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Transcript of Portfolio
Know the Content and how to teach it
Know the Students and how they learn
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
Engage in professional learning
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
What to teach
Types of Assessment
Forward Planning Documents
What to teach
How to teach
What to teach
How to teach
How to teach
Throughout the year there have been a number of opportunities to engage in professional development. At the beginning of each term there have been PD’s run by the school looking at the everyday running of the classroom. Along with this the staff all had to participate in first steps viewing PD with viewing playing a larger part in the curriculum with the new Australian curriculum being introduced into schools. Along with this all interns at my school participated in Classroom management strategies a Professional development which consisted of five days and four coaching sessions. This PD proved to be invaluable in a challenging environment and allowed for skills that may have already been used being bought to a more conscious level.
Throughout the term it has been important to be reflective of everything that is being done, what was done well in the classroom, what could have been differently and what didn’t work. Throughout the term this was vital, I found myself being particularly critical of my behaviour management this could have been for a number of reasons, the classroom management strategies training which I was currently involved in or the fact a large majority of my time was spent trying to deal with particularly difficult students. Obviously classroom management isn’t the only thing that needs to be reflected on within the classroom and after a conversation with my mentor teacher she suggested that I should have a different focus each week for my reflections, which I proceeded to try. This was useful as it allowed for me to be more reflective of more aspects of my teaching.
Throughout the year there have been a number of opportunities to engage with parents, colleagues and other members of the wider community. Term Three at the school I was placed at had their learning journey night, this occurred during the end of my placement and I had been teaching fulltime at this point for nine weeks. This evening was a great opportunity to engage with a number of parents and discuss how their child was going. Along with this evening I was given the opportunity to call parents for positive phone calls. Along with these opportunities there were always parents regularly dropping in.
Being in the school for the majority of the year gave a number of opportunities to work professionally with colleagues. With the Australian curriculum starting to be used in school I was privileged to participate in meetings looking at adjusting the schools own scope and sequence. Along with working on this once Naplan results came in I joined in on the meetings that analysed the school data which lead into what was and wasn’t working within the school and what could be done differently in the future to help improve the data.
On my first day at O’Connor I receive a document that told us what the teacher needed to report on each semester. Being a year 5 class which is about to do NAPLAN there are also a few documents which tell us what needs to be taught in literacy and numeracy leading up to NAPLAN. These documents I have found quite useful and seen how useful they can be for my planning along with my mentor teachers planning. Along with these documents there are so many documents that we have access to and have a responsibility to refer to and use. These include the curriculum framework, the k-10 syllabus and the still developing Australian Curriculum. Along with this there are the first steps books which also know what to teach. These documents along with the ones provided by the school help us as teachers plan the lessons and find appropriate strategies to teach the required content.
Being in a year five there has been a great emphasis on NAPLAN and trying to push through a large range of content in time for the upcoming tests. A topic that has had a large emphasis placed on it in our classroom has been persuasive essays. Watching my teacher scaffold their learning and for the students slowly being able to write their own persuasive essay through breaking it up into small steps really emphasised the focus “ know how to organise and sequence content into an effective learning and teaching sequence”. It has been really beneficial to see this in action and it has been a term long process to get the students to where they are at now with many being able to now write confidently.
Finally from my first year there has been a great emphasis placed on reflection, over the years this the importance of this has become clearer. This is important as it allows us to grow as teachers and it allows us to find out what does and doesn’t work in our classroom, this allows us to have a clearer understanding on the best way to teach our classes and to grow as teachers.
Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community
Having participated in the internship this year it gave me plenty of time to know the students before it came time to my final practicum. Little things like knowing their names and having already started to win them over was very beneficial when it came time to me teaching full-time. The benefits of doing the internship was that it showed you that getting to know the students and winning the students over was a constant thing, there is no one point in time that you know your students, you are constantly working on building your relationship with them.
Taking over the class it was important to recognise that all students learn differently and what may motivate one student will not motivate another. Within my class we spent a lot of time doing group work so they not only would build their academic knowledge but their social skills as well. While this benefited many students there were a few students that did not enjoy working with other students. Although it is important for them to build the social skills to work with others it was also important that they could develop so other teaching strategies needed to be put in place as well.
