Developing pace in lessons

6th March 2013

What makes good practice? Clips from lessons to get you thinking. 

Watching other teachers teach whilst focusing on particular aspects of teaching can be a really useful way of developing one’s own teaching.

Here is the third in our series of weekly videos of teaching along with some questions to get you thinking. We’ve updated this from last week by adding our thoughts to the questions too.

This video shows a teacher in a year 8 history lesson developing from the starter to the first main activity:

How does the teacher use questioning during the starter?

The starter undoubtedly gets students thinking and the teacher is able to take quick fire responses from a number of students. She also uses follow up questions to ask students to explain their contributions. However, she doesn’t use a variety of questioning techniques to involve the class so it’s hard to assess the extent to which all the class are engaged.

What does the pace of the lesson seem like?

Unfortunately, asking students to cut out the timeline can really slow the pace of learning – as much of a pain as it is to prepare it yourself, getting the students to do it in the lesson can frustrate the quicker students and give others an excuse to dawdle on that task instead of the learning task they need to complete afterwards. Spending ten minutes guillotining the night before will save you the difficult task of maintaining pace during the lesson! An alternative could be to ask a reprographics person (if you’re lucky enough to have one).

What techniques does the teacher use to differentiate the lesson?

Although she praises  the students for correct answers and swift cutting out, there’s actually little to see in terms of differentiation. Extension tasks or using more able students as buddies for those that are struggling can be a way to ensure all students receive the appropriate level of challenge.

We’d love to hear what you think about these questions too. Either add a comment at the bottom of this page or tweet #MyLesson. After a week, we’ll add our own thoughts on the questions too.

If you’d like to send in a video of you in action or just describing something you’ve done recently in class then upload it to YouTube and email the link to [email protected] or tweet @LKMco#MyLesson (if it includes pupils then make sure you have consent!)

This video is a clip from a series of full lesson observations produced by MediaMerge. Full videos are available here and make a great addition to CPD.