Summer 2014, post 1 – planning

Anyone who follows me on Twitter might know I’ve spent much of the summer being quite constructive (relatively speaking!) and have read a few influential educational texts. Now we’re on the downward slide towards the new term, my thoughts have turned increasingly to planning for 2014-15, keen and eager to put in to practice much of what I have picked up over the last few weeks. 

Most of my reading, however, has been about how to teach, not what to teach. And so I have returned for my planning to some old tweets to help give me a bit of a push. I reread Zoe Elder’s post about ‘So That…’ learning (which you can find here) which I have been using for a while. But I wonder if it can be extended, and if so, how (I am far better at raising questions that providing solutions, clearly!). With some trepidation, and to give you a better idea of what I mean, allow me to share two of my planning documents:

Outcomes and objectives – SO THAT

This is my first attempt. This is for a year 11 class, so we are starting the year by going over topics they have covered in some depth, but which need going over again. You will notice that there is no duration specified, although most of the topics (SOHCAHTOA being the notable exception) I would expect to cover easily within 2 lessons. I have made much more of an effort this year to incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy into my ‘So That….’/outcomes, and you will also see for one entry in that column, I have including an italicised ‘So That’ at the bottom. This is an attempt to show transferability of what we are doing in class – I found it difficult for this class, as their year is geared around their exams, and quite simply for many of the topics I am not sure what I could put there anyway.

Where I believe I have tried to extend Zoe’s idea is in the far right column, by talking about what ‘Success will look like….’ This is a tricky area I think, certainly for me. A quick glimpse through some of my bookmarked Tweets from others found this post from WIlliam Emeny, and this follow up, which although containing fantastic ideas in their own right (which I will be trialling myself), didn’t really fully address the issue I was trying to deal with. You can see very clearly what has happened – I have fallen into the habit of ‘success by correct answer’ in many cases, with a slightly different take on the Pythagoras issue.

Not ideal.

I then decided to try with another group – my new year 7 class. Here is their version of the same document:

Outcomes and objectives – SO THAT 7Mt1

You can see one difference, in as much as I have included much more transferable skill in the ‘So That’ column, which I am pleased with. But the final column is still much the same, largely uninspiring and unimaginative, although there are signs of development in a couple of the rows. 

So, I would like to pose the following questions and generate a bit of a discussion:

1) It is necessary to plan for what success looks like?

2) Is this even possible over one or two lessons? (Here is where William’s second post I think is useful – I suspect the answer is no for the reasons he outlines regarding long term and working memory, but I am interested to know how others feel) 

3) If the answer to both of the above is yes, what are the best/most effective ways of doing this? I clearly do not know the answer, and if anyone has any views, I’d love it if they would share them via the comments box below or on Twitter.

All views/ideas most welcome!


3 thoughts on “Summer 2014, post 1 – planning

  1. I really like this and it has given me some ” so that” ideas for a year 9 maths class that I’m taking for September. You’ve used bloom for your “so that ” outcomes which seem to work (I know some maths teachers try to use SOLO ). I like the “what success looks like” column and I’m not sure with Maths whether what you’ve got in that column can be improved. It all looks good to me. Please blog to let us know how you’re getting on.

  2. Pingback: What success looks like – further thoughts and reflections | AspiringOST

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