Effective Lesson Plenary Sessions

By lesson plenary we mean the way a lesson is ended. A lesson plenary should include the routines for the end of the period and the summary activities. Marty, SMA of the school, elicited some of the routines students need to complete at the end of each period. Trainees came up with different ideas that can be summed up in the following:


Students need to:

  • finish questions and notes
  • collect or write down their homework
  • tidy up the room for the next class
  • carry out any other classroom administration

Marty clarified the importance of making sure that students have learnt and that objectives have been achieved. Students must be able to:

  • demonstrate that they understand the learning objective
  • demonstrate it, say it, show it or do it

What should your plenary look like?

A teacher needs to create a quality summary. It has to be:

  • brief
  • purposeful
  • varied

A teacher also needs to encourage students to share ideas from the lesson that they had trouble understanding, as individuals, pairs orĀ  in groups.

To exemplify lesson plenaries, the members of the SSO team Alan, Colin and Dave, as well as Reda El-Mahdy, The AVP of Ahmed Bin Hanbal Independent Secondary School for Boys, in turn, gave practical examples of lesson plenaries for the different subject areas.

In conclusion of the session, Marty gave the following pieces of advice to teachers:

  • Always smile and thank your class for their valuable participation
  • Make as little reference to disruptive students as possible
  • Let students leave with positive attitudes if you want them top return with positive attitudes

Marty assured the fact that the SSO team do want the teachers to use effective lesson plenaries to develop their teaching.


Effective Lesson Starters

Last Sunday 25th November 2009, the SSO team gave a session on “Effective Lesson Starters“. It all started with a word puzzle as a “Do-Now-Activity” getting trainees to allocate names of New Zealand regions and cities. Trainees were interested in that type of activity which proved to be a very effective starter for the session.
The main objective of the session was to clarify the importance of starting the lesson with activities that are related to lesson objectives as this helps:


  • gain students’ attention
  • set the mode for the lesson
  • prepare students for the new stimulus
  • arouse students’ interest

David, the Science AT of the school, talked about the importance of effective lesson starters mentioning that:

  • students who ar active do not get bored
  • boredom often leads to bad behaviour!
  • students’ brains are “switched on”
  • a good starter reminds students of previous learning
  • a good starter informs students of what they are expected to know by the end of the lesson
  • a good starter sets the “tone” for the rest of the lesson

Teachers are kindly requested to make good use of the information discussed during the session and apply the techniques usedĀ  in their teaching so as to improve their performance and the quality of teaching.