#RapidProgress in my classroom: How it is made and how do I know it? #BlogSync

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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I proclaim nothing new here – so my cards are on the table from the outset. Contain your disappointment!… What this post hopes to highlight, as part of @Eductronic_Net’s fantastic #BlogSync collaboration; is just a simple classroom technique that I KNOW works well – in every lesson I teach – and coincidentally, is perfect evidence for those formal observation lessons when needing to demonstrate progress over time; as well as ‘rapid progress’ during the lesson.

My advice: make this strategy part of every lesson. Treat every lesson as if you were being observed.

Rapid progress does not always have to be measured in terms of levels. It can be as simple as accumulating knowledge; demonstrating understanding, and of course applying skill and technique in a classroom activity. We know the key here; is that evidencing progress over time, is not a one-off snapshot judgement, but evidence of progress over a series of lessons throughout the year.


Use this one concept as a model for future techniques for demonstrating rapid progress (over time) in every lesson. Make it a routine. If that is the case, the learning will gradually become embedded and the process of learning will in turn, be visible (and rapid) progress will become the norm. Even if it is measured in its simplest form: student engagement, resilience and confidence.

'Rapid Progress' Class Activity by @TeacherToolkit
‘Rapid Progress’ Class Activity by @TeacherToolkit

The link to this resource can be found on my TES page here and the context for the resource is written below:


This resource can be modified to suit any subject and topic. I do NOT claim this resource to be a new idea; just a strategy that works very well in my own classroom that is worth sharing. I’m sure you have already delivered something very similar in your own classroom. If that is the case, great! Keep doing it!

There are many examples of this work, already existing. No doubt, this has been modified countless times by others – perhaps yourself –  to suit your own lessons and the criteria for which students are being assessed.

This classroom idea is perfect for sharing success criteria; and also demonstrating progress within the lesson. The topic can be used as a starter or plenary and feed into a main activity during a lesson, or as part of a longer term project – for students applying success criteria for classwork; coursework and exams.  I always use this technique for every project and it often features (albeit different in various guises) in all my own lesson observations. (It’s more about the strategy, rather than the content).

What I am trying to say, is that this is a GREAT technique for formal observations – but I am not one to condone anything for Ofsted purposes, nor appraisal observations. What I am condoning is this:

  1. Use the idea. Make it happen every lesson.
  2. Adapt the topic; tweak the resource to suit lesson objectives and the success criteria.
  3. Apply it into your own teaching array of strategies and test the learning process as a result.
  4. Embed the strategy into all your projects; schemes of work.
  5. Empower students to create their own and allow them to lead the learning of others!
  6. Try the strategy for your next formal observation.
  7. Share the resource and strategy with other teachers.
  8. Develop the resource and in true #BlogSync tradition; re-post your experience and let me know!

Here is a link to the classroom activity that purely aims to get lessons off to a rapid start!

'Rapid Progress' Class Activity by @TeacherToolkit
‘Rapid Progress’ Class Activity by @TeacherToolkit


Attached are photographic examples of student progress – before and after the success criteria is shared with the group. This makes for a fantastic classroom activity; to demonstrate rapid progress and start/end (observed) lessons – and every lesson – with a energetic pace and directed focus.

Click on the images below for a larger image:

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Below is a link to Sarah Findlater’s blog which neatly ties in with April 2013’2 #BlogSync posts. There are well worth a read:

Great posts by @MsFindlater on Top tips for showing progress and Unlocking the Power of Progress

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