School improvementUsing resources effectively
We’ve brought you our Six Steps for Outstanding Learning, which is based on a robust foundation of evidence.
In Step 1, we need to activate our students’ prior knowledge so that they can make links with the new learning.
Then we looked at Step 2, in which we need to present information in a way that engages our students’ brains effectively.
After this, in Step 3, we need to give our students a challenging task that reinforces the new learning.
This is followed by Step 4, where we give our students effective feedback and provide them with the opportunity to respond to it.
Finally, in Step 5, we need to make sure our students have repetitions of the new learning so that it is secured as long-term memories.
This isn’t the full story – we also need to think about how we use our resources effectively.
Some of the resources available to us as teachers include staff training (CPD), Teaching Assistants, and technology.
It’s important to make the most of staff training opportunities. Staff training should follow the same Six Steps for Outstanding Learning – our brains work in the same way as our students’, but it’s easy to forget to follow the same principles.
Staff training should also be designed for individual teachers, and should involve continuous development with opportunities to reinforce and practice the new learning.
The most effective work from Teaching Assistants happens when they have been trained in a specific intervention and work with individual students or small groups to improve a skill or fill in gaps.
Teaching Assistants can also support the Six Steps for Outstanding Learning, for example providing effective feedback for Step 4. This feedback should be about the process, rather than the task – see here for more information about effective feedback.
Technology can be a helpful tool in the classroom, but only if used effectively in conjunction with evidence-based teaching methods.
The effective use of technology should be fully integrated into the classroom and the teaching, and should be used mostly by the students without much teacher instruction. Most of all, it should align with evidence-based methods, so for example you might use it for small group work, or for Graphic Organisers.
Find out more
In this section we will look at each of these three resources and examine how we can use them effectively. We’ll see what the evidence says, and we’ll apply that to classroom practice.
Header image: http://www.sankalpsmartschool.com/employee-engagement-services.html
Staff training image: http://www.limetreescaregroup.com/about-us/staff-training
Teaching Assistant image: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/government-not-investing-enough-teaching-assistants-or-giving-them
Technology image: http://edtechteacher.org/5-critical-mistakes-schools-make-with-ipads-and-how-to-correct-them-from-tom-on-edudemic/
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