I have the privilege of visiting dozens of classrooms across different schools every year, to see new teachers teach and training teachers in there placement schools.
Each is a different experience and I always take something from it to improve my own practice. I do find that the feedback is always different, but there are some key themes that I tend to come back to more often than not.
This is blog one on things I often give feedback on (see blogs on behaviour and boardwork later in the series)
Setting up an activity is crucial for teaching, it gives you valuable time in the lesson to prowl like a tiger and hear what the pupils are saying and gain valuable AfL.
If you want the pupils who are keen to get on with the task to get on with the task you need to be clear in your mind of 5 things, but often trainees only give pupils the first and not all of the others.
1 What is the task? What are you doing? – read this sheet and makes some notes, look at this graph of x and y, do these questions, calculate the rate,
2 How are you working, what is the mode? is it a pair talk activity, or in silence or as a debate, (or hands up, or cold call) or talk about it together and write it on your own..
3. What will it look like when it is done? – you will each have this table in your books which looks like this, or is on the handout, or there will be 3 sentences using these key words, etc each pair will have a table of results, ..
4. How long will you have to complete it? is this a deliberate ‘exaclty 3mins 35 seconds with a timer’ or have you got a more vague sense of time in mind and you will tell them when they are half way, and 2 minutes to go.
5. How does it link to the rest of the lesson / topic and help pupils think about the key ideas.