Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.14.16UK Science Teacher Alex Laney Shares Some Outstanding Do Nows

Alex Laney is a science teacher at Blessed William Howard Catholic High school in Stafford, in the UK. He’s recently been accepted onto the Future Leaders flagship program and come September will be working as an Assistant Principal responsible for Teaching and Learning in a school striving to achieve excellence for its students in a community of high need in Birmingham.

He recently shared some of his Do Nows with me and I thought I’d pass them along here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 18.22.56

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 18.26.22

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 18.25.46

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 18.23.12

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 18.35.15

The presentation is so compelling! Some of the things I like about them:

1) The visuals make the Do Nows engaging and interesting for students, making them more inclined to think and write deeply about them.

2) The information in the images also adds depth and rigor to the content… The picture of the cyclists for example really helps me to think not just about a lone cyclist but about how they interact in a race and this enriches the comparisons I might make as a student.

3) The degree of preparation implicit in the Do Nows signals something to students about the seriousness worth of the endeavor. It’s not slap-dash busy work to be done while the teacher gets organized.  This is a core part of the lesson, artfully planned.

4) I love that most have ‘stretch it’ opportunities where in students can decide to challenge themselves and go above and beyond.

Alex himself offered these thoughts:

The way I use the Do Now has developed over the course of this academic year. They started off much less challenging. Often students would write in bullet points, or just mind map a few ideas. I wanted the students to get writing quality pieces of work straight away though, and the ‘beautiful crafted sentence’ idea came about from that. Now I’ve been toying with upping the challenge again.




Leave a Reply