Reviewing 2019 – Lesson Principles and Structures

As we are currently heading towards the end of 2019 it naturally brings us all to a point of reflection. The year personally has been the year where I have put myself out there in the world of twitter and this has helped me personally rebuild a confidence which had been shot due to a previous leadership role eating up my entire existence at times. I feel very fortunate to be the other side of it now and have a real appreciation of how all encompassing this job can be. Its a brilliant profession to be part of but equally a real challenge in finding the time to do it well and also ensure that the job does not become your life. Make sure you look after yourself and your family as you have to be 100% physically and mentally right to deliver in the classroom or as a leader.

I wrote a blog entitled – Maths Lesson Principles and Structures towards the end of the summer to attempt to pull together the threads from my reading over the summer and how this could effect my classroom practice. I summarised it with the table below:

Before I continue to reflect can I make clear that I have not developed half of the ideas summarised in the table above particularly the use of examples/non-examples, Frayer models and Quizzing as my previous would have tried to fit these in as well as my other work but I am beginning to improve my ability to select a few areas at a time. I am still far from perfect in this area and it remains a weakness with nights disappearing as I have got enthused by another area to develop!

As I reflect on my own practice over this first term I think the above tabular, linear format does a disservice to some of these particular principles and structures. I know at times I try to make educational ideas ‘neat and tidy’ and the above format appears to suggest the 5 areas linearly run one after the other… Do a Connect then into teaching then some guided practice. What I have come to realise this term is that based on what I am observing in front of me in class I have to be flexible to change course in lesson based on what students are indicating. I have a interesting short exchange with @mrblachford on twitter recently:

This got me thinking about the best staff that taught me. There were no powerpoints, just excellent examples, explanations and relationships. I know with the dawn of the flipchart, powerpoint etc.. you have the ability in the press of a button to display a boat load of information on the next slide irrespective of the progress which you are seeing in the room. I know I have felt a daft pressure in the classroom to move onto the next slide as I planned to cover 15 in the full lesson and the students were not making the progress that I expected. At my current workplace the main server went down for a day and with a pen and the whiteboard I think I taught some of my best lessons as I had to really focus on the quality of my explanation and was a lot more reactive as I was creating questions to complete based on what progress I was seeing.

In this next term I want to personally complete a lot of work on assessing instant in lesson ‘performance’ and long-term ‘learning’ so have included this in a continual section looking at assessment structures.

Over the coming term I will be focussed on assessing ‘learning’ and not failing for single lesson ‘performance’ as a indicator of progress. The weekly ramblings from the classroom blog posts will be focussed on this area and other teaching structures i’ll be trying/developing.

Here’s to 2020!

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