One activity which I used to do a lot when I first started teaching was getting my class to plan an essay together and then asking small groups of students to write up one of the points onto an acetate so that we could look at the whole essay together on the OHP. I think that there is a lot of value in doing this as students learn from each other’s mistakes and it provides a way of giving detailed teacher feedback without having to spend hours marking class sets of essays and putting on comments which students don’t always take on board.
I was tempted to dust off the OHP today and bring it back to life but decided instead to try a high-tech approach to this lesson (and partly because the OHP was buried under a pile of rubbish in the corner of the classroom). I used an app on my smartphone called CamScanner which lets you scan a written document and it converts into a high-quality image which can be uploaded to Dropbox. We planned an essay as a class on the board, and I then assigned each group with one point to write up and gave them minimal guidance as they were writing (to get them used to writing essays independently). I then scanned in their paragraph and combined them in a word document with an introduction and a conclusion which I wrote. I added a comment after each paragraph and emailed this to students. When I see them next lesson I will go through the feedback and get them to rewrite the paragraphs to force them to take on board the comments given.
The only problem was that we ran out of time so what they wrote wasn’t particularly detailed but I have attached the feedback document which I gave them here so you can see how it worked.
I’ll definitely repeat the activity in the future but I must admit, I still miss my OHP!