Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Planning for Excellent Learning

At the beginning of any new school year, all of us teachers come up with new ideas, hopes and projects to improve our teaching. We want to be better teachers, we want to give more, we want to achieve new goals together with our pupils. We want to make up new strategies and activities to keep our pupils - and ourselves - from getting bored.
I'm no exception.

And after this engaging CLIL summer, I have even more to think of. That's why I want to share with you an interesting document: it's a lesson planning form I was given in one of the English schools I visited. I met this brilliant young Geography teacher who told me he had been working there for just a year; since he was very young and he just left University, he had been trained to perform a new kind of teaching, which he believed was not perfect, but still good. Then, he was so kind as to give me one of his lesson planning forms.

Now, if I've learnt anything in the UK, is that being a teacher there is very stressful. They're very strict as far as the teaching is concerned - and then, do you remember? there's that hard part "the pupils should be speaking 90% of the time".

So, have a look at the form and let me know what you think of it. I'm uploading it here and in the TwinSpace of The Next Generation as well. By the way, you'll find lots of new materials there, so do have a look.

Have a successful new school year you all. Enjoy your job, and have fun with your pupils!


  1. Dear Laura,
    Thank you again for sharing your experiences and your materials. I've visited your TwinSpace of The Next Generation and downloaded the lesson planning form you've presented here. I reckon I may use some parts of it.
    I cannot but feel the big gap between what for us FL teachers should be a must, namely that "the pupils should be speaking 90% of the time", and what actually happens in our classrooms.
    I've asked my colleagues what our students were asked during the Esame di Stato (final school leaving exam) and once again nobody talked about competences (apart from the 4 skills) and everybody assessed students on the basis of "content", which for us means pages and pages of history of litature, authors' biographies and dozen of text analyses.
    I'd really like to see examples of high school teachers working on big chunks of the so called "school programs" with innovative teaching methods, like the ones suggested in the CLIL experience.
    I do hope to find good examples to follow on my way.
    Thank you for your generosity.

  2. Hi Laura,
    I agree with Mariella, you've been very generous sharing all of these materials.

    I don't want to be greedy, but do you have anything for younger students? from 6 to 14 ? I think I read somewhere that you and your partner had worked with this age as well.
    I would be very grateful if you could share something for primary teachers.

    Thank you and have a good school year you too.


  3. Dear Laura, LLT Friends,
    thank you for sharing us new materials. I think, are very useful, because help us to have more and more new ideas. And it is every time good for us as teachers, and this way are good for our pupils too,as I hope.
    Just an example, what I tried out now...In Hungary we started the school on 1st September, and yesterday we had normal lessons.
    I teach small children, they are 8 years old. I had an interesting experience, we had two Art&Crafts lessons. I had an idea..I asked my pupils first just draw a kind of forest with pencil, first without any colours. And, the sun, trees, clouds, lake were collected by other ones. After I asked to use their scissors, and to cut the paper on the top, next to the line (next to the sun..etc). So, the result: we had a paper as don't we see it normally. Not in an A/3; A/4 form, but had the form of trees and sun. I asked my pupils to have their brushes, and paint what they drawed. It was very interesting..first, because very young children have ideas about a "normal" ,so regular paper, so I find, they have "stereotypes", as we adults have. And first had difficulties, but after they were really creative. Children started to challenge the colours, different forms, new possibilities. At the and of activity, we used crayons to collect our paintings with animals.

    I took photos, and I will continue to do the same, and I think to upload them on TwinSpace.

    Teresa, what about this kind of activity? I teach in a primary school, every subject for my small pupils and Italian language.

    Ok, I think, make different kind of activities too during our lessons could be useful, and good.
    Have a great new school year, everybody, and of cours, have a great LLT year!)

  4. Thank you! And thanks for your new uploads with lots of ideas!

  5. Thank you Mariella and Teresa.
    I'm not back to school now as I'm not well, and I hate missing the first day. I love it!
    Anyway, I wish you a challenging, funny and rewarding new school year!