One of the sessions delivered during our Wednesday PD day was based around a “Do It Now” task. This is going to be a focus for all middle leader learning walks for the first two weeks of term and is one of our Trust’s core values and principles that should be seen in every lesson. So what is the theory behind it? Why have we decided as a Trust this should be how you start your lessons?
This is what it says in our Teaching and Learning framework and how it should look in your classrooms. (This can be found here)
“This is a task presented to students as they enter the classroom. A “Do It Now” task is about embedding retrieval tasks into every lesson to help students with their long term memory, this is to hook the students into the room, this is to set the standards for behaviour for learning. This is not waiting to start the lesson or having a task that lasts more than 30 minutes of the lesson.”
Doug Lemov in his book Teach Like A Champion provides a list of examples and reasons why this is an effective classroom technique. He believes that an effective “Do It Now” task should include four main characteristics. Firstly that this is done at the same time during the lesson every day. So as a Trust we will be doing ours as the “Meet, Greet and Seat.” This embeds consistency and high expectations from the students; it means no time is wasted and that there is a consistency across the Trust for how every lesson begins. Secondly Doug Lemov believes this task should be completed without any instruction from the teacher, this means as we mentioned during the PD day that the register can be taken without interruption, it also really ensures that each and every student in your lesson is able to complete a recall task and helps with your own identification of pace and misconceptions. Thirdly that this task should not take the whole lesson to complete, he mentions five minutes, however as long as this does not exceed 15 minutes I believe it is still a very effective way to set the standards and pace for the lesson. Lastly that these “Do It Now” tasks should be some kind of retrieval, recall skill. This is in line with Rosenshines Principles on what makes an effective lesson and what as a Trust we value to be an essential part to aid all or students to make progress.
This is why at the beginning of every lesson we urge you to plan and use this technique. There are some fantastic examples of these from Doug Lemov in his book, or you can access it here.
Also there are already some great examples from colleagues within the Trust. James Woolven our lead practitioner for humanities has spent his summer creating a set of “Do It Now” recall quizzes for Geographers across the Trust. These are questions created from scratch to fit in with the curriculum we teach.
The Random Revision Recall Quiz
These quizzes cover every topic in the GCSE course, created from scratch to mirror what is taught within the Trust. It is an excel sheet which can be put into staff’s PowerPoints and adapted for their own subjects.
If you would like James Woolven to send you this recall quiz randomiser and explain to your teams how it works, then please email James. Jwoolven@seckfordeducation.org.uk. What a brilliant idea to help with our recall techniques and “Do It Now” tasks.
Please email me Eisaac@seckfordeducation.org.uk your “Do It Now” tasks so I can share on our blog. Hope you all have a great first week with your classes; I look forward to hearing and seeing all your versions of this.