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Is this LO somehow wrong?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by minnieminx, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    The LO for an observed lesson (not mine) is: Use (amazing) adjectives

    One criticism was that the LO wasn't 'tight' enough. The class was a year 2 (not mine so I don't know exactly how the lesson panned out) and the LA children finished off sentence starters with an adjective and noun. The MA wrote sentences with an adjective and noun and the MA paragraphs with adjectival phrases and some similes. The focus was on the adjectives used.

    The context was arrival on the deck of the Titanic in Southampton and using senses to describe the scene.
    What should the LO have been to be 'tighter'?

    And apparently the lesson wasn't ok for year 2 either. What else could children have done to make it better? There was drama, pair talk, whiteboard work, modelling of writing and all sorts before the children actually wrote.
     
  2. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Sorry, can't help, but would love to know myself. Have got a lesson on next week where my LO with yr2 is to write descriptively. We'll be planning the next part of George's marvellous medicine where the medicine is cooked, so I'll b mixing bicarbonate/vinegar, mentos in coke etc to spark th imagine. Using talk partners and whiteboards to come up with adjectives. More able using thesauruses to improve colour adjectives etc, middle group to use similes and alliteration, less able using given adjectives to make interesting sentences. Not actually gonna do any writing, as it's a planning lesson for th next day. This has got me worried about what I'm going to do!
     
  3. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    I've no experience of teaching Y2, apart from music, so can't really answer the last part of your question.
    Do you think it might just have been that the LO should have been 'Use (amazing) adjectives to describe the sights and sounds of Southampton dock'. This way the teacher is being a bit more specific about the focus of the writing.
    Possibly, but this may be too much (forgive me if I am completely wrong) - could the HA group have used comparative or superlative adjectives - even if those actual terms weren't used?
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Well it could have been something similar 'Use adjectives to describe the atmosphere on the deck' but then that is actually a description of the task, not the learning isn't it?

    We keep being told, over and over and over and over again, not to describe the task in LOs (not that I think I ever really did, but this is the mantra put out repeatedly and generally by SLT) but to be specific about what we we want the children to learn.

    I don't know the class at all really so I don't know what they could achieve, but I would expect top year 2s to be able to use comparative sentences yes, but maybe not with similes and adjectival phrases as well.
     
  5. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    There is a real danger in this type of lesson that the children know 20 adjectives, appear in the lesson and tell you the 20 adjectives they know while talking about the docks, and go home with precisely the same knowledge they started with. To show progress (which is all that OFSTED are really bothered about), they would need to have some 'gain'. There is likely to have been some incidental gains (ie children hearing other children use new words), but very little teacher control over whether Jimmy actually went home with a new word in his vocabulary.
    I would either have had a lesson structure where they were provided with a bank of new words to use (perhaps from previous reading), or perhaps they could have used the adjectives in new sentence structures ... in which case I would have made this clear in the LO.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    They were supposed to have been...
    Not sure I get this, sorry being thick. Do you mean the LO would have been to 'use a variety of sentence structures' (Not sure I can put this in 6yo child speak) but include the use of adjectives somewhere in the SC?
     
  7. zannar

    zannar New commenter

    LO and/or LI are driving me mad at the moment, so I sympathise. I think I may have put
    How to use adjectives to describe.....
    Don't know if that would have been correct either!
     
  8. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    If they were provided with words, and used them, then I would count that as progress ... perhaps the LO just needs a slight modification in that case to make it clear: To use five new adjectives in my description?
    I agree that the second example was less clear, just that if the teacher was asking them to use their existing vocabulary it could still be a valid lesson if they were applying it in new language forms (but probably not just in 'another' piece of work which happens to be about the docks).
    I can use adjectives to make my sentences more interesting, or
    I can write sentences which include adjectives
    (assuming that the class don't already do this).
    This doesn't really apply if the key teaching point was 'new' vocabulary.
    Have observed this type of lesson twice, and both times came out thinking "What did they actually learn in there?", therefore I can see some of the pitfalls if the 'new' learning is not made very explicit.
     
  9. greta444

    greta444 New commenter


    I can't see anything wrong with any of the ideas listed above.
    Y'know what? shall we all stop stressing about the small stuff and open a bottle or two?
     
  10. Well, my bottle is already open but...
    I would have used something like "I can use adjectives to improve my sentences". That way, the onus is not just on using adjectives in a sentence (which I suspect they can already do) but knowing why they should use them and how using them impacts on their writing.
    In reality, I suspect this is probably what was taught anyway, so I tend not to sweat over LOs too much! Absolutely right not to focus on the individual task though - that would be totally wrong IMO.
    I would probably have looked at up-levelling sentences using adjectives and possibly incorporated some vocab extension work to encourage use of new adjectives.
    It is perfectly possible, and desirable though, to teach a lesson on encouraging the use of the adjectives children already know the meaning of, but do not currently use in their free writing!
     