Within my year five class this year there were a range of students from different backgrounds including ESL students and students with an indigenous background. My class has also had a couple of students well below the year five bench mark. Because of how low some of the students are within my class it has been important to plan for them separately, while it was important for them to still feel included within the classroom they still needed to feel that they could do the work put in front of them. The two students that were at this level had a number of activities planned separately, to make them feel included within the classroom they did however regularly participate in group activities often pairing up with a stronger student. If the level of work did not meet the needs of the students it would often turn into a behaviour problem with the student being unable to do their work they would disrupt the rest of the class. Students who do struggle were also on individual education plans or group education plans so that their progress is monitored and it increases accountability for teachers with low achieving students.
Being in a country town there are a number of students from low socio-economic areas as well as a number from high-socio economic areas within my class it is always important that students are treated as equals. An example of this being used in my classroom was with homework, students were all expected to do homework within the class but it was often difficult to force this to happen, instead it was encouraged students who did homework were rewarded with the classroom individual rewards system there was however no punishment for students who didn’t complete. With some students having parents who had a higher value on education than others it was difficult to enforce something that was not encouraged by parents.
There is a range of ways to know what to teach within the classroom. For my planning I used the Curriculum Framework along with the new Australian Curriculum. At the school my internship took place there was also a scope and sequence within the school for maths and English to help guide teachers with what to teach in their different year levels. To work out how to teach it first steps was encouraged along with the scope and sequence and k-10 syllabus.
Throughout the internship it has been highlighted the importance of using diagnostics within the classroom this has been useful a number of times within my class. Firstly it was good to see what students knew about reports when we first started them, whether they knew the general structure or not, it was also useful in this case to see how much they had improved from the beginning. Another example of using diagnostics to help work out what to teach was when we were starting time, after the diagnostic it was established a number of students were competent with time and could work on extension activities rather than redoing content that they already knew.
With such a range of ability within the class it has been important throughout the year to set achievable goals for the students. It has been important to make goals that students see as attainable along with challenging. This is important not only to make sure students are having their needs met but also so that students do not become a behaviour issue. A great example of this within my classroom has been guided reading. Within the classroom there were six guided reading groups with a range of ability. All six groups had different books to read with the classroom teacher and different activities to complete. Students were also able to have their own silent reading books and although students were reading different novels they were able to complete the same contract activities for the different books. This allowed for an inclusive classroom. guided reading me to implement effective teaching as a program like guided reading would not work with an out of control class, our students are motivated with the prospect of receiving a sticker on their bookmark, after so many stickers they receive another reward and eventually a good work office visit which is surprisingly popular for a grade five classroom. Another example of students having their different needs met within the classroom has been through spelling. There have been four spelling groups within the classroom so that students that all students have words that challenge them but still meet their needs. Students who are consistently doing well in the classroom were able to move up into a group that challenges them further. This has allowed for all students to be included in classroom activities while still being challenged within their class.
This term to motivate students we had a around the world theme this because of the many cultures within the class. Within the class there was an ESL student who had recently moved to Australia for South Africa, a troublesome student from New Zealand and a number of other students from a range of different places. The idea behind the theme that it would about the students themselves and they would be encouraged to learn more about their heritage, they would be able to share with their classmates different things they had learnt and they would be able to see some of the differences between themselves and other countries. Another activity that was done this term was their T&E project which they were required to do in groups this allowed for them to have interacted positively with other students. The students spent a day constructing their project; this day was a lot less structured than a normal day forcing a range of different behaviour management strategies to used. While there was still behaviour management evident within the classroom it was clear that in a usually challenging class that students were motivated and interested as all students managed to stay on task and complete the activity.
This term there were a range of different behaviour management techniques used within the classroom this term; there were individual, group and class rewards. For the individual reward students were earning tokens which they could use to purchase items in an auction at the end of the term. Group rewards were done by the groups that they were sitting in, when a whole group was doing the right thing they were rewarded with points and at the end of the week the winning group would receive a goldie (a whole school reward) and tokens. The class reward was a race around the world game, students versus teacher – students were offered spots around the world, if they managed to do it correctly they would be able to move spots and if they did the wrong thing the teachers spot would move. First team to the end one, if the students won they would be able to cook, if the teacher won it would result in a test. It was important to reflect regularly I what behaviour management was and wasn’t working within the classroom and what could be done to help improve it. There was a particularly difficult student within the classroom and on one day he had managed to lose all his privileges for the following day during the afternoon assembly. Because of this my mentor teacher and I discussed the possible ramifications for the following day not only for his behaviour but for the remaining 28 students in the class. It was decided we would fit in reward time in the following day. This was for two reasons, one so that the remaining students felt their good behaviour wasn’t going unnoticed and two so that there was motivation for the difficult student to behave in the correct manner.
