“Our children are well trained in card sorts”
Week five. I’m utterly exhausted. I’m caught in a lethal cycle of blaming my lesson planning for the bad behaviour, trying to make them more and more engaging, with the result that the children see my lessons as more and more of a joke.
I’m doing a good few card sorts a week. It was what we’d been told led to quality learning in training. I was killing myself with the late night guillotining and envelope stuffing. Then I’d go into the class and they’d be more interesting in using them as missiles than categorising.
I tried to convey this to the aforementioned professional mentor. He seemed a little disgusted with me.
“Our children do card sorts all the time”
That wasn’t true. Maybe he genuinely believed that. Maybe it genuinely seems like card sorts happen all the time when your job is doing T&L observations. Maybe he was just a liar.
He went on: “just the other day I observed Debbie doing a very simple card sort with 4 cards for her keyword activity. It doesn’t have to be very complex”
That’s a sentence only someone who has not prepared a card sort in a very very long time could say. Economies of scale, much? A four card card sort takes minimally less time to prepare than a 16 card one, but is over in the lesson like a flash. The prep:class time ratio doesn’t get much worse.
It took me far too long to realise that children far prefer it if you actually teach them. You will never get their buy-in and trust if they feel like you waste their time with silly activities.
Make ’em work hard and they’ll grumble. But of you don’t work them hard, you’re telling them they’re worthless. Choose carefully.