Element 3 Teachers plan, assess and report for effective learning
I believe that quality planning is a key influence towards the success of the lesson (Groundwater-Smith, Ewing & Le Cornu, 2003, p.185). It requires the teacher to know the relevant syllabus outcomes, recognise the needs, interests and abilities of the students, and identify effective pedagogies relevant to the content area. Without thorough planning, learning outcomes are not addressed and true engagement in the lesson content is impossible. Even though you cannot plan for every possible thing that could happen in your lesson, I believe that planning for a quality learning experience will be of benefit to all involved. If the lesson is founded on appropriate and clear learning goals and the teacher has aimed to structure the lesson in an interesting and structured way, the probability of students achieving learning goals will greatly increase. I also believe quality, relevant assessment is essential as it provides the teacher with an opportunity to plan to challenge the student's understanding of a concept and make it relevant to their experience. This evidence is also valuable in making parents/caregivers aware of how their child is going, so that they too can support the child's learning.
Planning for effective teaching and learning is essential is any member of the class is to experience success. In all my lesson plans I have identified clear and appropriate learning goals that have directed the content and sequence of the lesson. This can be seen in Appendix B where statements such as the lesson focus, syllabus outcomes, content of the lesson and indicators of learning are all related to develop a deep knowledge of verbs (NSW DET, 2003, p.11). Additionally I have planned lessons and lesson sequences purposefully, with learning outcomes and student engagement in mind, by visualising how each segment of my lesson could be applied and responded to within the learning environment (McBurney-Fry, 2002, p.58-59). I have done this through breaking my lessons down into a series of steps, selecting and organising content in a logical, sequential and structured way so that I could design lessons and lesson sequences that would effectively address students' needs and provide them with an opportunity to experience achievement in the particular content area. An example of this can be seen in Appendix B, were I designed a lesson that began with the introduction such as a topic-related game that would stimulate the students' interest and prior knowledge (See Appendix B) (see McBurney-Fry, 2002, p.69, & NSW DET, 2003, p.13). This provided me with the opportunity to gain their attention, make them aware of the learning goals for the lesson and motivate them in this area of content. This was followed by the main body of the lesson, in which I had employed resources that were familiar to students to prompt their prior knowledge and interest them in the content. The main body was split into smaller segments with varied groupings to maintain student interest and organise the lesson content in a sequential and logical manner. Within the main body I used familiar resources to effectively engage the students in what they are learning. This was beneficial to their achievement of lesson outcomes as it prompted their prior knowledge (NSW DET, 2003, p.15). This lesson was concluded with a questioning the students about what they had learnt through an interactive game. Another example of how I have used a range of resources and materials to support student learning can be seen in Appendix D, where I used ICT to present content in an engaging and interactive way to an older student audience.
In my teaching experience I have implemented a range of strategies to assess student achievement of learning outcomes. For example, I have used observation, written response to assess student achievement in Appendix B, and have encouraged student's to reflect on what they have learnt (See Appendix M). On previous practicums I have used SENA and running records and have found them effective resources in assessing a student's progress. I have also designed assessment tasks to gather evidence on a student's progressive understanding of fractions (See Appendix N). All of these strategies have been implemented to demonstrate the student's achievement of the learning outcomes outlined in either the lesson plan or task.
On my next practicum I will work on providing students with timely oral and written feedback, so that I can positively support their learning and identify any misconceptions they have. This will mean that I will need to organise my lessons in a way that allows me to monitor the room whilst students are working and spend time during the lesson commenting on student work. I will investigate some methods of monitoring student progress and collating this information in a reliable and accurate way. Additionally I will look into how I can report to parents and caregivers about how their child is working towards achieving learning outcomes, so that we can be working together to effectively support their child. I will also look into how I can use student results to reflect on the success of a particular learning experience or lesson sequence and use that information for future planning.
I need to access the South Australian Assessment and Reporting site and other relevant sources for the purpose of wider research into how I can effectively provide feedback, monitor and report on student's work and progress towards achieving lesson outcomes. I need to talk to current teachers about how they monitor and keep record of student progress.
Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., & Le Cornu, R. (2003). Teaching challenges and dilemmas.(2nd Edition). Victoria: Thomson
McBurney-Fry. (2002). Improving your practicum: A guide to better teaching practice. Katoomba: Social Science Press.
New South Wales Department of Education. (2003). Quality teaching in NSW public schools: Discussion paper. Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/qualityteach/assests/pdf/qt_disc_pap.pdf
Note: Appendix B has not been annotated for the content of this element. I have misplaced the initial copy when moving over the weekend.