My Best Lesson…

This page is open to every teacher who would like to share their BEST lesson (or many great lessons)with the global teaching community.

Through careful and flexible lesson planning, how do you encourage students to actively learn in whatever pedagogical guise you design?  We would love for you to contribute your expertise!

In return you will get to steal and adapt brilliant ideas from other brilliant teachers.

All you need to do is email your resources and explanations (PowerPoint, Prezi, Word document or likewise) to and I will upload them in a jiffy!

1. Marketplace

Here is Lookout for Learning’s inaugural ‘My best lesson…’

  • Learning Intention = To consolidate the knowledge and understanding of the circulatory system.
  • This lesson design is adapted from Paul Ginnis’s brilliant book, The Teacher’s Toolkit, and can be found on pages 122 – 125.

  • Students see the test for 1 minute only before the learning commences and they cannot make any notes on the questions they see.  The test is then switched off.
  • The test is sat under exam conditions, after the peer teaching stage, with no reference to any materials they produced throughout the lesson.  This means they really must help each other in the 3 subdivisions (characteristics of blood vessels, functions of the blood and effects of exercise on the circulatory system)
  • The preparation stage is completed on a big A1 sheet where all 3 students must contribute to their subdivision.  They are only allowed to use 10 words so they must be creative with diagrams and anagrams to supplement their learning
  • I use an online timer that is on display at all times so the students know how long they have left in each stage of the lesson
  • A the review stage I get the each group to draw a circle representing a pie chart and ask them to honestly split the chart into 3.  Each of the 3 sections represent each student’s contribution to the group (%).  This does spark some great learning conversations between students and highlights passive students or students who just take over.  When we do this type of lesson again you do seem to get a much more equal contribution from all group members.
  • You can adapt the length of each stage depending on the length of your lesson.  Our lessons are 50 minutes long hence the shorter time
    Matt Bebbington, @BebbPEteach
    2. Cramlington Learning Village: Observations from 3 Outstanding Lessons
    This guest post is courtesy of Mark Lovatt, a Deputy Head Teacher at Cramlington Learning Village.  You can follow Mark on Twitter here: @mlovatt1
    From the 3 outstanding lessons he observed last week, he explains the 6 characteristics the lessons shared that made them brilliant:
    1.  Lessons were very well planned and resourced
    2. Good relationships between the teacher and students with consistent classroom protocols in place
    3. Lessons had clear learning outcomes and learning was reviewed at appropriate times during the lesson
    4. The teachers explicitly referred to learning behaviours and skills required to be successful (resilience, responsible etc..)
    5. Lessons were differentiated and there were a choice of resources for the students
    6. Students were active in their thinking and learning
    3. Phil Beadle’s 14 Steps for a Perfect Lesson
    4.  David Didau’s Perfect Lesson Checklist
    5.   Sales Pitch  – Jenni Lowe
    I introduce this task by likening it to the Apprentice or Dragon’s Den in order to hook the students and give them an idea of the skills required.  I use it in History lessons and find it useful to talk about skills transferrable into Business Studies.
    Stage 1 –  Setting objectives:   The students are given a task sheet which asks them to get into character and “sell” an idea to the teacher (who is also in character).  Teams work together to research the topic and must produce a PowerPoint presentation, a poster and a “sales pitch.”
    Stage 2 –   Construct:  The students are busy using resources to research the topic and design their presentations.   Students are set a homework task of carrying out research to support their project.
    Stage 3 – AfL:    Half way through their research they are given the mark scheme to evaluate their own project so far and make the adjustments necessary to secure a high mark.
    Stage 4 –  Applying to demonstrate:    In my experience, the students are always really engaged and it never ceases to amaze me how confident some of them are when presenting to the whole class.  Each presentation and poster is “marked” by the class, with a quick show of hands to award marks for each of the key criteria (knowledge content, a well make PowerPoint, a persuastive poster and general marketing and sales ideas).  The teacher can also award extra marks for creativity and teamwork.  I use the fact that it is a role play to put them on the spot and ask difficult quesitons to tease out the students’ knoweldge and understanding.   It also provides chance for a lot of humour.  Mark sheets are copied for each team member and stuck in books.
    Stage 5 – Review  The task lends itself beautifully to a discussion of both the subject knoweldge and the secret of the winning team’s success -usually effective team work and determination.   The final stage is a homework task of writing up an evaluation of their own project -with the task broken down into questions relating to strengths and weaknesses and targets for similar tasks in the future.  I usually get really thoughtful comments that I feel justify the fact that I’ve had a break from teaching them whilst they have been busy enagaging with the topic and learning about their own abilities.   It certainly brings the development of railways in 19th Century Britain to life.  Lazy teaching at its best!!
    Please let me know if you would like a copy of the task sheet, mark sheet and evaluation task.   Jenni Lowe

2 thoughts on “My Best Lesson…

  1. Hi
    I planned a similar lesson before finding yours online.
    Would really like to have your resources if possible.
    My problem is that I only have 50mins and a lot of the work has been covered in preceding lessons.
    I have an upcoming observation and would like to know: what would be considered as me teaching before they present and the presentation seems like a culmination of their progress , would this be seen as progress on the day?

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