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MARCH 2012



The first few minutes of a lesson are crucial. They set the tone for what is to come. Here are ten terrific tips for getting off to a smooth start ... TOP TEN TIPS! 1. Act as ‘gatekeeper’. Stand at the door, letting students in one at a time. This will not only minimise corridor disruption but will also create a purposeful start to the lesson. You can smile, frown, have a quiet word, give a warning, hold a student back, instead of letting them come in en masse with all their ‘baggage’. 2. Provide a TEEP style ’hook’ to engage learning immediately. Have a simple task for everyone in order to begin learning as soon as they enter the room— expect everyone to settle immediately. This gives you a chance to deal with individuals and ‘get your head together’.

3. Have clear purposeful learning objectives.

Try starting your LO with the phrase ‘By the end of this lesson you will be able to…’ This suggests to students that there is a purpose to the learning and that they will have experienced success in the end. Try to have them written up on the board/attached to PowerPoint before the students come in. 4. Link the L.0 to the ‘big picture’ of the their learning. Remind students what’s gone before and inform them what’s coming after and how it all adds up to success in the forthcoming assessment. This helps students see the relevance of the current work . 5. Differentiate Learning objectives. If you find this a struggle, look at the ’Upwardly mobile’ model overleaf. This lets students know that they will be able to achieve, and it encourages them to aspire. 6. Never talk over chatter—wait until you have complete silence. Play the waiting game— stop and wait for silence. It is tempting to shout but don’t say anything. Some teachers have a signal, for example , raising a hand, to show they are

waiting. It’s important not to look bored, angry or frustrated—this only gives the unsettled students the incentive to carry on being unsettled. 7. Don’t always stand at the front—position yourself near to potential disruptive students. At the start and during the lesson, move around the classroom. Show the students that you are in control of the entire classroom. Standing at the back of the classroom is sometimes effective as students never know quite where you are! 8. Involve students as teachers. Ask one or two random students to explain to you (and therefore the whole class) what everyone has to do before anyone is allowed to start. If this is done regularly, students will soon get the idea that they could be chosen at random at any time during the lesson. This will improve their concentration and listening skills. 9. Deadlines to aid pace. Give a deadline for the first task. This creates a sense of pace and a sense that you are firmly in charge. You could use a countdown timer on the IWB or just simply use a good old fashioned clock! Make sure you keep to the deadlines. Students

will quickly spot if you say something you do not mean. 10. Be positive! By human nature, it is very difficult to act negatively towards someone who is so positive towards you. Give upbeat messages about students’ abilities and the learning planned for the lesson. This does not mean that you have to lie to students! Say comments like ‘I know today’s work is challenging but I have faith in you that you can all master it’. Alternatively, use reverse psychology . Set students a challenge and tell them that it is so difficult that you would be surprised if anyone could do it (without being derogatory). You will be surprised how hard students will work to prove you wrong! Don’t give the impression that you are reluctantly accepting learning that is being forced on you via the national curriculum. Instead, let the students know that you are in charge and have reworked national curriculum or BTEC/GCSE obligations, designing personalised, tailor-made activities just for them.

GOOD LUCK  Article based on ‘The Teacher’s Toolkit’ by Paul Ginnis.

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Idea taken from ‘The Teacher’s Toolkit’, by Paul Ginnis. What? This is a more sophisticated approach for a student to achieve to his or her own highest level. As the name suggests, it encourages learners to better themselves by climbing the ladder of achievement. The design and delivery depends on clear learning objectives differentiated to three levels (Must, should, could). How? In the planning stage, you have to decide on the minimum learning needed for the essentials of the subject. This becomes the must target, which all students are expected to achieve. You then decide on two levels of sophistication: the should (most students) and could (some students) targets.

‘UPWARDLY MOBILE’ Why? The intention is to create a structure that invites students to aim high. If you tell students what the minimum is—this is all you have to do - then that’s all they will do. On the other hand, if you tell students what the maximum is, that’s what they want to go for. Peer pressure may hold them back but inside, among their secure thoughts and feelings, almost all students want to be successful. ALL STUDENTS MUST



Learning Objective 1…..

Learning Objective 2….

Learning Objective 3….

Link to level/grade?

Link to level/grade?

Link to level/grade?

Be able to describe how a vaccine is given and what basic effect it has.

Be able to explain that both Be able to explain the effect disease and a vaccination of vaccination on the body’s involve microbes entering immune system. the body.




Teacher hot-seated in role as a doctor

Read and digest an information sheet

Work out key questions in order to research




Draw a six-frame storyboard of a child’s vaccination against measles and what happens during an outbreak

Construct a labelled diagram from the above text

Prepare (alone or in pairs) a 2-3 minute presentation to the whole class, including visual aids. (Could deliver as a starter in a future lesson or plenary)




Match sentence halves

Teacher explanation to individuals and small groups

Paired reading of challenging text based on effects of vaccination




Put the completed sentences in chronological order

Label a pre-drawn diagram

Create a model (if resources allow)/diagram of the effect of vaccination on the immune system

LEARNING ACTIVITY: these vary in style across the three targets PROOF ACTIVITY: a way of showing that the learning has been acquired LOOP ACTIVITY: to have a go at the same learning in a different style if it wasn’t grasped the first time SECOND PROOF ACTIVITY: in a different style to the first

Learning and Teaching Newsletter March 2012