Exit Interview-2013
Ashwani Rehal
Graduate Standards: Professional Knowledge- Professional Practice- Professional Engageme...
stage of their acquisition, a teacher can effectively differentiate instruction.
Feelings of anxiety,
apprehension and ner...
should have a sound knowledge of the curriculum framework so that it provides rationale for teaching and
guidance in selec...
especially in terms of knowledge comprehension. I have used YouTube for my lessons and for one of the
geography lessons I ...
that I make my presence felt i.e. facing the students while instructing, counting five or raising hand. Raising
hand was t...
Ongoing assessment, formative assessments support learning during the learning process and check for
understanding along t...
them. Although I had done that previously, it was not implemented by me consistently and I was not aware of
the various wa...
For improving teaching practices during my placements I have actively sought feedback from my mentor on
how to improve the...
During my first placement, time management was a regular issue for me as my lesson almost always ran
longer than the allot...
period of time and asked for their consent to take pictures. I am aware that this is a professional requirement
for teache...
Graduate teachers
Professional Knowledge

1.1

Physical, social & intellectual development & characteristics of students.
...
verbs of blooms taxonomy, I planned a comprehension task for the health unit. It served as guide to design questions to en...
1. My teaching philosophy-As highlighted in my teaching philosophy, I believe in equality and providing equal opportunitie...
and weaknesses and keeping a record for future reference. It enables a teacher to plan a range of scaffoldingpractices tha...
home to come to hospital. It was good to see Mekim share her experience and she stood in front of the class and explained ...
1. Guided Reading-I have had great opportunities to attend to few professional developments programs during my placements....
communicating to her. The best solution was to let her accommodate on her own and one day she came up to me and showed her...
has fine motor skills disability extended time can be given for test, handouts for not having write too much, cutting pape...
-„Material provided prompted discussion in students which is good. They were interested in the content‟- Interest allows
e...
life skills. The WLA fact sheets help teachers to identify the reasons why a child is not engaged and also provide informa...
teaching assistant to provide intervention for students with learning disabilities, which is another recommendation of the...
3. Careful use of resources online-I have always made sure to check the website that I am using is suitable for students‟....
3. Clinic groups- Establishing clinic groups (WLA key component) allows teacher to cater for individual needs of the stude...
regarding sodium and energy percentages. This provided me with my next course of action that I had to address this misconc...
1. Mentor feedback stating good engagement of students also targeted students with use of varied questions and activitiesC...
-

Another way of improving teaching programs is designing assessment tasks to check understanding i.e. with guidance of m...
2. Mentor feedback –I have utilized a range of strategies (as seen in Standard 3.3) to provide a range of learning experie...
(WLA) and school approach that is based on School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) framework; I have developed the ...
6. Sun Safety Practices & use of gardening tools- I am aware that students‟ are required to wear hats while going out in t...
3. Assessment strategies- I have used a range of worksheets as a part of formative assessments. I have created a comprehen...
1. Plan, Discuss and review planned diet assessment task – I haveplanned an assessment task by developing an assessment ru...
5.5: Report on student achievements
A teacher should know a range of strategies to assess and gather reporting information...
1. Self-Reflect Assessment AITSL Tool:Guided by my mentor, I used self-reflect assessment AITSL tool to know my strength a...
10. WLA implementation- WLA reflects a system that continues to provide explicit instruction and direction. With the help ...
2. Treat with Respect- This is a legislation and every school requirement to be respectful towards students all the times....
3. WLA Facebook Page- After being introduced to Walkers Learning Approach, my mentor advised to join their Facebook page. ...
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  1. 1. Exit Interview-2013 Ashwani Rehal Graduate Standards: Professional Knowledge- Professional Practice- Professional Engagement Standards: 1.1 1.2 1.5 1.6 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.6 4.1 4.2 The classroom is a community of learning where students from diverse backgrounds have individual needs, have different levels of preparedness or prior knowledge and learn in different ways. Among other attributes, students can differ in ways they perceive and comprehend information. A teacher can make material available to students in different forms, allowing them to engage with course material at their own pace and in the medium that suits them best. However (dis)abilities must not be conflated with learning styles i.e. some teaching strategies which provide equal opportunity to learners with disabilities (e.g. alternative formats for audio and visual materials) can also be useful to others. Furthermore, a lack of self-esteem would not only affect student‟s social skills but would also lessen his/her desire to learn, ability to focus and willingness to take risks. Therefore, a teacher focus should be on developing an understanding of each student‟s interest, strengths, weaknesses as that would help preparing learning activities that fully engage them and meet their individual learning needs and recognise their point of readiness. Standards: 1.3 1.4 2.4 It is very essential for a teacher to know the learning needs and prior knowledge of students from diverse cultural backgrounds, who have English as a second language. Studies have shown that language acquisition is a complex process and it takes at least five to seven years to develop an academic language. Students learning a second language also move through stages. So by tapping into their literacy levels and
  2. 2. stage of their acquisition, a teacher can effectively differentiate instruction. Feelings of anxiety, apprehension and nervousness are commonly expressed by second language learners and it is often called language anxiety. Often students feel embarrassed talking or participating in discussions because of their language. This can have detrimental effect in their learning process so the key element for effective teaching would be to use strategies that are responsive to their needs. For indigenous students, a teacher should be able to provide an educational environment that honours their culture, language, who they are and where they come from. It is important that the Aboriginal children from the school in which you teach know generally about Dreaming stories because Dreaming stories are the binding force of a continuum between the past, present and future for Aboriginal people. It is advised that indigenous students should be warned of the names, images and voices of a deceased person as it is one of the avoidance practises of the aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. Standards 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.5 As a teacher it is essential to have deep knowledge of the content of the subject you are teaching and be familiar with the intended outcomes of the lesson/curriculum. Having said that, simply having content knowledge is not enough to teach effectively; a teacher should know how to teach effectively selecting a range of appropriate instructional strategies to teach content. Being an international student, understanding the Australian Curriculum was itself a big task for me, but reading through the GDTL units and guidance of my mentors I learned about it eventually. Making lesson plans using the curriculum further helped me explore the curriculum content and cross curriculum links. Shulman (1986) introduced the phrase pedagogical content knowledge which highlighted the importance of the knowledge of the subject matter for successful teaching. It is about how to teach students content in particular learning areas. Getting to understand the strands, sub strands and learning outcomes as per the requirement of the curriculum informs teacher of his/her own teaching practices. To provide all students a rich learning experience, a teacher
  3. 3. should have a sound knowledge of the curriculum framework so that it provides rationale for teaching and guidance in selecting content for the lessons. According to the National Numeracy Review Report, students should receive 4-5 hours of mathematical teaching a week in order to be numerate adults and working through the units, I have gained knowledge of the cross curricular connections of the learning areas with numeracy. Now when I plan for my lesson, I am aware of the cross curricular learning which helps me to fulfil the NNRR recommendation. My mentor, a curriculum specialist teacher, reiterates the importance of making curriculum accessible for all through strategies and planned differentiation and how it ensures that all students are actively engaged and learning outcomes are more achievable. Standards: 2.6 4.5 ICT stands for information and communication Technology which include digital technology such as computer and internet which are potential powerful tools for educational change and reform (UNESCO). Studies have shown Students‟ exposure to educational ICT through curriculum integration has a significant and positive impact on student achievement. Multimodal digital literacies make for a meaningful learning experience as learners can express understanding and develop communication skills using different modes of meaning making. Engaging students through multimodal learning environments assists their language comprehension and retention of the learning material. Students will be exposed to more than one sensory mode i.e. visual, oral, written, and spatial, in the presentation of the material which improves their learning (Walsh, 2006). Bloom's Digital taxonomy is an effective tool to develop and structure teaching & learning experiences. Blooms Digital taxonomy is an attempt to marry Bloom's revised taxonomy and the key verbs to digital approaches and tools. Using ICT in teaching and presenting a lesson can lead to improved student learning
