| Mastery Teaching Recap
Mastery teaching aims for all pupils to make the progress they can, rather than leaving some behind if they don't keep up with the pace of the curriculum. It uses frequent assessments of small, discrete learning steps to know quickly who can move on and who needs more time.
Sounds great on the page but in the classroom it's a different matter. How can we organise the environment and plan lessons so that Mastery learning happens?
James Gould has developed a starting point for you to try out:
Download the planning sheet here.
James tells us:
The lesson starts with a very quick aim - an introduction and a catch up from last time. This is the bit that used to go on for 20 minutes if I wasn't careful. Then I do the first ‘fire’, a starter task to see who can already do what towards the lesson objective. I'm looking at this point to assess in the moment and split the class into two groups. The ones that succeed are group 1, the ones that can’t yet are group 2.
While this is happening group 2 are with me and they get the teaching, ‘aim’ - the longer bit I used to do for everyone at the start of the lesson. Then, after I've worked with them, 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.
When I have done lesson this way it has gone down well. The ones who get the first ‘fire’ are challenged by the Mastery Questions, which is good. All the students are making progress in the lesson, and additionally, they are motivated right from the start because they want to be in the first group who get to work independently as soon as possible.
Something I have found very interesting is that it is not always the higher students who move to the Mastery Questions. As we all know people are good at different things, and at different time, and this way of teaching is a useful way to pitch each topic appropriately for each child.
Thanks for sharing James. If you'd like to get in touch with James, drop me a line and I'll pass on your details.