The MLG Repertoire Card

Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 18.27.46

The MLG repertoire card is an ACTIVE-LESSON PROMPT

As MLG is all about holding a sustained focus on a specific element of pedagogy, the trick is to maintain a focus on your identified MLG throughout a lesson or series of lessons. The MLG Repertoire Card is designed so that you have a visual prompt to keep the MLG uppermost in your mind as the lesson progresses. You can also create a space on the card to record observations and reflections during the lessons, thereby building up a living document of responses, reactions and impact on learning of the MLG you are developing.

By keeping your MLG at the forefront of your mind, you can refer to it during the lesson and share your focus for the lesson with your learners. In this way, you are inviting them into the ‘secret garden’ of the curriculum so that they begin to develop an awareness of the process and organisation of learning you have designed for them.  This original Marginal Learning Gains repertoire card is featured in a post over on

I’ve had a go at adapting this into a format that would work as a desk calendar style MLG Repertoire Card and there’s another version in the making (watch this space). The one below is a mock-up of an MLG Repertoire Card that can sit on your desk to keep your MLG focus at the forefront of your thinking.


Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 17.44.23


Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 17.44.31


MLG Repertoire Card

MLG Desk Calendar BACK

Coaching that values the process  

As with all of this work, whilst the MLG Repertoire Card is a lovely thing to have, it is actually the creation of it that is the GLUE of the MLG reflection process.

The creation of the MLG Repertoire Card can only come about as a result of a coaching conversation that IDENTIFIES the missed opportunities in the lesson. The coach can then guide the coachee through the ANALYSE phase so that they are able to unpick the component parts of the Marginal Learning Gain that they have decided to develop.

The MLG approach is outlined here and summarised in the illustration below:

MLG Process

In placing the MLG process at the heart of a coaching conversation and working with the coachee to co-construct the ‘how-to’ aspects of the Marginal Learning Gain, the level of AFFILIATION is exceptionally high. Not only that, by offering the coachee the opportunity to analyse the key characteristics and then make specific selections as to what exactly they will plan, do and develop, the quality of both AUTONOMY and AGENCY are similarly very high indeed.

Coaching to your Marginal Learning Gains

From the coaching conversation, the coachee can refine their repertoire card and truly personalise it for their own teaching style and for the group, the topic and phase of learning that they are designing. In this way, they can knowledgeably implement specific strategies to achieve specific purposes. And, to add to the original ‘Visible Pedagogy’ post, the teacher will have a clear understanding of:

What Works Well…WHEN…and…WHY…for all learning design…WHEN:

  • Launching new topics
  • Checking progress
  • Deepening understanding
  • Clarifying misconceptions
  • Challenging thinking
  • Improving group dynamics
  • Encouraging risk-taking
  • Increasing engagement
  • Gathering feedback on progress
  • Assessing the security of understanding

Pedagogical Purpose

Coaching conversations with teachers can then be informed by their own MLG Repertoire Card  as the basis for reflection so that they can identify, analyse and develop specific teaching  skills. The essential aspect of this is that the teacher will use this to:

  • Recognise what, how and why specific activities are best suited  for learners to learn in particular phases of a topic
  • How effective these activities are in helping all learners make progress
  • How effective they are in delivering these different strategies and what they need to do to enhance impact on learning and progression
  • Clarify the rationale for why certain ways of organising learning are most effective at specific times
  • Start making suggestions as to how learning might be organised in light of their increased self awareness and understanding of pedagogical repertoire



5 thoughts on “The MLG Repertoire Card

  1. Just did a whole 2 week assembly to students, parents and staff about Marginal gains or as Mother Teresa puts it ” do small things with great love”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s