How to prepare for midterms – Tips & Tricks
YAY! You, awesome person, are officially halfway through the school year! It’s been a long and tiresome ride, especially for those starting at a new school, facing new challenges, or reaching the point where the only option was to activate ‘survival’ mode. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or even a student, our ideas for reflection might come in handy at this time of the year.
But what exactly is reflection?
Reflection is a powerful tool to keep track of progress and past problems in order to improve our future development. It can raise awareness of positive moments and open the floor to development.
Midterm is great for introspection because…
- … midterm grades enable self-reflection: thinking about your academic performance, talking with parents and teachers alike; and
- … there is still half a year left to take action.
It is highly advised to set new goals for children, whilst equipping them with some ideas for…
- class preparation: getting plenty of sleep, minimising distractions (electronic gadgets, social media) while doing homework/projects, keeping a homework diary
- consistent learning: daily practice, keeping track of progress, scheduling ahead (deadlines, exams, tests), setting study goals (e.g., a language exam, reading books or watching films/series without dubbing/subtitles, travelling abroad)
- functional skill development: finding a penfriend, language-learning apps (e.g. BOOKR Class), reading (graded readers, original works), watching films and series.
MIND that the emphasis should be on the appraisal and empowerment of children in order to boost their learning. Don’t forget to reward weekly achievements.
1. Listen to the song or read the story below (or any story you like about working hard to achieve something) together with the class as an inspiration (Both stories are available in the BOOKR Class app):
- for a shorter warm-up: Itsy Bitsy Spider (song)
- for a stronger class a longer reading: Anup and the Wonderful Oven (tale)
2. Ask students the following questions:
- What is he like? ⇒ persistent, strong, motivated
- What is his goal? ⇒ to help his grandmother/to climb up the waterspout
- What does he do to achieve this goal? ⇒ practises, tries hard
- Is it easy? ⇒ No/Not at all.
- Is it worth it? ⇒ Yes/Definitely.
- Why is it worth it? ⇒ It brings success, happiness, and satisfaction.
3. Open up a conversation by giving them 2-3 minutes to think about the following prompts: my achievements – my goals – action plan (What to do?)
4. Pair/group them up to discuss their ideas, and then, elicit some of the examples in front of the whole class.
If our ideas managed to arouse your interest about learner autonomy and motivating students, we highly recommend reading this handy and well-written book:
B., Morrison, & D., Navarro. (2014). The Autonomy Approach: Language learning in the classroom and beyond. United Kingdom: DELTA Publishing.