Element 3- Teachers Plan, Assess and Report For Effective Learning

I believe that effective teaching occurs when I work towards a specific goal which I want students to learn. This allows students to see that there is purpose in their learning. The process of planning a lesson is very important, as it provides students with a structure. As a teacher, I acknowledge that not everything in a lesson can be planned for. I know that I will not always adhere precisely to every step of a lesson plan, and that I need to allow room for modifications. During the process of planning, it is important for teachers to have clear purposes and intentions so that they can cater for the unanticipated (Ewing et al, 2003, p. 189). When planning, it is important to involve students in the decision-making process, because this will allow students to take on more responsibility for their learning (Ewing et al, 2003, p. 195). I believe that involving students will mean that they will have more autonomy and ownership of their own learning. The importance of creating any unit of work is that the lessons are sequential and flows. This way, students will have a stronger grasp on why and what they are learning. I believe that the process of assessment is also important, because designing different strategies of assessment will help me understand what level of learning and understanding my students are at. Assessment is effective when it is both perceived as a process and the outcome (Ewing et al, 2003, p. 270).
I also believe that positive reinforcements are needed to give children encouragement in their learning. Effective feedback occurs when the teacher informs the students what they have done correctly, and what they have not done correctly. However, this is not enough to only point out what is correct and incorrect. Effective feedback is also when the teacher outlines to the students the methods and strategies they can use to rectify their mistakes (Crooks, 1998, cited in McInerney & McInerney, 2006, p. 12).  
I have planned and implemented a mini maths program on volume and capacity during last year during third year university. In this mini program, the 3 lessons incorporate the different strategies of assessing the students’ learning, and this include observations, KWL charts (what students know, what they want to know, and what they have learnt), and questioning techniques. I have also implemented the Count Me In Too Schedule for Early Number Assessment (also known as the SENA test) and interviewed a student using this assessment framework.    
I will implement a greater range of assessments in my classroom to determine the level of learning of my students. I will use both formative and summative assessments to extract from my students their level of understanding about the content/discipline being taught to them. I will also initiate for my students more divergent assessment tasks. The reason being is that this will allow my students to be more creative with their tasks, and I will receive a wider range of responses rather than setting them convergent assessment tasks which will be restrictive. With the planning process of my units of work, I will ensure that all lessons adhere to and incorporate the outcomes from the NSW syllabus documents. With these outcomes, I will break them down and come up with my own indicators of what the specific goals I want my students to achieve throughout the duration of my unit of work.
With the planning process, I need to take into consideration the students in my class prior to planning a unit of work. I need to consider my students’ differing sociocultural backgrounds, needs and abilities. With this information in mind, it will help me write an outline of the goals and rationale of my unit of work. I will be able to include the focus of the unit of work, and outline how the unit of work caters for my students’ needs. I need to communicate more with parents in term of where their children’s level of learning is at. I don’t feel that there is enough communication between the students’ parents and myself. I also need to investigate further assessment strategies to use. One assessment strategy which I have not used and would like to use is the portfolio assessment. When I use this assessment strategy, I will need to incorporate technology because I would like my students to present their achievements through an electronic portfolio.        

School: Forest Lodge        Class: 3/4          Topic: Volume & Capacity            Week: 3                    Date: 23/9/08Anticipated outcomes: MS2.3 Estimates, measures and compares and records volumes and capacities using informal units 
Activity/purpose/Class structureIndicatorsResourcesAssessment
Introduction (5 mins):  Investigate students’ prior knowledge of Volume and Capacity  1. Brainstorming Activity·        On a large piece of cardboard, students contribute to KWLH Chart ·        Discuss displace, displacement, ask students to suggest item/s that displaces 100mL

Significant questions

·        What does displace mean?·        What does displacement mean?·        Can you think of an item/s that would displace 100mL?
·        Using abbreviation of millilitres (mL)·        Recognising that 1000 millilitres equal one litre·        Recognising the need for a unit smaller than the litre CardboardPermanent markersItems as examples to generate discussion·        KWL Chart 
Exploration (15mins): Build relevance between students’ real world and classroom mathematics.     

