Do you often find yourself stuck when planning a lesson? Do your lessons run over or lose direction? Teachers often have these struggles when planning lessons. Lesson cogs is a simple way of looking at lesson planning. by understanding the cogs that make up a successful lesson, you can easily use them to sequence activities and tasks to make great learning happen. Each cog links to a type of child or teacher-led activity that plays a part in learning. But what are the cogs and what do they look like in a lesson? Below, we break down each cog for you - enjoy!
Sequencing the Cogs Into a Lesson
Now you understand the different cogs to make up a lesson, it is important to understand that the cogs can be sequenced in different ways depending upon the lesson. Below are 3 examples of how the activity cogs of a lesson can be sequenced.
The Standard Lesson
In an 'everyday' lesson (if there is such a thing), the structure usually follows the sequence of activities above. The students are usually engaged with a warm up for the lesson and then discover a new skill or bud on a pre-existing skill. Following this they rehearse and practise their skills and being to apply it to a real life problem or situation. Following this an plenary or review is conducted where children evaluate their learning.
The New Skill Lesson
New skill lessons can differ as the emphasis is on the development of learning something for the very first time - be it knowledge or skills. Therefore, the activity cogs focus on rehearsal and practising the skills in different ways with less application. This may follow in a later lesson to develop the mastery of a skill of subject.
A Mastery Lesson
In contrast, mastery lessons build on skills that children already have and deepen their knowledge of these. Application, therefore, is much more of a focus. There may be two or three different opportunities to deepen their knowledge at a greater depth. This may be combined with various short engagement activities to give context and excitement to the application process.
It is always important to understand that differentiation is vital. Not every child needs to be completing the same activity cog at the same time. For example, one group of children may be applying whilst another group is still practising because they need longer. Children may also be completing the same cog but through a slightly easier or harder activity. They may all be applying but in different ways. This allows all children to be successful.
To conclude, lessons cog draw focus to every activity that takes place in a lesson. They ensure that you as teacher understand the purpose and focus of every activity so that no time is wasted and that the whole lesson drives towards the common learning goal.
Let us know what you think about lesson cogs? Do you agree with each activity cog? Are there more? Let us know how you use these in your school. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
With a keen interest in the neuroscience and psychology of learning, WAGOLL Teaching is about sharing research alongside great, simple teaching ideas to a global teaching community.
Ben has been in education for over 10 years and is passionate about simplifying high quality teaching and learning through innovative and practical approaches in the classroom.