10 things that effective teachers do- Do you?

Sometimes it is just worth reflecting on our personal skills and looking at where our strengths and weaknesses are. After many years of teaching some skills will have been more developed, whilst others that are used less widely may need more work on.

For me I start with this list that I picked up somewhere from the internet when I started in Management many moons ago. NB. Way down the list is questioning, if you need more help with this see the last blog. For me this list was a starting point not only for me, but for the team or teams I was leading. Not only did I as a manager needs these skills, but also the team needed the same strengths, and being able to review and see our weaknesses objectively made it easier. For example,  when observing lessons  it gave us all a focus that we were all comfortable with. We all recognised we were good teachers but wanted to do better, so were honing skills. This meant the threat and fear went away, this was crucial in schools needing support as too often one criticism or constructive comment can lead to low self-esteem and the fear of being a  failing teacher rather than building more strengths.

10 things that effective teachers do.

Deep Knowledge of Subject Matter
Effective teachers have a passion for their subject. They work hard to keep their knowledge current and sharp.

Instructional Planning
Good teachers do not “wing it.” They prepare lessons carefully and thoroughly to ensure all students meet their targets.

Knowledge of Assessment and Evaluation
Effective teachers plan the ways in which they will judge students’ progress and they do so throughout the lesson, adjusting their teaching in the light of what they learn from the assessments.

Understanding Students and How They Learn
Effective teachers believe that every child can learn. They work hard to identify ways of overcoming any barriers to learning so that all students are successful.

Motivating Students to Learn
Effective teachers create learning opportunities through hands-on work, small group activities, peer-to-peer coaching, and individually guided instruction. Good teachers make learning engaging by making lessons interesting and relevant.

Creating Safe, Productive and Well-Managed Classrooms
Effective teachers understand that firm discipline policies contribute to a healthy academic atmosphere by emphasizing the importance of regular attendance, promptness, respect for teachers and other students, and good conduct. Good teachers understand that students respond to consistency, fairness, and structure.

Technological Literacy
Good teachers understand that technology is a tool for increasing student interest, motivation, and achievement.

Understanding and Appreciating Diversity
Effective teachers clearly communicate their expectation that all children can and will achieve to the best of their ability. Good teachers demonstrate zero tolerance for discrimination, bigotry, bullying, or harassment. They promote tolerance, curiosity, and respect for other genders, races, and cultures.

Working with the whole child
Effective teachers make efforts to know their students individually and to build openness and bridges between homes and classrooms. Good teachers create multiple channels for communications with parents and the community members. They try to see the “whole child” and provide extra help, referrals, and assistance for children facing challenges out-of-school.

Commitment to Lifelong Learning and Professional Development
Effective teachers are always growing and learning. They share successes and challenges with other teachers and see themselves not as an “expert” but part of a community of lifelong learners.

Encouraging student talk

Effective teachers plan opportunities for students to embed their learning through talk, to one another and to the teacher. In their classrooms, students talk more than the teacher!

Effective questions

Effective teacher organise their lessons so that students, rather than the teacher, generate questions that help to clarify and extend learning

Using Blooms Taxonomy in classrooms.

What is Blooms Taxonomy? Just as a reminder this is wikipaedias entry.

Bloom’s taxonomy is a way of distinguishing the fundamental questions within the education system. It is named after Benjamin Bloom, who chaired the committee of educators that devised the taxonomy. He also edited the first volume of the standard text,Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals.Blooms_taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy refers to a classification of the different objectives that educators set for students (learning objectives). It divides educational objectives into three “domains”: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor (sometimes loosely described as “knowing/head”, “feeling/heart” and “doing/hands” respectively). Within the domains, learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels. A goal of Bloom’s taxonomy is to motivate educators to focus on all three domains, creating a more holistic form of education.

Bloom’s taxonomy is considered to be a foundational and essential element within the education community.A mythology has grown around the taxonomy, possibly due to many people learning about the taxonomy through second hand information. Bloom himself considered the Handbook “one of the most widely cited yet least read books in American education”.

blooms_taxonomy2

What does this look like in the classroom?

Teachers can move students towards more complicated work by using questions. These can sometimes be difficult to think of on the spot, but I used to write myself some when working through lesson plans and then use them when appropriate through the lesson. The first questions we think of start usually are usually factual questions e.g. Who? What? Where? and occasionally which one? These just have one type of answer and can often be determined by the way the question is asked, or are obviously right or wrong.

