Good Practises

Below you can find a list of concrete activities that you can use in a group of newcomers or a group with newcomers. They are grouped by the language skill that is the most prominent. You will notice that you can organize these activities classically or in a differentiated context (group work, contract work … see “classroom methods”).

Some references in the texts:
“writing board”: refers to a tablet that pupils can use in the classroom, a small whiteboard or a white sheet of paper in a plastic folder. Pupils can write on it with a whiteboard marker. It allows you to have a quick view on the right answers when they hold it in front of them.
(*): pupils that are illiterate or in a very early stage of literacy can do this activity.
“diff”: means ‘differentiation tip’, sometimes it is possible to differentiate within this activity.

1 - listening skills
2 - reading skills
3 - speaking skills
4 - writing skills

These methods can stimulate your creativity as a teacher. In these frames you can give tasks chronologically as well as simultaneously (according to the pupil’s needs).

1.think-pair-share
2.inner-circle
3.placemat
4.jigsaw
5.activating-direct-instruction
6.corner-work
7.co-teaching
8.pre-teaching
9.flipping-the-classroom

Example of an inclusive lesson

In this lesson, we started from a traditional lesson and made it accessible for newly arrived pupils.

Testimonies of teachers

These teachers tried out the didactical structures described above and testify about their experiences.

1. Exit tickets

Exit tickets allow you to have a clear view on what your pupils learned in your lesson or how they assess themselves. Make them write their name on a paper and let the mput it in one of 3 boxes. Box 1 means “I clearly understood everything”, box 2 means “I still have some difficulties”, box 3 means “I didn’t get it at all”.

Teacher Emmelien gave a dictation. At the end, her pupils put their dictation in one of the 3 boxes.
Box 1: “This was easy for me”.
Box 2: “It was quite difficult”.
Box 3: “It will be a disaster”.
In this way, she can see if her pupils know how competent they are.

Teacher Liesbet made an evaluation form in which pupils assess themselves as well. In this form, the pupils hang their name besides the smiley the correspond with their feeling:
Green smiley: I clearly got it
Yellow smiley: I still have some difficulties
Red smiley: It’s too hard.
In this way, she knows on which aspects she has to focus in the next lesson

2. Flipping the classroom

Teacher Freya makes small movies about some specific instructions. During a corner work, pupils watch the movies and follow the instruction. They can look twice if they didn’t understand from the first time. In this way, Freya gives the role of instructor out of hands, and she can be a coach for those pupils who really need it.

3. Preteaching

Teacher Emmelien works with preteaching. Those pupils who need it, get some extra instruction about the things they don’t know yet, so they can fully participate with the others during the lesson.

4. Jokers

Jokers allow pupils and students to take their learning process in their own hands. Imagine you give them a test with several evaluation criteria. They can use a joker for one specific evaluation criterium. This means that you don’t take this one into account. Or: that it counts double. In this way, you lower the barrier for some pupils to participate in some activities, and on the other hand you can provide an extra challenge for fast learners.
When pupils have to give a presentation, and your criteria are:

  • language 4 points
  • content 4 points
  • structure 4 points
  • intonation 4 points,
    it can relieve pupils when they can eliminate one of these criteria the first time when they have to present.

Teacher Mieke uses jokers as follows: she lets her pupils read the verbal feedback that she wrote on their other tasks. Her pupils invent one personal evaluation criterium and they can become an extra point when they take it into account.

5. Wednesday afternoon class

Teacher Barbara doesn’t close her classroom doors on Wednesday afternoon to give extra support to pupils who need it.

6. Creative activities with texts

Differentiation doesn’t mean that all the pupils do different activities. It also means that you bear in mind the different interests and strategies that your pupils develop. Teacher Barbara provides different ways to explore new texts.