  4. 4. especially in terms of knowledge comprehension. I have used YouTube for my lessons and for one of the geography lessons I created one prezi as I could not find anything on what I wanted for the lesson. Since I had no knowledge to use prezi so I watched a video for creating a prezi and it actually took me three hours to make the presentation. After the presentation I knew it was worth it as students were totally engaged and they were able to relate the information that I discussed with them. There are many useful websites for students to keep students actively engaged in their learning process, but the teacher needs to ensure that websites and videos are safe for students‟ viewing. Checking the website before using and presenting the lesson is a must. Students working on laptops should be monitored and should adhere to time standards set by the school or the teacher. Standards: 3.5 4.3 4.4 Effective planning to minimise disruptive behaviour is one way to teach effectively but some behaviours would still need attention and management. There are many strategies a teacher can implement into the classroom with a great effect to manage students through the use of classroom management plan and setting behavioural expectations early. Being in a new educational environment, I have had difficulties in managing the behaviour of the students and engaging them effectively. Observing and learning from my mentor teachers has helped me gain and practice skills to deal with varied behaviours and engaging students in the learning process. All of my placements till date I have worked with students aged 11 and less and I learned many practices to help manage behaviour, particularly challenging behaviour. One of the reasons that I could not get attention of students most of the times was my voice. My mentor during my first placement recommended me to project voice in a confident manner and even if I don‟t feel confident – Fake it till you make it! The same advice was given to me by my mentor in my recent placement that I have soft voice and have to make sure
  5. 5. that I make my presence felt i.e. facing the students while instructing, counting five or raising hand. Raising hand was the first strategy I learned during my first placement alternating with clapping. If I look back at the start of my placement, when my mentor told me to smile often and show that you are happy to be there till now when my mentor tells me that I was relaxed and confident while giving the lesson, I feel I have progressed. This will be an ongoing journey for me where strategies used one day might not be effective the other day. I strive to learn more and keep myself updated for the new strategies and practices for effective classroom communication and keeping students engaged while managing the challenging behaviour. I have recently been introduced to Walker Learning Approach pedagogy by my mentor which provides excellent strategies for creating an open learning environment and engaging centres in play and personalised learning. A key to this approach is developing relationships with students. Standards: 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Assessment practices are an integral part of teaching and learning to make informed judgements of a student‟s progress, inform further teaching and a powerful source of professional development of a teacher. I have used both informal and formal assessment in my teaching.During my first placement, I had been the part of summative assessment process. I have had the opportunity to assist in marking students‟ work, a part of which I had taught and it had been a great learning experience for me. There were three assessment tasks on English & SOSE unit, English and Mathematics. The English and SOSE unit had a persuasive text assignment. Students were marked off from a rubric. I marked the student‟s work which was checked by my mentor. I also marked English assessment tests for students‟ reading comprehension. The determination of the year level at which they were at was based on the highest level text in which the student got the most answers correct. Though I could not be a part of the moderation meeting but my mentor explained the process to me which was very beneficial. Informal observations during lesson have also been useful to observe and assess readiness or receptiveness of a student or a class to a topic or task.
  6. 6. Ongoing assessment, formative assessments support learning during the learning process and check for understanding along the way and guide teacher decision making about future instruction; they also provide feedback to students so they can improve their performance. As a new teacher learning about my students, I sought advice from my mentors and used a range of formative approaches to design tasks and activities to assess student learning. An assessment task in a Health unit is an example of a formative assessment task I set. I assessed students by firstly monitoring their progress and responses in class during discussions and to set questions written to gage their understandings of concepts presented so far. Another task I set required students to compare two food labels and making a choice of which food was „healthier‟ according to the nutritional value. Students were to justify their reasons of choice. I was looking to assess whether they had understood the importance of different nutrients and ingredients in food products and whether they could make an informed choice by justifying their reasons. I was keen to know if they were ready to apply these skills to their own independent diet planning. After this formative assessment of their work, I observed that students‟ had misconceptions related to sodium and energy percentages. This clearly gave me an indication that I could not continue my next planned lesson and activities without clarifying the students‟ misunderstanding; therefore it informed the teaching the students required. This type of observation has been most useful in assessing my own practices and has helped me plan and make changes in my teaching. When teaching the Australian Curriculum History unit on convicts and conditions of life in England in the 1880‟s, as a summative assessment, I set ahistory assignment. After discussion with my mentor I created three cloze passages relating to concepts covered in class so far: child labour in England in 1800s, life in England and conditions on prison hulks. I also presented three pictures for which they had to make observations. This was a very good indicator of the students‟ understanding. Underpinning the different forms of assessment I conducted, was the giving of timely, specific and constructive feedback to students on their performance and progress through the learning intentions I set for
  7. 7. them. Although I had done that previously, it was not implemented by me consistently and I was not aware of the various ways I could ensure the feedback process occurred, though I knew the value of it. With my mentors‟ guidance, I have developed this skill as it is one of the most important part of student‟s learning. In addition to giving feedback, maintaining records of the student‟s learning and reporting is an important process to inform students as well as parents of their learning and progress. During my most recent practicum I developed report comments for the Health unit I taught, based on the A-E assessment rubric that teachers in the Northern Territory are required to use to make an on-balanced judgement of student achievement at report writing time. The comments I developed have been used by my mentor to report to parents‟ student achievement in Health. I also made an on-balanced judgement of student achievement through the range of formative assessment tasks, and through the summative assessment task set, and provided these A-E grades to my mentor teacher. Standards: 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7.4 “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime.” Lao Tzu, spoke these words over 2000 years ago. For centuries students were “fed” information and taught to memorize facts, in the hope they would retain a portion of what was taught. Times have changed and it is not enough to feed information to students. Teachers as well as students must learn „how to fish‟ for knowledge: Teachers need to inculcate in their students a disposition towards lifelong learning and need to become lifelong learners themselves by continually seek out new ideas through personal and professional development. The roles of other professional teachers‟ i.e. Special Education teacher are important in planning and development of teaching practices. Ongoing discussions and feedback from mentors has helped me modify and change my lesson plans and helped me grow professionally.
