Command Terms

This staff workshop activity, which can be used in a whole staff or departmental meeting. The document is set out in a similar fashion to the Command Term Glossary in that it gives a definition of the command term and the subjects where the command term may turn up in the final exams (and visual arts, a non-exam subject). The activity allows teachers to comment on the following for the command terms that are used in their subject`s assessments, as well as discussing them with teachers from other subjects:

  • How is the term applied in your subject?
  • What approaches to teaching and learning are used to support students?

The paper with each command term on also shows the subject where the command term applies. Teachers are asked to write their subject next to their comment so other teachers know who to talk to for any follow up information. This activity can be used to start cross curricular peer observations, as well as build a bank of command terms activities.

The activity is set up with a variety of command terms spread around the room. Teachers from different subjects are put into groups. Each group goes round the room in timed intervals discussing, comparing and contrasting how the command term is used in their subject and the different teaching and learning activities that they use to teach students how to use the command term and best prepare them for the exams and assessments.

This gives staff the opportunity to learn from each other and pick up new teaching and learning strategies. It will hopefully lead to teachers gaining a more in-depth idea about the experiences students face in different subjects, as well as building their knowledge of the different ways each command term can be approached.

This activity also allows staff to see that although Biology and English A, for example, are different subjects in different groups, they both ask students to use the same skill of 'explain'. It is worthwhile for the English A and Biology teacher to get together to discuss how they get students to use the skill, both in the classroom and in preparation for the exams.

This activity can lead to a greater understanding of what is involved in both subjects and lead to teachers finding similarities, which can result in closer collaboration in future. It helps staff understand that students are not only assessed in knowledge recall but a variety of different skills, many of which overlap into subjects, which on the face of it look like they don`t have much in common.

As the groups move around the room, the documents asks them to write the name of their subject next to each comment they write, this is so teachers in different groups know who to approach if they see a comment that they would like to discuss further with the teacher.

PAID MEMBERS CAN DOWNLOAD THE COMMAND TERMS ACTIVITY

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Command Terms Backward Planning

The Command Terms backward planning document can be found in the collaborative planning folder.

Command Terms Glossary

This Command Terms glossary can be used with both students and staff.

The glossary can be given to students as an aid throughout the course. It clearly explains how the command terms are used in their exams and defines each one, based on the definition given in the DP subject guides.

The glossary also shows students the different subjects where each command term is used. This is aimed to help the students see the connections between their subjects and to focus on the skills the subjects are asking of them.

It can come as a surprise to students that when they are being asked to analyse in English A: Language and Literature, they are being asked to do exactly the same thing in Japanese A: Literature, History, Environmental Systems and Societies, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Visual Arts too.

The glossary can be used to support student understanding in lessons and as a check against their knowledge of the terms.

The glossary can also be used when students are attempting formative assessment, to allow them to get used to using the command terms in the correct way. This can be checked with students by giving them the Command Terms glossary quiz, which can be found here.

The glossary also provides a good opportunity for staff training, which is shown in the “collaborative planning folder in this website here and here. The glossary can be used to highlight the links between the different subjects across the programme, leading to staff discussing the different Approaches to Teaching they use to teach each of the command terms.

This results in teachers working with colleagues from other departments who teach the same command term and allows them to share their knowledge and understanding as well as learning new ways to teach the command term. This training can lead to different groups presenting how they teach the command terms 'analyse', 'annotate' and 'apply', for example, giving all staff a better understanding of the terms..

The glossary can be used to support student understanding in lessons and as a check against their knowledge of the terms. The glossary can also be used when students are attempting formative assessment, to allow them to get used to using the command terms in the correct way.

I have introduced the glossary to parents at a parent workshop, explaining the importance of the students knowing exactly what the exam is asking them to go and discussing the common errors the students have made when trying to state what each command term is asking them to do.

PAID MEMBERS CAN DOWNLOAD THE COMMAND TERMS GLOSSARY

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Student Command Terms Quiz

This activity can be used before and after students have been given the command term glossary. Giving it to students at the start of the course allows them to predict what each command term is asking them to do, and to consider what the examiners are looking for when the command term is used in an assessment.

It is a good idea to go back to the activity throughout the course, especially before formative and summative assessments, to make sure they are aware of what to do when faced with each command term. The activity also asks students to name the other subjects they study the in which each command terms appear.

I share the students results with staff so they can adapt their teaching based on what the students do and don`t know regarding the command terms in their subject.

This activity works well with my revision video on past papers which can be found here.

If you are a subscriber, you can download the document below. If you have not yet subscribed, please do so today in order to be able to see all of the resources in this website.

PAID MEMBERS CAN DOWNLOAD THE COMMAND TERMS QUIZ

If you are a member you can download the document below. If you have not yet become a member, please do so today in order to be able to gain access to all 350+ resources on this website.

Command Terms Wall Display

This wall display gives a definition of each command term in the Diploma Programme, as well as the subjects in which each ones appears in, from the ones we teach at our school.

This display can easily be adapted for the subjects taught at your school. I have also used the display with only the name and definition of each command term.

I have blown the Command Term Glossary up to use as a wall display for the Diploma Progamme board in our IB corridor to raise awareness of them and have made the wall display sized definitions of the terms available to all subjects for display in their classrooms.

PAID MEMBERS CAN DOWNLOAD THE COMMAND TERMS WALL DISPLAY

If you are a member you can download the document below. If you have not yet become a member, please do so today in order to be able to gain access to all 350+ resources on this website.

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