Having been in the school for the majority of the year it has allowed for opportunities to review student work along with help work on the schools scope and sequence. With Naplan having a huge importance within my school once the result were out the staff looked at them as group and then individual year groups looked at their data and discussed what could be done differently in the whole-school approach. This was a clear example of teachers reflecting on what does and doesn’t work and being in the school for the whole year it meant that I was also reflecting on my teaching skills.
Examples of students different abilities being met
The forward planning document demonstrates the assess plan teach model. It demonstrates the importance of using diagnostics to know what to teach the students.
Images of the displays available for parents to look at on learning journey night
Having participated in Classroom management strategies throughout the year it has given me a number of skills to make sure students in my class are actively engaged in a safe environment. While doing Classroom management strategies through the coaching it has allowed me to become more consciously aware of what I am doing in my classroom to make sure all students are accountable but at the same time feel safe in their learning environment. Ways that his has been done in my classroom is by making sure students can answer in a non-judgemental environment, over the year I have also used a lot of think pair share so that students can still answer a question but by doing it within the pair it takes away the fear so it could be either students answer and if it’s wrong they are both wrong, taking away the fear.
With a challenging class this year it has been important to have clear and smooth transitions within the classroom. Students also need to be aware of when you want their attention or making sure you have a clear signal to begin. Within my classroom we have used hand clapping and a large bell to gain students attention; students are signalled to begin by a non-verbal hand countdown. To make sure transitions run smoothly within the classroom students are always given clear instructions and are not allowed to move until given a key word. To make sure the day run smoothly students always have a timetable written on the board. Everyday students come into a morning task and throughout the term they have focused on their different mental math skills. This routine begins before the daily greeting and make sure students are on task from the second they walk into the classroom every morning.
This term has been a challenging term when it comes controlling the behaviours within the classroom. Doing classroom management strategies over the term helped to give the skills required for a challenging class. Things that we looked at that were useful in my classroom were the different low key strategies including the signals to begin, winning over, modelling appropriate behaviour, responding to appropriate behaviour, and many more. It was also useful to understand the square and while I have been coached on this square-off I still need to be more consciously aware of when I am doing them. The importance of winning over was really highlighted to me though the classroom management strategies and through the internship, having never been at a school long enough to realise that winning over was a constant thing. Throughout the term a range of winning over needed to be used particularly with some of the boys in the class who could easily swing over to the more disrespectful behaviour. The importance of winning over was also highlighted to me during my informal contract coaching, when I first bought the student outside to discuss his behaviour he was quite put off and it too him a while to realise he was not in trouble, if I had been able to sit and talk about other things in his life beforehand and in the process win him over the beginning of the contract discussion would have been a lot easier.
This term there was a particularly challenging student within the class who did challenge my behaviour management skills. There were a number of conversations with his parents and the deputies to the extent of his behaviour. However challenging it was it was important for him to spend time in the classroom. To try and tackle his behaviour he started on a behaviour card which monitored his behaviour every 15 minutes. If he did the right thing in this time he would receive a tick, he needed to receive so many ticks a day to receive a reward and so many ticks a week to attend clubs. After trialling the behaviour card it was decided it wasn’t working as effectively as we would have liked. When this didn’t work it was discussed with the student his options it was decided he would have three warnings and would then be escorted to another room by a member or admin. Throughout the term it was important to be consistent with this student and keep constant expectations. While his behaviour was constant it was evident by the end of the term he was slowly improving, he was no longer spending every recess and lunchtime in the office and was spending much more time in the classroom. Having a student like this was emotionally challenging and I did reminding that you should not get emotionally involved. Through the classroom management strategies it allowed me to have more thought out reactions to his behaviour rather than the original gut reactions and it made difference as when he didn’t get the reactions that he wanted he slowly started to behave in a more acceptable manner.
There is a range of assessment used within the classroom. Some example of this more informal testing that includes guided reading which we do in the classroom every day. Students are in a relaxed environment and their group will read with the teacher at least once a week, as each child reads notes are made about the skills that they are showing and their ability. Students are also aware of more formal assessment within the classroom this is demonstrated through the spelling tests each week. It is important that students are assessed in a range of ways as each student will respond differently to the different forms of assessment. When assessing, it is also important that the assessment are matching what you have been aiming to teach the students. Throughout the term a number of assessments have been used within my classroom the most helpful as mentioned previously has been the diagnostics in helping to find a direction in what to teach so that you are meeting the needs of the students in your classroom. To assess the students it in necessary to use more than one way and throughout the term checklists, rubrics, anecdotal notes along with the school monitoring tools have been used.
