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Progress, the key to outstanding?

improveIt’s the start of a new academic year, and the key word at the start is ‘Progress’.

  • Defining it
  • Highlighting it
  • Measuring it
  • Reflecting on it

It’s something many teacher panic over, really panic over, and build it up to be something epic and mythic, something that must be a struggle to actually embed in lessons.

But I’m a believer in simplifying something to understand it. And in order to improve my own practice and help support (and inspire) others I’ve had a go at simplifying it.

So, steps, stages in the lesson that feature reflections. Moments when students (through useful and meaningful activities) reflect on their work.

Some advice on building reflection to measure progress into lessons;

  • Objectives for the lesson must be obvious from the start of the lesson so students know what they are progressing towards
  • Activities should be¬†structured to be meaningful
  • Reflecting isn’t easy for students to do without guidance, so give them support rather than saying ‘spend 5 minutes thinking about that!’
  • Create a template for students to fill in that helps them structure their reflections (Until they are competent enough to work without it)
  • Encourage students to maintain a record of their achievements and their reflections¬†
  • Don’t always use the same activity – students get bored easily
  • Think Game! Build in moments to reflect on work as a game if you can

As a starting point keep progress simple, don’t get lost in a panic!

Start by thinking about how students can reflect on the progress they are making, start by building into your lessons those opportunities for students to document and reflect on the progress they make from the start to the end.

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