I am lucky that I am part of a trust and that we network quite effectively across the different schools. With networking comes ideas and the sharing of ideas. One particular idea I have found really useful is the concept of a lesson on a page.
The concept is spelt out in the title. A lesson on a page. You place everything on one sheet of doubled sided A3 sheet of paper. You structure the lesson on the page and place the sequence of things as you would teach it.
Exam preparation creates piles of paper. Absolute mountains of paper. Look at the yellow sheet now. Look at the pink sheet. Find the sheet we were using yesterday. It becomes death by paper.
When preparing for exams or mock exams clarity of the message disappears. You might lose the message because part of it relates to Part A and a part of it relates to Part B. Clarity of message is paramount in the build up to the exams. What do students need to know and remember for the exam? What are the key bits they need to recall for the exam?
The lesson on a page is great because it works to make the message clear. One sheet for one question. That then becomes a resource for revision. Students have one clear resource for revision. We overwhelm students with paper resources to the point they don’t know where to start with revision. This sheet is their starting point and then if they need more support they have other materials they can use.
Recently, we have been preparing students for their mock exam. In the run up to the exam, our preparation time was considerably reduced with the sheets and simply we were working on a question a lesson. Attached here are all the sheets used. It was based on one of the SAM papers.
We have weeks –gulp – left with the Year 11s and every lesson will count and I think clarity, especially on the language papers will help the students. The English exams contain so many questions and, to be fair, each one has a different focus and structure. We are looking at 8 different questions. Then, add literature and you are looking 5 more questions. There’s a total, for AQA, of 13 different questions with their own approach / strategy to achieving success. Is it any wonder students get them confused? When we have 13 different elements, we jump from one set of skills and knowledge to another quickly. For students, the questions blur into one. That’s why students throw techniques into the summary question and then forget methods in the comparison question. If we as teachers are clear, then the students will be clear about what they need to do. We need to build structures in our teaching that support and build clarity.
Now, where’s that sheet of paper I was looking for?
Thanks for reading