When, as their coach, I ask "What can you do differently?", the teachers sometimes are stuck for an answer. They tell me, somewhat defensively, that they have designed the best activities and it's the students responsibility to learn from them.
True, yet there are many things that a teacher can do differently when designing lesson activities so that more students learn more. The first challenge for the teacher is to let go of the idea that they have already designed the best activity, and look for something else that's best in a different way. The second challenge is to find ways of changing the design. To this end I use several parameters to 'measure' the activity.
Ask / Tell
Visual / Auditory / Kinesthetic
Asking - Two-way communication
The teacher asks, verbally or in writing, a variety of questions that require a physical, verbal or written response from the students.
Telling - One-way communication
The teacher uses reference material and their own experience to inform the students about the subject, through verbal (dialogue, discussion etc), physical (movement, acting etc) or written communication (books, websites, newspapers etc)
"What's the balance between Asking and Telling in the current design of the lesson activity?"
"How much time is spent on Asking Activities and how much time is spent on Telling Activities?"
"Which students benefit most from that kind of activity?"
"Which students benefit least from that kind of activity"?
"What would be a very different balance? (pause) And how might that work out for your students?
"What would be another very different balance? (pause)And how might that work out for other students?
"Which students benefit most from this new kind of activity?"
"Which students benefit least from this new kind of activity"?
"Which students do you most want to reach with this new activity?"
"How could you redesign the current activity to achieve that?"