Like every other teacher, I go through phases. I have favourite plenaries and favourite sayings and favourite types of questions. These change regularly, but some things in my lessons are unchanging.
I am a strong believer in pathways. It is unreasonable to expect every student in my class to follow the same pathway when each of them starts at such different points along it. Different obstacles will throw themselves up en route and each student will overcome these in different ways.
As a teacher it is my responsibility to provide my students with the tools to overcome these obstacles. These are my favourite, most used strategies.
To test prerequisites and establish starting points, to allow for me to adapt the lesson if need be. As short as possible but useful for the learning that will follow. Differentiated if applicable. A favourite of mine is “What’s the same? What’s different?”
Clear step-by-step examples, with animations to model the stages of the working. Concise steps for students to copy as instructions.
Total participation techniques to ensure all students are active learners. For example: mini whiteboards, choice cards (https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/choice-cards-11011018), iPads, etc.
Bloom’s Taxonomy questions
A framework for probing questions to test the depth of students’ understanding. Read more at http://www.bloomstaxonomy.org/Blooms%20Taxonomy%20questions.pdf I often use these in conjunction with TPTs.
Due to students’ differing starting points, I provide worksheets with differing levels of scaffolding to ensure all students have the opportunity to reach the same endpoint. Red has the highest level of scaffolding, amber has some scaffolding and green has no scaffolding at all.
I believe these are important for students to deal with misconceptions as soon as possible (generally these are picked up during the task, but just in case!).
Sometimes these link to Bloom’s Taxonomy and a level of creation, more often than not they require the students to reflect on what they have learned in the lesson. This is also a great opportunity to go through a WAGOLL (what a good one looks like) exam question if these were not featured earlier in the lesson already.