Oxford Brookes University developed ‘Bright Ideas Time’, which is now incorporated into the Thinking Doing Talking Science project. The short open discussions can provide opportunities to elicit pupil ideas about a topic. For example, in odd-one-out, children have 3 or 4 images or objects to observe. They are asked to consider which is the odd one out and why. When responding they are encouraged to justify their reasoning. All children can be engaged as there is no one right answer. Pupils can build on the responses of their peers. It allows the teacher to identify potential misconceptions to be addressed later, as well as assessing the class’ use of scientific vocabulary.
Using the PMI strategy encourages children to think about Positive (P), Minus (M) and Interesting (I) points about a statement or scenario that has been set. This could be in response to a question like: what if there was no friction? What if I had an ear in the middle of my hand? It encourages the children to think in 3 totally different ways and so encourages a far more diverse discussion. Again there is no right answer, but children do need to justify their reasoning. This provides evidence of the children’s understanding of the topic which can inform teacher’s planning.
For further details and other examples see:
Odd one out examples from Elm Park Primary, Winterbourne and May Park Primary, Bristol
Big Question example from Callicroft Primary, Bristol