Split Screen Teaching

One of the first things I tried after coming back from  Kath Murdoch‘s workshop was split screen teaching.  Split screen teaching is teaching the conceptual understanding and a learning objective at the same time. I usually write “What am I learning about?” on one side of the board and and “What am I learning to do?” on the other side. I think it helps students see that you need a skill in order to access or interact with the content.

Split screen teaching can be used in many ways but I have found it most useful for explicitly teaching the transdisciplary skills.

In this interview with Guy Claxton he talks about the idea of building learning power. I think that can translate to both the transdisciplinary skills (What am I learning to do?) and the attitudes. (What am I learning to be?)

I have been sharing the split screen teaching approach with colleagues through planning meetings, a workshop session and team teaching and it has been great to see the different ways it can be used.

In Year 6 I have been using the following approach; After introducing the “What am I learning about?” and introducing the skill “What am I learning to do?” the students unpack the skill and brainstorm the criteria needed to assess the skill. Students have used the criteria to create a personal self-assessment tool. They might not choose all the criteria but just the ones they want to focus on. They can do a pre-assessment or a self-assessment after the first session/day and write goals for the next time.

Codes of behaviour_collage




Below is an example from a colleague in Year 5 where they focused on time management. The second photo is from  a colleague in Year 3 working on non-verbal communication and observation.

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In the movie below students in Year 3 are learning how images communicate information. The skills we are focusing on are non-verbal communication and observation.

I learnt more about split screen teaching from the following bloggers: Lindy BuckleyDavid Fawcett and Jane Nicholls.

I would love to hear how you have implemented or modified split screen teaching. Please leave a comment.



4 thoughts on “Split Screen Teaching

  1. Hi Mags!

    This is great! I had not heard of split screen teaching, before. What a powerful way to make our metacognition processes explicit. I’m definitely going to try this.

    I’ve curated your blogpost into my Flipboard about Inquiry.

    Thanks for the share.


  2. I first started using ‘split screen’ last year (also introduced to me by a colleague after a Kath Murdoch workshop). Prior, I had always posted ‘success criteria’ which covered both subject specific items (you will have created a painting) and skill specific (you will have kept your work area organized). I really like the idea of directly linking to the Approaches to Learning. We have our kids look at the work in their portfolios by ATL in order to set goals for the Exhibition. We are constantly looking for ways to develop skills for the Exhibition lower down the school and this approach could be an excellent way to do that. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Mags!
    Lovely to read your post this morning. It’s almost a year since we met at my workshop in Africa. Very exciting to see the way you have taken that learning and continued to develop it. One thing I have been doing more of lately, is turning those split screen intentions into questions. I share those questions with the students at the beginning of the lesson and find it activates a stronger inquiry stance for all of us throughout our learning. Keep up the good work!


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