Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lesson Progression: Teaching the Same Lesson Three Times

I had thought carefully about the test review lesson. There were a large number of points I wanted to clarify, points culled from a review of student work. I thought it best at first to review the work whole class. Now, I rarely do that because as a child, I hated those all-class reviews and as a teacher I have never found the whole class reviews to be profitable since so many students are just passively sitting and listening, students who fall at all places along the learning trajectory. But, I decided to go with the whole class review because of time.

The first review with the first class went okay, but not great. The expected variability in the class contributed to a less than enthusiastic and invested crowd. With the second group, it went even less well. Finally at the end of the lesson, I asked the students, "How can I make this better?" They had great suggestions. So for the third group I facilitated a scaffolded review where partners checked each others work and helped each other with problems that were challenging. Students checked in with me when they needed help and I checked in with a few children that I wanted to review particular points with. It was a much better lesson.

Teaching the same lesson three times a day really helps me to perfect the teaching. Working with the students to identify desired learning paths helps too. Every lesson won't be the best lesson, but with an open attitude to using your best experience and knowledge, partnering with colleagues and families, and a willingness to adapt, change, and improve lessons when needed helps you to reach the goals you set for yourself.