  8. 8. For improving teaching practices during my placements I have actively sought feedback from my mentor on how to improve the learning capacities of diverse learners and students with special needs. A particular type of disability I encountered was autism or Asperger‟s. It was not easy for me to understand how to cater for an autistic student who is socially impaired and has repetitive stereotyped behaviour. In the case of one particular student I knew she could work independently but I wanted her to communicate with me in the teaching learning process. So my mentor and I had discussion of strategies I could implement. Further discussions with her support teacher gave me more information about her behaviour i.e. he told me that the student, being autistic, does not like loud noise. These discussions and feedback has had a positive effect when the support teacher told me that I am the second pre-service teacher she really likes because of how I behave and make sure she gets a comfortable environment. This being an achievement for me I recognise how seeking colleagues and professional knowledge could influence a student‟s productivity. Continuous professional discussions with mentor has helped me grow as a teacher. For a classroom with students of varying abilities, my mentor follows the WLA approach that „not all children are ready to learn the same thing, at the same time, in the same way‟. Research has shown that students, even at the same year level or age, are at a different developmental stages. Therefore any child can have a diverse range of needs. In fact a child without any identified special needs, could have more needs and require more differentiation, than a child with an identified disability. It is important to recognise, and value, where each child is at developmentally. When we do, we are able to extend them and move them on to assist in their growth and learning. My teacher also operated under the belief that „it is not the child‟s task to engage themselves in the lessons they have, but it is our job as teachers to engage the children‟. Knowing this, and seeing it in practice, then implementing the philosophy myself, was a huge learning experience for me. It in fact changed my whole perspective on how I teach children.
  9. 9. During my first placement, time management was a regular issue for me as my lesson almost always ran longer than the allotted time. There used to be different reasons at different times from covering too much content, behavioural disruption to students needing more time and examples to understand the concept. My mentor teacher provided me strategies to keeping to lesson time and also highlighted the importance of maintaining students‟ engagement. She told me to always keep an eye on time and be more sensitive to students‟ attention levels. I am also aware of other sources of professional learning, such as teaching union, Walker Learning Approach website, and sites and organisations such as www.aitsl.edu.au. I have subscribed to various teaching and learning journals i.e. scootle where one can find resources on all learning areas aligned with Australian curriculum. Another website which is aligned to Australian curriculum is TES Australia where one can find and share resources. It is one of largest online community of educators in the world. These professional discussions with colleagues in a range of forums to evaluate practice directed at improving professional knowledge and practice, and the educational outcomes of students. I have also used AITSL self-assessment tool, a questionnaire, to improve my practice. I have often used different website for different resources i.e. primary resources, maths-aids, splash abc, Study mode, study ladder and many more. For geography, I have used the various website resources like Geogspace. My lesson feedback has always been that the resources I select, especially those involving ICT has been highly engaging and motivating for the students to view and learn from. Standards: 3.7 7.3 I understand parents have the right to be involved in their children‟s educational process and that as a key stakeholders in their child‟s education must receive effective and accurate feedback on their child's learning. During my placement, I had sent letters to home for informing parents that I will be teaching their kids for a
  10. 10. period of time and asked for their consent to take pictures. I am aware that this is a professional requirement for teachers to involve parents in their child‟s learning process. One of my student‟s mother would visit daily to the school discussing day to day progress of her daughter. In one of the math‟s lesson on number sequences I could see that student faced difficulties understanding the concept. She was doing great in other areas but mathematics was not her strong subject. Since I was taking the lesson, her mother approached me if I could give her extra notes for home for practice. My mentor was not present at that time so I knew I had to take permission from her. I provided her with extra notes for practise at home after discussing it with my mentor. These relationships can be extremely beneficial and a teacher should always encourage parents and carers into the classrooms and participate in their child‟s learning experiences. My mentor runs optional clinic groups where she invites parents as well if they want to come and teach something new to the students. This is an optional clinic group where students can opt for it on their own choice. Standard: 7.1 7.2 To provide students a quality educational experience in an environment where they feel safe and accepted, it is essential for teachers to comply with the professional ethics and requirements. To ensure that my teaching practise is ever improving in the best interest of learners; I will make sure that I continually seek and share guidance with other professionals upholding our professional standards. I have attended staff meetings and been fortunate enough to be a part of few professional development programmes as well. I attended a professional development program on „Guided Reading‟ and „Walkers Learning Approach‟.
  11. 11. Graduate teachers Professional Knowledge 1.1 Physical, social & intellectual development & characteristics of students. 1.2 Understand how students learn A teacher must understand how students learn and develop strategies to accommodate differences i.e. physical and intellectual. Taking initiatives to design differentiated learning pathways in response to learners‟ identified needs is a good practice. Being a psychology graduate and reading through the GDTL units, I have been exposed to and have learned about a wide variety of learning theories. The key ones, Piaget and Vygotsky has helped me understand the age- related (developmental psychology) and socio cultural factors that may impact children‟s development, knowledge, cognitive learning styles, ability to think, reason, understand. Evidence 1. Lesson plans and unit plans showing differentiation and allowing engagement of all learning types- These studies and my mentor‟s guidance have shaped my teaching, which is evident in my planning for differentiation. Lesson plans pitched at an appropriate level shows my understanding of the varied students‟ developmental stages. 2. Clinic groups- My mentor introduced me to Walkers Learning Approach (WLA), a holistic pedagogical approach to teaching and learning which combines the need for children to be active participants in their learning (through hands on and creative exploration alongside formal guidance and instruction). Clinic groups are designed to target and scaffold children in their learning. Clinic groups can be optional and compulsory. Optional are guided mainly by students but teachers can do that as well. Compulsory clinic groups are guided by teachers only. I have taken both groups during my placement and I have found these to be highly beneficial for students as it focuses explicitly on the developmental areas of the child. 3. Blooms Taxonomy- Catering for the learning needs of all students within the one class can sometimes be easier said than done. Blooms taxonomy is a very useful tool to encourage higher order thinking processes of students. It provides opportunity to differentiate the curriculum for students in accordance with their interests, abilities and specific learning needs. I had read Blooms taxonomy though the GDTL units, but my mentor helped me plan lessons and units, using blooms taxonomy, that require students to demonstrate different level of thinking and engage in a variety of intellectually challenging activities. Using the action
