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What makes a lesson good?? Or outstanding??Is it measurable??

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Happy Chappy, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Hi
    With Ofsted visit looming again this year (as we were graded only satisfactory), the Head inspections have started again as so to keep an eye what is going on and to needlessly worry staff and put them under even more pressure. Last year I was graded a good teacher on first day of inspection and then a satisfactory teacher the next!!
    I always share L.O and SC with children. We double check during starter what is expected- aims throughout lesson, chn are making good progress (for where we are in year so far) and we always have a plenary where we review what we have done, and chn self assess themselves (mainly done as chn are only Year 1). I always try to use ICT and all work is differentiate. I was once told that I was not using AFL strategies enough as it couldn't be spotted- not too sure what this is supposed to mean. Can anyone shed any light on this?

    Please could someone- give me an outline of a good Year 1 lesson (literacy or maths) as I am struggling with pace of lesson as SMT would like to keep starters to 10 mins max which doesn't give you a lot of time to introduce topic/activities etc especially in Maths when sometimes mental starter will be separate from main teaching activity, and I can see chn becoming bored from sitting on carpet!
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Hi
    With Ofsted visit looming again this year (as we were graded only satisfactory), the Head inspections have started again as so to keep an eye what is going on and to needlessly worry staff and put them under even more pressure. Last year I was graded a good teacher on first day of inspection and then a satisfactory teacher the next!!
    I always share L.O and SC with children. We double check during starter what is expected- aims throughout lesson, chn are making good progress (for where we are in year so far) and we always have a plenary where we review what we have done, and chn self assess themselves (mainly done as chn are only Year 1). I always try to use ICT and all work is differentiate. I was once told that I was not using AFL strategies enough as it couldn't be spotted- not too sure what this is supposed to mean. Can anyone shed any light on this?

    Please could someone- give me an outline of a good Year 1 lesson (literacy or maths) as I am struggling with pace of lesson as SMT would like to keep starters to 10 mins max which doesn't give you a lot of time to introduce topic/activities etc especially in Maths when sometimes mental starter will be separate from main teaching activity, and I can see chn becoming bored from sitting on carpet!
    Thanks in advance
     
  3. Your headteacher has every right to observe you - if they didn't, how could they report on standards of teaching in their school?
    You weren't graded a good teacher and then a satisfactory one, you are graded on each lesson, one was good the next one not so!?
    Your lessons sound dull. Try actually getting the children to move, take them outside, inject some creativity into your lessons. Use talking partners or adopt a no hands-up policy in your classroom. There is no magic answer - a generic good lesson plan doesn't exist. You should look at your medium term plans and create opportunities for children to enhance their learning. It's your responsibility to stop them being bored by exciting them.
     
  4. The main things to remember seem to be a) do the children actually learn something in the lesson, does their learning progress in some way (all of them) and b) the pace of the lesson. There are loads of other twiddly bits though to be honest - just look at a comprehensive lesson plan and make sure all the bases are covered (AfL/Diff/Inclusion/refering to previous lessons or learning/schools SIP and focus in that subject being referred to in the lesson/marking in books being perfect including feedback for children to respond to in order to move their learning on/your Working Wall being fabulous, interactive and USED by the children/resources in the room and on desks being fab/yada yada yada). You can get the Ofsted grading criteria and use this to sort of help you (just do a google or look in the resources on here for it), however to be honest it seems to be applied so objectively that its as good as useless imho.
    We have recently been observed (all teachers in school) in Num, Lit and RE with various different results by various different people (SMT/Subject Co-ordinators/LA advisors/SIP etc) and I have come to the conclusion (which I kinda suspected before but this confirmed it) that its all a pointless waste of time. Sorry thats not wonderfully helpful, but it seems to be the case, after all, anything that is subjectively marked can only be as good as the marker, and if they haven't had the same training and are actually able to deliver that as one mind then it fails.
    With regards to AfL - keep asking questions, then push children to answer further, so ask 'why do you think that?' etc when they respond. Make it REALLY obvious apparently (everything), like you are teaching grandma to suck eggs ('Wow Tim, that is great! Yesterday you didn't know what 2+2 was, and today you have managed to give me the correct answer - well done! Can you now tell me how you worked that out?')
    Pace they love (as admitted by one of our SMT observers 'it makes it more fun and entertaining for us to watch if they are doing lots of things') - 10 mins starter here with (this is advice one of my collegues got) a 'we will go over this later' said loud and clear for the observers benefit if there isn't enough time to go over it in the 10-15 mins of the starter time, then 15-20 mins carpet, with lots of partner talk throughout, then 15 mins activity, with a reminder of sucess criteria after this time and another 5-10 mins to complete task, then a 5 min plenary at the end. Starter doesn't have to be on carpet - can be in groups at desks, can be running around the classroom, can be standing behind chairs, can be in a different seating style on the carpet, then move for the carpet input bit etc etc...
    Hope that helps a tad - remember, whilst it can be good, at the end of the day, you know what goes on in your classroom day to day and you know what you do well and what you need to work on, although it still will, try not to let it stress you :)
     
