Teaching sequence

Teaching sequence for developing independence Stage 4: Practise

2013-07-19T14:12:46+01:00July 4th, 2013|Featured, learning, Teaching sequence|

What does practice make? Well, it turns out that my mum was wrong. Doug Lemov points out in Practice Perfect that practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent. What we practise we get good at. And sometimes we get very good at doing things badly. Take writing for instance. When I scribble notes I always use capital letters correctly. This isn't a boast: I just do. It would never occur to me not to, I don't even think about it. When I read students' work they invariably omit capital letters for proper nouns. Now, I rarely meet a secondary student who [...]

Teaching sequence for developing independence Stage 3: Scaffold

2013-07-19T14:15:02+01:00July 2nd, 2013|Featured, learning, Teaching sequence|

So, you've explained the new concepts and ideas students will need to know, deconstructed examples so that they know how to use these concepts in practice and you've modelled the process of how an expert would go about creating an effective example of whatever product students need to create. Surely they're now ready to be released, joyfully, on to the foothills of independent learning? No, not quite yet they're not. Everyone benefits from scaffolding to help move them from kind of knowing vaguely what to do to being confident. Confidence is key; if students lack it then they're really going to [...]

Teaching sequence for developing independence Stage 2: Model

2014-04-21T21:48:10+01:00June 30th, 2013|English, Featured, learning, Teaching sequence|

Over the past few years I've thought a lot about how and what we should teach. My journey has been long and painful. I used to evangelically promote the teaching of transferable '21st century skills' like creativity and problem solving. Now I reckon that actually these skills might be subject specific, and that solving a maths problem might be very different to solving a problem in English. And perhaps being creative in science may possibly be fundamentally different to creativity in history. I used to be firmly convinced that everything students needed to know could be outsourced to Google. Why bother learning [...]

Teaching sequence for developing independence Stage 1: Explain

2013-08-29T18:51:34+01:00June 26th, 2013|Featured, learning, Teaching sequence|

"Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog. You understand it better but the frog dies in the process." EB White There are some definite pit falls to avoid in explaining things to kids. The biggest criticism of teachers talking is that it's boring. And, generally speaking, boring kids is not a good way to get them to learn stuff. But to suggest that teachers should therefore avoid explaining their subjects to students is a bizarre leap. Surely it would be vastly more sensible to expend our efforts in improving teachers' ability to explain? This then is the aim [...]

Great teaching happens in cycles – the teaching sequence for developing independence

2016-09-25T13:35:23+01:00June 24th, 2013|Featured, learning, Teaching sequence|

Last year I wrote a post called The Anatomy of an Outstanding Lesson, which has become by far my most viewed post with almost 10,000 page views. Clearly teachers are hungry for this kind of thing. But it’s become increasingly obvious to me over the past few months that many of my notions about what might constitute an outstanding lesson have been turned on their head. It’s not so much that I was wrong, more that my understanding was incomplete. If we accept, as I’m sure we do, that as teachers we want to accomplish different things at different points in our schemes [...]

Independence vs independent learning

2013-09-28T20:12:33+01:00June 20th, 2013|literacy, myths, Teaching sequence|

Last weekend #SLTchat was on fostering students' independence. As you'd expect, there were lots of great suggestions shared, as well as some not so great ideas. One comment I tweeted in response to the idea that to promote independence we should get students learning independently got quite a lot of feedback: This seemed to really divide opinion; some people got upset with me, and some others agreed enthusiastically. Having read Daisy Chistodoulou's fabulously well-researched, cogently argued and clearly expressed eBook Seven Myths About Education, my thoughts on teacher talk and independent learning have started to coalesce. On Tuesday this week I [...]

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