This is the lesson I attended in Daugavpils Russian Lyceum in March 2011. The description is my vision of the lesson which may not coincide with the vision of the teacher. Irina, the teacher who ran the lesson, is welcome to share her comments as well. I am sure it will provide us with a better vision of the lesson.

During the lesson the teacher focused on the so-called preparation or how to parts to text. When working with written tasks in the Text Technology, TA students are required not only develop the tasks themselves but also come up with their strategy or model for producing this type of text. This is referred to as a preparation or HOW TO part.

In addition to my description of the lesson, you are also welcome to watch the video. 

 1. Lesson description before

By the time of the lesson the students had already spent quite some time working on their preparation parts and each of them had their own model. During the lesson the teacher wanted to deal with the developed models as a group, thus helping the learners to notice something that might be missing in their individual models and expand on them. The lesson was also an opportunity to go up to a metacognitive level when students reflect not only on a model in relation to a  specific task but also on models as such.

2. Lesson description - after

The lesson started with learners sharing their ideas about preparation parts and the need for them as well as questions and concerns. This resulted in a list of issues to deal with summarised on the board. After that the teacher invited the learners to select the priorities for the lesson and define the learning aims. After some discussion, it was agreed that the aim would be to come from questions and concerns to the shared vision of advantages and disadvantages of the preparation parts. 

Then students were asked to work in groups, share their models with each other and see if there was something they felt like adding to their own models or something they needed to clarify. Students were also asked to come up with a version of a collective model to be shared with the rest of the class.

The last part of the lesson was dedicated to the exchange between the groups and clarification. This part can be very interesting to see in terms of understanding a typical TA classroom discourse. You can see that it's not just the teacher - students conversation. Students also talk to each other and often pose new questions and provide answers. It's also important to note that the teacher constantly keeps up the level of challenge in the classroom not giving students a chance to talk for talking sake. 

3. Overall reflection

It is probably difficult to judge the extent to which the aim was achieved looking at this lesson independently without knowing what happened later. But it seems that the students achieved quite a lot during the classroom time. The homework connected with putting the new ideas into practice was a good idea to check on the individual progress of each student. 

The lesson is a very good illustration of the Thinking Task Framework. As I wrote above, the teacher always checked that the questions students were dealing with were challenging enough for them (not how many times the teacher ensure this during the lesson - you can see it by the flashing Step 1 icon in the video). Challenging questions set new requirements to the students' preparation parts and they had to make them more instrumental (Step 2). Here they were asked to be more specific about values of various parameters, decide on what the choice of this or that value depended on, how the choice of one values affected further choices, etc. The homework asking students to put it to practice was a tool for coming to further reflection on the preparation parts (Step 3).

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio