What are #ThinkDo Activities?

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See lots of free #ThinkDo activities





What are #ThinkDo Activities?

#ThinkDo activities are posted throughout the year and can be used in a variety of different ways e.g. starters, plenaries, discussion, homework, extension tasks. They are also particularly useful as ‘5 minute revision’ activities at any time of the year.

#ThinkDo activities consist of a photo and a thinking point. Some have lots of thinking points and others just one. Most link in some way to exam questions. Some #ThinkDos have just one photo whereas others are a collection of photos along with related thinking points. These activities can be found on TwitterFacebook, & Instagram  as well as on my website and one is included in my D&T newsletter/blog each week.

Teachers can download the #ThinkDo images to use in their classroom resources. Note that any resources that use the images can’t be sold or shared with anyone outside of the department the teacher works in. 

#ThinkDoMAKE are #ThinkDo activities taken one step further with the focus on practical activities and projects designed to bring learning theory to life.


Drip Feed Learning

Water Droplet for Julie 2

I am a big fan of 'drip feed’ learning with short activities spread out over a period of time. My ‘5 Minute Revision’ strategy and ‘D&T #ThinkDo’ activities are both based on this idea. Drip feed activities are short which helps make them easier to engage with, and by using them regularly they help students develop a ‘memory muscle’ where they subconsciously think about D&T that is around them all of the time.  


5 Minute Revision 

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If students do 5 minutes revision every day from February until May they will have done the equivalent of about 9 hours of solid work. If they start immediately after Christmas they will have done nearly 12 hours of work. Even better, build in this type of thinking from the beginning of a course and it helps students develop good learning and revision habits early on. Teachers can set students 5 minute revision activities but the aim would be for students to develop a ‘muscle memory’ where they do this on their own by being more conscious of the D&T things around them everyday. Curiosity, questioning, and looking are key tools for 5 minute revision. 


What types of students respond to Drip Feed Revision?

I have found these technique works well with all students but it is particularly successful with those who are more reluctant to revise. They find it less daunting and different to the traditional revision they dread and avoid. I even used the technique with my reluctant to revise nephew, sending him a 5 minute revision text task each day over several months. At first he thought I was his mad, slightly annoying auntie who was a teacher, but after the first few weeks it was him who was chasing me if I forgot my daily task! This strategy can also be used to approach things like homework in a different way. Rather than setting a single homework why not set 7 short sound bites that can be broken across 7 days? Social media platforms (or similar school based platforms) are very useful for this type of homework as dates are often logged helping with monitoring.


What types of tasks can be set?

The key is to identify a range of 5 minute tasks that are varied and easy to engage with. Examples might include reading a page, writing a cue card, answering a question, 5 minutes internet research, texting a friend information (or using other types of social media), examining a product, drawing a design, product disassembly, a series of photos around a theme, product analysis while out shopping etc. It is also a good idea to get students to identify their own tasks, and to set tasks for each other. 

See lots of #ThinkDo activities


Use of social media

Many teachers are wary of using social media and they are right to approach these areas with care. The different types of social media can, however, be an excellent learning tool and something young people readily engage with. Many types of social media are excellent platforms for 5 minute revision and #ThinkDo activities and as young people use them all the time so it is a great way to sneak revision, and good learning habits, in via the back door!

A department can set up an official account which students can then follow. Most forms of social media allow you to do locked or private accounts meaning you can target just the students you teach if you wish. There is no reason for teachers to interact with students, they simply provide interesting and varied bits of information or images. It also doesn’t need to take long too manage depending on how often you want to upload information. In fact if you repost the activities I post each day it will literally take you seconds. 

Twitter and Facebook are two popular forms of social media and I am particularly a big fan of Twitter because the limited number of characters instantly makes it suitable for short 5 minute activities and it doesn’t take long to do. You can also quickly repost other people’s information rather than having to find your own to post. Instagram is also useful because it is photo based although you can add text as well if you wish. 

Pinterest is a big favourite of mine. Not only is it image based, and therefore an engaging way for many students to learn, it is also a great way to catalogue and save information for the future. It is also very addictive but in a positive way!


To receive daily #ThinkDo activities follow my TwitterFacebook, & Instagram


How to organise the tasks

  • Use the tasks in lessons as a starter, plenary, discussion prompt, or as extension activities. Teachers can use the images and questions or just the images in resources they create (note copyright means that resources can not be sold or shared other than in the department where the teacher works).
  • Set a different 5 minute task each day. This does take more teacher input but it is easier to ensure the drip feed nature of the strategy. There are different ways of notifying students e.g. email, a department Twitter account, a notice board, your school virtual learning platform. Some platforms, such as Twitter, allow you to pre-prepare a series of tweets which are then published at timed intervals. This technique gives the teacher greater control over developing the habit of revision.
  • Give students a worksheet or series of links students can pick from each day. This requires less teacher input but relies on the students doing the work each day. It does however give those students who want to spend longer working a wider range of activities to do.  
  • Allow students to count a series of short tasks as one homework
  • Think about how you want students to respond to the tasks. Outcomes could be written or verbal or the activities could less traditional with the activities acting as a prompt for a presentation, discussion, research activity, or focus for a video
  • Think about what evidence you want students to show you so you can check the task has been done. In particular think about how you can avoid having to mark the activities by integrating them into the lesson or normal lesson routines e.g. integrate things into starters or lesson activities, use of a log book, classroom display, input into your school virtual learning platform (depending on the type you have it might even be able to mark it for you), 
  • Use the strategy during lesson times as well as for homework. This is particularly useful in modelling to students how they might approach a 5 minute activity and what your expectations are.
  • If you are using the activities for revision committed students can be gradually encouraged to build up their revision time slots as the exam gets closer. This will be helped by the fact they have already developed a 'revision' frame of mind. 
  •  If done throughout the year, rather than just at revision time, they can help students link exam technique and knowledge to Controlled Assessment or other work being done. 
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See how Philip Morant School and College in Colchester have used my #ThinkDo and TechDoodle activities as part of stretch and challenge learning wall



See lots of free #ThinkDo activities






To receive daily #ThinkDo activities follow my TwitterFacebook, & Instagram



Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk

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