I have a formal observation next week and its got me thinking …
The year before last, our focus was on ensuring that as teachers the learning that had taken place (progress!!) was obvious, and explicit, using “Must, Should, Could”. I know some people regarded this whole “measuring progress” as the latest fad, but I approached it with an open mind. There was initially some confusion as to how this could be achieved in a maths classroom (yes! I AM from the school of thought that thinks maths teaching is different to other subjects, and sometimes struggle to see how many of the strategies shown/discussed at generic INSET sessions can be applied in my classroom, but I don’t apologise for that). During my training it was suggested that we use “All, Most, Some”, but for me this implied that if a student had done the work or grasped the “all” concept they could kick back and do nothing.
Knowing that the schools policy was based on “Must, should, could”, you would have thought that using it would have been easy. This wasn’t the case and its still something I have to think about when it comes to planning my lessons. I know that other schools and teachers use a similar concept, in a slightly different order: “Must, could, should”, on the basis that “must” is the minimum that should be achieved, “could” is working at higher than expected and “should” is overachieving. When I visualised this learning within a lesson on a continuum, to know that a student would only be one third of the way along it, yet this could be seen as acceptable, felt like I was failing in providing them with a sense of achievement. I want my classes to feel that they have REALLY learnt something in the hour I have them.
Teaching is such a personal thing – we bring to our classes, a set of beliefs and values that makes each teachers’ style unique. So my interpretation, in very simple language (I am a simple kind of gal) goes like this: each of the “must, should and could”s are effectively 3 separate learning points within the lesson, and within these there are various levels that the students can achieve. So every student should feel that sense of achievement I’m looking for, just to varying degrees.
Anyway, the point is I am going to try some different ways of introducing my lesson objectives at the start of a lesson … I hope to get the students to rate them too … this could be fun!!