My interest in the idea of sharing pedagogical purposes comes directly with the contact I have had with the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning at Monash University in Australia. Now each of these teachers were very active in establishing learning agendas with their classes. The impact they were having was inspiring. Each classroom tool can have a purpose beyond delivering content, and this needs to be shared.
I suppose the purpose of this website is collate, crystalise and open dialogues about how to increase this within classrooms. As the quote from Carl Bereiter illustrates this classroom methodology can empower our students.

Monday, 24 February 2014

How I plan lessons.- Planning the teacher input and lesson beginning

Following on from planning the bulk of the students first activity, I am now working backwards. The driving question for me is "what do I need to tell them before they can complete this task?",  I am aware that a big part of this question is actually "what do they already know?"

My input will start around this data,  this kind of thinking will be prevalent in the students first activity.


I've planned some questions for students to discuss and I will use a think- pair - share structure to familiarise them with the information, and allow the students who are not confident in interpreting data a chance to discuss and gain some ideas before we go through it.

Which of the minerals do we need most of? Least of?
How much iron does a 26 year woman need? How much clacium does a 8 year old boy need?
How much more magnesium does a 15 year old nboy need than a 15 year old girL?
Focus on how we extract and use data? Demand units in answers
Describe the pattern in calcium intake- students will say up and down- show doubling etc or percentage increase.
What questions does this data provoke? Eg why do women need more iron? Why do men need more magnesium

After this intial discussion I will then introduce the new key terms, before placing them in an example or two using Youtube clips.(Although at first glance none of these look suitable.  I may have to do this myself.) The idea of using video clips is to broaden the student knowledge, and to remove some of the telling from me. This I hope will allow me to do the teaching bit through questioning and develop their understanding. Video clips can show what the problems of poor nutriention will look like, something very difficult for me to do, without making a powerpoint slides.


I will ask them what they think each word means and take several student repsonses on each one, this allows the language to belong to the students. I will add, challenge and clarify after each student and summarises with a blend of their ideas and what I want the definition to be.

It is becoming obvious that the ideas and language students will need to have at the start are the names of micronutrients and the role that they play in the body. A simple matching task will help make this obvious. My initial thought is that this should make a display for the rest of the lesson, as a reference point. Maybe we could keep adding to it throughout the lesson, after all this is the knowledge that should become manifest in the project it self. I'm thinking about this task.

Does the text book provide anything useful. Iesearching potential recognise that I spend a lot of time researching potential materials to make sure I get relevant, interesting, useful and contextual resources that all fit into the sequence of building up student knowledge.

Bingo it does! It's not perfect but does provide a basis for my starter and a resource that will allow my students to demonstrate ( and therefore) practice again what they have learned.

In the next part I will describe how I construct the remaining tasks and pull the lesson together.