I’ve just uploaded onto TES some resources for ICER. ICER is an acronym for Ideas, Create, Evaluate and Rehearse and acts as a way of structuring the lesson and the way in which students create drama. It allows for early intervention with groups you aren’t working well and it maintains a fast but healthy pace to the lesson. It is very observation and OfSted friendly as it allows for almost constant assessment for learning, intervention opportunities and students can evidence their progress very easily.
Here is a PowerPoint that outlines ICER for you and your students, it can be copied and pasted into your own presentations again and again. Since the structure remains the same, all that needs to change is the content. ICER Template
This is a lesson plan (Exploring Still Images) and PowerPoint (Exploring plot through still images) to demonstrate the ICER in a working environment. In the context of this lesson, the students are at the very beginning of Year 8 and have never done any formal drama lessons before. They start with a warm up activity, followed by an activity involving learning about Still Images, how to create them to their best and what they could potentially be used for. The students then move on to using ICER to create a performance using Still Images based on the plot of a book they are reading in English classrooms.
The students are required to remain seated during the Ideas phase and plan for the whole duration of the phase, plan what they want to do in the piece, what characters they will each be etc… During that phase, the teacher can see who is struggling for ideas and who is moving forward with really creative and exciting ideas. Immediately, the teacher is able to intervene on the ideas stage to give ideas, to steer ideas in the right direction or to stop ideas that are running away with themselves. The aim here is not to keep the ideas confined to this period of time, but to focus the students minds onto the task of generating ideas for performance.
During the creative phase, the students must complete a rough first draft of their performance. In this case they are making a still image performance of the plot of a book they are reading in English. They are, of course, allowed to continue having ideas throughout this phase, but they are not allowed to sit down during it! The focus is on making all the material that will communicate what the students want it to communicate to the audience.
Then comes the evaluation phase, or the evaluation station, during which students look back at the assessment criteria to establish if what they have created so far is good enough. In this instance the students are referred back to a working assessment criteria of what makes a good still image. The students set themselves targets before moving into the rehearsal phase to complete the model.
The pace of the lesson is kept up because you are making sure all the groups are working to the same established timeframes. I have also found, that because the pace is quick, the engagement is high, especially from lower end boys, who like the short deadlines rather than having the whole lesson to make a performance.
I find that you have got time to intervene in the groups at the right time and I have a better understanding of where is group is at and how much progress they are making. There are several useful AfL type intervention moments. The first is at the end of the ideas phase, where you know which groups are storming ahead and which groups need help developing their ideas. Throughout the creation phase you can intervene to help the development of the pice, but because there is a set time limit you can see in the latter end of the phase who needs help and who doesn’t. What is also useful about asking for all the work to be created by the Evaluation Phase rather than Performance Time is you know everyone in the class has something that they can a) performance and b) develop, improve and evidence their progress. Finally you can help quite directly during the rehearsal phase as intervention.