Collaborative Planning

So this is an idea. It’s in its infancy I admit but I’m hoping that writing this might bring some new ideas to the fray.

What I’ve noticed

Is that people talk about lesson ideas a lot on twitter. And something I spotted from some NQTs, some PGCE students and some long time teachers was that sometimes you have no idea how to start teaching a topic – what activities to do, what questions to start with, what should you expect as responses, how long should it take to cover whatever it is you’re doing, what examples should you use to avoid common misconceptions, what should/n’t you do when explaining? I was lucky on my PGCE, in my first two years of teaching, and this year when I taught 2 new courses; there were resources everywhere in the departments and my colleagues were supportive.

But what if you’re not surrounded by that warm fuzzy blanket.

Or what if you are the only one teaching a course?

Or what if ‘here take this worksheet’ isn’t what you need?

We’re lucky that we can call on our friends across the world for ideas and tasks, but sometimes just getting the activity isn’t enough – you have questions but you don’t want to pester the writer any more; you read the blog post and want to use the activity but what about how to intro? or what works as a plenary?

Because the other thing I’ve noticed is that a LOT of teachers don’t work or plan in isolation. Mathalicious is a team that plans lessons. My sister does most of her planning as a Year 5 teamยน. My favourite experiences from my PGCE were sat with my group bouncing ideas and growing them into lessons. My best lessons often come from talking it over with others and my lessons ALWAYS improve with feedback. So why not get that before I teach it?

We can’t all be geniuses like this.

So my idea…

Is to try to recapture that from my PGCE days and share it with people. I am not a lesson planning guru, but I do like to talk about teaching and lessons and planning. So maybe I should ask people to do that.


If you have a topic you’d love to chat about either because it’s causing you grief to plan or because you have something you would like to share let’s get on google hangout and have it out.

Let’s throw a gdoc together and write a lesson plan
Let’s create resources as a group and then use them
Let’s ask questions of each other before we go into to the classroom not after
Let’s have some fun writing lessons as a team.


If you are interested let me know!

ยน: Or my mum. Listening to them plan lessons for 10 year olds is AWESOME

This entry was posted in Blogs, General Maths Thoughts, Lessons, University and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Collaborative Planning

  1. I am very interested! Thanks for getting this going!

  2. Totally interested in participating in any of these that are Algebra 1 related. (Obviously I think all math topics are awesome and I would love to participate, but I’m trying to focus on only saying yes to a manageable number of commitments, and Algebra is the content I teach…) I don’t have anything specific in mind yet that I would like to do, but will definitely let you know if I get an idea. Awesome Idea!

    • nik_d_maths says:

      Hi Kathryn, I’m afraid I’m not 100% on what’s in Algebra 1 since we don’t teach Maths in that way here… Could you let me know what topics you would be covering?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Kathryn Freed says:

        Yeah sorry about that …
        In Algebra 1 (CCSS) we do linear eqns and modeling with them (and systems); distinguishing between linear, exponential, and quadratic functions; exp/root properties; linear regressions and data analysis; polynomials (focus on quad) add/subtract/multiply and factor/solve/graph/model. That’s a brief description. The basic linear equations are in grades 6-8, but go more in depth in Algebra.
        Hope that is a better description.

      • nik_d_maths says:

        No need to be sorry! Thanks for the detail; super helpful! I think I may need to put some sort of form together if lots of people want to get involved ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Collaborate, stalk. I’d settle for either. As a newbie, and the ONLY math teacher in my school, I crave professional communications. What levels would you pursue?

  4. Nathan Kraft says:

    Nik, this sounds like a great idea and I’d be happy to participate. I teach mostly middle school topics up to Algebra 1 (focusing on linear equations).

  5. Fawn Nguyen says:

    Am I the only one here not knowing what NQTs and PGCE stand for? Really great idea, Nik, please count me in!

    • nik_d_maths says:

      Sorry Fawn…

      PGCE is Postgraduate Certificate in Education – it’s one way to get qualified as a teacher and the main way secondary teachers go; you get your degree then do the one year course.

      NQT year is your Newly Qualified teacher year that you have to do after you get Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) It’s some extra support and assessment during your first year of teaching; you teach slightly less lessons peer week but get observed more and have to make a portfolio.

      Thanks for dropping by!

    • reilly1041 says:

      I kept,thinking PGCE was Pacific Gas and Electric, but knew that couldn’t be right!

  6. Joana Sousa says:

    This sounds great! I would love to get involved, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’m definitely interested in particular I would really benefit from algebra and solving linear equations. Fantastic idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Pingback: Collaborative Planning – Let’s get this started | Maths is Not a Spectator Sport

  9. Pingback: Collaborative Planning – Round One | Maths is Not a Spectator Sport

  10. @aanthonya says:

    I am interested @aanthonya

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s