The Ultimate Lesson Aquinas College
The theme of this presentation is that a lesson is only truly the “ultimate” lesson if all students are: • On task for every second of the lesson • Tested and questioned rigorously • Engaged and stimulated for the whole lesson • Active in the lesson • Individual needs catered for • Enthused and challenged • Where a “buzz” for learning exists
Introductions/Aims/Objectives and Links to previous learning • Engage students with an activity as soon as they walk into the room. • Ensure all students have to actually do something. • Feedback from this activity. Ensure every student is questioned or has their learning tested (mini-whiteboards). • Explain aims/objectives in student speak – not mechanical teacher speak. • Display these and refer to them throughout the lesson particularly at the end. • Ask students what they did in the previous lesson. Build a link with what they will learn today.
Starter Activities • Should ensure that all students have to think and learn. • Could be the activity you set as students arrive in the room. • Use the activity to build a link with the previous lesson (recap/review). • Make it quick and concise. • Ensure that all the learners are tested or questioned. Ensure that you have checked all the students learning.
Questioning Skills • Targeted questioning is the most effective method of ensuring every students has their learning tested. Individual needs. • Open ended questions work for higher ability students (differentiation). • Questions that challenge all students. • Questions that find where there are gaps in students’ knowledge. Then address them. • Questioning can inject pace into a lesson. • Create opportunities for self-reflection or peer assessment.
Differentiation/Materials and Inclusive Strategies • “Differentiation by outcome” is not enough. • Targeted group work • Targeted questions aimed at all students • Separate tasks for individual students • Extension materials/tasks for higher ability groups • Materials written using inclusive language
Learning and Learner Involvement • The emphasis of lessons should be on the students ‘doing’ rather than the teacher ‘doing’. • Teachers should facilitate the learning. • The lesson where the teacher is actively doing the ‘all singing, all dancing’ lesson will not be the ‘ultimate lesson’. • All students should work hard for the whole lesson. • Every student should be actively involved and engaged for the whole lesson.
Standards and Management of Learning • All students should complete all tasks set and beyond (differentiation). • Every student will work to the expected standard and beyond. • The teacher’s classroom management facilitates this so that every student is on task, motivated and engaged for the whole lesson. • There is not one moment of off task behaviour from any student. • The ultimate lesson will have a range of tasks and groupings all expertly managed to ensure that every student is learning for the whole lesson.
Plenary • Refer to your aims and objectives again and ask the students how they have been met. • Test the learning of all students by using questioning skills (written or oral). • Explain how the learning today links with the learning of future lessons.
“It’s not so much what you do, it’s how you do it!” • I’ve seen many lessons which follow a similar structure or lesson plan; one lesson could be grade 1, one could be grade 3. • I’ve experienced lots of examples where teachers will address structural issues within a lesson but not address the generic skills we have discussed in this session.