You’d see students with earbuds in, looking at their phones while writing rough drafts as a student sits with Mr. Macleod discussing their writing.
“Everything I would say in the classroom is on Youtube because I’m trying to make Cambridge preparation convenient without interfering with their studies.” says Mr. Macleod. “The Grade 11 and 12 students are already incredibly busy. Students attend Wednesday and or Friday during lunch break where they work at their own pace through the preparation material on the videos.”
“If I teach the lessons in person it is very difficult for students to catch up if they have to miss a session. They can’t rewind and replay me, but students can rewatch the videos. Many students said the videos are helpful because they can watch them at home and use their lunch break to practice their writing” remarked Mr. Macleod.
A pdf accompanies each video explaining how Cambridge assesses student work. It includes tips for developing ideas, organizing them for the specific text type, developing sentence fluency and accurate word choice. Some videos analyze the strengths and weaknesses of sample essays from previous Cambridge exams.
Students sign up for 5 or 10 minute meetings with Mr.Macleod so he can give one on one personalized feedback about their writing. In addition, students are set up to provide each other with feedback too in order to help identify how to achieve the best results on the Cambridge exams. Students will be very aware of how their work will be assessed when they write their Cambridge exams in the spring.
Text: Robert MacLeod; Fotos: Uta Rossner