  11. To use 5 new adjectives to describe atmosphere. Obviously change number and atmosphere as needed but we are asked to have number and be exact. (but am in scotland)
     
  12. [​IMG]
     
  13. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    I'm teetotal, but I'll happily crack open the Dairy Milk.
     
  14. I understand what you mean, but for me it suggests that they only need to do it during that particular task - rather than it being something that is required across many different tasks.
    I would rather have an LO which is generically applicable than one which is too task specific but that's just me!
    For example, yesterday I taught a lesson on up-levelling sentences. We talked about why it might be important to 'up-level', used lots of different activities to reinforce and extend VCOP use, including thesaurus use, and a game involving performing different tasks to change or write sentences including certain devices to improve them.
    My LO was 'I can improve my sentences using VCOP', because I want the children to improve ALL their sentences using VCOP whenever possible!
     
  15. It strikes me that efforts to 'up-level' sentences can backfire on us when children learn a formula for doing this eg VCOP. What happens is that children apply the formula indiscriminately and the writing becomes stilted. Instead of children writing what they mean, they write in a florid way, cramming in stuff suggested by the teacher. The assumption that all sentences can be improved by VCOP is symptomatic of this, whereas looking at examples of effective sentences in context from good quality texts can show children howntonsuit their use of VCOP to purpose. Ther are lots of examples on literature where less is more, where short sentences, no adjectives, simple vocabulary does the job.The whole concept of 'up-levelling' is incredibly cynical. We are not asking children to write what they mean when we ask them to 'up-level', we are asking them to write what we want so that we can say they have gone up a level. The levels are wrong if they do not foster children's discrimination in writing, and their use of language for purpose.
     
  16. zannar

    zannar New commenter

    We have been told to ask the children at the end of the lesson, and at various other times, what they have learned and not what they have done. This means we have to ensure that the LI/LO reflects what they are going to learn and not do.
    The children do find this difficult and automatically say what they have done. It is taking practice to make sure they say what they have learned instead. They know what they have learned but find it easier to articulate their thoughts when explaining 'doing' instead of 'learning'.
    I can LOs are no longer acceptable because they state what they can do and not what they have learned.
    It does make sense but it is very time consuming.
    I too have opened the bottle so apologies if this sounds confusing. [​IMG]
     
  17. Perhaps a 'tighter' LO might have been: to be able to write effective sentences using adjectives to add detail. The emphasis would then be on choosing and using appropriate adjectives.
     
  18. This gives me the shivers. Who is telling us all this stuff has to be done in a certain way and how do they (and we) know they are right? Is it any better to do it this way? Does it really at all to children? Does it matter that one teacher might do it one way, might not do it, might do it slower, later, individually, might decide to focus on themes that the chidren express interest in and gradually add in the information and skills as they apper necessary. Bearing in mind the big picture of the overall all aims and objectives, the concepts and skills shouldn't it just be up to the teacher to relate it to their class in the way that they see fit?
    Aren't we in danger of overloading young children - year 2 are only seven after all - with a whole load of confusing objectives about what they are supposed to be learning , rather than just involving them in a good, old fashioned apprenticeship of skills being demonstrated, connected to them and given the means and opportunity to practise them. ?
    To whom are
    these no longer acceptable and why are they able to chop and change teachers, dizzying them so they don't now whether they are coming or going? What has happened to our own indpendent decision ,making? Our opportunity to decide for ourselves how and what, when and where we teach - to right lessson objectives that suit os OR NOT...that does include of course the reference to the bigger pictures but that teachers themselves are able to make those decisions.
    Are we not at the moment completely regulated by an OFSTED and school data driven measuring machine which is taking away our opportuntiies to act with sincere originality in our classroom work? Are whole school policies straight-jackets in lambs clothing marauding as maintainers of standards and consistency when all they do is restrict movement to the minimum? mmm ........I don't know but there is an awful lot of bllod being spent in the fields for this to be a peaceful game of hide and seek.

     
  19. As with all writing, this lesson is taught with context. We discuss where it is appropriate to be 'florid' and which kinds of writing don't benefit from that style. All writing will benefit from VCOP then, if it is used, as it should be, as a checklist against a style. So, instructions will benefit from connectives and punctuation, but maybe not so much from vocab.
    I don't think it's cynical to 'up-level', if you are teaching this to simply mean 'improve your writing' by meeting criteria wholly appropriate to that genre!
     
  20. I find children are taught 'use VCOP' as a blanket response when writing. In some lessons children are invited to look at examples of other children's writing and judge it by applying VCOP, levelling it accordingly. This is not applying anything in context, it is applying it as a formula for 'good' writing.
     

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