Monday, 8 August 2016

After... A Year of The One Hundred Minute Lesson

At the end of last year my school made the decision to move from 60-minute lessons to 50 and 100-minute lessons. I taught one 50-minute lesson every fortnight, and as a result, I've focused on the use of activities within 100 minutes rather than 50 - to be fair, the 50 is very close to 60 and wouldn't be too much different to 'traditional' lessons.

That said, I feel the same about 100-minute lessons now. I found that after a difficult first term, with teachers and students getting used to a necessity to work for longer before their next break (between lessons, or break or lunch), pupils were more amenable to the longer working periods and were becoming quite used to longer periods of concentration.

Over time, I found it easier to plan the longer lessons, and it became easier and quicker to plan my 13 100-minute lessons a week than 22 60-minute lessons.

Our school is continuing to move forward with 50 and 100-minute long lessons and I'll continue to work through them in the following way...

0 - 10/15m is a settler activity. This is typically a recap of work covered in the medium/long-term, but can be handed over to feedback from a recent assessment or homework.
10/15 - 20/25m is time for sharing learning objectives (and success criteria), as well as having students note down the appropriate MathsWatch clip number to facilitate independent study. They'll then take a short amount of time to recap things that they need to know/be able to do for the forthcoming lesson.
20/25 - 35/40m is my bit. I talk, they listen. I ask questions, they answer. I ask them for ideas and they share, continuing on from each others' ideas. I link to things they've done before and extend to things they'll do in future.
35/40 - 50/55m is a short amount of time set aside for students to do some 'messy' work on whiteboards. I'll use some of the Increasingly Difficult Questions sets (and create more accordingly) where students will be able to find their own level of difficulty for a longer amount of time.
50/55 - 70/75m will give students an opportunity to work on a task suited to their level in their books, based on the diagnostic task they'll have just done, working at four different levels.
70/75m - 95m will offer an opportunity to recap what we've done, apply this to a problem or to exam questions and to make links between different topics.

... leaving 5 minutes to set homework, clear up, be ready to go!

I have at least another term of 100-minute lessons. I like them. This is the plan.

I have written some other blogs on 100-minute lessons, which you can access by clicking those links.