Demonstrating Progress in Lessons

In this post, I will share a session I ran about demonstrating progress in a lesson.

After looking over the session just now, I can see that it is a little roughly constructed.  The actual techniques in the session are solid or I wouldn’t post this at all, but the mechanics of the session might need some thinking about.

I think that these techniques are important for the following two reasons:

  1. They create a sense of progress for the students and instills in them the idea that they are learning, which is -I think – important for a lesson that flows (and equally important for the students to trust in and respect you as a teacher).
  2. Less importantly, they are useful for showing lesson observers (Ofsted, your Head of Department etc.,) that progress is occurring within your lesson.

The session:

At the beginning of the session, there are some reflective questions about progress within lessons.  After rating their own ability in this regard (see the below image), we watched a video from Teachers TV and discussed all the different ways that the teacher demonstrated progress.

The rating scale was returned to at the end of the session (itself a method – although a rather subjective one – of demonstrating progress).


The session itself contains six different methods for demonstrating progress; I got the participants in the session to teach each other about these using a ‘Marketplace’ strategy, in which they are given one or more of the techniques, discuss these with a partner and then move around the room and teach the other participants about their techniques.  More specific instructions for this are included within the PowerPoint.

This took a little over half an hour, following which the participants opened up their lap-tops and planned some of the techniques into a lesson for the next day / week.  I chose a few of them at random to present on what they’d done.

Please find attached the slides for the session, bearing in mind, as mentioned above, that you will need to do some work on the mechanics (plenaries etc.,).

Learning and progress session

P.s. Lots of these techniques came from Lisa McGlasson, an Outstanding teacher at the Lillian Baylis Technology School.



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  1. #1 by Andy McHugh on December 10, 2016 - 9:59 am

    The issue over whether we should measure progress in lesson observations is a huge one. Here are my thoughts if you’re interested –

    • #2 by joshgoodrich on December 10, 2016 - 1:16 pm

      To be fair, I think that I completely agree with you. I wrote this in my second year as a teacher, when I was still enamored using ‘plenaries’ to supposedly demonstrate learning.

      I now consider things like this to be a little pointless.

      Thanks for your comment.


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