During my time at St Marie’s Catholic Primary School, I was able to teach a topic of the Come and See curriculum. I concluded the topic by leading a class Collective Worship, which the children designed and contributed towards.
This was an enlightening session, in which children reflected upon what they had learnt and what they wanted to carry forward with them after the topic.
This was an introductory lesson for the topic of Concept Maps in computing. This lesson did not use any computers (unplugged activity), but got children being active. It presented to children the importance of concept maps and challenged their thinking about how and what makes an effective concept map. Children shared their ideas and passed the ball of wool on to another person in the room to share their ideas. This created something like a spiders web, and showed the children that it is greatly important to organise our ideas.
During the lesson I used good behaviour management, setting out my expectations and using positive praise and feedback to highlight good behaviour.
TARGET: Continue to explore creative teaching activities.
In my Phase 2 placement, the school took a differentiated approach to Maths. This meant that they planned their lesson daily, with the first lesson being a whole class input and the follow up lesson being planned for differentiated groups.
I really enjoyed this approach as it allowed all children to progress to the level which suited them. It gave children the opportunity to either revisit a particular area or to attempt the next steps at Greater Depth.
Although this meant that they was more preparation for the lesson, with many activities being planned, children progressed at significant amounts.
Above are examples of the differentiated activities. The main focus of the class was to try and get on to the next steps which was problem solving.
TARGET: Continue to explore differentiation techniques.
During my Phase 2 placement, I was beginning to find that children were starting to lose motivation in their learning and I began to reflect on this situation. Having also discussed it with my class teacher, I decided that a likely cause for a lack of motivation was due to children not being reflective and seeing the progress that they had made.
I therefore created a traffic light system (seen in the photo above) which allowed children to decide and reflect on how they found the work that lesson and the progress that they had made. Once the lesson had finished, children would place their book in the tray which they thought best suited them.
I found that this got the children to reflect and think about their work more thoroughly. It began to make the children strive for greater depth within the lesson, as they wanted to be able to place their book in the green tray. Having used it over a series of lessons, it also allowed children to see the progress that they had made and was suitable for all children in the classroom. I was also able to use this to influence my own assessment.
TARGET: Continue to allow children the opportunities to reflect in lessons.
At the start of each lesson I always present to the children the ‘I can’ – this is what I expect the children to be able to do by the end of the lesson. This allows the children to clearly see the expectations and allows the children to be challenged during their learning.
I am also able to do this by setting further steps to learning, so that children have the opportunity to reach Greater Depth. This therefore allows all children the chance to be challenged at all ability levels.
TARGET: Continue to set goals that can stretch and challenge all children.
Above are comments made by my mentor from several observations. I am always striving to promote a positive attitude through the classroom, that encourages children to participate and discover through a stimulating environment.
I consistently demonstrate the expectations that I have for the child’s values and behaviour through praising others and setting examples. This draws attention to what is expected of the children and develops a mutual respect.
TARGET: Continue to set a positive attitude in all lessons.
I regularly give feedback in all of my lessons, both verbally and written.
This was noted by my mentor in several lesson observations. I am always keen to give children verbal feedback, especially when questioning, as it motivates and encourages children to partake fully in their learning.
I have used the schools marking policy when giving written feedback. The school uses ‘stars and wishes’ when marking, to highlight the positives in their work and the areas on which I would like the child to try and improve in their work in the future. I also am able to reward the children for especially good work, by writing a number in a bubble, which symbolise the number of ‘good marks’ awarded to the children.
TARGET: Continue to look at other methods of giving feedback to children.