The best lesson I have taught so far

Yun LiuAs it is coming to the end of the Autumn term, I wanted to highlight my best lesson so far. I was about to start a very interesting double lesson, when the projector stopped working two minutes before my observer came into my lesson!

One of the students asked me “how can you teach, Miss, without the projector?” I simply answered: “think about thousands of years ago, teachers did not have projectors, but they did a brilliant job, so just follow me and I will show you how!” It felt like performing a play without a script. I didn’t even fully know the plot myself, but I was excited to see where this could lead.

This was a lesson on BIDMAS for Year 7. I quickly copied the learning objective and starter exercises onto the whiteboard from my laptop, and the students started with that quietly. After that, I started a game of randomly asking some students to stand up and shout out some numbers. I then linked them using different operations. I wrote BIDMAS on the board as large as I could. I consistently referred back to it so the students were really focused on mastering BIDMAS.

I managed to get through all of the content in my PPT without a projector. The class was amazingly focused. From time to time, I gave them discussion tasks linked to real life examples using BIDMAS. For example, why do we do the brackets first? We used a shopping trip analogy – we get the unit prices of different items first and then multiply it by the same quantity we are buying. I asked them to draw pictures and make questions to show where the bracket should go. I was thinking about all the CPDs we had from scholar events, and the different video clips came into my mind to inspire me to make the interaction and learning more interesting. I also used the materials I prepared from NRICH resources (introduced by a scholar event), and that went incredibly well. They were more focused than other classes I had when using the projector.  Some more able students were stretched to a very high level of algebraic thinking.

I remember as the students were leaving the class, they were saying “that was the most fun lesson I ever had!” I was so proud that my observer was impressed with how I calmly dealt with the projector not working and transformed the session into a creative fun lesson, showing the classic art of teaching. Teachers have the ability to teach anytime, anywhere, and if necessary without any technology!

By Yun Liu