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Published in Profiles and Using HOW2s

Letter Writing with Laura

With a first-class degree in graphic design, primary teacher Laura Johns was putting her creative mind to work. What was the best way to teach her pupils letter writing, she pondered. How could she make it engaging and with a fair degree of collaborative learning too?

HOW2: Learning Market

Laura, who works at Nine Acres primary school on the Isle of Wight, wanted her pupils to learn the ins and outs of good letter writing. And she wanted them to do this in groups, cooperating together on their learning. When she found the Learning Market and read about the learning skills they develop, she knew this was the HOW2 for the job. 

Question and acquire additional information from peers so that they improve the effectiveness of their questioning.”

one of the four learning skills developed by the learning market how2

Using a real evacuee’s letter as a model, Laura organised her pupils into groups, each with a different set of questions and resources to direct their thinking. Their answers were displayed onto a poster that served as the focus for conversations in the market-like exchange of information that followed. Finally, with pupils back in their original groups, there was preparation time before a quiz. Pupils pulled their learning together, motivated by each pupils’ score counting towards the group tally. 

Preparing for independent learning

There’s no doubt Laura had to prepare the resources to make this activity work well. But with the HOW2 being classroom-ready, or needing just a small tweak, she could concentrate on the evacuee’s letter, the VCOP poster and the worksheet. Laura is clear that independent learning doesn’t come about by letting pupils get on with it on their own. On the contrary, it only happens if it is carefully organised beforehand. 

Have your own classroom market

What could you do with Learning Market? Why not try it out and let us now how you got on? We’d love to tell your story. 

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