However to develop the students understanding and skills further as teachers we need to use questioning techniques that support and show more in depth understanding.

To support students further, we need to start to think about what we want them to know in order that we can question effectively. so for example if we want them to evaulate more effectively our questioning should move towards  asking them to explain,

  • What does that mean? or
  • what might be happening?
  • what is meant by what was said ?

and then on towards evaluative questioning e.g.

  • Which is the best? Why?
  • What would happen if ….?
  • What do you think are the advantages of x over y ?
  • How do you feel about (changing the voting age to 16)? Why?
  • Compare and contrast (often seen in exam papers)
  • What are the similarities/differences in …

or predictive questioning

  • How might this?
  • How would you test this?

For example in Technology you could say

  • Describe the food, explain how it was made.
  • Compare it with other similar products
  • Develop ways of improving this design

alternatively in Science you could say

  • Describe the experiment
  • Explain the process
  • Compare with another similar experience
  • predict what might happen if we change x or y

This is how it may look when you now look at asking questions. Here are the verbs from Blooms Taxonomy to support you in generating questions.

Cognitive Level

Illustrative Verbs

Definitions

Knowledge arrange, define, describe, duplicate, identify, label, list, match, memorize, name, order, outline, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce, select, state remembering previously learned information
Comprehension classify, convert, defend, discuss, distinguish, estimate, explain, express, extend, generalize, give example(s), identify, indicate, infer, locate, paraphrase, predict, recognize, rewrite, report, restate, review, select, summarize, translate grasping the meaning of information
Application apply, change, choose, compute, demonstrate, discover, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, manipulate, modify, operate, practice, predict, prepare, produce, relate schedule, show, sketch, solve, use write applying knowledge to actual situations
Analysis analyze, appraise, breakdown, calculate, categorize, classify, compare, contrast, criticize, derive, diagram, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, identify, illustrate, infer, interpret, model, outline, point out, question, relate, select, separate, subdivide, test breaking down objects or ideas into simpler parts and seeing how the parts relate and are organized
Synthesis arrange, assemble, categorize, collect, combine, comply, compose, construct, create, design, develop, devise, explain, formulate, generate, plan, prepare, propose, rearrange, reconstruct, relate, reorganize, revise, rewrite, set up, summarize, synthesize, tell, write rearranging component ideas into a new whole
Evaluation appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose, compare, conclude, contrast, defend, describe, discriminate, estimate, evaluate, explain, judge, justify, interpret, relate, predict, rate, select, summarize, support, value making judgments based on internal evidence or external criteria

Kinaesthetic learners

Now term has really started I thought we would look at our more practical – touch, feel, do learners. They have a rather long name and are called Kinaesthetic learners.  I think I must be predominantly this type as anything practical attracts me first. Probably why my subject is Design technology, resistant materials, graphic, control technology and textiles as they are all things that you do!.

For Kinaesthetic learners generally they enjoy learning that involves physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences.

The base of the word comes from the Greek  kineo, meaning move, and aisthesis, meaning sensation Hence the name Kinaesthetic describes the sense of using muscular movement so for us teachers that means we need to look at teaching/learning experiences that include within the term some work that involves the stimulation of nerves in the body’s muscles, joints and tendons.  For Design Technology, PE, Music it is commonplace to find this type of activity, but how do you ensure those with this type of learning experience it at least a  few times per term in Maths for example? This is the conundrum for all of these styles how do you ensure you reach your learners and support them with their style of learning. For me having a  check list per activity when planning means that over each half term I have a general idea of which style I have used mostly in order that I can change the balance over the next term or if revising a fact/ module of work find another way of demonstrating it i.e.. if It was mainly visual learning first time then revise with the visual reminder but back up with a  practical (kinaesthetic) activity.

If you are unsure which type you are then you can find out using the link below.

or try the free test on – http://www.businessballs.com/vaklearningstylestest.htm

Year 8 lesson Plan example for lesson 2 – Creative writing – The Granny project

A  SCHOOL                  SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year 8 Class T                                                 Date ____21 May ________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  20 Century Drama
Teaching Aim. 

