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Classroom examples: learning intentions

You need to show the purpose and likely outcomes of the learning when planning teaching in order to support students’ learning.
AMY: A quarter of this circle is green. We’ve split it into four equal parts, and one of those parts have been shaded green. Do we all agree?
AMY: How many parts haven’t been shaded green? Tell the person next to you, how many parts haven’t? [INTERPOSING VOICES]
Eyes back on me. Reese, how many parts?
AMY: Three parts. Three, if one quarter is shaded, how many quarters aren’t? Crystal?
AMY: Three
shout it.
STUDENT: Quarters.
AMY: Three quarters. Good girl. So one quarter has been shaded, three quarters have been left. Your task now. You have some shapes in front of you. I would like you to shade a quarter of each shape. Remember, we halved it and halved it again, and we shaded one quarter of it. Off you go. Quick as you can see how much you can get done.
TEACHER: Please bear in mind Archimedes’ principle in terms of how much something displaces a liquid.
50 centimetre rulers are there. Beakers, which can be filled with water, some of them without a spout, some of them with. You see if you can figure out why there’s a spout on there. Please don’t get water all over the desks or the floor. There’s two sets of mass balance, some of them record heavier masses, back of the room. Some of them record smaller masses, that side of the room. I think that’s everything you require. You’re basically going to work out the name the object. If you don’t know what metal it is, for example, if there’s block of metal, just guess by its appearance or ask me.
Write down the name of the object, determine its volume, but you’ve got to convert it into metres cubed. Mass, determine it, put it into kilogrammes, then calculate– and again, calculate is right over there, the density. Happy? [INTERPOSING VOICES]
STUDENT: You don’t need to see two masses.
STUDENT: What else are you going to cancel out?
STUDENT: And then let the water go out.
STUDENT: You top the [INAUDIBLE]..
STUDENT: It’s not even coming out.
STUDENT: It’s coming out [INAUDIBLE]..
TEACHER: Careful with the tap. Don’t get water all over the table. [INTERPOSING VOICES]
LAURA: I want to look at the second one here. So given that 3x equals 11, can we explain why 6x has to equal 22? Who thinks they can give me a good description of why given that 3x equals 11, 6x equals 22?
STUDENT: Well, double 3 is 6, and then double 11 is 22.
LAURA: Great. So we know that 3x equals 11. We don’t know what x is but we know that three of them makes 11. So six of those are no numbers. Well, that’s twice as many as those no numbers as 3x, isn’t it? So that the total will have to be 22. That’s what I want you to be thinking about. I’ve seen some great answers going on here, some great explanations of why. Going to give you just two more minutes to have a go at some of those later ones, really thinking about that explanation about why that’s happening. We know the statement. So clearly, you’re told that, but why must it be true?
STUDENT: 3x equals 7.
We’ve established that you need to show the purpose and likely outcomes of the learning when planning teaching in order to support students’ learning.
In this video you will see three of our teachers, Amy, Mike and Laura, discussing with their students what they will be doing in the lesson. This is identifying the learning intention.
We will look at success criteria (how students know they’ve reached the intended learning) in the next few steps.

Learning intentions

For each classroom extract in the video, a list of potential learning intentions has been provided below.

0m10s – Maths. Year 1 (age 5-6).

  1. To know how to shade a quarter of a circle
  2. To know how to shade a quarter of any shape
  3. To know that a quarter represents one segment of equal size out of four for any object
  4. To represent parts of a shape as a fraction

1m25s – Physics. Year 11 (age 15-16).

  1. To describe a method for calculating the density for a regular shape
  2. To describe a method for calculating the density for an irregular shape
  3. To be able to select appropriate equipment to accurately calculate the density of any object
  4. To know that density is related to the mass per unit volume for any object

2m55s – Maths. Year 7 (age 11-12).

  1. To understand how to calculate an unknown value in an equation
  2. To understand the steps needed to solve an equation containing an unknown value
  3. To understand the relationship of equations to each other
  4. To understand that any function carried out needs to be applied to both sides of an equation

What would you do?

Choose one of the three teacher examples provided above. State which of the learning intentions listed you think will be better for the pupils in the class and why.
Thinking back to our examples of clear learning intentions, not ‘fogged’ by context, how might you change your own practice? Make a few notes on your reflection grid for this week.
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Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

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