It is important to provide feedback in a timely manner for a number of reasons. Firstly it is important to know what a student does and doesn’t know, so that you can plan and teach areas where they are lacking in knowledge. Secondly students need to be aware of where they are going right and wrong so that they do not develop misconceived ideas about certain topics. Finally giving students feedback means that students are more accountable for their work, if they know you are going to be looking at it they are more likely to do it, if they know you don’t really care about it and will not tell give them any feedback they will feel less inclined to do it. Within my classroom the easiest way to give timely feedback is through over the shoulder marking or marking as a class. When writing their narratives this term students either read through their draft narrative with a teacher to help with direction or they were given notes to work on. Giving the students feedback on their work allows for them to have direction and achieve their expected goals.
The judgements and assessments that teachers make need to be consistent within the school and also on a state and national level. It is important that within schools teachers moderate and collaborate together so that there is consistency with marks given to students within the school. It is important that teachers have mutual expectations of their students. Moderation has been useful in a range of ways this term. Using the schools monitoring tools my mentor teacher and I ticked what students could and couldn’t do individually before coming back together and comparing, this way we were able to discuss different ones that may not have matched up and talked about why or why not we hadn’t checked off certain checkpoints for different students. Another way moderation has been done this term has been with my fellow intern and I comparing our artwork together and deciding on the best way to allocate grades for it. Having done the same art piece it was much easier to decide on grades looking a sixty student’s work rather than just thirty.
It has been important to interpret and evaluate the assessment data to determine a number of things in the classroom. on a smaller level it has been important to look at the information collected to assess what level a student should be at within the classroom and work out what different groups they need to go into for any ability grouped lesson, i.e. spelling and guided reading. On a whole school approach one NAPLAN results had been released each NAPLAN year group met and assessed the data for their year group and worked out what needed improving on and what was working well within the school.
Within my classroom this year any assessment pieces and put into a literacy or numeracy assessment file and any other work done within the classroom is marked and glued into a literacy or numeracy scrap book. This is important as it gives you work to look at when deciding on where a child is at it also means that if a parent or care giver is unhappy with a grade given there is a place you can go to too find the evidence of why the student has received this mark automatically. It also means that if anything happens and another teacher had to step in they would have automatic access to work that can help them with assessment.
Next year going into my own classroom it is going to be important to use the information given by last year’s teachers to work out the best teaching strategies for my class. It will be important to look at any Individual behaviour plans and any group behaviour plans to see what the students have achieved from them to make my own to meet the needs of all the students. Going into a class next it is going to be necessary to use the school scope and sequence along with the Curriculum Framework and Australian curriculum to inform my planning. Planning is going to be done in collaboration with other teachers and in way that will meet the needs of my students. To know what my students need to know it is going to be important that I use diagnostics in the classroom to help inform my planning and be able to challenge my students. With ICT playing a large part in the Australian Curriculum a challenge for me is going to be making sure integrate ICT into my classroom and give my students opportunities to develop their skills.
An example of a GEP used in the classroom this year. Next year any student that was on one in the previous year will need there's looked at to see what they have achieved so that a new one can be developed.
From the diagnostic what the students do and don't know can be assessed so that the planning meets the needs of all students
The final result after
the teaching cycle
Going into my own classroom next year it is going to be important to set achievable and appropriate expectations within the classroom. Having done practicums at a range of different schools that were located in different socio-economic areas it is clear while teachers always have high expectations of their students these expectations need to be achievable for the students and they need to know what they are. Planning will need to be done through the assess plan teach cycle so that as a teacher I know what I my students don’t know so that I can plan accordingly. A challenge next year will be going into a different environment and planning and moderating collaboratively with other teachers within my year level. Next year I will need to work on including parents in my classroom more often and encouraging parent involvement. Planning activities that will involve parents and include in their child’s education is one way to cater for this in the classroom. Finally as mentioned earlier it will be important to be using ICT in the classroom demonstrating my ICT skills so that the students can develop theirs. This can be done by using the interactive whiteboard and computers within the school.
