Plenary Sessions (Lesson Endings)

This morning, Sunday 9th January, 2011, and in the professional development workshop, there was a good discussion about “plenary sessions“.

The main objectives of the workshop were to identify the key features of effective plenary sessions and to suggest some ideas for plenary activities.

It all started by eliciting the types of plenary the teachers used for the last four lessons and why they have chosen to use these types of plenary.

There was an agreement that when planning, a teacher should make sure that it:

  • provides a range of opportunities to review learning
  • identifies questions to consolidate and extend literacy skills
  • builds links between plenary and other elements of the lesson

During the plenary session, the teacher should:

  • challenge the students to justify their ideas
  • provide feedback to clarify and extend the students’ thinking
  • assess the learning against the lesson objectives

After the plenary, the teacher has to:

  • review success and record information
  • use the information to inform future plans

It is important to mention here that effective plenary sessions should:

  • Review the learning objectives of the lesson
  • Summarize  key learning points.
  • Consolidate, reinforce and extend earlier work
  • Correct errors and misconceptions
  • Assess what students have learnt to during the lesson to inform future planning
  • Enable students to use their new learning to test prior knowledge

The audience watched three clips exemplifying different ideas for plenary sessions by three teachers from our school and conducted a discussion about their effectiveness and how to develop these ideas for future lessons.

Finally, teachers were advised to share their ideas for plenary sessions.

You can download today’s presentation on plenary sessions here.