  12. 12. verbs of blooms taxonomy, I planned a comprehension task for the health unit. It served as guide to design questions to encourage students to think critically. It was a formative assessment task and my mentor told me not to just ask put questions which will not help students to think critically. She gave me Blooms Taxonomy Action Verb list and asked me to make questions using those verbs which would require students to at higher levels, beyond simply recalling; and they would analyse, synthesise and evaluate knowledge they have learnt. Another benefit of applying Bloom's taxonomy is that it is a WHOLE class exercise and is inclusive of both mainstream and special need children. 4. Mentor’s reflection- I have developed a fair understanding of students‟ learning processes from mentor teachers‟ and professional discussions and my mentor‟s reflection of my practice as a developing teacher, but her practice also as an experienced teacher. Mentor teachers reflection has always been a great insight to inform me of my teaching, lesson sequences, activities and my management of the classroom. I have used this knowledge to assist me in creating authentic lessons sequences by using a variety of techniques and resources. I have had students from diverse backgrounds who come with different experiences, have different learning needs, strengths and weaknesses. I have always tried to cater to diversity of the classrooms but whether or not I was successful and what I need to implement for my future teaching has only been possible through mentor‟s reflections. Citation from the mentor‟s feedback: - „Interactive moved on in positive ways and adapted to students‟ - „varied questions to a range of students‟ - „It was great to see you use different worksheets for different kids. Especially those with low level literacy skills.‟ - „You were aware of the individual differences and you were able to cater for the individual differences.‟ 1.3 Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. 1.4 Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 2.4 Understanding and respect Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous & non Indigenous Australians. As highlighted in my teaching philosophy, I believe in providing equal opportunities to students‟. I am aware that children come from many different backgrounds and with a variety of experiences which influence their learning experiences. I am also aware that it is equally important to recognize my own [personal background and how this can affect my teaching and perspectives. Knowing students and my own background will help me understand and better cater for learning needs of the students from diverse backgrounds. Evidence
  13. 13. 1. My teaching philosophy-As highlighted in my teaching philosophy, I believe in equality and providing equal opportunities to students irrespective of their race, culture and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is also important for me because I am also an international student and I recognise the importance of being treated fairly. Coming from a different cultural background and being a pre-service teacher, I am aware that it is important for me to recognise my own experiences that can affect my teaching and perspectives. Knowing students and my own background will help me understand and cater for their diverse learning needs, promoting awareness and respect for all. 2. Journal reflections (Modelled writing) -Through my lessons I applied an instructional model of teaching that aims to provide maximum support for student learning, and measurable improvement in student achievement.In this model the teacher releases the responsibility of learning to the students through a series of learning activities, scaffolded at different levels according to the stage of the Gradual Release Model the students were ready to operate at based on lessons conducted so far. One way I implemented this model was through modelled writing. I was introduced to modelled writing by my mentor, where I observed her first during the history lesson. While using the same model in one of my history lessons I started writing in dot points, which my mentor explained is not a good idea because I then expected them to write a complete paragraph in a similar way, because she said this would be an opportunity for the students to learn and discover the specific text structurestheir History writing would involve and increase their chances of becoming independent writers. The aim of modelled writing using the think aloud strategy is to explicitly talk about elements of the writing process you would like the students to use, but also allows students to observe the way a writer crafts and records a text. Following the gradual release of responsibility framework, I modeled the writing process on features of quest story by first guiding students to discover the its specific features and text structure, then through the collaborative class contributions and finally turning the process over to students to create their own individual quest stories. My mentor told me that modelled writing is most effective when the teaching focus is based on observation of students‟ learning needs, then building on their current understandings and prior knowledge and finally enabling students to apply the gained knowledge to their own writing. This strategy works effectively to address ESL students as well. 3. Clinic Groups-Clinic groups, an important component of Walkers Learning Approach is one of the strategy to cater individual learning needs. Knowing your students and how they learn would help decide for the clinic group‟s composition, which would allow for the individualized instruction. 4. Individual observation Form (Focus Students) -WLA is a system that provides explicit instruction and direction and reflects strategies for the teacher and students. Another key component for the successful implementation of WLA is Focus students which allows teacher to provide explicit instruction and direction to students. Teacher would talk to the focus student This would include getting to know your student, their interests, what they will choose to work on or where, what they have been working the day before and their individual goals. The teacher‟s primary focus for the day would be on these students and teacher would fill in an observation form. An observation form not only covers developmental behaviour but also key learning areas i.e. literacy and numeracy and other observations. During my placement I have also taken focus students session and filled in their observation forms. This is a very effective way to identify student‟s strengths
  14. 14. and weaknesses and keeping a record for future reference. It enables a teacher to plan a range of scaffoldingpractices that support the students in their goals and interests. 5. Differentiation in lesson plans- with the guidance and readings through the GDTL units, I have demonstrated my understanding of each student‟s interest, strengths, weaknesses and learning abilities and tried to incorporate these into my lesson plans. The knowledge of different teaching and instructional strategies has helped me to differentiate, planand teach effectively. I designed a geography unit, wherein with the guidance of my mentor, I have used different differentiation strategies, content and the resources to meet the diverse learning needs of our classroom. The class has students with diverse backgrounds and abilities and some students have English as their Second language which is a barrier for effective learning. I have worked hard to allow for maximum participation and engagement of all students with the use of these differentiation strategies and interactive pedagogies. 6. Dreaming Story lesson- The Australian curriculum is designed to address and meet the needs of students by providing an engaging curriculum that builds on the goals of Melbourne Declaration. The key areas identified by The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australianshave become priorities in The Australian Curriculum that provide students with the tools and language to engage with and better understand their world at different levels. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures is one of the identified Cross Curriculum Priority in Australian Curriculum which highlights that teachers should focus and embrace the content of this subject. Research indicates that there are number of factors contribute to academic success of Aboriginal students. Teachers should be mindful of the cultural differences and be able to provide classroom environment that honour their culture, language, world view and knowledge. Being new to this culture and their history, I sought guidance from my mentor who gave me a brilliant idea to address this priority through Geography Unit. Preparing, researching for the content of the lesson and discussion with my mentor also developed my knowledge and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The content of this lesson gives reference to the cultural belief of Indigenous people in relation to the formation and creation of the land. This is important within Territory schools.Learning activities will develop students‟ awareness and respect for the literature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People,while covering the geographical landforms.Students researched on the landforms, their dreaming stories and their geological information. 7. Guess speaker- A guest speaker was invited to talk about the indigenous people health facilities and what it is like for them coming a long way from home to come to hospital. Frances Abbot from Culture RDH is a clinical Nurse Consultant, who has worked in indigenous communities.She gave a very good presentation and had lot to share about her experience. She had worked at the same place where one of my students belong to. Frances showed a picture of the place and it was interesting to see how the student was excited to talk about it since she could relate to it. Frances also talked about the language and the relationships. She played some phrases in a couple of languages - like „My name is ..” for them to have a try – bit of fun! My student could relate to it as the dialogue which Ms. Frances played were the same language as of my student‟s native language. She mainly talked about what it is like for them coming a long way from
