Bright spots // Friday 15th September
Mr Thompson (Maths) – First lesson back and Mr Thompson was straight back in with some Maths! Students were learning about the axis of a graph and how to work out the incremental values. Mr Thompson used a mixture of live modelling and questioning to help students understand the process of identifying the values and then carrying out a calculation. He made great use of ‘wait time’ in his questioning to give students a chance to think about and consider an answer before rushing into an answer.
Ms Harvey (Science) – Year 7 students were at the beginning of their first Science lesson and Ms Harvey was articulating her expectations to the students. One of the ways in which she communicated this was through a sample Science page that students stuck into the front of their books. The sample page modelled high expectations of presentation but also quality Science work. This can then be referred back to at the start of piece of Science work. Great, simple idea that is being used across the Science team.
Mr Fraser (Maths) – Year 10 students were revisiting ratios. Mr Fraser spent some time modelling the process whilst he explained to help students secure their understanding. He then made use of questioning to check understanding and identify any misconceptions that could be addressed with the class. The standard of work in books was high – great presentation!
Ms Simmons (Technology) – Year 7 students were starting a project on materials by learning about the different types of materials available to use in their project. This part of the lesson was focused on very deliberate practice. The resource below prompted students to perform very specific practice. Whilst students were working Ms Simmons circulated the room providing live feedback (a great strategy for improving learning without increasing workload) to students.
Mr Rogers (Science) – Mr Rogers has his first lesson with a new year 7 class. This started with some work around lab safety. Students were given an image of a lab which included a number of different accidents. Students had to interpret this information and think hard about possible rules that could be used to prevent these accidents from happening. Mr Rogers checked student understanding through a series of questions where he always expected students to give a reason for their answer and speak in a loud voice so that other students could hear the response.
Mr Buck (Science) – Mr Buck also had a year 7 class and was delivering a similar lesson to Mr Rogers. Mr Buck used questioning to assess student understanding and address any misconceptions. Students focused well and listened in silence, which enabled Mr Buck to provide clear instructions. Students worked hard and asked questions if they were stuck – great start to the year!
Ms Jenkins (Science) – Year 7 has already completed their lab safety and were listening inventively to Ms Jenkins explain the difference between tissue and cells. Following this students were asked to write down their understanding of these terms in their own words and include an example. Expectations were really high and Ms Jenkins expected much from the students. The lesson focused on the key word terminology which once mastered will enable students to tackle more complex scientific knowledge.
Mr Day (Maths) – Year 7 students were being introduced to ratios. Mr Day had just finished an explanation about ratios and was mid way through questioning the class. He made great use of the TLAC strategy ‘wait time’ so that students had time to think about and construct an answer. Following a question he would wait for up to 30 seconds for students to construct an answer and a then raise their hand. Once he had a sea of hands he would then select a student to answer and encourage other students to build on the first answer. Great strategy for getting more students to contribute an answer!
Mrs Coke (Maths) – Year 7 students were working on probability and ratio. Mrs Coke was using a relevant, real life example to explain to students the meaning of probability and chance. She posed questions like “If Manchester Utd played BBA’s Year 11 football team tomorrow, what are the chances of Year 11 winning?” A concrete example that students are likely to have some background knowledge of which will help them to understand the concept. Mrs Coke also used the example of weather forecasting and how the BBC weather website provides a percentage chance of rain – another concrete example for students rooted in their background knowledge.
Mr Browne (Maths) – Year 7 were being put through paces with some knowledge recall of key vocabulary. Unusual to see in a maths lesson, but the focus was on key words and their meaning. Mr Browne would select students from around the class and ask them to explain what a key term meant. If students didn’t get it right first time Mr Browne provided support and they would do it again and again until they got it right. The same to key words were repeated several times around the room until the students knew them. Great way to embed vocabulary, the importance of which cannot be underestimated!
Ms Khahra (English) – Year 7 students were reading about the story of a Greek myth. As Ms Khahra read, the students followed the text highlighting any words that they did not understand. Ms Khahra paused from time to time to ask students comprehension questions about the text to assess understanding of what had been read. This form of ‘reading in lessons’ is a great way to get students reading difficult texts and a model that other subjects could easily adopt.