 

To continue to understand the play The Granny ProjectObjectives for board:

To write for a specified audience

 

Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will). 

All pupils will complete a task

Most pupils will present imaginative work for display

Some pupils will develop ideas

Lesson Content. 

 

 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

Brain bloom words appropriate for an elderly audience    10 mins 

 

 

Re-read part of the Granny Project

Choose an audience and re-write the play for the specified audience eg, for the elderly, choice of words, longer, flowery old fashioned, bosh to wash in, Frock dress                             35 mins

 

 

 Differentiation

 

 Use of dictionaries, thesaurus, working in pairs

 

  

Extension Work.

 

  

Edit their work, extending sentences using connectives

 

 Plenary

 

 

 

 Share ideas with class                                                      15 mins
  The text Paper Exercise books
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). Not present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). Competition 
Key words  Presentation Content Audience
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. R 6 W11
 Date Due Sam Learning (or other ICT resource/platform that creates homework) Homework – Writing 

Friday 28th of May

Year 8 – Creative writing – The granny project Example lesson plan

This lesson plan is for lower ability students.

A SCHOOL                        SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year 9 Set 3                                                             Date __20 May __________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  Creative Writing
Teaching Aim. 

 

To develop writing in preparation for GCSEObjective for board:

Understand and use brain blooming and mind mapping

To write a brief for a publisher

Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will). 

All pupils will attempt the tasks

Most pupils will develop a style of writing that is appropriate

Some pupils will  write accurately and with imagination

Lesson Content. 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

Brain blooming/ storming – generate a list of ideas that could be an inspiration for a story – eg famous people, acts of heroism etc                                                                                                  10 Mins

Introduce mind mapping and its conceptual use.                5 mins

Use mind mapping to generate story ideas and plots        30 Mins

Discuss genres

Mind map descriptive words

Place

Feelings

Characters

Interaction

Create a brief for a publisher                                                10 mins

The brief should include: The target audience, brief outline of story, interesting points eg local history, factual content etc

 

Differentiation  Introduce scaffolding, differentiation by negotiation and outcome 
 Extension Work.

 

 Connectives for complex sentences

 

 Plenary

 

 Discuss and share ideas                                                         5 Mins
  Interactive whiteboard, examples of mind maps, colouring pencils
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). No present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). GCSE criteria 
Key words  Mind mapping, audience, brief, publisher
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. W 7 Sn2, 5 Wr 5
  

Date Due

H/W  Research two different characters from two novels.  Write a description of them and their background. 1 A4 sheet minimumMonday the 24th of May

Year 9 Set 3 Lesson Plan example (2) – Creative writing

This lesson plan is for a lower ability group i.e. set 3 with 4 being the bottom.

A SCHOOL                        SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year 9 Set 3                                                             Date __20 May __________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  Creative Writing
Teaching Aim. 

 

To develop writing in preparation for GCSEObjective for board:

Understand and use brain blooming and mind mapping

To write a brief for a publisher

Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will). 

All pupils will attempt the tasks

Most pupils will develop a style of writing that is appropriate

Some pupils will  write accurately and with imagination

Lesson Content. 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

Brain blooming/ storming – generate a list of ideas that could be an inspiration for a story – eg famous people, acts of heroism etc                                                                                                  10 Mins

Introduce mind mapping and its conceptual use.                5 mins

Use mind mapping to generate story ideas and plots        30 Mins

Discuss genres

Mind map descriptive words

Place

Feelings

Characters

Interaction

Create a brief for a publisher                                                10 mins

The brief should include: The target audience, brief outline of story, interesting points eg local history, factual content etc

 

Differentiation  Introduce scaffolding, differentiation by negotiation and outcome 
 Extension Work.

 

 Connectives for complex sentences

 

 Plenary

 

 Discuss and share ideas                                                         5 Mins
 Resources Interactive whiteboard, examples of mind maps, colouring pencils
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). No present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). GCSE criteria 
Key words  Mind mapping, audience, brief, publisher
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. W 7 Sn2, 5 Wr 5
  

Date Due

H/W  Research two different characters from two novels.  Write a description of them and their background. 1 A4 sheet minimumMonday the 24th of May

Example lesson Plan 3 Year 9 Set 2 (2) – Creative writing

 

A SCHOOL                        SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year 9 Set 2                                                                 Date __19 May __________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  Creative Writing
Teaching Aim. 

