A number of templates had been used:
What went wrong? In a calculator task the calculator was wrong. Children had to identify that the use of the decimal point was important when calculating with money.
In one lesson the teacher finished off the long multiplication with a calculation where she had only multiplied by 10 and not the 100.
This strategy reveals children’s misconceptions and where to start teaching. Children enjoy celebrating mistakes. This is manageable because you can work for the children’s own errors.
The range of answers: Given a calculation then a range of wrong and right answers, children had to convince the teacher that they were right. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, just different criteria applied. Children feel they have more control.
These templates are a good way of assessing prior knowledge, encouraging explanation and revealing children’s thinking.
Pupil generated: one teacher used an image and asked the children to create their own questions about it. Children get better at asking questions. They use higher order questions in every aspect of lessons as they are used to the vocabulary. Some questions use the power of ‘might’ (e.g. Why do people pray? Why might people pray?)
Statement: Using children’s statements then inviting children to say whether they agree or not and why. Not letting someone play in a group is bullying – agree or disagree?
Convince me: Should Mrs Jones buy her Christmas jumper from John Lewis if she wants value for money?
Prove it: Goldilocks should have been arrested for breaking and entering. Agree or disagree?
Odd one out: For a lesson on equivalent fractions: ¼ 4/16 3/10 25/100. This encouraged children to make links, look for patterns and explain their thinking.
The templates encourage children to form an opinion and change it when presented with strong evidence from their peers.
True or false (e.g. prime numbers are always odd/ the numerator is always smaller than the denominator) in maths lessons linked well to reasoning skills and getting pupils to explain. This also worked well as a mid-lesson stop. Misconceptions were picked up within the lesson. Sometimes this changes the way the lesson goes. It shows an embedded concept when children can explain their thinking or a concept.
True or false had been used with character traits in whole class reading. This really led to pulling apart inference of characters and exploration of emotional literacy.
One teacher described how the maths lesson is broken up by assembly, so the teacher checks children’s books, identifies misconceptions then, when the children return, uses questioning to address these misconceptions. This means misconceptions are addressed in the same lesson, on the same day, giving instant feedback.
Always sometimes never had been used by all teachers. This generates much discussion and gasp moments as children get it.
Starting with the answer led to even the lowest achievers being able to give a response. These tasks are low floor high ceiling so there is a lot of potential.
The range of answers was used a lot in maths. Right or wrong/true or false had been used throughout lessons, in maths mainly. Children are now more aware of mistakes in their own work with fewer mistakes being made.