One of our teaching and learning foci for this term is centred on modelling. Ruth Everett spoke about the importance of modelling during the first of our PD days in August. She said that you as the teacher are the experts in the room, so it is you who should be reading any text to the students for the first time. As experts we then model the language, how can students listen to the vocabulary if we do not. I have been in many classrooms these last few weeks across the three sites and seen plenty of this, so thank you. Remember Ross McGill’s mantra, “I do, we do, you do.” How else can we effectively model within the classroom? Ross McGill writes an article within his teacher tool kit and refers to Rosenshine’s 17 principles; he then gives specific classrooms examples. For example:
Show them: You actively show them an answer, either writing on the board or using a visualizer so you can face the classroom. You then talk the students through this, and ask them questions to get them to guide you through. I did this with my year 11 class, for a 12 mark exam question, I wrote and they filled in my gaps, I did it, we did it, then they did it. They then marked their own answer and we had another go, where 95% of the class got 10 or more marks for the 12 mark answer, this very simple technique has already improved their confidence with this exam practise skill.
Celebrate their mistakes and celebrate your mistakes, we are not always perfect and sometimes if we are, try not to be so they can pick you up on your mistake, this empowers them and you really know that they understand. Live mark for the students. Build up classroom resilience and form a trusting relationship with your students.
I would like all staff before October half term to have tried a visualizer in their lessons, get modelling into your sequence of lessons. Then during subject CPD time you will share your successes and development points with this, get each other in your teams to model different questions, critique one another. How do you model an answer in year 7? Is this different to how you would model an answer in year 8, 9, 10, 11? Should it be different? Can you measure the progress of the students using this technique? Is it making a difference? If it isn’t, why isn’t it making a difference? Middle leaders will then feedback to me so I can share via twitter and the blog so we can learn from each other.