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Professional Milestones - Element 3

Element 3 - Teachers plan, assess and report for effective learning.

Planning

3.1.1 - Demonstrate the capacity to identify and articulate clear and appropriate learning goals in lesson preparation.

3.1.2 - Plan and implement coherent lessons and lesson sequences that are designed to engage students and address learning outcomes.

3.1.3 - Select and organise subject/content in logical, sequential and structured ways to address student learning outcomes.

3.1.4 - Demonstrate knowledge of a range of appropriate and engaging resources and materials to support students' learning.

3.1.5 - Demonstrate knowledge and use a range of strategies to assess student achievement of learning outcomes.

3.1.6 - Demonstrate knowledge of the link between outcomes and assessment strategies.

3.1.7 - Give helpful and timely oral feedback to students.

Assessment

3.1.8 - Demonstrate knowledge and a rationale for keeping accurate and reliable records to monitor students' progress.

Reporting

3.1.9 - Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practices of reporting to students, parents and caregivers.

Program Evaluation

3.1.10 - Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practices for using student assessment results to reflect on lesson sequences and inform further planning of teaching and learning.

I have been lucky to have been given the freedom to plan, implement, assess, and report on two units of work while on practicum. The first was a HSIE unit of work on 'Democracy', which I implemented on Professional Experiences 1 with a Year 6 class, and the second was a Science & Technology unit of work on 'Weather', which I implemented on Professional experiences 2 with a Year 3 class. This unit of work was also integrated with another KLA (Mathematics); as the class were recording weather data and drawing conclusions from the data collected. This is both an integrated and authentic way of teaching and learning because it creates meaning for students by using real data as opposed to abstract data which is the main goal of the NSW Quality Teaching Framework. For this unit of work I also assessed the students in a number of ways and wrote the report comments for Science and Technology based upon the skills and content the students had mastered. I have created an assignment in HSIE and provided students with explicit criteria so that they knew exactly what to do to achieve success in this task. I have also implemented innovative lessons with clear learning goals that incorporate fun interactive activities while still adhering to the syllabus.

I will focus on written assessment strategies and writing meaningful written feedback which will help the students develop. At my last practicum, there were very high levels of functional illiteracy among the students and their parents. This made assessment tasks which focused on the students demonstrating their knowledge in a written fashion futile. As a consequence of the classroom dynamics, my assessments and indeed my feedback were mainly oral. I focused on the students processing small amounts of information into their own words for a research presentation for an HSIE unit of work on 'Cooperating Communities'. The students presented this as a speech, and were thus building oral language skills in English simultaneously with engaging with HSIE content. The need to structure activities for student success is crucial, and if class activities and subsequent assessment strategies are not flexible, then the students will not experience the chance to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways.  

I need to be exposed to programming and develop my own personal program during my next practicum in June. This is an essential part of becoming a graduate teacher that I am not yet versed in. As students we have not been exposed to programming for long periods of time in an academic context, and the thought of this is a little daunting at present. I also need to undertake running records within the classroom. Teachers usually have their own system of running records in place and are often reluctant to hand over the responsibility to a practicum teacher.

I believe that students will not succeed unless teachers scaffold them for success. A strategy for scaffolding students for success is 'backward mapping'. This aligns outcomes, assessments, and teaching and learning activities so that everything taught in the classroom skills students so that they have all the knowledge to succeed in a pre-determined assessment task. This provides relevance and context to all classroom activities which is an essential part of the NSW Quality Teaching Framework. If students are scaffolded for success, then indeed they will start to experience success. This will encourage students to take more risks within the classroom and thus be more active and effective learners.

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