Planning for Maths TS3 & TS4

This week, due to an internet access problem, I found myself in a situation where I was unable to access or use the smart-notebook lesson for the IWB or the lesson plan I had created on my laptop for Maths. As a result, I had to conduct the lesson from memory in a slightly adjusted and reduced format. My mentor stepped in and delivered the introduction to the learning objective  and new aspect of the curriculum to be covered (while I hastily assembled a rough outline of my lesson plan from memory). I then took over, delivering the didactic portion of the lesson to demonstrate the purpose of the learning and then outlining the task and success criteria.

The resulting lesson had the unexpected side-effect of empowering me to differentiate and support the cohort of children much more consistently and conscientiously due to my increased concern that all members of the cohort were adequately catered for. I moved around the classroom supporting and scaffolding as I deemed appropriate, providing verbal feedback and tailored extension tasks where necessary to challenge those children that had quickly mastered abstract comprehension..

At the end of the lesson, during lunch-break, I was able to mark the work that had been completed. Upon doing so, I found that I was able to demonstrate that the majority of the children had shown short-term progress, particularly the EAL children who I had provided both verbal feedback and tailored extension tasks to.

This experience has reinforced a number of things upon me as a practitioner:

Firstly, in future I shall ensure that I backup all files upon my laptop and usb stick as well as Googledrive in order to  ensure that I can access necessary materials through a variety of mediums; and, of course, that I print a copy of my planning well in advance of a lesson.

Secondly, I feel that it imperative to ensure that I have a comprehensive knowledge of whichever aspect of the curriculum I am planning to teach (which it appears, in this case, I have).

Thirdly, the ability to tailor extension tasks from a broader and deeper understanding of the aspect of the curriculum in question can sometimes hold greater merit than creating a range of acceptable extension tasks to assign or be selected by children ready to move on within the lesson.

Finally, this incident was particularly useful in that it combined failure and success, allowing me to reflect upon both concurrently.