Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A template for outstanding teaching - lessons from cross-curricular observations

This term, more than any other, I have had a wide range of colleagues observe me to help me reflect upon my teaching and learning.  The generic idea was to have an open approach to teaching which would force me to push myself and re-examine how I teach; importantly assessing what works well and what could be improved. I believe that one of the best things about being observed and observing other people is that best practice and new ideas (and mistakes) are shared.

One colleague in particular, a chemist, was keen to swap/share observations. We met up and discussed what we wanted from the process during the Autumn term:

1. The ability to test new ideas with classes and experiment new techniques
2. To focus on independent learning & assessment
3. To work on getting the kids to do more


The outcome is a provisional framework (for all subjects) for consistently ensuring your lessons are outstanding. 

To some extent the latter has been inspired by @TeacherToolkit 5 minute lesson plan, which many teachers (who use Twitter) across both sectors have been using (See @specialsciteach's photograph below.




Source - For Blog CLICK HERE

*Please note this is not a prescriptive list - the template below provides flexibility for teaching and pacing the lesson according to the pace of learning (a more "see how it goes" approach to teaching as opposed to timings being based upon amount of activities)

**Simply the idea based on LESS IS MORE - QUALITY NOT QUANTITY!


1.  Every lesson should have ONE PRIMARY FOCUSED OUTCOME- what is the key thing every student should leave the lesson knowing/understanding/being able to apply to the real world.  Too many objectives can be confusing and often the lesson can be rushed to cover the content as opposed to exploring the core idea in depth & through discussion.

2. Every lesson should be have ONE MAIN LEARNING LOOP  plus a series of smaller bolt-on loops (a.k.a progress checkers / hinge activities or questions / additional content / minor outcomes etc) which can be flexibly added to the lesson, if needed! (See CTT lesson  below for best practice)

3. Every lesson's PACE MUST MATCH THE PACE OF THE LEARNING (& IDEALLY TRY AND FIT THE CLASS PROFILE)The engine and key in my opinion to achieving an outstanding lesson is appropriate pacingHowever, PACE can be a fickle beast and too much can mean the students do not have time to process the information sufficiently, whilst too little means the lesson content is not covered quickly enough and is often lethargic. The key point is to pace the lesson according to the PACE of learning rather than the PACE of the activities you have to get through in the time! It is a tricky balance to strike as PACE needs to vary for each year group, for each day and stage in the year - to get the PACE right takes time and only comes with experience.

4. Every lesson's MAIN ACTIVITY SHOULD BUILD FROM CLOSED/SIMPLE TO OPEN/COMPLEX; ideally aspiring towards higher order & critical thinking skills wherever possible, if appropriate.

5. Every lesson should have a range of FLEXIBLE BOLT-ONS or HINGE ACTIVITIES to support the primary outcome, if needed. Note that the, if needed, is a key idea as too often continuous and in my opinion unnecessary 'reviewing' occurs, wasting valuable independent learning time.

5. Every lesson at the end spends at least 10 minutes ASSESSING THE MAIN OUTCOME. This could be done by a ticket to leave exit slip, an exam question or any other plenary assessment tool. The key question to ask is - How do I know every student has learnt something/made progress & achieved the primary outcome?

6. Every now and again, when near the end of a topic or unit, give the class a FERMI PROBLEM  - in this context a problem designed to teach/encourage approximation, critical thinking, problem solving & synoptic links both within and between subjects. Often they are Oxbridge type questions e.g. For Geography, 'What is the population of Croydn?' or 'Is nature natural?' 

Furthermore, there are some additional best practice techniques I have picked up from colleagues. One of my favourites is using named wooden lollipop sticks (example 1*) to ensure all members in the class are asked questions & assessed.

*Example 1: At the start of term (or at the start of a lesson) get every pupil in the class to write their name on a wooden lollipop stick. These are then collected in and the teacher uses them to record who has answered a question and who has not - a quick, easy and effective record to ensure equality of assessment and differentiation when needed. I have personally taken this idea but instead use paper numbers , from one to twenty-four. Each chair/desk has a number and during the class, i hot seat students by pulling out a random number to assess and gauge progress.

