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When not to use a three part lesson?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by amchugh, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. amchugh

    amchugh New commenter

    I was talking to a colleague recently about using a three-part lesson plan (starter, main, plenary for you newbies). My view was that you can use it for absolutely any lesson that can be taught and also that it is probably the best model to use.

    Are there any times when it is not the best lesson structure?
  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

  3. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    There is no such thing.
    amchugh, pepper5 and Vince_Ulam like this.
  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Whenever you feel like not using it.
    amchugh likes this.
  5. cwilson1983

    cwilson1983 Occasional commenter

    I rarely use it but it can be effective. However, this largely depends on factors such as: topic, class, time of day etc.
    agathamorse and amchugh like this.
  6. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    • Doing controlled assessments.
    • Discussion/debate lessons.
    • Easily 75% of my sixth form teaching.
    • Long-term investigation sequences of lessons. Big plenary at the end when they present to the class but once they're set up the idea is that they just get on with it as I hover and offer advice if they're struggling.
    • If I don't feel like doing it.
    • If the main task catches the students' interest and imagination and they want to invest more time in it. We can recap at the start of the next lesson, or extend the task to both lessons.
    Variety's the spice of life. If every lesson was a three-part drudgery I would get bored myself, so spice it up if you want to.
  7. amchugh

    amchugh New commenter

    Thanks folks, you've confirmed all of my suspicions!
  8. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Did you suspect that you were the only person to think the three part lesson was the best model?
  9. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I remember a training course where the trainer said he was so bored observing these that he walked out. They were the latest in thing at the time...
    Sinnamon, agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    according to my friendly ofsted inspector. They are looking for lessons where the teacher adapts as the lesson progresses and pupil needs become apparent. Much as I was trained a lot of years back! Nice to see some elements of proper teaching coming back around the hamster wheel
  11. amchugh

    amchugh New commenter

    Do you suspect that I am?
  12. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Where is the evidence that it is?

    I mean, you have some, right?

    There must be some, surely?


  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think a better question is "when to use a three part lesson". To which the answer is either when it looks like the best model for that lesson or when you are being observed by somebody who is pedantic about these things and decide to take the path of least resistance. I recall a Year 13 observation when I realised that I could either do my planned plenary or ensure that they had got the idea and would be well placed to do some questions at home. I chose the latter. My observer agreed that they had got it, but still noted the lack of plenary as a weak point. The only one for the whole lesson!
    agathamorse and amchugh like this.
  14. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    No. I just thought the comment about confirming your suspicions was a n odd one in the context of the replies posted.
  15. amchugh

    amchugh New commenter

    Ok you can stop hazing the new guy here, you "Star Commenters".

    Here's the context: My colleague was of the opinion that three-part lessons were never appropriate on the grounds that students didn't need a starter task to become engaged or to consolidate their knowledge. Nor do students need a plenary to demonstrate mastery of a skill or to show their understanding of a principle. I agreed in theory, but I was waiting to see a better alternative that could be used as a frequent or go-to model for a lesson. (Yes I know all lessons are different and in an ideal world we would all plan a bespoke styled lesson for every lesson of the week, but a go-to model is a handy time-saver that works.)

    However, almost every alternative to the three-part model that my colleague provided was just a re-naming of it, or a re-ordering of the three parts. I was open to agreeing with him, but in the end, the evidence that we discussed from our own experiences, alongside all of your comments, confirmed my initial suspicions that the three-part lesson plan still stands the test of time.

    You've all been very helpful.

    Kind regards.
  16. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    However, almost every alternative to the three-part model that my colleague provided was just a re-naming of it, or a re-ordering of the three parts.
    and that sums up most of the retraining and rehashing that has gone on in education for the last 20 years or so!
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I just teach my lessons the best way I can regardless of how many parts they have.
    agathamorse, bompu, Alldone and 3 others like this.
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    A long time ago (last millennium), when I was a very young teacher I was given some good advice about teaching, based (apparently) on what preachers were told:

    • Tell them what you are going to tell them
    • Tell them
    • Tell them what you've told them

    No I'm not suggesting doing this literally (at least not every lesson :D) but the general advice is what I followed for more than 3 decades. And it worked for me...
  19. Urbanfaerie

    Urbanfaerie Occasional commenter

    When lessons are an hour and three quarters long.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. anon8701

    anon8701 Star commenter

    I agree. The latest thinking is that the obsession with the quantity of lesson parts as is helpful as the obsession with learning styles and brain gym. ;-)

    I tend to focus on the balance of the lesson. If it's not all me or not all them every lesson all the time, that's fine, as far as I'm concerned. I admit though that I do pay attention to what my line manager and CPD person say about what they want to see in observations out of professional courtesy to them.
    agathamorse likes this.

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