Element 1

I have prepared and carried out successful lessons for a wide range of subjects and topics. During the planning stage I ensure my subject knowledge is clear and accurate, and use this stage to seek further information or affirm my understanding if necessary. This ensures constantly referring to the syllabus to ensure my planning is based on specific outcomes. I also make sure that each lesson I plan is connected to students’ prior knowledge and in most cases, is linked to other lessons. The volume lesson (Appendix A part 1) I have chosen to provide evidence for this element, is based upon the relevant outcome and indicators. Students carried out hands-on investigation activities throughout the lesson to discover key concepts rather than simply being given the information, these concepts then became the focus of the lesson. Another important aspect of this lesson was beginning with the students’ prior knowledge of volume and linking this to further investigation. In relation to pedagogical theory, these factors link to the ‘Quality Teaching’ document in that they heavily promote deeper knowledge, higher order thinking, knowledge integration and connectedness.  All of these aspects are vital to a successful lesson whereby genuine learning and discovery takes place. This lesson also demonstrates the way in which I have used slight adjustments to cater for a range of abilities. In particular with this lesson, I gave the higher ability groups more difficult containers to use, which are closer in volume, and I spent more time providing scaffolding for and assisting the lower ability groups. I also gained much more in-depth responses from the higher ability groups when they explained why they made certain predictions. In this way all students were being challenged and were engaged at their own level without having to giving each group a totally different lesson, although I am aware that that may be more appropriate in other situations. I will continue to expand my knowledge in all subject areas and pedagogical research; in particular in the area of ICT as it is becoming more and more significant for teachers and students and I have had little experience of teaching in this area. I did have the chance at one of my practicum experiences to observe and assist another teacher using a smartboard with a year four class to teach sharing in mathematics. I learnt a lot from that experience and so I have attached my observation and reflection in regards to that lesson (Appendix B). I also am competent in a range of ICT skills such as navigating websites, creating power point presentations, using Microsoft office and creating wiki’s. However, I need more opportunities to learn about and teach ICT. I will support these needs through reading relevant documents regularly and communicating with others who are studying and/or working in the field of education. I believe knowledge of subject content, curriculum requirements, pedagogy and ICT to be firm foundations for teaching practice. It is of the utmost importance that each and every child has the opportunity to participate in relevant, content-rich activities that relate to the appropriate syllabus. It is also necessary that teachers are aware of relevant research in regards to pedagogy and adapt their teaching appropriately. I believe that this means all teachers must be life long learners, which is an exciting and challenging aspect of this career and one that I whole-heartedly look forward to.