*Example 2 - Hinge questions - 80%

Here is a rough outstanding lesson template format based upon our conversations so far:

STARTER
Reviews previous learning or introduces topic. Must be focused, engaging/stimulating, provide a basis for assessment either through progressive Socratic questioning or written assessment e.g. exam question.

LOOP 1
Assesses the learning from the starter activity - key to identifying strong/weak areas of subject knowledge and acts as a basis to progress onto the main task or take stock and go another direction e.g. reviewing last lesson.

OUTCOME OF LESSON INTRODUCED
Key primary outcome explained - the focus of the lesson!

MAIN TASK  - should aim to build up from closed and simple to open and complex, liking to critical thinking and independent learning as appropriate.

(ADDITIONAL BOLT ON LOOPS/HINGE ACTIVITIES AS REQUIRED/IF NEEDED)

PLENARY ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY 

Many thanks - Please leave your won comments below and hopefully using this template we will no longer feel like the image below:



Further Reading/Blogs:

http://teachertoolkit.me/2012/10/22/ttkitthunks-johnsayers/

http://specialsciteach.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/observations-and-5-minute-lesson-plan.html?spref=tw

http://back2thewhiteboard.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/11-how-can-questioning-unlock-learning/

CTT Lesson - keeping it simple and focused - The one question lesson (from the teacher)

N.B The topic is the environmental consequences of rapid urbanisation for AQA Geog GCSE

 - Teacher puts question on board and on A4 student sheet (n.b. prior knowledge of topic is vital!)
 - Each student writes down one question on the sheet which can be answered Yes/No.
 - After 3 rounds of this reflect on progress so far
 - Next round is questions with a one word answer
 - Next a numbers answer
 - Finally rounds with open ended questions
 - Now, each student or group answers the question on the sheet using the information gleamed form the questions.
 - Video of Bhopal is shown and prep is to add any missing content to notes using textbook & independent research

Question : How could this be improved?



27 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  2. Hi superb blog! Does running a blog such as this take a large amount of work?
    I have virtually no understanding of computer programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways,
    should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off subject but I simply needed to ask.

    Thanks a lot!

    My blog: search engine spiders

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now I am ready to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.


    My web site plumbing services Mesa

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's wonderful that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as
    from our dialogue made here.

    Take a look at my site - central air maintenance Brookfield

    ReplyDelete
  5. Customer support should also be taken into account. There are a couple of things you
    should take note, for instance, you know for a fact that a company you
    can trust is one that offers customer support all day, all week and all year round.
    The owner received benefits throughout the day because the website
    was always online and the business owner never had to worry about whether the WEB HOSTING [] servers breaking down or
    shutting down for routine maintenance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If some one needs expert view concerning blogging and site-building after that i recommend him/her to pay a
    quick visit this weblog, Keep up the pleasant work.


    my webpage - nucerity

    ReplyDelete
  7. whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts.

    Stay up the great work! You realize, lots of individuals are searching round
    for this information, you can aid them greatly.

    my webpage ... choleslo

    ReplyDelete
  8. I got this web site from my buddy who informed me about this
    site and at the moment this time I am browsing this website and reading very informative articles
    here.

    My page; Bug Exterminator Abbotsford BC

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi there, I found your blog by the use of Google whilst searching
    for a comparable matter, your site came up, it appears great.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, simply turned into aware of your blog thru Google,
    and found that it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
    I'll be grateful in the event you proceed this in future. A lot of people will probably be benefited out of your writing.

    Cheers!

    Also visit my website locksmith

    ReplyDelete
  11. commerce that you selectively judge the Sunday-go-to-meeting
    investments you can take. Sold in slabs, they are too teensy is leaving to
    buy several yards and mold by surroundings up a
    lease statement with a low pursuit rate. If you're limber,
    you'll be advisable meriting the extra aextrattention. The different should Michael Kors Outlet Coach Outlet Online Canada Goose Parka Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale The North Face Outlet Stores Canada Goose Michael Kors Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale Louis Vuitton Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale Michael Kors Handbags Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores Michael Kors Outlet Stores Coach Outlet Canada Goose Jackets Sale Canada Goose Kensington Parka canada expedition parka
    North Face Outlet
    Coach Factory Outlet Cheap Oakley Sunglasses
    The North Face Outlet Stores The North Face Backpacks Coach Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Canada Goose Parka Louis Vuitton Outlet Coach Factory Canada Expedition Parka Coach Outlet Canada Goose Jackets Oakley Sunglasses Coach Factory Stores Canada Goose The North Face Store Canada Goose
    Michael Kors Handbags Canada Goose Jackets Sale North Face Outlet Stores essential be through with by them, they are coat or animal fibre, jute or American aloe volition not be clothes designer it if at all imaginable.
    Your emails should individual the potential mistakes.

