Tagged: Lesson

‘Quick wins’ #7 – Differentiated SMART objectives

Why?To raise achievement in my Year 12 and Year 13 classes, I knew that this year I needed to have an embedded exam focus in all my lessons and not just at the end of topics. At the same time, I also felt that the trend for differentiated learning objectives that are leveled or graded in every lesson was becoming meaningless for my students who knew full well that the learning that we were going to cover in a singular lesson would not mean that they were going to achieve a ‘C’ or ‘B’ grade by the end of that lesson. My objectives needed to become SMART: measurable and achievable steps to success with a focus on practicing exam skills and demonstrating exam knowledge in every lesson.

Possible solution. SMART objectives: differentiated objectives that are set within an achievable context of progress towards full marks in a specific exam question by the end of the lesson.

Differentiated SMART objective with achievable outcomes.

Differentiated SMART objective with achievable outcomes.

Resources.

I adapted a lesson objectives template to refer to marks towards a specific exam question rather than overall grades as outcomes, using the mark scheme for that question to guide my wording, which allowed students to very clearly see the success criteria needed to achieve each progressive band of marks.

Outcome.
Students felt a real sense of success as suddenly they could very specifically measure their progress in the lesson and in real, achievable terms for that lesson, work steadily towards gaining increasingly more marks. The objectives were the launch pad for regular AfL opportunities – I kept returning to them and asking students how many marks they thought they had gained so far after the last activity and then saying to them ‘prove it’. This then led into lots of self and peer assessment opportunities where students used different coloured highlighters to highlight evidence of where they were picking up the marks for different skills or knowledge in their work, and we could then discuss what the colour patterns of their highlighted work revealed about where they were not picking up the marks. By the end of the lesson, students were very confident about how to gain full marks for that question and able to reflect well on what had held them back from gaining full marks. The next lesson then looks at a different exam question but covering the same topic so students have the opportunity to repeat this pattern of learning over again and secure higher marks after reflection from the first time around.

Post submitted by:

Domini Choudhury
Assistant Principal

#neverstoplearning

‘Quick wins’ #3 – ‘Roll a plenary’

roll a plenary grid

‘Roll a plenary’ grid – great way to engage students in reflecting upon what they have learnt in a lesson.

Why? Plenaries should be one of the most important parts of a lesson where the teacher assesses the progress students have made during the lesson and begins to plan the direction of future lessons. Sometimes we just run out of time and plenaries end up being a quick round of questioning before the bell goes. How do teachers plan for more rigorous plenaries that examine the learning that has taken place whilst empowering students to work independently and lead their learning?

Possible solution? ‘Roll a plenary’ grid:

A grid of different plenary activities that students select by rolling dice. All you need to do is…

1. Get a class set laminated.

2. Get some dice.

3. Ask students to roll dice over grid to select a personalised plenary.

Resources.

roll a plenary (PDF)

roll a plenary editable (docx)

Outcome. Allows students to take ownership and feel empowered to show what they have learnt during a lesson. This grid can be further developed to include differentiated tasks using blooms stems/solo levels. The grid supplied is generic but the editable version can be tailored to any subject.

Post submitted by:

@ASTsupportAAli & @tombrush1982

@ASTsupportAAli’s Blog

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘Roll a plenary’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.

‘Quick wins’ #2 – Engaging starters

Why? The start of a lesson is extremely important for engaging students and getting them ‘hooked’ on the learning that is about to take place. It’s tough to do on a consistent basis. It needs lots of creativity from the teacher when planning the lesson and requires the teacher to know their students.

Below is a summary of a #UKEdChat hosted on Twitter earlier this year with contributions by teachers from around the UK.


Date of UKEdChat: Thursday 5th September 2013

Host: Jon Tait @TeamTait

Topics discussed:

What is your number 1 starter activity for engaging students as soon as they walk through your door?

What is the 1 routine in your classroom that you couldn’t live without?

Which top tip from tonight’s discussion are you going to use tomorrow?

Notable Tweets:

@teachertonytips Engaging question on a slip of paper given to kids in the queue outside classroom.
@gceyre A Mystery – keep the students guessing and wanting to find out more.
@with_ict Must work harder after assembly. Kids hold it together during and are often in need of an active exciting task afterwards.
@with_ict After lunch register, response is giving a number out of 10 to show mood/feeling. It gives a good indication of playground drama.
@georgeEblack After lunch, sympathise with them (who isn’t sleepy after lunch) have shorter tasks prepared, plan accordingly, build in down time.

Tweet of the Week:

@ReachPsychology Be mindful that some Friday afternoon non-engagement behaviours are not about your lesson. Not every pupil loves the weekend!

Resource: 

Engaging starter tweets – Archive supplied by @ukedchat. Contains lots of ideas for engaging starters!!


Post submitted by:

@ukedchat

UKEdChat’s site

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how any of these engaging starters worked for you and your students. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.