Gallery walk : Learning by moving

Gallery Walk : Learning By Moving Around

Trust me. When I say that it’s boring to stay still in a classroom for an hour, I really do mean it!

If I had a dollar for every time I caught my students dozing of or scanning their phones in my class, I’d gladly give up my salary (wink). You peeps agree with me?

Teaching ESL is not easy and I feel sorry for the learners too who have to cope with a dozen other problems besides learning a new language. A month into teaching my new batch, it reflected in their behavior. I wasn’t happy.

I had to try a new approach. So, I buckled up and folded my sleeves to work on introducing a new learning technique.

Enter, Gallery Walk.

Gallery walk is not something new and is quite popular among teachers and students. It’s a learning technique where students learn by walking around the classroom. What again? Yes. Moving in groups.

Here’s how it works…

I used this for the first time for teaching figures of speech. Simile, Metaphor, Hyperbole, and Personification to start with.

– First divide your class into small groups (4 in each group should be fine)

– Make six different sets on your current topic and put them up in six different locations in your classroom. You can include questions, pictures, quotes, examples, plain text, etc in each of those sets.

– Every group will start from one location spend some time (Max 8 minutes) reading, viewing, understanding and writing down their responses and interpretation on a chart paper. Then, move over to the next location.

– The next groups will do the same and till they all finish one round of all the locations. As a teacher, you must guide them if they have doubts and ensure their responses are recorded on their group charts.

– Rotate the groups through the locations so that they could read other group’s responses and add their own comments. This improves value addition to each answer as there will be some students who are brighter than the others and can provide better insights.

– Once you complete this exercise, assemble the groups together and make them read their old comments and the additions made by others.

What’s the benefit?

  • Students are not bored
  • There’s active participation
  • It improves communication among students
  • All students are at par and no doubts go unanswered
  • The work is monitored by the teacher and students together
  • The concepts are well explained

I tried it and it worked. My students could differentiate between the four selected figures of speech and some students even helped out the others by using their own examples.

You also can give it a try and tell me how it worked for your students. Toodles!

Kung Fu Panda 3: Takeaway for Teachers

At the very beginning of the movie, Po says: Never underestimate the power of a dramatic entrance, and the Panda team sure knows how to practice what it preaches. Right from the get-go, Po and his comrades give you an adrenalin rush, the effect of which lasts even after you walk out of the theater.

There are very few teams in Hollywood that are as consistent as the Panda team. The makers of the Oscar-nominated franchise have struck a chord, yet again, with their audience. From hoots to laughs and occasional sniffles, the audience can’t help but let their feelings show.

It’s a treat – not just a visual one – to witness Po’s transition from a student to a teacher. And by the way, Po essays some cool new Kung Fu moves that are totally groovy.

The movie not only focuses on the importance of knowing oneself, but also throws light on the significance of understanding the factors that make you, you.

The Panda team knows how to show and not tell, which is evident throughout the movie. Although the wisdom in the movie is age old, the way it’s shown is something that makes it really special.

Now, a sneak peak into the story (spoiler alert!): Part 3 of the Panda franchise puts Po in a situation that requires him to fill his teacher’s shoes. Now we all know Po is Po, and Po in his inimitable style messes up his very first class, which gets him thinking about his future as a teacher. I’m a rookie teacher and I could totally relate to Po.

Here are some points teachers like me could benefit from:

  • Be yourself: Po has his unique style and so should each one of us.
  • Be cool and funny: Having a sense of humor can help you through any difficult situation. Being able to laugh at yourself is a strength. Po is goofy and he knows it, and above all, he laughs at it!
  • Know your strengths: Po identifies what each of his panda student is good at and focuses on honing that particular skill, instead of forcing them all to learn the same set of skills.
  • Learning is eternal: A good teacher is a great learner. Shifu entrusts teaching to Po so that he can go learn other things.
  • Be humble: When Po eventually masters the art of harnessing Chi (the fundamental life force), Shifu humbly bows to Po and asks him if he can teach him too. Shifu also accepts Oogway’s decision to make Po Oogway’s successor.

IMHO, Oogway and Shifu belong to the category of coolest teachers ever! And yes, so does Po.

I hope my journey will be as interesting as Po’s… I guess I’d be better off trusting the Universe to take care of everything. That would be the wisest thing to do, right? 🙂