Bright Spots // Friday 12th May 2017

Mr Day (Maths) Year 9 students were working through equations. Mr Day had approached this with students through problem solving, with students having to think really hard about common patterns across a number of different equations. This part of the lesson also sparked lots of discussion around meta-cognition with students being asked to articulate their thought process in solving equations and identifying similarities between different equations. A real strength of teaching practice here was questioning and Mr Day’s use of spiraling up the difficulty of questioning to make students think hard.

Miss Jacobs (Science) – Miss Jacobs has been trialing a new whole class feedback strategy with students in order to provide actionable feedback in a more time efficient way. Whilst reading through student work she is using a crib sheet to collate common misconceptions and errors. From this a series of targets for improvement are created.  This is then fed back to the whole class and students are given targets appropriate to them. The sheet is photocopied and stuck into books so students are able to see what they need to do next. This has approached has also been combined with live marking in the lesson. Miss Jacobs is aiming to see 5-6 students each lesson and provide them with verbal feedback (using a highlighter to quickly highlight errors that need correcting). This has already drastically reduced workload whilst providing more frequent, actionable feedback to students.

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Mr Bates (Music) – Year 8 students were engaged in deliberate practice. They working on a short piece of recorded music where they were attempting to recreate the Wallace & Grommet theme music. Mr Bates was circulating the class providing lots of actionable verbal feedback which was enabling students to think about and improve their work. This was a mixture of direct instruction and questioning to support further development. Students were all very proud of what they had produced and very keen to get visitors to listen to their work!

Mr Thompson (Maths) – Year 7 students were studying number sequences and in particular looking at whether a sequence was linear or not. Mr Thompson used questioning to get students thinking about the process of identifying a linear sequence, looking out for any ‘red herrings’ that may throw them off the scent. This was a great way to challenge misconceptions and address them with students. Students responded well despite finding it challenging.

Mr Browne (Maths) – Year 7 students had been working on sequences of number. Although this was right at the end of the lesson, Mr Browne had been getting students to practice their understanding by applying a method to working out the next numbers in a sequence. This form of practice is really useful for students to think hard about their learning. As always Mr Browne’s class was very calm and purposeful which is a good sign of strong routines and high expectations.

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Deliberate practice in year 7 Maths.

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