2. Floating and Sinking

·        Fill container with 500mL of water, place a light object on water and ask students why the object is floating·        Do the same, but using a heavier object this time, ask the students to compare the difference between the two demonstrations Significant questions·        Why is the object floating? ·        What is the object sinking?·        What does displacement have to do with an object floating or sinking?
·        Comparing the volume of two or more objects by marking the change in water level when each is submerged in a container·        Measuring the overflow of millilitres when different objects are submerged in a container filled to the brim with waterObjects for experimentMeasuring jugscontainers·        Observation·        Questioning  
Teaching (5 mins): Model language and description of displacement  

3. Calibration Activity

·        Students mark 100 mL gradation on an empty plastic container, using water poured from measuring jug·        Students use their calibrated container to identify single or multiple objects which displace 100mL (marbles, golf ball, bolts, scissors and rocks)·        Students record capacity, convert between mL and L and use overflow or change in level of a measure of volume to the nearest 100mL

Significant questions

·        How could I use this container to make an istrument for measuring capacity?·        How could you make a measuring device which will measure to the nearest 100mL?
·        Estimating, measuring and comparing volumes and capacities using millilitres·        Making a measure device calibrated in multiples of 100 millilitres·        Using abbreviation for millilitres (mL)·        Estimate the change in water level expected when an object is submergedMeasuring jugsClear plastic containers to be used into measuresMarking pensDrip traysVariety of small objects to be submerse in the plastic container ·        Observation·        Questioning
Leaning/ Consolidation (10 mins):Hand over to students for guided exploration and discussion 4. Displace 200mL ·        Students select item/s that will displace up to 200mL, record estimate and measure to check estimation·        Student should select one item at a time, ensuring that they are using abbreviations and vocabulary specific to topic in their recordings Significant questions·        How did you choose the first item?·        How did the results from the first item help you to select the second item?·        Was it difficult to record small items? Why?·        Estimating, measuring and comparing volumes and capacities using millilitres·        Comparing the volume of two or more objects by marking the change in water level when each is subrmerged in a container·        Estimate the change in water level expected when an object is submerged Measuring jugsClear plastic containers to be used into measuresMarking pensDrip traysVariety of small objects to be submerse in the plastic container ·        Observation

Closure (5mins):

Students think about displacement without concrete materials

 5. Problem Solving·        Students are given paper and pencil and will be asked/given a minimum of two displacement problems·        Students are expected to use the measuring jugs, containers and objects to estimate, measure and solve the problems ·        Students are encouraged to use both images and written forms as part of their “working out” Significant questions·        How much would you fill the container?·        Would you use objects with smaller or larger mass? Why?
·        Estimating, measuring and comparing volumes and capacities using millilitres·        Using abbreviations for millilitres (mL)·        Estimate the change in water level expected when an object is submerged  Measuring jugsContainersObjectsPaperPen/pencilmarkers·        Summative assessment·        Questioning·        Observation 

Evaluation of lesson

Were tasks appropriate for different abilities in class?Were the instruction clear?
PURPLE – 3.1.1 Teaching and learning goals. Each part of this lesson has a focus as to what the significance of each stage of learning is. In the first goal, I want to extract what my students’ prior knowledge is, which reveals that I am linking my lessons together. The second goal is for students to be able to connect their mathematical understanding of volume and capacity to the real world. The third goal is for students to be able to communicate their understanding with other students and talk about the concept of displacement. The fifth goal is for students to use their problem solving skills and apply it to displacement. All these goals reveal that the teaching and learning goals are very explicit in my lesson.
BLUE- 3.1.3 Selection and organisation of content. In the beginning of the lesson, the goal was to find out what the students know about displacement, and ask them to brainstorm ideas and discuss the meaning of the word. The following activity has students learning about the comparison between floating a light object and a heavy object in water. This shows a logical, sequential and structured way to address student learning outcome.
 YELLOW – Selection, development and use of materials and resources. In this lesson, there were a variety of materials and resources which the teacher and students engaged with to make learning more meaningful by having concrete materials to work with in hands-on activities
RED – 3.1.5 Linking assessment to learning & 3.1.8 Monitoring of students’ progress and record keeping. In this lesson, there are both summative and formative assessments used throughout the lesson. One of the summative assessments includes the KWL chart, which proved to be useful prior, throughout, and at the end of the lesson. Finding out what students’ prior knowledge was helpful in finding out what they need to learn. By finding out what they want to learn, this gives them autonomy over their learning. In the end, they also fill out the “what I have learnt” column, which is a summary of what knowledge they have extracted from the lesson. Observation of the students was also used throughout the lesson to gain an understanding of the strategies the students used to come up with their explanations, and to assess the students on their performance. As the students were performing their measurement tasks, I was writing anecdotal notes about their performance. The use of significant questions was also used. Most of the questions were divergent questions, which allowed for higher order thinking and allowed students to use more metacognitive strategies such as reflecting.