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Learning objective every lesson?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by angrypixie, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

    I went into work today at half term and prepared about 5 powerpoints for my year 9 lessons. It took me most of the day. However, I know that this work is enought to last them the whole half term. Do you have LOs for every lesson or do you find that some can last a week? Based on what I did today would mean that I would have to work everyday every holiday to prepare effectively. I have been a teacher for over 30 years and only just going back to it. Only teaching a few lessons a week at the mo (working as an LSA) but likely to be asked to do 3 days a week next year.As an English teacher I don't feel I can manage unless I am fully planned for every half term so that my working week which I plan to make 4 days, can be used for marking, etc.Am I going mad or is this the reality of my workload?
  2. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Occasional commenter

    We used to have a big question (a learning objective that lasted per half term or project) and then success criteria that changed for each lesson.

    In my new school we just have learning objectives but many of my lessons are similar to the old format due to the nature of my subject. No one seems to mind because the success criteria are differentiated and show clear logical progression for students.
    install and phlogiston like this.
  3. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    It is clearly ridiculous. In many subjects like MFL and maths practise is a large part of what we do. I was told a lesson could never be outstanding unless something new was introduced. This is nonsense. An hour spent practising the perfect tense in a variety of ways is perfectly valid to a linguist but not necessarily to a non linguist Slt.
    josepea, Catgirl1964, bevdex and 6 others like this.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    No harm in reinforcing learning objectives in different contexts. Tweak them round the edges to make them look different.
    Also think, what will you say to the child (particularly if they're at the top end of the class) who asks "why are we doing this again"? That gives you your tweak.
    esther30 likes this.
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Having read the research base for the DFE and OFSTED there is clear guidance (though you should be wary of any 'what ofsted want' guidance).

    For the sequence of lessons there should be two clear outcomes: what they will know and recall, and what they will be able to do - by the end of the sequence of lessons.

    This can’t be measured in a single lesson. The learning has to be revisited and assessment of learning built in along with re teaching of that which hasn’t been mastered.

    Thus single lesson objectives are pointless. Rather, why the lesson is being taught in the sequence is what is needed, but that information is for curriculum planning rather than being shared with pupils.
    streetno9, Piranha, dodie102 and 5 others like this.
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I can't teach glycolysis, Krebs' cycle and oxidative phosphorylation in one lesson - it'll be a series of lessons, with understanding of the whole of respiration pathways as an objective for the lot.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I think they're a great idea.

    If the flippin' teacher doesn't even know what the point of the lesson is? How can the kids trust you to know your business? I always told my guys to ask me at any point if they weren't clear why they were doing what I'd asked them to do. If I couldn't explain it briefly to my and their satisfaction? Then I wasn't properly prepared. Not doing my job.

    And if you can't express your objectives in language they understand? Why not? How on earth are you going to be able to communicate anything to them?
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Does Mo Farah have to have a new objective spelled out to him every time he steps out onto the track?
  9. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

    To be fair one learning objective can last a week in English, especially as I teach a very weak group who probably won't even do GCSE so, to be honest, it is hard to see any progress as they can't retain much information and can barely read and write! A lot of SEN. I am just worried that when I go back properly in Sept I will be working all through each holiday just to keep up. A few LOs and powerpoints keep this group going for half a term but with other groups that's only a week's planning and it took me all day!
  10. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

    Thanks. This makes a lot of sense. As an LSA I see a lot if different teachers. Some have one every lesson, some sporadically and some not at all!
  11. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

    What do you teach?
  12. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Have you looked on the resources section in TES...or googled "powerpoint about....". I'm not very keen on computers and have neither the time or inclination to make many of my own but I've found some great ones online and often you can edit them to fit your own lesson. Saves loads of time.
  13. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    LO are edubabble to me.
    I tell the students what they are going to be learning/doing every lesson but do not feel the need to write any of this on the board under LO.
    Nor do I feel students copying it into their books is a useful way for them to spend their time.
    It's a tick box exercise.
    We never had LOs when I was at school.......................and I always understood what I was being taught, nor did we have them when I first started teaching, and my students always knew what they were being taught.
    Why do we have to label EVERYTHING these days? Are people that thick they need a label?
  14. pair_of_argyles

    pair_of_argyles Occasional commenter

    I really don't understand this.
    Doesn't everyone start off lessons with a variant of

    Last time we....
    Today we are going to (start/continue/finish off) learning about ...and will cover these specific points ....

    Then conclude the lesson with something like

    Next time ...

    O.K. I've always called them objectives - as my 1980s PGCE course suggested we do. Also had them written out on blackboards > OHP >powerpoint etc

    But, as has been said, to drift into a lesson with seemingly no real point or purpose, does not - dare I say it - seem very productive or indeed professional

    BTW Mo ,as with most professional athletes, will have a clear set of well defined objectives for every single run/practice/exercise that he does
    JJ83, bevdex and BelleDuJour like this.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    I'm pretty sure he knows exactly what he wants to achieve.

    I will beat yesterday's time by 0.5.
    I will lift 2 kg more than yesterday.
    My BP at the end of the session won't exceed 130/70.
    My resting heart rate today won't rise above 55.
    My exercise heart rate won't go above 115.

    For absolute sure.

    And I always told my guys I'd failed if I couldn't explain to them why they ought to do what I was telling them to do. They had to see the sense in it. There's no way I'm doing anything for no good reason and neither should they! Give me a valid reason or I don't waste my time. That way you get good behaviour. They see the bloody point! It clicks. So that's why we're doing this. OK, I get it.

    You don't necessarily have to write it on the board. But you sure as hell have to be clear in your own head why you're doing what you're doing. And be prepared, at any moment, to justify yourself. And "Well, people, this is the way I've always done it," simply isn't good enough.

    They are entitled to ask, "Why the eff are we even doing this?" I wish more kids would! Don't be a sheep. Ask me! Confront me. I can convert you. I can make you see the point.
    JJ83 likes this.
  16. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    But Mo knows that doing x on day 2 does not mean he will always be able to do y on day 3. He might ....and he might on day 16....and there again he might never be able to achieve y. This is the problem with our education culture. Everything we do leads kids to believe that life is a series of steps leading to a goal that all can achieve and this is misleading. We need to teach kids resilience, patience, how making mistakes can lead to creativity and also that goals can change along the way. A lesson which starts on topic x might well lead very usefully onto a very different path with an interesting question. I accept that we need to say: today we are practising writing in the past about holidays. However it is a waste of my time and theirs copying out a series of subheadings.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. madcatlady

    madcatlady Occasional commenter

    Secondary. When I make a presentation I put the objective on every slide, at the bottom. I try to keep it simple. But it could be the same or very similar over several lessons...
    alexmurraybrown likes this.
  18. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Of course there has to be an objective to every lesson, even if it is repeated or built upon in the next lesson (or lessons).

    If a lesson has no objective, what is its purpose?
    JJ83 and install like this.
  19. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

  20. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    You are conflating two ideas.

    What is the purpose of the lesson? (This purpose is feeding into a bigger overarching aim of knowing, recalling and being able to do).

    And a learning objective. You can’t explicitly state what they will learn in the lesson because the learning might not be that small and until you revisit it and check their longer term memory you don’t know if they have learned it.

    The purpose of the lesson as a subset of a sequence of lessons should be, as the earlier poster said, be able to be articulated quickly and in straight forward language to a pupil.

    We are learning about the restoration era because it is the context for the play we are going to be studying.

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