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Magazine Issue 62: Mastery Teaching 1
August 2015

This month: Thoughts about Mastery Teaching.

Article: Mastery Teaching 1
New Resources
Mike's Books
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

Mastery Teaching 1

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Mastery Teaching 1 A joint Article co-authored with NQT James Gould from Leicester describing a very neat lesson structure for getting the most out of your pupils. Part 2 next time.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Educators, Any Subject

Tags: Mastery Planning
What is Mastery Learning?

If there's an educational flavour of the month then Mastery Learning is it (in England at least). Instead of laying out progressive curriculum experiences to a set timetable and hoping that most pupils will keep up, Mastery Learning challenges us to be patient and creative in our teaching so that ALL pupils master the content. Learning is pupil-paced not curriculum-paced and uses regular evaluation, rich and diverse teaching methods, and deep knowledge of pupils' learning to ensure that as many students as possible master the content before they move on. Sort of what we've always been doing/always wanted to be doing in spite of initiatives and inspections getting in the way.

How to do it

In 1982, Peters and Waterman, in a wonderful sleight of metaphorical hand, created “ready-fire-aim” from the traditional "ready-aim-fire". They used it to describe how high performing companies act first and evaluate later. Canadian educational mega-god Michael Fullan successfully applied the analogy to educational leadership and, keeping it fluid, suggested times when "fire-fire-fire" is what you do.

It's a great metaphor for the classroom if you can get past the war imagery.

Ready: Preparing to teach - planning - environment - learning behaviours - resources
Aim: Introducing the lesson - recap - new knowledge - outlining the task - success criteria
Fire: The learning activity

I put this flexible metaphor to James Gould, a Teach First participant with whom I've been working this year. He took it and ran:

As a Teach First student these are some of the challenges I've discovered in my first year in class:

1.       How can I model effectively to the whole class without pitching wrong for a lot of them?

2.       If some get it and I set them to work without teaching, they are not learning, are they?

3.       How can I teach two (or three) differentiated groups in one lesson?

4.       How can I know at the start of the lesson who will be ‘higher’ and who will be ‘lower’? 

We decided to speed up the start of the lesson (Fire first) and then put the main input later (Aim) once we knew what the children could do. At the heart of it are Mastery Questions, to make sure that no one is just killing time, whilst also allowing for multiple shots of modelling in a lesson.

During the lesson the class is basically split into two groups. This is started with the first ‘fire’, a quick starter to see who can already do what towards the lesson objective. The ones that can are group 1, the ones that can’t are group 2. This is great assessment for learning.

Group 1 leave the carpet and do some pre-assigned Mastery Questions (see next month's article) that are suitable for the topic. The Mastery Questions are designed to deepen their understanding of the topic, so they become more connected with what they know.

While this is happening group 2 are on the carpet and they get the teaching, ‘aim’. Then they can get going with independent work – something they were unable to grasp at the first ‘fire’ but now they can have a shot (the second ‘fire’). If they finish they can do the Mastery Questions to embed that learning.

When group 2 are on task group 1 can have their teaching input, at the next level to the first group. Then when they go onto do their second ‘fire’ it will be something they were unable to do at the start of the lesson.

The lesson can then finish with a traditional plenary if it is appropriate: to see if they have got the shot, or to give them a heads up for what’s coming tomorrow.

Here's a diagram to show you what I mean. I'll talk some more about this in the next issue and show you the lesson plan we've devised.

Thanks James - nice job - more next month...

 

 

Peters, T., & Waterman, R. (1982). In search of excellence. New York: Harper Collins.
Fullan, M. (2011). Motion Leadership


New Resources:

Connect Thinking

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Connect Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool that develops mastery by gradually increasing the challenge when connecting key subject concepts.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Secondary, Any Subject

Tags: Connections
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Connect Thinking Powerpoint

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Connect Thinking Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint to help you implement Connect Thinking quickly and easily into your lessons.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Connections
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

How to: Connect Thinking Blog

A Teacher Tester's experience of using Connect Thinking in the classroom.

How to: Connect Thinking Blog


Values Think Sheet - Resilience

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Values Think Sheet - Resilience A Think Sheet to help pupils think about resilience - but coming from a creative point of view to help deepen understanding.

Categories: Think Sheet, Teaching & Learning, PSHE, All Ages

Tags: Values Resilience Grit
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Mike's Books:

Books to help you develop your teaching

Creating Extra-Ordinary Teachers
by Mike Fleetham & Branton Shearer

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Creating Extra-Ordinary Teachers <br> by Mike Fleetham & Branton Shearer A Book, Creating Extra-Ordinary Teachers: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom and Beyond, that was co-authored by Dr Branton Shearer. It demonstrates how to use MI to enrich teaching and leadership, and how to inspire others to do the same. It'll give you a useful edge in your role as coach or innovative teacher. Includes a free online MI profile and development activities.

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Leadership, Educators

Tags:

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

4 Way Thinking

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4 Way Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool offering a simple way to structure mastery and deeper understanding, using subject content.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Junior

Tags: Differentiation Mastery
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Arch Thinking

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Arch Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool for making connections, speaking & listening, debate and logical thinking.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Challenge High Order Thinking Logic
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Learning Think Sheet - Grit

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Learning Think Sheet - Grit A Think Sheet to help pupils apply high order thinking to gritty learning.

Categories: Think Sheet, Teaching & Learning, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Grit Mindset Success Mistake Failure
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Effective Teaching; Teacher Effects

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Effective Teaching; Teacher Effects An inspiring Article from a Teach First participant and her mentor about effective teaching and how to learn from each other.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Teaching Personal Development

Books:

Making Every Lesson Count
by Shaun Allison & Andy Tharby

Making Every Lesson Count <br>by Shaun Allison & Andy Tharby Packed with practical teaching strategies, Making Every Lesson Count bridges the gap between research findings and classroom practice. Find out what 'Expert teachers' do.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Professional Development

Tags: Education

Websites:

Mastery Learning - Education Endowment Foundation

Mastery Learning - Education Endowment Foundation What does the Educational Endowment Foundation say about Mastery Learning? How much does it cost and how much impact does it have?

educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/toolkit/toolkit-a-z/mastery-learning

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Research

Tags: Mastery Learning


Next month we think about... Mastery Teaching 2