During a Science session at university, various different hands-on approaches were discussed and demonstrated within the seminar. One explore how to create the digestive system using physical objects.
Many different everyday objects were used to show the process that helps a human body digest food. Bananas and weetabix were mixed together to show the food that was eaten. This was pushed through a series of objects, including a pair of tights. Finally the end product was produced to show the feces.
This activity allows pupils to visualise each stage of the digestive process within the human body. Activities such as these help to facilitate children’s learning and acquisition of children knowledge. This learning experience help to support my own personal understanding of how the human digestive system. Furthermore, it enabled me to discover the importance of planning lessons that promote curiosity within children, as this motivates children’s learning, supporting their knowledge development. Depending upon the year group my next practice will be based within, I will ensure I use this activity or a similar activity with the children I work with.
When carrying out my second year placement, I was placed in a three-form entry school. Within the year group I had been place, planning was shared and one topic was planned by each teacher, each term. During my practice I planned for Maths. A strategy introduced from the teachers at this school involved using pre-tests to inform planning and grouping of ability groups.
The day before PPA the children would complete a specialised pre-test for the topic they would be studying the following week. Each child would have the same test, and the same amount to complete this in test conditions. They would self-mark their test, allowing them to notice the areas they were weaker within. The following day, during PPA, whilst planning these pre-tests would be groups into ability groups. This differed week-on-week, as all children were stronger in various parts of the subject. Activities were then selected appropriately to support learning of pupils. Attached below is a basic pre-test used during practice.
Using and adapting pre-tests to inform planning and support identification of ability groups was an effective strategy; it highlighted the areas children were stronger and weaker in. Furthermore, using these allowed for appropriate and effective differentiation to meet all needs of the learners. As children marked their own tests, they were able to reflect upon their own knowledge and identify the areas that they needed extra support within. One disadvantage of this was that all children had the same test, regarding that there were a wide range of abilities within the group. One target from this would be to ensure that pre-tests were created for different ability groups.
Whilst carrying out teaching practice, during my second year placement I taught a mathematics lesson based upon fractions. The children engaged with a starter activity, and returned to the carpet for the input of their main activity. Once we had discussed the approach as a class and identified the strategy they were to use, children returned to their tables to carry out their activity.
Through supporting the class, I wondered around the room working with different groups of pupils. I had noticed that the middle ability group had began to complete their task, however, had incorrectly used the strategy. I stopped the two groups for this ability for a mini plenary, asking them to explain to me how it was they should use the strategy. Once I was re-insured they knew what to do, I allowed the children to continue their work. Moving around the class again, and returning to this group, I identified that they had still not understand how the approach they were using, worked. I pulled this group of pupils back to the carpet, and used a different method to explain what they had to do.
In order to ensure they had all understood they strategy after the final explanation, I implemented it as their starter for the following day.
Demonstrating the ability to draw mini-plenaries and stop children to re-enforce learning is an essential skill. This showed that I had a secure understanding of the subject knowledge for the lesson I was teaching, in order to present the strategy to the children in a different way. Implementing this supported children learning and progression, as I was able to identify the children who had misunderstandings about this area of Maths. Drawing on this, I will ensure that I continue to pull children aside if they had developed misconceptions of certain areas, making sure I address misunderstandings as soon as possible. Moreover, this will be used to inform future planning.
As a part of an English assessment, I had to annotate and assess a child’s work using the National Curriculum framework as an assessment tool. I had to address the areas of achievement, and where improvement could be made. During the assessment process I considered the pupils ability in both reading and writing.
It is essential for practitioners to be able to use summative assessment within English in order to support children’s learning. This is important as teachers need to have a firm understanding of the level children are working at to support their knowledge and understanding.
Within the image below, the child’s work is show, including assessments I made addressing their strengths within Literacy. These included the ability to use pronouns, understanding of different homophones, paragraphs arranged by themes and suffixes. The weaknesses identified included: incorrect use of capital letters, and spelling – homophones were incorrectly used.
The evidence demonstrates my ability to use summative assessment to assess pupils progress in English. Through assessing this work, I have developed my understanding of the English curriculum. Furthermore, I have developed and understanding of the importance of use of summative assessment in order to support pupils progression. I have identified and become aware of other approaches to support summative assessment, including using the National Curriculum as an assessment strategy. I will use these skills within future practice. From this, I would incorporate summative assessment to inform future planning to ensure pupils progression towards attaining high levels of written English.
One project we engaged with during my Computing module at university, we devised a long term plan for the subject within a primary school. We explored various different plans, which had been created in different ways. We identified the positive and negative points of a plan, analysing three different long term plans. This informed the things that I would include within my own plan.
Attached is my long term plans.
Computing Long Term Plan
As I was able to justify reasoning for applying certain elements into the plan, this shows I have a secure understanding and subject knowledge of the primary Computing curriculum for all year groups. Furthermore, it has enabled me to develop creative and engaging learning opportunities in order to support children’s development of the Computing curriculum. In relation to future practice, I will ensure I am confident with developing a long term plan for various subjects, and apply the knowledge I have learnt from this task to develop exciting curriculum for other areas of the National Curriculum.
As apart of one of our math modules within university, we were to create a parent booklet to support parents and guardians teaching their children at home.
The booklet I created was for a year two class, and included various different aspects of maths including:
- The National Curriculum
- Place Value
- Mathematical Strategies
- Problem Solving
- Maths in Children’s Lives
- Supporting Your Child at Home
Areas of the booklet which included topics of the math curriculum, including: place value, mathematical strategies, statistics and problem solving, all provided the strategies used within school supporting parents/guardians understanding. The idea of the booklet was to educate parents/guardians, and comparing this to TS8e, the booklet supports effective communication with parents and teachers with regard to a child’s well-being and achievement. The booklet also included insight for parents/guardians of the Maths curriculum, and how it supports their child in maths. Furthermore, ideas of how parents/guardians could help their child at home were presented within the booklet.
Attached is a copy of the Maths Parent Booklet.
Upon creating this booklet, my personal subject knowledge of various maths strategies was improved. Moreover, when developing the parent booklet, it allowed me to understand the importance of teachers communication with parents and guardians in order to support pupils achievement and progression. As teachers educate parents on how they can support their children with this new curriculum, increases in children’s learning may occur as parents are more confident in support them at home. This is a vital approach that I will ensure to promote and include within future practice; however as a target I would like to create a booklet at the beginning of the year for mathematics, science and literacy. I feel this would build a strong relationship with the parents and myself, alongside promoting work at home to help children progress. Maths Parent Booklet