Element 1

Element 1


I have... come to understand the importance of having a thorough knowledge of what you are planning to teach. It sounds obvious but on occasion I have been asked to teach a lesson where I had minimal understanding of the content and therefore struggled to convey the principles or reasoning behind it to the students. As a result I have made a point to consider possible misconceptions and potential difficulties that the students might have with the content before I begin to plan learning experiences. I have found this incredibly useful and it has become a significant aspect of my teaching pedagogy. (Appendix A) clearly demonstrates this approach as prior to the lesson I dissected the text and identified and tagged difficult words and concepts and throughout the lesson I referred to the glossary and elicited the children’s prior knowledge about the content which ensured that students remained engaged during the reading of the text as was clear from my supervising teacher’s observation notes (Appendix B). I preferred this to using a more simplistic text as it helped to extend the students while providing a scaffold to ensure that no student was left behind.


I will... continue to plan lesson sequences that take into account the interests, challenges and modes of understanding of the students in my classes. It is sometimes easy to assume that students learn most effectively from your instruction and involvement but a lot of the time they learn from each other and from their experiences in and outside of the classroom. Eliciting the students prior understanding before starting new learning areas is essential as is the utilisation of open questions throughout tasks. On my most recent prac I found this to be a great way to encourage students to explain content in their own words which not only encouraged their use of metalanguage but also helped them to clarify the lesson content for their peers. I will hopefully fine tune my questioning style and continue to provide opportunities for students to learn from each other and challenge their own and others’ understanding of the content that they learn. I would like to become more versatile in how I do this by including ICT where useful in my lessons


I need... to become more proficient in the use of ICT in the lessons that I plan. I have not had access to a Smart Board in a classroom that I have taught in but I have had the opportunity to familiarise myself with the technology. I would like to integrate ICT  into my lessons and hope to have the opportunity to do so in the future.


I believe... that a it is a teacher’s role to familiarise themselves with the syllabus and its support documents in order to understand what students should be achieving n their classroom. It provides the skeleton for the learning activities that are conducted within the classroom and if a teacher is adequately familiar with it they can ensure that learning opportunities fulfil its requirements while they also interest and engage the students in their class.


Appendix A                                                    


Lesson Plan

Date: 31.10.08

Stage: 1 Year Level: 1/2  

Key Leaning Area: English

                                  Science and Technology

Focus: The life cycle of a frog

Length of lesson: 50-60 mins

Rationale and Outcomes

Aim: For students to listen to and answer questions from a non-fiction book on the life cycle of the frog and use the information to order and write an explanation of the different stages of a frog’s life.

Syllabus outcomes:  LTS1.3- Identifies and describes ways in which living things grow and change.

TS1.1: Communicates with an increasing range of people for a variety of purposes on both familiar and introduced topics in spontaneous and structured classroom activities.

WS1.9- Plans, reviews and produces a small range of simple literary texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers.


Learning Outcomes

-         students are able to identify various examples of growth and change that are presented in the book

-       uses a comment or question to expand on an idea in a discussion

-       listens attentively and converses with others to share ideas or give information

-       writes basic explanations

-       recognises that living things grow and change


Assessment of Outcomes

-       Were students able to answer questions that were asked about information both in and related to the text?

-       Did students provide useful comments or questions when appropriate?

-       Were students active listeners during the reading of the book?

-       Could students accurately identify, order and explain the different stages of a frog’s life?

Lesson preparation:

  1. Photocopy an A3 example of the worksheets. Colour the pictures and model some possible explanations for the different stages of the frog’s life.
  2. Have the book ready with all pages that will be read tagged.
  3. Write a word bank on the whiteboard for when students begin to write their explanations.

- fertilize, frogspawn, tadpoles, breathe, gills, disappear, herbivores, carnivore, predators












Lesson outline


  1. Have students sitting on the floor to read them the most significant sections of ‘The life of a frog’.

  2. To engage students, ask questions before reading starts, eliciting their prior knowledge about frogs and tadpoles.

  3. During reading, dissect difficult and unfamiliar language by questioning students, referring to glossary and discussing relevant information.

  4. After reading is finished have a 1-2 min discussion about the information in the book. Ask open questions to allow students to go over facts and consolidate the information that they just heard.

  5. Explain the task to students, pointing to the enlarged sheet on the board. As a group, order the steps.

  6. Discuss each stage with the students and stick up explanation of each stage. Make it clear that year 2 are to write about each stage in their own words. They can refer to the example for ages etc but are to write their own explanations. Year 1 are to use the example as a guide also, some may copy word for word but encourage them to use their own words. Read the word bank on the whiteboard with the students and encourage them to use this to help with their spelling.

  7. Hand out sheets and explain that students are to cut the pictures out one by one (in order) and then sticking them. Otherwise there will be pictures everywhere. Send students to their desks and walk around the room, assisting with any problems and ensuring that all students stick the stages of the frog in the correct order

-       Whiteboard

-       Whiteboard marker

-       A3 Example

-       Word bank

-       Worksheets

-       Scissors

-       Glue

-       Blu-tac



-       Were students listening and contributing during the reading of the book?


-       Were students able to retain relevant information and apply it during the writing part of the lesson?


-       Were students able to utilise the time given to them?


-       How could the activity be improved upon in terms of structure and classroom management?