  15. 15. home to come to hospital. It was good to see Mekim share her experience and she stood in front of the class and explained the area shown in one of the pictures in the PowerPoint presentation. She is from the same place and she was excited to talk about the place and the community. Frances talked also talked about the relationships and the family systems which are different to Caucasian Australian. This brings back the attention to The 'Core Issues' series, which is an important resource to explore strategies for improving the learning outcomes of indigenous students. Core issues series 10 states how learning could be enhanced for indigenous students by creating an environment where they feel sacred and accepted. 8. Mentor and professional discussions- The only exposure and understanding I had of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and their reconciliation between non-indigenous Australians was through university classes. I have also developed an understanding of indigenous students and the effect my teaching may have on these students through educational readings i.e. What Works. The Work Programpublished „Core Issues‟ series to provide key directions to improve outcomes for indigenous students. However, I got myfirst experience to develop a lesson for addressing this cross curricular priority during my recent placement. Discussions with my mentor and other professionals have been really helpful for understanding their culture even more. My mentor discussed that teaching practices should reflect aboriginal learning styles i.e. differentiated instruction like hands on activities, group work. One of our specialist teacher in indigenous studies shared his experiences that: - Appreciate their families and family relationships- Mr.Glover told me that school and a teacher need to be aware of putting cousins in the same class, or bringing them together for an activity because in some communities it an avoidance practice. He told me that most of the times parents would instruct the school regarding this. - Be aware of parents attitude to school - Arrange to „catch-up‟ (meet) casually and not in structured school environment- Mr. Glover told me that parents of some of the students in his class will not meet him in school. He would go to the playground where he would meet them casually. The reason, he explains, could be many. They might have a bad experience with the school, they do not consider education and school to be important part etc. - Aboriginals can feel alienated from the language teachers‟ use. 1.5. Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 1.6. Strategies to support full participation of students with disabilities. While planning lesson sequences, a teacher should recognize students‟ specific learning needs and how they are catered for within the classroom. Extension activities and higher order thinking tasks should be evident in lesson planning. Actively liaise with supervisors and support staff in the school and community to develop learning activities. Evidence
  16. 16. 1. Guided Reading-I have had great opportunities to attend to few professional developments programs during my placements. One professional development program I attended was on guided reading. A presentation given was based on David Hornsby book „A closer look at Guided Reading‟.Guided reading is a strategy for differentiating teaching to target the learning needs of students across a range of abilities. It is a small-group reading instruction to provide effective support for a group of students who are at a same reading level. Teacher creates a group based on previous formative assessments. The literacy tasks set for each group are designed to cater for a range of specific but common learning needs. I have taken guided reading sessions during my placement. The learning tasks were set for them where they would work both independently or collaboratively.During the activity, I would ask questions about what they are reading and provide support at point of need. One thing that caught my attention was how few studentsstruggle to read during guided reading. One of the students, an ESL learner, told me that she feels consciousthat she might say the word wrong. A video shown in Guided Reading Program talked about different strategies on how to explicitly teach students. One of them was reading quietly to themselves first and then read with their individual groups. This worked really well with slow readers esp. EAL students as they can read to themselves first and learn how to speak a word which will give them confidence while reading in a group later. I liked the Pause! Prompt! Praise! strategy that can be really helpful for students who are struggling. 2. Lesson plans showing Differentiation(unit of Work) -While planning lesson sequences, a teacher should recognize students‟ specific learning needs and how they are catered for within the classroom. I have always kept in mind my students‟ strengths and weaknesses and tried my best to differentiate my lessons from the nature and level of instruction I provide to students, through guidance and scaffolding to set high order thinking tasks and extensions activities for my students. I prepared my health unit using a range of strategies: - Handout for Xhayne instead of having him to write - Clinic groups - Allowing student choice of small groups or independent work for comprehension task - Blooms Taxonomy - Visual scaffolding 3. Visual diagram designed to cater for specific learning needs (Xhayne) -For a teacher the focus should be on recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of a student and be able to accommodate in classroom and in teaching. My mentor was discussing how Xhyane lost his work for ERP twice because he does not remember how to save the file on the computer. She also told me that he has lost his work earlier as well because he does not remember even after being told many times. I made a visual diagram for him so which he can keep with himself and refer to it whenever he has to save a file which would save time and his work. Xhayne has poor memory and organizing skills, which results in loss of interest to write all over again and thus missing on the important time and work. I laminated the visual diagram for him for long use. I also made another copy for other students on A3 size which is displayed on the notice board. 4. Kara’s work as a Model- One of my students has acute autism and is socially impaired. There are few students she talks to and would come to class of her own will. I would often discuss with my mentor about her and how to engage her in the learning process while
  17. 17. communicating to her. The best solution was to let her accommodate on her own and one day she came up to me and showed her work. She had taken notes which I gave for health lesson. It was neat and she made numbered points and gave headings as well. I gave her feedback on her good work and asked her if I could use her work to show to the class as a model. She was really happy about it and said yes. Showcasing student‟s work give them the added incentive to do his or her bestandto take pride in their work. Particularly in this student‟s case, it was a good strategy to support her work and give acknowledgment to do good in future. It is also good way to build a secure relationship (Facilitatingkey component of WLA pedagogy) and providing an environment where she is appreciated. 5. The Education Adjustment Program (EAP)–The purpose of the EAP is to enable stakeholders to make reasonable adjustments, a differentiated approach, to the Curriculum by taking into consideration the needs of the learner. It is a process to provide opportunities to students with disability, to participate in learning and to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding through the development of an individualized Education Adjustment Plan (EAP).The EAP document demonstrates the legal requirement to enable access and participation to schooling and the curriculum by identifying and responding to the educational needs of students with disability. I was teaching year 6 students who will be going to middle school next year. One of the requirements for students with a disability is that a plan is produced to assist the student and the school with the transition. I, along with my mentor and the school‟s Special Education Teacher wrote a Transition Middle School Plan for a student with Asperger‟s‟ syndrome. In writing the plan we were to reference the EAP for the specific student we were planning for, and had to communicate the specific needs and readiness of the student in relation to the transition. This process enables the next school to plan for the negotiated outcomes or learning plans for the students with disability.The form communicates the strengths, weaknesses, behaviour and friends (social behaviour) and any special skills that the student has. I filled the form sitting with my mentor and the Special need teacher, who asked me what I have observed in his behaviour and his literacy and numeracy skills. I realized that apart from formal assessments, teacher‟s observations are really important and valuable for the requirement of the EAP. 6. Professional discussion with Special Ed Teacher- For a teacher, it is always beneficial to stay active in the professional community to gain the knowledge and new updates regarding the legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation of students with disability. I have always sought advice and asked questions that helped me gained knowledge of the students in my classroom and allowed me to teach effectively. During the recent placement, I had students with disabilities in my classroom, so I spent time with special needs teacher to discuss the various provisions from the government,the strategies that teacher can use for maximum participation and the disability and engagement services to school.She told me about school support services and child development team, the two agencies which are to be contacted depending on the needs of the student. She also talked about Asperger‟s syndrome and autistic spectrum disorder how it is important to make accommodations in classroom and in teaching to provide for the special needs of these students for example for autistic students plan for breaks during the lesson, providing space to work quietly, avoid making loud sounds; do not surprise them which I could totally relate to one of my student who has acute autism. 7. Actively seeking guidance from mentor about student with disability and the impact on student learning has also helped me gain knowledge and to teach effectively. My mentors provided me strategies to provide for student individual needs i.e. to help a student who
