How I start a lesson

1. Before lesson begins, do now on board. PP, visualiser or handwritten on whiteboard. Doesn’t matter what as long as clear and appropriately pitched for hard thinking and a high success rate. Make sure everything you need for lesson is to hand. 

2. Stand on threshold with one foot in classroom and one in corridor so by turning your head you can see both. 

3. As children arrive tell them to stand behind chairs and get out exercise books and equipment and place on desk. Smile at them and greet. If anyone says something lovely like ‘good morning’ or ‘how are you’ make sure you respond effusively. 

3. Use some hammy Be Seen Looking to make sure children know you’re checking. Don’t be too fussed about quiet chat. The lesson has not begun yet and you don’t want to be unreasonable. 

4. When critical mass has arrived (approx. 80%) Move into classroom and stand in centre. Tell them directly to ‘stop talking’ and to look at you. 

5. Front Load Means of Participation. “When I say ‘go’ sit down, write date and title and begin the do now. You don’t need to write in full sentences. If you don’t know the answer copy the question”. 

5a. Copying question if don’t know is VERY important. It means that you can work out the difference between ‘don’t know’ and ‘cant be bothered’ as copying the question takes longer than writing an answer.
Also it means when you do go through answers notes are coherent. 

6. “Does anyone not know what to do when I say ‘go?” “Marcel can you tell is what you’re going to do when I say ‘go?’ 

7. “3, 2, 1 go!” Now start the timer. Show the time to brighten lines and create urgency. 

8. Take Pastore’s Perch. Narrate positive. “Super! Half of you are writing already! Now three quarters..”
Then anonymous individual correction.
“Just waiting for four people.. three.. just one.”
For the last few use The Look. 

9. All settled? Take the register. Say good morning/afternoon to everyone and if they say it back say it to you at their name say it as if you are DELIGHTED. (Of course you are) 

10. Once register is all wrapped up more Be Seen Looking. Circulate if you can and have a look at what success rate looks like. 

11. BEEP BEEP! Timer is up. Frontload MoP again. “I’m going to write the answers up now. If you got it right tick, if wrong don’t worry. This is a quiz not a test. Just cross out and write the right one in. If you wrote nothing write the answer under where you copied it.” 

12. Check for understanding again. “When I start putting answers up what will you do? (Pause) Dani can you tell us please?” 

13. Go through the answers. At the end of each one ask ‘did anyone get anything I didn’t that you think I missed?’ (Miss stuff deliberately to raise ratio) 

14. “OK hands up if you got at least one right. Well done! Keep it up if you got two, three, four.. full marks! Super!” 

15.  Brighten lines and front load MoP for next task.


One thought on “How I start a lesson

  1. Pingback: No Hooks – How to Teach Computer Science

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