“The Trench of Lost Momentum”

Here’s a little insight into how I organise an effective, engaging lesson.

This is a graph showing what an effective teaching lesson looks like versus an ineffective maths lesson. The red line shows a highly engaging and effective maths lesson with a high level of maintained momentum, while the grey line shows an inconsistent and mainly ineffective maths lesson, which starts with a high momentum that isn’t maintained and eventually leads to what I like to call the “Trench of Lost Momentum”.

1) Don’t lose the momentum and goodwill engendered by an engaging and fun warm-up.

2) The introduction to the student activity should be brief and concise – outline the task, state your expectation, and let the kids get on with it.

3) Too much teaching talk takes up invaluable kids’ doing time.

4) This is where you teach – during the student activity, not the introduction (and not in low momentum, as the location of the 4 might suggest). Let the kids get started and teach at your points of need.

5) The Trench of Lost Momentum. No one digs this trench for you – you dig it for yourself by adopting a lecture-style teaching method that disengages and loses your kids, and loses your momentum!

6) Concise, doable, effective share/reflection task.