Today I want to share some simple ideas that I have found to be very effective in the classroom. I can’t say that they are my own original ideas, although I have played around with them.
The first is the Banned word Board. This is a simple display in the classroom that lists a number of words that are not allowed to be used by pupils in their written or oral answers. The effect has been an increase in the quality of written work, and I have almost made comments such as ‘Sir it’s simple, the stuff just affects the thing and causes people problems’.
Pupils are now more able to use specific language, something that is vital especially at GCSE. I have had to make a few modifications, such as the introduction of ‘Heavenly Words’
This is an additional display placed on the ceiling. I found this necessary as pupils needed some stimulus in finding replacement words.
After advice received after posting the idea on the SLN forum, I have also introduced semi-banned words. These are acceptable geographical terms, such as pollution and people, that need to be qualified in order to use. For example, air pollution and farmers.
All in all, the quality of communication is improving – the only down side is that pupils now point out when I use the words!