  18. 18. has fine motor skills disability extended time can be given for test, handouts for not having write too much, cutting paper and structured environment for autistic students. Any unexpected changes or loud noise can increase the anxiety levels of a student with Asperger‟s syndrome so it is advisable to provide them information beforehand. 2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area. 2.2 Content selection and organisation 2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting 2.5 Literacy and Numeracy strategies Knowing the content and using a range of pedagogies to promote students‟ understanding is linked with Standard 1. I have learned to use different strategies to structure and sequence the learning within the wider curriculum context. I have also learned the effectiveness of assessment and reporting to design learning sequences. I have gained knowledge of strategies in literacy and numeracy through GDTL units, which has proved beneficial for me while on placement. I have used ICT (Standard 2.6, 4.5) to plan most of my literacy and numeracy lessons. Evidence: 1. Lesson reflections- mentor feedback and journal reflection has been a part of my daily routine during placement. Reflections enables the teacher to learn from and potentially enhance their practice. I was familiar with content knowledge through the GDTL unit readings and content knowledge but the practical experience I received was during placement. After one of my lesson, my mentor talked about knowing the content knowledge which I also reflected in my journal: Extract from the Daily Journal: Content knowledge- How important it is for a teacher to 'know the content' for the improvement of teaching and learning. I learned that could prove to be a barrier for a teacher‟s development if teacher doesn‟t have the sound knowledge of the accuracy of the content/concepts. After the lesson today and with my mentor discussions, I have realized that it is important to research more on the teaching strategies to promote understanding of the content and be able to deliver the content effectively. If teacher knows the content and the strategies, he/she is more likely to engage students. My mentor has been supportive of my delivery of the knowledge of the concepts. 2. Lesson plan- For a teacher it is essential to know the accuracy of the content of the subject and should be familiar with the curriculum intended outcomes. I developed a good knowledge of using arange of pedagogies to promote students‟ understanding of content/concepts i.e. questioning strategies (content specific), making links to real world (authentic pedagogy), range of resources to engage students and allowing their maximum participation. 3. Lesson feedback- Citation from my mentor‟s feedback: -„Students were able to connect knowledge with personal experience‟- Real world application reinforces content understanding.
  19. 19. -„Material provided prompted discussion in students which is good. They were interested in the content‟- Interest allows engagement. 4. Comprehension Task (Blooms Taxonomy) -A comprehension task was designed for the health unit as a part of the sequential learning. The task was based on Blooms taxonomy, using Action verbs stems, that provides a structured questioning technique to engage students in higher order thinking processes. 5. Resources list in planning- I have always made sure to use a range of resources to engage my students in effective learning. For the health unit, the focus learning was on nutrition, healthy diet and effectiveness of food labels. The resources I used provided maximum student participation and engagement which in turn resulted in better understanding of the concept. The resources I used were: - Visual diagrams - Nutrition handouts - Interactive food label poster - Compare and choose- the more you read- the more you know worksheet - Food items with nutritional labels - Recommended daily servings sheet 6. Mentor discussions- Much of the knowledge I have gained about the content knowledge and how to develop lesson plans within the curriculum context is through the mentor‟s discussions. The strategies to structure the lessons, step by step, keeping in mind the students strengths and weaknesses and building on their prior knowledge. It is also important to check students understanding which will reflect the effectiveness of the different strategies and resources used for the lesson. I have also learned the effectiveness of assessment and reporting to design learning sequences. Right from the intended outcome through lesson structures and resources used to evaluation (formative or summative) and giving feedback needs to be structured carefully. 7. Assessment Rubric- On completion of the health unit, I had designed an assessment rubric with the guidance of my mentor. The rubric was designed to assess the students‟ understanding of healthy diet and food labels. Students were taught about the food groups, nutrients and their uses, food labels and daily servings. Students were provided with notes and handouts. Students were to plan a diet for a day using all this information and there were to be marked from a rubric. The rubric contains five marking criteria which describe the requirement of the diet plan. Underlying each criterion is a continuum of development described by the category descriptors. The category descriptors are coded A-E which are used to grade students‟ work. Students‟ texts are marked by judging which category best describes their work and then assigning the grade. I also assisted in marking the students‟ work and report writing which was checked by my mentor. 8. WLA Pedagogy- After being introduced to Walkers learning approach and through observations, I have tried to incorporate WLA approach in all my teaching lessons.WLAis a holistic pedagogy which personalizes and engages students in active learning. There is explicit teaching and development of not only literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge, but also the range of vital social, emotional and
  20. 20. life skills. The WLA fact sheets help teachers to identify the reasons why a child is not engaged and also provide information to develop strategies, provocations or scaffolding that will help to engage the child. 9. Lesson plan (literacy) -Doing educational units of GDTL, I have gained extensive knowledge on a range of strategies and pedagogies that can be implemented appropriate for diverse learning abilities. Teaching during placement and shared knowledge from my mentors has further developed these skills. Strategies in literacy and numeracy are important as they are the building foundations of students‟ learning. It is therefore essential that teaching is explicit and sequenced appropriately. I have used ICT with numeracy and literacy skills and other strategies like i.e. guided reading, gradual release of responsibility model, literature for mathematics teaching, hands on activities, learning by design framework by Kalantzis and Cope. This can be seen through my planning and lessons which I have taught. For a grammar lesson on apostrophes, I used a book Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale, by Jan Carr and a prezi. Engaging students through multimodal learning environments assists their language comprehension and retention of the learning material. Students are exposed to more than one sensory mode i.e. visual, oral, written, and spatial, in the presentation of the material which improves their learning (Walsh, 2006). 