Throughout the year a number of different behaviour management strategies were used within my classroom it has shown me the importance of regularly changing what is being used in the classroom. While most have just been different versions of the other one it is important that as a teacher I am constantly reflecting on what strategies I am using and what is and isn’t working for my class and I. as an intern my mentor teacher established routines that were used within the classroom and while I modified many during my final practicum having my own classroom next year it is going to be important for me to establish routines for the classroom and make sure my expectations for the classroom are clear from day one. As mentioned earlier with ICT being such a major focus within the classroom it is going to be important set guidelines for the use of computers within the classroom. This will need to include clearly explaining what can and cannot be done when using the computers and having explicit consequences if a student is caught doing the wrong thing with the computers. Having completed classroom management strategies it is going to be important to continue to be consciously aware of what I am doing in regards to the behaviour in my classroom. Finally my classroom environment needs to be one that students feel safe and are willing to participate in and this will be done by using different co-operative learning strategies.
Having not yet had to do reports for my students having my own class next year it is going to be a challenge to make sure that what I send home about the student is fair accurate. I will also need to make sure that it is done in a respectful way looking for positives within each student. To help with these reports it is important that I am assessing students correctly so as mentioned before using diagnostics to see what the students need to know and then assessing once again once the student has been taught the content. It will be important to moderate across the school and if possible across the district so the comments and grades that I give are fair and accurate. Throughout the year it is going to be important to make sure students are being given regular feedback and the opportunities to improve on their work this will be done through over the shoulder marking, marking as a class, peer and self-assessment. It will be important for students to have the opportunity to look at any work that I mark.
An example of a diagnostic used within the classroom this term
In 2011 I participated in the Artist in residency program, a joint program run through Murdoch and Melville Primary school. The project gave me the oppurtunity to see art intergrated into a whole school program and allowed to work in a school and develop a sense of community that you usually do not get from a practicum.
My final report demonstrates positive feedback from my mentor and supervisor in all the different standards.
With viewing having a higher focus within the Australian curriculum the Viewing PD helped determine what level students would be starting at and how it could be implemented into our classrooms.
The school I have spent my final practicum in was in a remote town in the goldfields. The school has just fewer than eight hundred students and is attached to an educational support school. Due to the schools location there are a range of students within the school, some from low socio-economic areas and some from high socio-economic backgrounds. I was placed in a year five class of 29 students. The school has a lot of movement with the students, over the year there have been two new enrolments into the class, two students have left and another two have recently been moved to education support. The class has a large range of ability with some students still struggling at a kindergarten level and some students well above the year five expected level and working at a year 6/7 level. Within the class there were a number of Indigenous students and the class also included a student that spoke English as a second language. There are also a number of students from a range of backgrounds that needed to be considered in an inclusive environment.
I believe within my classroom that I can learn just as much from the students as the students can from me. I believe that students come in with a wealth of knowledge and that it is important to use their knowledge just as much as mine, I believe that when a child comes into my classroom they are unique and every child will bring something special and different to the classroom so that I can learn from them just as much as they can learn from me. I believe that all children’s qualities and uniqueness have a place within the classroom and this can be found Within my classroom I believe that everyone is equal there is not one thing that should single out a child and that every individual should be treated equally. I see my classroom as a place where students can actively learn, participate and be engaged. I want to provide a safe environment for my students where they do not have to fear being ridiculed and they are open to share. I want my classroom to be a place where students can grow intellectually, socially, physically and emotionally. I accept that all students learn differently and want my classroom to have a range of teaching strategies that will meet all students’ needs. I want my classroom to be a safe environment where students do not fear to speak up and a place that they want to come to. My classroom will be a place where students will be challenged in their learning and their different needs meet. I want my classroom to be a place where there is lots of positive reinforcement.
As a dedicated teacher I will attempt to;
-Ensure that all students learning needs are met.
-Incorporate ICT into my classroom wherever possible.
-Have a positive atmosphere within my classroom.
-Create a safe environment for my students to come and learn.
-Have high consistent and achievable expectations within my classroom.
-I will constantly be an active learner within my classroom.
-Students will come into my classroom with a wealth of knowledge just as I do.
-Plan for the needs of all students in my class
-Expect students to be able to take responsibility for their learning
-Be a reflective practitioner, reflecting on all aspects of my teaching
-Be accountable in the classroom and constantly be trying to seek improvement within my performance.
Most importantly my classroom will be a safe environment where students can come to learn and be challenged.
The expectations set out for the classroom.
Setting expectations on day 1.