Depending on what course you are following to achieve your QTS, you will all be at slightly different starting points. Don't worry - you will catch up very soon!
Some of you will have had the opportunity to observe plenty of lessons and will have seen examples of how a good lesson should be planned.
Some of you may have been studying the theory of lesson planning and how this should look in the classroom.
Some of you may have even started to deliver part of a lesson, or even a whole lesson.
Certainly by Christmas, you will all be planning lessons and delivering them to one or more year groups in at least one key stage!
The most important part of designing your learning intentions is that the students need to know what they are too.
It is all very well deciding what you want them to learn and then just delivering the lesson...but if the students aren't included in this knowledge you will be missing a large learning opportunity!
We learn best when we
- Know what we are going to be learning
- Know what success looks like
- Understand what we are going to be doing to be successful!
So you need to share these outcomes with the students.
Different ways of sharing outcomes
- You may want to have them listed on the board when the students arrive,
- You may want to do the starter activity first, and then discuss what they will be learning
- You may want to set a question as a starter and tell them they will be finding out the answers during the lesson...
How you do it is up to you - and variety is important too, so don't do the same thing every lesson! The key though is how you will know if the students have met the outcomes you set: what is the success criteria?
- They can share their knowledge in a presentation to the class
- They can successfully compete in a quiz at the end of the lesson
- They can complete a chart which asks for certain elements that they will be learning about
- They can show their knowledge in a piece of independent work - possibly something you set for homework.
Once you have shared the outcomes, and the success criteria - you should explain what they will be doing in the lesson to be able to reach that stage.
We can relax into the learning when we know the route we will be taking to get there. Sometimes you may want to surprise them - this is exciting too - but you always need to think about what will help them to remember what they will be learning.
Connect – lesson outcomes are described and connections are made to prior learning or existing experiences.
Activate – students make sense of the knowledge through specific activities. This is the bulk of the lesson to enable the students to engage in the learning.
Demonstrate – the students can now demonstrate their new knowledge. They have learnt something and are expected to apply that knowledge.
Consolidate – also known as the review or plenary. Students articulate what they have learnt and how they have learnt it.
Some examples of how you may share this with the students.
1. A group task to find out information, followed by some independent learning and then presenting their information to the class.
2. A task based on source material in the book which they will complete with a partner, followed by a group activity to find out more information, finishing with a quiz – where they set the questions for the other groups
Working in this way, where the student is aware of how they will be learning and what success looks like, means they will be able to take more responsibility for their own learning – a position that you should work hard to achieve as a teacher.
Note how in each of these examples it explains what the students will be expected to do to show they have met the outcomes.
I find it useful to consider how I learn best. I did not enjoy being set an assignment, for example, without knowing - before I started - what I needed to do to get a good grade!
And still, when I go on courses, I like knowing how long we have for each task and what it will lead on to. Then I can make the most of each minute!
When planning, ask yourself
- What will the students have learned that they did not know before?
- How will they demonstrate that they have met the learning intentions?
- How can I share with the students what success will look like (and avoid simply focusing on task completion)?
1. How the lesson structure fits into the model outlined above. In your reflections consider how successful this was, and if there are occasions it does not work.
2. How the starter connects to either the previous lesson, or to the current lesson. Examine different types of starter and which engage the students the best.
3. How does the teacher share the success criteria? How to students make sense of this?
EVIDENCE: Each of these will be good evidence for your portfolio when you link what you have observed with lessons you plan yourself.
Dr Sharon Williams
Sharon has spent many of her 33 years in secondary education working with trainee teachers.
She has mentored trainees, trained mentors ... and has developed and delivered mentoring and coaching programmes in schools.
Countless trainee teachers have benefited directly from working alongside Sharon, or the mentors she has trained - and all have successfully passed their training year!
How to make the most of observing.
Behaviour management - there are two ways of looking at it...
Behaviour management - some tips to help you.
It's all firsts!
Planning for positive behaviour for learning.
Where the real learning takes place.
How to observe - questioning.
How to observe - collaborative learning.
Using video to increase the power of your mentor meetings.
Assessment - what does it mean to you? What does it mean to your students?
Lesson planning 1: Learning outcomes and success criteria
Lesson planning 2: Starters and plenaries and why they are so important to the learning process
Lesson planning 3: Differentiation - what is it and how do I do it?
Establish routines for you and the students - and have a calm week
Student routines - another step towards becoming a good teacher
What is learning and how can I plan for it?
Collaborative Group Work
Keeping On Top
Starters And Plenaries
Video Observations: An Eye On Learning