10, 11 & 12 Fantasy features and summarizing lesson using modelled writing and Numeracy strategies- During my recent placement, I have learned about Gradual release of responsibility model for literacy instruction provides necessary scaffolds for students to achieve success.I created lessons using modelling which is a component of the GRR model. Through modelling teacher release the responsibility of learning to the students through a series of learning activities, taking students‟ through steps with explicit demonstration. Think aloud strategy is central to the success of modelling with the focus on a specific feature. Features of fantasy story and summarizing a text lesson was done through modelling. Students were reading a quest story in English unit and different features of reading and writing were covered. For the assessment they had to create a story of their own. With the guidance of my mentor, I planned a modelling lesson to explicitly teach the features of a quest story. How to summarize a text was another lesson that was designed through the use of modelling. I used the same book for teaching these lessons as students were familiar with it and could easily contribute to the ideas. Numeracy was one of the units in GDTL, and while attending classes preparing for assignments I read many valuable professional resources. According to the National Numeracy Review Report‟s recommendations, language and literacies of mathematics be explicitly taught by all teachers of mathematics in recognition that language can provide a formidable barrier to both the understanding of mathematics concepts. The response to this recommendation according to Westwood (2008) is that learning of mathematics can be enhanced by using terms which are easily understood, and by using visual aids which would help students easily understand mathematical language i.e. pictures, diagrams. I have used visual scaffolding in most of my literacy and numeracy lessons. I have also tried to make effective use of
  21. 21. teaching assistant to provide intervention for students with learning disabilities, which is another recommendation of the NNRR 6 (provision of specialist teachers). 2.6. Information & Communications Technology 4.5 Use ICT safely, responsibly & ethically ICT is an essential part of all the curriculum areas to expand learning opportunities of the students. Use of ICT is relevant within all the teaching and learning programs and I use it regularly as it helps promote engagement and understanding; in resource development and planning as well. Evidence In the Australian Curriculum, students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school, and in their lives beyond school. The capability involves students in learning to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment.ICT capability supports and enhances student learning across all areas of the curriculum. The ICT capability learning continuum is organized into five interrelated elements:applying social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT, investigating with ICT, creating with ICT, communicating with ICT, managing and operating ICT. I have regularly used ICT in all areas of teaching and been able to effectively incorporate all these five elements. Effective use of technology is an essential part of the modern classroom to expand learning opportunities of the students, but I have always made sure that I do not over use it. I have fairly good knowledge of ICT and I have utilised these skills to support and enhance students‟ learning across the curriculum. 1. Lesson plans showing use of ICT- you-tube, or PowerPoint presentation- I have used ICT in almost all my teaching areas as it promotes students engagement and understanding. To cater for diverse learning needs, visual scaffolding proves very effective. I use YouTube for various interactive videos in literacy and numeracy lessons. I have created a Prezi and PowerPoint presentations for the effective development of the geography lessons which proved useful for explicit content delivery. 2. Use of interactive white boards, cameras, microphones- I have always made good use of the technologies available to me i.e. interactive whiteboard for all subject areas. For SOSE unit, student had to create an advertisement using different multi modes. Students could make a video, do an audio presentation, create a photo journal, role play, power point presentation etc to demonstrate their understanding and learning. For Photo journals, a group of students were given a camera and I accompanied them to different areas of the school to supervise.
  22. 22. 3. Careful use of resources online-I have always made sure to check the website that I am using is suitable for students‟. I always check the website prior to giving the lesson in the classroom. I have made sure to communicate ethical protocols to students while using ICT. During my first placement, my mentor discussed with me the best idea to incorporate a lesson on Cyber-safety. While covering a unit on media, I started the topic on how authentic are these social websites. Students shared many ideas and I gave information on cyber bullying and ethical use of social websites. 4. Supervised use of computers by students- I always make sure that students use of computers and laptops are monitored and are in accordance with lesson requirements.I move around the classroom to make sure that students‟ are on task. 3.1: Establish challenging learning goals I have always tried to plan my lessons by making sure that I set effective and challenging learning goals for students of varying abilities. I tried to ensure that students know what is expected of them and plan strategies to assist students to meet their goals. It is also critical to understand how to assess students' progress, while setting learning goals, in order to enable students‟ to effectively achieve them. Evidence 1. Learning Management Plan designed with intent to achieve learning outcomes in all learners. It outlines the sequential learning journey with a focus on the learning abilities of the learners and the knowledge objectives. I designed a learning management plan which focused on cognitive development of students. The three lesson plans were designed to establish understanding of interpreting andcomparing a range of data displays, including side-by-side column graphs. 2. Differentiation in lesson sequences to accommodate the different learning styles in the classroom so that all students have the best possible chance of learning. I have used a range of differentiated strategies to cater for varying learning styles in my classroom. The strategies ranged from - Differentiated language (adapt and adjust oral language)- checking comprehension and adjust teaching, clear stated goals, face students, highlight key ideas - Questioning strategies - Visual scaffolding - Organisers - Differentiating content based on students‟ needs, assessing (formative) and adjusting the teaching content and planning
  23. 23. 3. Clinic groups- Establishing clinic groups (WLA key component) allows teacher to cater for individual needs of the students and set achievable learning objective that matches the needs of the student. This also enables teacher to develop and adjust teaching resources that enables acquisition of the learning objective. 3.2: Plan, structure and sequence learning programs 3.3: Use teaching strategies 3.4: Select and use resources With guidance and curriculum knowledge, I have made sure to use different strategies and resources that would engage and assist students to achieve learning objectives. I always make sure to refer to my reflections of the lesson and on the achievement of goals so that I could adjust activities where necessary. Evidence: 1. Learning management Plan showing the sequencing and planning of lessons using range of resources – For a learning program to engage and provide a rich learning experience to students, it should be well planned and structured. Pedagogical content knowledge and use of a range of resources assists teacher to develop a lesson or a sequence of lessons. I worked hard to develop an understanding to create lessons keeping in mind the students‟ needs and interests and to build on their prior knowledge.I created a learning management plan using different teaching and learning activities to engage students. This was my first exposure to using literature in mathematics teaching. I read a book on graphs that was very informative and engaging. It was a fun way to reinforce the concept of graphs. The sequence was designed with the guidance of my mentor. Doing a survey and creating graphs was a good way to gauge their understanding. 2. Unit plans showing different strategies to engage all students in the learning process- During my second Placement, I developed unit plans with structured lessons using different teaching strategies from teacher guided instruction, to group work and moving on to independent learning activities. With guidance of my mentor I was able to develop and teach the unit based on curriculum guidelines. I used blooms taxonomy, visual scaffolding, ICT, Gradual release of responsibility framework and WLA approaches to engage and promote understanding of the students. I was also able to assess the unit with use of Source analysis task and an assessment rubric. 3. Reflecting and adjusting the teaching activities/sequence- A compare and choose worksheet was given to students as a part of formative assessment in health unit where in students had to compare food labels of two different products. Students compared and chose a product and justified their reasons of choice. While marking their notebooks, I observed that students had misconceptions
