Tag Archives: Questioning

Blog of the Week – 22 January 2021 – Principles for Remote Instruction: Notes from a #TLAC Masterclass.

teacherhead

Earlier this week I was thrilled to be invited by Doug Lemov to take part in one of the online workshops run by his brilliant Uncommon Schools organisation. (You can find out more about the workshops here. ) It was such a great experience to engage with training that completely walked the talk: a workshop about excellent remote instruction, delivered via excellent remote instruction. The webinar was superb in every respect, with thanks to the enthusiastic, knowledgeable trainers Hannah Solomon and Brittany Hargrove and the great material.

The session was set up with a class-sized cohort of attendees so that trainers could model securing full participation and engagement. I enjoyed meeting Destiny from Texas, Melissa from Chicago and Marzia from Bangladesh in our break-out sessions. The use of video examples – a Teach Like A Champion trademark – certainly brought the whole scenario alive. The whole approach made…

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Blog of the Week: 18 December 2020 – A masterful no opt out by Danarius Frazier

Every once in a while, you come across an example of a teacher using a technique in the classroom that captures almost everything you wanted to say about it–Why a teacher would use it. How.

It’s a case study in how to apply a tool to advance learning and it pushes your understanding of the idea even a little more–you see it and think: Yes, that’s what I was trying to describe all along, even if you never quite did.You see it and you say: “Yes. That’s it.”

That’s how I felt last week when I watched this clip of Denarius Frazier using No Opt Out in his Geometry class at Uncommon Collegiate High School so I wanted to …

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Blog of the Week: 14 February 2020 – Ratio

A Chemical Orthodoxy

I’ve observed a lot of lessons this year. Inside science, outside science, novice teachers, expert teachers. Lots and lots of other people’s lessons. I’ve also been observed lots. As much as I’ve been in others’ classrooms, others have been in mine. In general at TTA we take the philosophy that “feedback is a gift” and that if someone else has been gracious enough to let you into their room to learn from them, the very least you can do is provide them with some feedback that will help them be even better.

Within my department, the stakes are high in terms of the feedback I give. I don’t want to give feedback that’s so general and generic it can’t be acted upon. But I also don’t want to give feedback that’s so specific it won’t be actionable until this time next year when the lesson I observed is repeated. What…

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Blog of the Week: 11 October 2019 – The #1 problem/weakness in teaching and how to address it.

teacherhead

I see a lot of lessons – hundreds of them in multiple contexts – and I’m going to suggest that there is one very common challenge that teachers face that is often not addressed well enough, even by experienced teachers. In my view, it’s the single biggest reason for lessons being ineffective or certainly less effective than they could be; it’s the main reason for learning not happening, for weaker students to fall behind and, over time, for gaps to widen. The prevalence of this issue is the main reason I feel we do more to address the needs of disadvantaged students and under-achieving subgroups by trying to teach everyone better instead of chasing interventions (To address underachieving groups, teach everyone better.). There’s just so much mileage in this; so much slack to take up.

The problem is this: In a class of multiple individuals, it is not…

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Blog of the Week: 4 October 2019 – Whole-class reading: how I do it

A Chemical Orthodoxy

For me, booklets have been a game-changer. The combination of lean explanations, worked examples and plentiful practice have made sure my lessons run smoothly and student productivity is maximised, and I wrote about how I use them day-to-day here. This year, I’ve been teaching GCSE biology, which is a new experience for me. My subject knowledge isn’t great as despite having taught physics and chemistry to GCSE, I’ve never done biology. The booklets I’ve been using were put together by Adam Robbins, and they feature a number of passages of extended text. I think teachers (and students) can be put off by passages of challenging text like the below, so I wanted to write about how I’ve approached them to ensure that everyone is engaged and thinking throughout. You don’t need to read the whole passage to get this blog, but it’s important to see the rigour and…

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Blog of the Week: 19 September 2019 – What have you learned this year?

Pedfed

This week I was honoured to contribute to Craig Barton’s education podcast. If you haven’t subscribed to yet, I couldn’t recommend it more. Fun, positive and full of incredibly insights from a range of guests from across education.

Craig asked me to record a message outlining what I’d learnt this year, to feature alongside other teachers answering the same question. It was really hard, as I feel that with every year that passes, I know less and less about education and am more and more confused. I decided to focus on Ratio, which I’ve been lucky enough to receive some training on at my school – Reach Academy Feltham – this year. I’ve found Ratio really difficult to get right and am only on the start of my journey to harness it to make my lessons more effective, but I’ve (I think) had at least one or two successes this…

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Blog of the Week: 12 September 2019 – Great Teaching: The Power of Questioning

teacherhead

In my Learning Rainforest and Evidence-informed practice CPD sessions, a core element is a focus on the power of questioning.  In my view, good in-house CPD and feedback from lesson observation should put teachers’ capacity and confidence with questioning at the centre.  In my experience, great questioning is the hallmark of a really effective teacher and sits right at the top of the list for things teachers can and should improve.  It’s far far more important to support teachers with questioning than, for example, to fuss about the quality of their marking or accuracy of their data entry.

As I’ve explored elsewhere, there is good evidence for the role questioning plays in securing strong outcomes.  It’s the frontline of formative assessment and the key tool in responsive teaching.  Teachers need feedback to them from multiple students in order to gauge how successful they have been in securing learning from their…

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Blog of the Week: 8 March 2019 – What can we learn from Direct Instruction & Siegfried Engelmann?

Joe Kirby

Combining precise example sequences, high-pace questioning, continuous instant feedback, extended practice drills, and rapid corrections of misconceptions, direct instruction is one of the most effective teaching methods.

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Citing an individual study to prove that Direct Instruction isn’t effective

is like citing a rainstorm to prove that the Sahara isn’t a desert.

There is a vast range of empirical, scientific and statistical evidence that shows Direct Instruction works.

Project Follow Through was the largest controlled comparative study of pedagogical techniques in history: from 1967 – 1995, over 700,000 children in 170 disadvantaged communities across the United States participated in this $1 billion study to discover the best practices for teaching disadvantaged students. This was the result:

‘Eighteen school districts, some rural, some urban, applied Direct Instruction (DI). When the testing was over, students in DI classrooms had placed first in reading, first in maths, first in spelling, and first in…

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