Thursday, 30 January 2014

FOCUS Lessons

Having just returned from a few days of training teachers in Phnom Penh, at the magnificent CCF I have to confess that within 15 mins of my first lesson observation (of a planned 6 lessons in 2 days) I was seriously struggling with the rationale for this.

Observation without action?

Just watching, knowing that that this lesson, now could be better. If so, then why not act, do what we can, while we can, now.

And a FOCUS lesson was born—a lesson that could be described as an observation, cum intervention/co-teach/sharing/skilling/teaching/reflecting/advising/adjusting lesson.

A FOCUS lesson is largely inspired by Dylan Wiliam's (2011) 5 key strategies for formative assessment, just substituting 'learners' for 'teachers'.
  1. Clarifying, sharing, and understanding [teaching] intentions and criteria for success
  2. Engineering effective classroom discussions, activities, and [teaching] tasks that elicit evidence of [teaching] 
  3. Providing feedback that moves [teaching] forward 
  4. Activating [teachers] as instructional resources for one another 
  5. Activating [teachers] as owners of their own learning

(Adapted from Wiliam (2011) Embedded formative assessment)

And being a huge fan of acronyms I ended up with:

F: Feedback & Feed Forward
O: Observe (Learning not just teaching)
C: Co-teach & Constructively Criticise
U: Upskill & Unlearn
S: Suggest & Share (good practice)

Alphabetically Coded Reminder of Names You Misremember
A Contrived Reduction Of Nomenclature Yielding Mnemonics
A Concise Reduction Obliquely Naming Your Meaning
A Clever Re-Organisation to Nudge Your Memory