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Modelling in a secondary maths classroom

As expert learners, the stages that we take in solving a problem or performing a skill are not always thought consciously. To support pupils, we need to make these stages explicit and demonstrate how expert learners engage in an ongoing cycle of planning, monitoring and evaluating. Barak Rosenshine (2010) suggests that pupils ‘need cognitive support to help them learn to solve problems’. This metacognitive modelling can take a variety of forms: worked examples; think alouds; live modelling; my turn, your turn; I do, we do, you do. Using any of these methods helps us to reveal the inner workings of an effective learner and demonstrates effective learning processes. 

As you watch this video of classroom practice, consider how the teacher:

  • Uses metacognitive talk to model the thought process of an expert
  • Addresses misconceptions ‘in the moment’
  • Uses a visualiser to demonstrate the steps taken in problem-solving


Whether you’ll be using modelling for the first time or you’re reviewing its use in your teaching, take some time to reflect on what the teacher has done, how they’ve done it, what they might have done differently, and how this might influence your own practice.


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