Thursday, 8 October 2015

During... The One Hundred Minute Lesson

I woke at 4am on the day of my first 100m lesson. I remember it quite vividly. I had delivered a lesson, completely misjudged the length of it and pitched the material incorrectly too. I was sat in a colleague's classroom, crying, feeling shame at my inability and incompetence to deliver a lesson. Then I woke. I didn't go back to sleep, and it played on my mind a little.

I was apprehensive about teaching 100m lessons, and so were many colleagues, but only 5 weeks in to the year I'm enjoying them. The non-contact periods are great - attached to break/lunch you can get a lot done in two hours. Only having three lessons per day is also pretty good, as it's lunch before you know it.

I've been left with twenty minutes to fill, and I've run out of time, but having 100m to properly tackle simultaneous equations with a quadratic (graphically and algebraically) is extremely helpful. When I plan it right, it's great. When I don't, I cut a bit or I find something to fill the time (having 25GB of resources helps!).

Sometimes, particularly during the afternoon, the kids struggle. This was particularly apparent with a middle-to-lower ability year 8 set, but they've been taken off me to free me up to teach a second Year 11 class. I think the change in sets and the ability that the older students have to maintain their concentration and work ethic for longer is making me feel more positive about the last week.

I've stuck to my rigid lesson structure more often than not and I'm finding that the kids are buying in and largely enjoying being in my room for 100m. 10m starter. 10-15m chat. 25m activity. 5-10m mini plenary. 5m chat. 15m activity. 5m plenary. 10m exam questions. Wrap up and self-assess. The latter parts are typically an opportunity to extend on concepts of deepen understanding, which is great.  Challenging students, and raising the expectation on them, helps to maintain their focus.

In terms of exam questions, we've been giving them at the end of every lesson and I've been using this layout for a SMART Notebook slide:

Each quadrant has a question and the difficulty increases through from easy, to medium, to master to extreme. 'There are 10 marks on the board. You have 5 minutes to get 6 of them' or 'There are 12 marks available. You have 10 minutes to get all of them'.

I've also created this one for the last week of term (build up to Halloween) to indulge my nerdy side:
I ain't afraid of no ghosts!

I've got a large debt of gratitude to pay to Don Steward for his resources shared on Median, Kahoot for breaking up a few long lessons, Craig Barton for his work on Diagnostic Questions and many, many others who share their resources on Twitter and allow me to magpie them. I'm finding it harder to plan and resource 100m lessons than I did 60m lessons, but the shared resources and addition of Kahoot (including personal wifi channel!) has been great for activities during lessons.

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