It is essential that every lesson has a clear goal that corresponds with students’ interests and abilities as well as relevant outcomes. These outcomes must then link directly to the assessment criteria, which, in turn, need to be made explicit to students. Students need to be aware of what it is that they are trying to achieve so that they know that their learning is significant. I believe that all these aspects come together to form a ‘quality learning environment’ (NSW DET, 2008) whereby students are motivated to learn. This results in them performing to the best of their ability, which is a primary goal that I have for each and every student that I teach.
During my practicum experiences I have planned and carried out a wide variety of lessons, all of which were based upon clear and appropriate learning goals, relevant to syllabus outcomes. This is exemplified in the ‘lesson focus’ of the grammar lesson I have attached as evidence.
The lesson itself is also structured in a coherent manner; beginning by drawing on students’ prior knowledge, followed by a hands-on exploration activity and concluding with relevant questions to consolidate knowledge. I believe this is an important aspect to reflect upon after each lesson; how did my lesson develop? This is something I have definitely improved in over my teaching experiences.
Another point, as noted in my supervising teacher’s observation of the lesson, I also used innovative resources that made the lesson more relevant and engaging to students. I have used a variety of assessment strategies over my practicum’s, from clear and simple worksheets for kindergarten, to observation and written assessment for year six. As shown in the grammar lesson plans, these assessments are closely linked to the outcomes and indicators for each lesson. Even though I have much more to learn in these areas over my teaching career, I feel confident in planning lessons and assessing student learning and look forward to building on these foundation blocks in future teaching experiences.
I need to understand more of the logistics in regard to reporting and providing student feedback. I believe that these are important aspects of teaching for both parents and students; and therefore a skill that I really need to develop. Through reading, observing my supporting teacher and discussions with colleagues I hope to develop these skills and learn different methods of reporting so that I can develop my own feedback and reporting systems.
At my next practicum I will:
- Communicate with parents about teaching / learning experiences happening in the classroom.
- Develop a method of giving students immediate feedback.
- Observe and discuss with my supporting teacher how they write end of term / end of year reports.
- I will develop student portfolio/s to monitor individual development.