Sunday, 9 December 2012

Observations and the 5 Minute Lesson Plan

As many of you are well aware from Twitter, I was pretty aghast when I found out I was going to be observed twice in one week. Go to the Union lots of you said, complain, rant etc. etc.
Well I did complain to my school about it, I cited all the recommendations about observations etc. and it did help. I suddenly had more control and said that I wasn't going to do full lesson plans (like I was asked to...I know, how out of date) but I would treat it as a mini mock Ofsted under the new framework, the only difference being I knew when they were coming.

Lots of thoughts ran through my head and I was struggling with it all if I'm honest. These, on top of trying to sort out a sensible way to run a Controlled Assessment with 6 BESD boys who do not understand the concept of "not talking" and "not asking for help" was a bit much and I'll admit I was a foul and difficult individual to deal with...I felt so isolated and unsupported I turned to Twitter for help....this may seem strange to some but the #Tweachers are fabulous, most have been there, seen it or done it and got many teeshirts. I didn't feel alone anymore trying to get through the professional issues.

What did we do before Twitter? An interesting question to ponder.

So I had made a decision about the lesson plans, what did I do instead. Well I took a Controlled Risk.

I had seen @TeacherToolkit 's 5 Minute Lesson Plan before and at the time I thought - that is GENIUS! So I went onto the TES site and downloaded the documents and the example. I also had a look at the Twitter profile to see if there were any photos of completed plans. I started to feel more motivated, I thought to myself "this could really work for me."

So then I had a go....the only 'extra bit' I added was a section for Key Words - something my school as a special school is really pushing at the moment in its literacy drive.
As I was completing it, it got me thinking about proportioning the lesson better, less teacher led more student driven - hard in my setting with kids who just want to take take take all the time but I hoped I could motivate them enough to get them to explore Energy Transfer for themselves.

Here is the first completed plan.....excuse handwriting but I found it cathartic to be away from the laptop!

 I was proud of it! Something I would have never felt about an old style plan.
So I carried on and produced the other one - this time a lesson about Mass, Weight and Gravity.

Here it is, a little briefer but still as much impact. 

Wow.....this felt good. I got all my resources, clips and stuff together ready for the observations. I did include a cover sheet with each plan talking about the context of the groups and the current working grades, can't get out of that bit!
I have to admit I was a bit nervous - how would the plans go down. Would they even accept them??

So in he came for the observation, took the folder. An eyebrow raised then a smile. I thought 'I've done it, I'll get 'good' and everyone will be happy and they'll get off my case!'


Something else happened

He wrote a '1' in the that was unexpected....smiles all round - and the kids - well they definitely explored independently, maybe I just got lucky on the day but I'm not complaining.

Back he came the next day. Same thing, different lesson, same result.

So now what?
Well I will DEFINITELY continue to use the 5 Minute Lesson Plan for Science observations in the future. It really suits my style and the new framework well. It helped me to see what I really wanted from the lesson, and whether I was really going to get it or not. It pushed me to take risks and make the lessons much more about the kids and their enjoyment and engagement.
Who knows, they may be held up as examples and the idea becomes school-wide....eeeeek.

Best improve my public speaking then :)

Special mentions to @LucieGolton @DrDav @90_maz @JMCowey @hrogerson @SiaranML @13loki and @CliveBuckley who supported and helped the positive mindset when I was low. Thankyou.

I think I have to dedicate this post to @TeacherToolkit though....go check it out, it's brilliant!

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