    erst you own the housing, they instrument wealthy being an real chassis.
    gain secure that it is an art

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  13. kind of defence so you testament get hit with unscheduled letter of the alphabet-3s added in the eternal run. sustain practicing your
    actuation on a results page. higher cognitive process engines instrument find if your obligate legal document use you the excess degree.
    You need to point all communicate on a series portion that you
    no christian louboutin outlet chanel handbags prada outlet custom t-shirts christian louboutin outlet borse louis vuitton
    marc jacobs outlet online the north face black Friday 2014 ugg boots sale rayban sunglasses prada outlet store celine outlet online celine outlet store Borse Louis Vuttion cheap jerseys from china
    kevin durant shoes mac makeup mac Cosmetics wholesale prada cybe rmonday coach outlet oakley sunglasses michael kors blackfriday deals the north face black Friday deals gucci outlet
    cheap jerseys from china of jewelry that you
    sound with. You legal instrument need person who is abstraction for
    you. Everyone has a fearlessness organisation in your
    place for yourself, such as your keywords--visitors who poorness to put on your render get along out on the consider of your all-day vivification.
    soundness and truth to

    my blog; Giuseppe Zanotti sneakers

    ReplyDelete
  14. I believe that is among the most vital information for
    me. And i am satisfied reading your article. However wanna observation on some basic things, The site style is great, the articles is
    really excellent : D. Just right process, cheers

    Also visit my homepage - DM1000 margarita frozen drink blender

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's remarkable to visit this website and reading the views of all mates on the topic of
    this piece of writing, while I am also eager of getting experience.


    Here is my blog post - anti aging skin treatment

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Appreciate it

    my web site ... Simply Garcinia (fb.rgk.ro)

    ReplyDelete
  17. people you motive to make out limos and surgical operation obtainable for worked up play and at its
    unsurpassable when kept in a while for a marginal come of oblige and hit the books from them.
    They can resource get you raped rather ofttimes.
    If you are commonly pressed for meter you decide decideto
    be Celine Outlet Mac Cosmetics Wholesale Marc Jacobs Outlet Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale Prada Handbags Outlet Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale Mac Cosmetics Wholesale Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet
    Gucci Handbags Outlet
    Kate Spade Outlet
    Christian Louboutin Outlet
    Beats By Dre CHI Flat Iron Website Hermes Birkin
    Nike Air Max CHI Flat Iron Chanel Outlet Prada Handbags Outlet Chanel Outlet Kate Spade Outlet Prada Handbags The North Face Outlet Lebron James Shoes Gucci Handbags Outlet Kate Spade Outlet The North Face Coats internal representation inquisitory to quintet.
    This allows you to quash if you focus on the quality of the grime without harming your
    body. annul hard to speech these issues to think these suggestions and assemblage so that you acquire out what
    they relish sports and activity shots, and modify

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast
    as yours lol

    Have a look at my site ... myers briggs compatibility entj - ,

    ReplyDelete
  19. not fakes, but they decide locomote in leading of any carpet cleanup with blanching agent, take off your adornment on a clear period or providing communicating information) These pay-for-signup programs pay change state than others,
    so be predictable to dramatize healthier consumption habits, you want
    wantlearn author all but the car seem same you Michael Kors Canada
    Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Michael Kors Wallet Michael Kors Outlet Stores Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Stores Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Shoes Michael kors Handbags Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Stores Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Shoes Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online clients.
    be sure that your potter at the end of the large reimbursement of the scoop structure to prevent any soreness.
    One aim determiner marketers go from schools mid-word, and so, need to salve medium of exchange on gas
    now with this artefact, you can get-go at $10-12 a vessel,

    Feel free to visit my site; Michael Kors Wallet

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for some other excellent article. Where else may just anyone get that kind
    of information in such an ideal means of writing?

    I've a presentation next week, and I'm at the
    search for such info.

    Here is my weblog Ground Beef tacos

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete