Sunday 2 December 2012

Teaching Tips # 3 Ideas to Improve Your Lesson

From Good to Outstanding
Simple ideas to improve the lesson

  • Create thought provoking starter activities – have it ready as soon as they arrive on the desk/whiteboard – get them to start as latecomers arrive.                                                           
    • If you were a ….what would you be and why?
    • What do these three things have in common and why?
  • Use learning objectives: colour coded to help students realise progression from green to orange to red means difficulty increases.
  • Use learning objectives not task based objectives.

o   define/recall/describe/summarise           (green L/O)
o   explain/compare/discuss/compose           (orange L/O)
o   analyse/evaluate/investigate                (red L/O)

  • Refer to learning objectives consistently throughout the lesson – not just the beginning and the end.
  • Use hinge point questions (questions to test understanding before allowing students to move on to the next learning objective)
  • Have clipboard with assessment checklist sheet on the desk to record your observation consistently.
  • Make sure your resources are creative and have learning objectives on the board so students know where they are in the lesson.
  • Step back from being the expert in the class from time to time and let students show their ability to learn independently. Try to work as a facilitator especially with grades 5-8
  • Use different types of activities from lesson to lesson – aim to keep students on their toes each lesson so they do not know what to expect.
  • Re-model tasks verbally to help differentiate – you can verbally scaffold tasks for individual students without having to have 8 zillion different worksheets.
  • Ensure that you speak to every student in the room at least once during a lesson( ask them a question, praise them, comment on their work).
  • If students simply aren't getting the content of your lesson try to re-model and re-shape your learning objectives and lesson.
  • Ask probing, open-ended questions – ask them to the students without their hands up- even better- apply a no hands up policy from time to time.
  • Be consistent with behaviour rules/discipline with every student in the class.
  • Ensure you know where the learners are with their progression (use post it notes).
  • Always have an extension task or two ready – students should never run out of work to complete.
  • ALWAYS prepare independent class work and HOMEWORK for the covered learning objective(s). From :