Starting your SWOT
You can give your students a table, such as the one below, or ask them to draw their own.
Label each square with one SWOT word or description. You may want to change the titles to suit your pupils but it should look something like this:
Alternatively, you can have separate pieces of paper with the titles – A4 on the desk or A1 on the walls for them to add their comments to. You can also design a SWOT on a tablet or using a laptop app that enables the student to input their responses electronically. This can be as simple as using a document writer and having 4 pages with the titles to be typed in, or you can use an app or program that allows you to set up a questionnaire to gather responses.
Ask the students to fill in the table
Ask the pupils to complete the SWOT. You can prompt the students by asking them lots of questions and by giving them examples and model what they might record:
Strengths: What are they good at? What are they best at? What are they confident doing? This can be leisure activities as well as academic ones. You may discover a hobby or strength that can give you a solution to a problem, such as encouraging a budding pop star to sing a formula to memorise it.
Weaknesses: What do they need help with? This is about what they find difficult. It might be remembering information, concentration, writing, reading, getting around. Find out what they struggle with in class and the playground.
Opportunities: What do they think would help them learn or join in? What would they like to see more of? What changes could be made to the classroom? A quiet space? Moving to the front? More opportunities to answer questions? Questions being repeated in class? More fun quizzes or more class discussions? These things can guide you and you may be surprised at your students’ answers.
Threats: What prevents them from learning or joining in? It might be the environment; the classroom is too noisy or smells bad. It might be accessing the equipment or materials, perhaps the pens are uncomfortable to hold or they can’t read the font on the worksheets. It might even be the teacher, speaking too quiet or too fast. Here you may find some answers to the students’ weaknesses.
Collate the results
Collating the results is something you may choose to do yourself, or you may ask your pupils to help. We will examine the options on the next lessons.