The Teaching for Mastery ethos is that all of the children in your class are taught together in their specific year group. Small step planning supports the design of lessons which allows you to take all of your children to an end learning point by a progression of small, incremental steps. Using concrete and visual representations for scaffolding and the challenge of a reasoning and problem solving culture – the vast majority of students are provided for.
No longer is the lesson pitched to the more able with the hope of bringing everyone up, nor should it be pitched to the centre with differentiation above and below. Instead, the commencement of the journey is a few steps back, taking in some of the prerequisites required and ensuring that everyone feels that they have a stake in this process.
For me, it is knowing what you want your outcome to be, and the small steps which you are going to take in order to get the children there. By knowing the school’s calculation policy, I can ensure consistency but also provide for creativity in their mathematical thinking, so that the children gain a depth of understanding through seeing concepts in different representations and structures.
Moving on from this, I need to consider how I incorporate the learning into rich tasks, which provides opportunities for our children in order to develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills.
Shelley Beckerleg, Mastery Specialist (Cohort 1, Cornwall)
Examples of small steps planning lessons, by year, can be downloaded below.