually to see how the concepts were applied.
Day 3: Review Game, Post Evaluation
Kahoot Review Game (10 minutes per lesson)
Use the Kahoot review game (10 questions per lesson) to review the topic(s) and assess how well the class section has grasped the concepts. After each question has been answered, Kahoot will provide a snapshot of how many students within the class answered the question correctly. Use your best judgement, but if less than 70% of students answered a question correctly, be sure to pause and review the question that was missed to make sure students understand before proceeding to the next question.
Post-Evaluation (5 minutes per lesson)
Have your students complete the post-evaluation for the lesson(s) you have covered for the week. This post-evaluation will serve as a summative assessment to see how well the students have grasped the concepts after having engaged in the previous activities.