 

To develop writing in preparation for GCSEObjective for board:

Understand and use brain blooming and mind mapping

To write a brief for a publisher

Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will). 

All pupils will attempt the tasks

Most pupils will develop a style of writing that is appropriate

Some pupils will  write accurately and with imagination

Lesson Content. 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

Brain blooming – generate a list of ideas that could be an inspiration for a story – eg famous people, acts of heroism etc                                                                                                  10 Mins

Introduce mind mapping and its conceptual use.                5 mins

Use mind mapping to generate story ideas and plots        30 Mins

Discuss genres

Mind map descriptive words

Place

Feelings

Characters

Interaction

Create a brief for a publisher                                                10 mins

The brief should include: The target audience, brief outline of story, interesting points eg local history, factual content etc

 

Differentiation  Introduce scaffolding, differentiation by negotiation and outcome 
 Extension Work.

 

 Connectives for complex sentences

 

 Plenary

 

 Discuss and share ideas                                                         5 Mins
 Resources Interactive whiteboard, examples of mind maps, colouring pencils
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). No present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). GCSE criteria 
Key words  Mind mapping, audience, brief, publisher
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. W 7 Sn2, 5 Wr 5
  

Date Due

H/W  Research two different characters from two novels.  Write a description of them and their background. 1 A4 sheet minimumTuesday the 25th of May

Lesson Plan Example 2 – Year 9 Set 2 Creative writing

A SCHOOL                        SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year9/ Set3                                                                  Date __17 May __________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  Creative Writing
Teaching Aim.   To develop writing in preparation for GCSE Objective for board:  To respond to the marking in your books, to understand GCSE requirements for higher tier, To begin preparation for Original writing coursework and be aware of the need to write to a certain audience.
Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will).All pupils will attempt the tasks

Most pupils will develop a style of writing that is appropriate

Some pupils will write accurately and with imagination

Lesson Content.  

 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Differentiation

 

 

 

Read the comments re. My Marking and respond.         Give out books and folders.  Write date, title, C/W and objective.

Students put names on.                                                      10 mins

 Write a review about reading week. 2 paragraphs min   15 mins

 

Read GCSE Guidance sheets.                                             10 mins

Begin GCSE coursework – Original writing

Think about books previously read in primary school Name them, author and genre.  Why was it good ?   At least 3              10 mins

Begin preparation for Original writing Talk about what they learnt from having an author in school

Who is his audience? What kind of audience does he write for?

Who will you write for?                                                         10 mins

 

 

Some of the class will need ideas to start their writing

 

 

 

Extension Work.  Brain bloom ideas for audience
Plenary  

 

Review GCSE requirements.  Give examples of audiences. 5 mins
  Paper, folders, books, Tony Buzan example of Mind Maps
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). None present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). GCSE criteria 
Key words  Audience
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. W 7 Sn2, 5 Wr 5
 Date Due None set  

Leaders 3 -Leading and Managing Staff

So you have made it to leading your own team or have being doing so far a while and want to check what you have forgotten.  (I often did that remembered 5/6 things and the sixth would just be waylaid so I had to keep refreshing myself).

It is crucial that you develop a team spirit where everyone helps everyone else to make it right that definitely doesn’t mean blaming anyone. Those working in schools with high blame culture ethos’s eventually start to fail as people are fearful of getting things wrong and let’s be fair in a day many things change and different decision have to be made out of the hundreds of different unexpected decisions that you make over a week if one is wrong then hey ho.  The only thing I would say is that if that person genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and their rationale is believable then its a mistake so we all help to solve it, if not then we are looking to another route i.e. competency but this will be no surprise as you will have already noticed other things that seem out-of-place.

Here are some questions to guide you as you think about your position and leader and manager of your team.

1. How will you help to achieve constructive working relationships with pupils and staff?

2. How ill you sustain your own motivation as well as those of others?

3. How will you sue performance management to improve the effectiveness of all of your team?

4. How will you manage and co-ordinate professional development or new teacher development via INSET, mentoring, coaching, workshops and lesson observation?

5. How will you work with the SEND and or EAL coordinators?

6. What reports do you need to send to Head teacher, Senior Team, Governors, Parents, Pupils about your subjects policies, plan and priorities, subject targets and professional development plans?