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5-minute-lesson-plan-cy – Ross Morrison McGill (adapted by Colleen Young)
I really like Ross Morrison McGill’s 5 minute lesson plan and have created my own version as I wanted to tweak it slightly and also have the option to complete the plan electronically. Ross Morrison McGill has explained the various headings on the this page.
My own thoughts and some useful links follow:
The BIG Picture?
I want this to be for the learner not just the context for me or any observer. I give my students syllabus references; with GCSE classes for example I refer to the specification and AQA’s excellent exemplification document which students have access to along with calendars for the year with schemes of learning on our VLE. Similarly for Advanced Level I refer students to MEI’s very clear specification.
I want nice clear language here – this should be all about letting the students know what they are doing and why.
I use this section to plan the beginning of my lesson, this may include a settler on any topic before the first question or activity on the main topic of the day in which case I include both.
We have to get our students interested In what is to come, how do we hook them into the learning?
A little drama can help! ‘Did you know that every integer in the universe can be expressed in terms of prime numbers?’
Maybe an algebra magic trick? Show them why it works later in the lesson.
Bell Work Starters Ideas
What do I really want them to take away from this lesson? Not just what though, but how will we make it stick and how will I know it’s stuck?! I have written more than once on the need for recall. Highlighting is a Waste of Time!
What are the key points from the lesson that they will need again and again? If they forget most of it what would I really like them to remember tomorrow / next week / even the week after?!
They need a basic toolkit which if they have they can work other things out!
Every student of mine knows the 11th commandment (Thou shalt not divide by zero) for example (a little drama to make it stick).
It stuck with me because that’s how my own Maths teacher put it decades ago!
Thinking of basic toolkits for Year 13 (age 17-18) prompted me to write the mini test on Calculus — Mixed Examples here.
Links to other topics
Students sometimes make suggestions that a topic reminds them of something they have already studied. It strikes me that it would be useful to ask students what topic links they can make as well as noting them myself on the lesson plan. This can be used to link to topics already studied and topics yet to come.
Vocabulary and Notation
I regularly use resources to show definitions and have a link for my students here. The various dictionaries, the glossary for teachers and the document with exam terminology are all excellent resources and it is worth noting all the key terms relevant to the work currently being studied.
For older students it is essential to include correct notation. For UK A Level students for example, see Appendix A of the Subject Content document.
Assessment for Learning
Intentionally the biggest box on the diagram! What are we learning? Where are we going with this? How will I know they are learning? How will they know?!
Rich Questions Random Name Pickers
Activities – include Assessment for Learning
Problems and Activities
This emphasis on thinking about what the students are learning aligns with the extremely worthwhile reads: Great Teaching Toolkit: Evidence review and What makes great teaching? And have a look at these comments from Year 9 on good maths teachers!
Note that if you like the idea of 5 minute planning there is a whole series – thank you Ross! Ross has also provided a training programme.