New Do Review

Nov 03, 2021

I believe there are three main things that make great, well structured language lessons.

1. Setting good learning goals and success criteria.

2. Building review into your lesson structure

3. Using Explicit Instruction and a gradual release model to facilitate and scaffold learning.

Learning goals and success criteria needs to be another blog post on its own, so we will leave that for now and focus on the other two.

Today I want to focus on a Review, New, Do, Review structure. Inspired by the Plan-Do-Review highscope structure, but I needed to have the beginning and end of each lesson set aside to interleave and recycle language, as well as incorporating the I do, we do, and you do of explicit instructional models.

Review, New, Do, Review

Review  - 5-10 mins

The first few minutes of the lesson can be spent reminding them of what you have been learning. You may be surprised about some kids and their ability to retain information. You might need to use flash cards, pictures, posters or something to jog their memory. Give them plenty of clues and play a game with it. Bring out the fly swatters or a soft ball to throw to the person answering.

New  - 10-15mins

Introducing new content comes next. By adding even 3-6 new words that you explicitly teach each week, students feel like they are learning new stuff. You can teach explicitly with games, repeat the words heaps of times, moving, reacting, doing something with their bodies or pointing to flashcards. Do all your metacognition brain tricks to get it stuck in their minds. Games, games and more games!

Do  - 15-30 mins

This section is really made up of three 'do' parts. 

First up is Guided practice. Up on the board demonstrate the new words in a sentence or whatever you are scaffolding towards. Show them what you want them to do. Then call on a few students so they can have a go. You can see if they are getting it (formative assessment). Usually I like to have students using the new words in a sentence that they can personalise. So they can say something about themselves using your sentence structure and words they have just learn words.

Next is Partner practice.  This involves your students sharing those personalised sentences that you and a couple of students have just demonstrated, with the person next to them. I keep a close eye on any students I may know it might be difficult for and can give a little individual instruction to those who need it. Then send them all back to desks with their workbooks. Sometimes I show them the page and what I need them to do, just so I don’t need to gather attention again after the partner practice,  but can just send them off.

Individual Practice. So I don’t like worksheets as busy time or worksheets for worksheets sake, but I actually believe we need to do worksheets regularly for a few reasons. The main reason is that the worksheet should allow them to demonstrate and consolidate their new knowledge. What you have taught them, should enable them to complete those pages. It should give them a chance to practice what they are learning and demonstrate what they can do. Another important reasons for weekly worksheets as individual practice, is that it helps students feel like they are learning. I won’t tell you how often I hear "oh we didn’t learn anything, we just played games the whole time" and it makes me want to laugh! Yes, we may have spend 60-80% of the lesson playing games, but in those games you learnt so much and could use the language in meaningful, fun ways! If we add in 5-10 minutes of a well designed worksheet in which they can demonstrate what they have learnt, suddenly the penny drops and students realise that they have learnt heaps! And each week as the worksheet scaffolds towards more complicated material, they can see their knowledge build and by the end of the term and assessments, students can see how they knowledge and skills they have been working culminate and enable them to do something really cool. I have become a huge convert to well designed scaffolded workbooks. They make teaching and learning easier!

Review - 5-10 mins

Finishing with a final review is the best way to connect back in with students, let them share their learning. This is my favourite part of the lesson, as I am usually so proud of those kiddos and all they have learnt. And success breeds success! If you can get your kids to have success, no matter how small, and let them see that they are succeeding, they will be motivated. This review at the end will enable you to do this regularly, they succeed and you can let them know how proud you are of them and all their hard work!


We have some special lessons that don’t follow this, usually when we are doing an end of term Kahoot quiz or cultural art activity. But I find this structure gives my students the predicability they need, while allowing us to get heaps done in as little as 35 minutes. 

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