  5. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Relax! The money's the same at the end of the month! I have had a huge range of grades from observation, having seen off a large number of HTs. I don't give a monkey's what they think, because - guess what? I still get paid the same number of pound notes at the end of the month! Suck on that, HT!
     
  6. (sorry, that last bit doesn't make sense - what I meant was, whilst observations can be good, they generally aren't something to stress over, you know you best) :)
     
  7. Have a look at the outsatnding teaching wiki - lots of tips on there
     
  8. Only if you pull it together enough to keep a job though!
     
  9. I'd use thise one with caution - do you mean that you only ask targeted questions and don't ask for hands up, or that you allow any child to answer by calling out?
     
  10. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Honey, I've pulled it together enough to fool them all for nearly 20 years. Imagine my pay cheque.Numerous #satisfactory# grades have changed it not one iota.
     
  11. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Regarding ' no hands up', you just have a jar of lolly sticks on your desk, and pull one out to answer the question. You only use this jar the week Ofsted are coming. (Well maybe once a month each term, so they don't all go , "What the fruck is she on about with lolly sticks?)
     
  12. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Sorry, didn't close the speech marks there, before some numbbrain mentions it.....
     
  13. In my opinion, good lessons have 3 main elements (read the Good Ofsted descriptor and they cover it).
    APE
    A- Assessment; It is clear that the lesson is based on assement of previous learning and there is assessment and adaptation in the lesson. Be explicit- tell the children,'Last lesson we learned to... lots of you found... difficult so we today we are going to learn...' Where possible, match it to levels,
    P- Progess: Have the children learned something? Do they know, can they do or do they understand something now that they didn't at the start of the lesson (or have they consolidated something really deeply)? AND, is the progress enough? Is it the most you could get from that lesson? Again, be explicit- start by showing them somethign they can't do (a question that can't answer) and then return to it at the end of the lesson to see if they can.
    E- Engagement: Are the children actively engaged in the lesson- responding enthusiastically- ALL of them? In order to improve this, find out what they like doing. Get them to put a smiley, straight or sad face after each task so when you mark you can see if they enjoyed the task. If they enjoy it- set more tasks like it, if not- adapt.
    To make it outstanding you need most of the following: exceptional progress and attainment; deep or profound learning; high levels of independent learning; not a minute of learning time lost; a sense of awe and wonder; fun and excitement.
    Main pitfalls of satisfactory (and even inadequate) teaching:
    - unengaging activities
    - too much teacher talk
    - tasks that set a ceiling on learning (usually worksheets)
    - mismatched tasks (if children have been assessed at 3c, for example, make sure the task is at 3b)
    - lack of assessment for learning
    - significant minotiries off task
    - adults not deployed effectively (wandering and encouraging rather than teaching/intervening at the point of learning)
    - lack of independence from children and no child inititated learning
    - slow or satisfactory progress
    - lack of purpose in tasks
    - tasks which do not deliver the objectives set
    - lack of sharing of learning with the children
    - lack of self and peer assessment
    - learning objectives that are really activities

     

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