I had an interesting conversation yesterday with two highly experienced teachers that have delivered in both KS1 & KS2 in a number of different schools – and one of the main outcomes was how important they felt the power of plenaries actually was. They certainly believed giving children the opportunity to self reflect but also recap on what they have done previously is crucial to their development. If your not using this tool already, try it. Do your players know what they have done the previous week? Or are they able to highlight some of the key components or micro parts of the previous session(s). This ties in certainly to the art of delivering and using a whole host of styles, but also how you pitch key words to children in a logical order is vital.
They both gave some great examples of how plenaries and mini plenaries have been powerful in their experience, one mentioned a time were they had been working on over arm throws during a Physical Education lesson – one individual, was particularly strong with the technical elements of this basic skill and teacher used this to their advantage. After delivering points to the children on how to throw overarm, the teacher told me how she had asked the class to list the points. Nothing. Not an answer. So she used this individual that was doing very well with his throwing and asked him to show the class the throw. She then asked again, what has he done well? Gradually ideas and answers came… so the power of this mini plenary told her that number of her children were very receptive to this way of recapping. Subsequent to this, she has now taken as a teacher and incorporates it in almost all of her lessons, but through a variety of different ways.
“Catch them when they do it well” comes into mind at this point, and I certainly think it’s a tool as a coach you should try and see if it works.