A better way of planning – my first attempt

I was blown away by the post by @leadinglearner yesterday (which can be found here – and if you haven’t read it yet, it might be a better use of your time in the short term than continuing reading this). One of the reasons, I think, is that I can see how it links to things I have been trying to do (see my series of posts from last summer) but takes it to a completely higher level – but in a way that is easy to see. I was dead keen to try this out for myself, and so….I did!

Attached below you will find a document for a series of lessons I have designed for my year 7 bottom set. I am sure it can be improved (not least in terms of the SOLO learning intentions), but you have to start somewhere. I do wonder if it is a little repetitive in places, but I do wonder if that is sometimes the nature of the beast in maths, not least at such a low level.

Anyway, have a look, and if you think it can be improved, please let me know! I will continue using this model for my planning of all classes and so may end up sharing more on here, and any feedback will be most useful and helpful. Thanks

New SoW 7.3 – Adding and subtracting!


Not There…Yet!

As the title of both the blog and this post suggest, I am indeed a teacher aspiring to be ‘outstanding’. This blog is intended to be both a reflective record of my journey, as well as a place to connect with other like-minded teachers and share ideas, strategies and tips.

I understand many teachers feel that Outstanding is something that is not realistically achievable on a continuing basis, as it requires a ridiculous amount of effort and work that is unsustainable in the long run. I would offer the view that a) hard work should not be a barrier to anything (although of course I recognise that even with the best will in the world, it is impossible to get everything done every day); b) we should be aiming to be the best ALL the time – if we fail on occasions, so be it, and c) the amount of time spent will reduce over time as we adapt to a different way of working. 

So Outstanding is my aim, and in my 6th year of teaching, I feel I am getting there, albeit slowly. More importantly, perhaps, I also have an idea of how I am going to get there, and the steps I need to take. I carry around with me a folder containing my ‘Outstanding Action Plan’ – the things I need to work on in order to reach my goal. At the moment, it contains the two following headings (these are by no means the ONLY two things I need to work on, but they have been identified by colleagues as being significant weaknesses in my planning – about which more later):

  • differentiation – in particular, supporting the lower learners in my groups
  • final plenaries – creating a final plenary that encompasses the prior learning students brought to the lesson AND also what they have learned today

I am a Maths teacher, though Maths was not my training subject, and have been teaching it full time since 2010. This is the first year I have felt settled and confident in my teaching and relationships, in no small part thanks to my school’s CPD provision and the generous time various members of the SLT have spent with me helping me with a range of issues in my practice. This, coupled with a positive observation just before the half term break, have given me a real impetus to strive towards becoming Outstanding.

So that’s me, that’s where I am, where I want to be, and how I plan to get there. Time to get back to the classroom and put everything into action!