  24. 24. regarding sodium and energy percentages. This provided me with my next course of action that I had to address this misconceptions of the students to progress the lesson sequence. I had to adjust my lesson accordingly to give them clear understanding of the nutrients. 4. Use of various resources to support understanding for a student with a wide range of levels of prior knowledge and understanding. 5. Mentor’s feedback stating use of effective questioning techniques that maximize participation and encourage higher level thinkingCitation from my mentor‟s feedback: - „At first students (some) were inattentive and didn‟t understand the question so you rephrased the question which was good and it helped them refocus.‟ - „The two questions at the end “which is healthier and why” were good synthesis questions – requiring higher order thinking skills, enabling varied levels of achievement –adequately rigorous for those who need it.‟ - „Good questioning at end e.g. when Sushan said “because it is healthy” you asked him to explain what made it healthy. He listed “more calories” as a reason so some students may have the misconception that calories are good.‟ 6. Range of Strategies- GDTL unit readings had provided me a good understanding of strategies but with the guidance of my mentor, I have developed fairly good knowledge to diversify my teaching strategies. These include varying grouping strategies, utilizing students prior knowledge and understanding as the basis to plan and modify teaching, interactive whiteboard, organizers, WLA pedagogy and blooms taxonomy. 7. Stimulus in lesson- A lesson can be made more engaging through the effective use of stimulus and its variation. Presenting the stimulus material is delivering the desired content using procedures that stimulate thought processing and maintain interest. Teacher can also change the variation in the stimuli to sustain the attention of the students and hence enhancing their learning. For the geography lesson, I created a Prezi on formation of continents and Indian sub-continent. Students really liked the presentation and were engaged. I took pause and asked questions, students participated in the discussions and asked me many questions. I have used various charts, diagrams and PowerPointpresentations as stimulus for my lessons. 3.5: Use effective classroom communication Communication is essential in the classroom and it could be of many forms. I try to ensure that all children are fully engaged and I have learned about these forms of communication (both verbal and non-verbal) which can help students to grow and develop in their learning. Evidence:
  25. 25. 1. Mentor feedback stating good engagement of students also targeted students with use of varied questions and activitiesCitation from my mentor‟s feedback: - „Good WLA modelled lesson with delivering knowledge students need at first.‟ - „It was good to walk around and hear students use the correct language of the nutrients.‟ - „Varied questions to a range of students also targeted students not actively engaging e.g. Tiana, Sasmit, Jesse and William Slade.‟ - „Reminding students about raising hands was good.‟ - „Clear classroom instructions given.Fantastic classroom routines were established.‟ 2. Mentor discussions regarding range of strategies to engage all children – My mentors has always guided me about the various strategies I can use for establishing positive classroom environment i.e.Voice and tone, project yourself, use the physical presence to get students‟ attention, deliberately targeting, physical proximity. 3. Communication board- An integral aspect of the Walker Learning Approach, Communication board facilitates student engagement and integrates into all aspects of daily learning and activities. Key elements are prepared and displayed by the teacher on the communication board i.e. weekly timetable, daily timetable, subject focus learning intentions, focus students, clinic groups, and affirmations.During tuning in, teacher talks through each part of the board, how to use it and why it is important. I have referred to it to update students with daily activities and notices as students check the communication board the first thing in the morning. 3.6: Evaluate and improve teaching programs The process of teaching and learning is often being constantly revised and adjusted – requiring a teacher to revisit, evaluate and change the lesson and teaching sequence if need be. I always reflect on my lessons and it has always helped me improve my future lesson planning. Discussions with other teachers and collection of feedback from students to inform future planning and teaching is also useful. Evidence: 1. Journal Reflections- Reflective teaching allows the teacher you to explore his/her own classroom practices and serves as one of the teacher key competences. Writing reflections on the day and on lessons has been the regular part of my routine during placement in order to improve the efficacy of my skills in teaching and management of the classroom. 2. Mentor’s feedback is an important source of insight and informs you about areas that need improvement. I have proactively sought feedback and guidance from my mentor teachers on my both my lesson plans and the teaching and management practices. It served as a guide for successful planning of activities for my future lessons and helped me identify problems in the flow of the lessons.
  26. 26. - Another way of improving teaching programs is designing assessment tasks to check understanding i.e. with guidance of my mentor, I planned formative assessment tasks to evaluate students‟‟ learning i.e. a decimal pretest, long divisions questions. 3.7 Engage parents/carers in the education process I understand parents have the right to be involved in their children‟s educational process and that as a key stakeholders in their child‟s education must receive effective and accurate feedback on their child's learning. Evidence: 1. Parent Letter– I sent an introductory letter to parents, introducing myself and asking for permission of taking photographs. It was to inform them what students would be learning and how to contact me if they have any questions or concerns. It is a good way to build relationships with parents. 2. Mentor’s feedback for the notes provided on parent‟s request and observation of my conversations with parents. One of my students parent was concerned about number sequences lesson performance of the child and asked if I could provide extra notes for her to do at home. After discussing with my mentor, I provided her notes which helped her understand the concept of number sequences. I have also observed one parent teacher interview, where my mentor asked me for contributions. 4.1 Support student participation Encouraging and supporting student participation is a key part of creating a supportive learning environment. Building an inclusive and supportive classroom allows students to express their viewpoints comfortably and should be followed by constructive feedback and acknowledgement of student effort. Throughout my teaching I have endeavored to support and encourage student participation. As discussed in standard 3.3 and 3.4, I have used a range of strategies and resources to provide stimulus for student participation. Evidence: 1. Individual Observation Form to cater for the individual needs not just academic but emotional and social needs. I have used individual observation forms to identify individual student‟s needs and strengths.
  27. 27. 2. Mentor feedback –I have utilized a range of strategies (as seen in Standard 3.3) to provide a range of learning experiences for a range of learning styles and to foster positive relationships within a caring and inclusive environment. Some of these are recognized in my mentor‟s feedback: Citation from my mentor‟s feedback: - „Provided visual diagram for students to refer to during discussion – good way to reinforce information presented.‟ - „Excellent modelling using Prezi and YouTube I liked the way you paused to discuss.‟ - Your directions were clear and concise and your looked happy to be there.‟ - „Activity planned was well received by the students allowed them to apply the knowledge you gave them in a real life setting.‟ - „Good you asked for Finnis attention with a question.‟ - „Good WLA modelled lesson with delivering knowledge students need at first.‟ - „Resource used were very good- visual diagram with small manageable chunks of information.‟ - „I really liked the way you talked Tiana through the last section of her task because it held her accountable for doing the work and she was supported to complete the task you had set.‟ Being introduced to Walkers learning approach and through observationsI have also learnt that teacher should be sensitive to individual differences. Students should be able to take responsibility of their own learning supported by teacher‟s explicit scaffolding and individual support. Teacher should also be aware of the individual personalities while planning for group work. 4.2 Manage classroom activities 4.3 Manage challenging behaviour 4.4 Maintain student safety Managing classroom activities and for smooth transitions between lessons has beena focus for me. With mentors discussions and guidance, I have developed effective and consistent strategies to provide clear instructions, maintain student participation and manage challenging behaviour for a productive classroom. Evidence: 1. Classroom Management Plan- Classroom management defines the learning environment. A classroom management plan sets the tone for teachers, students, and the multitude of relationships connecting these elements. My classroom management plan is a work in progress as I gain experience and come across new situations and challenges in the classroom.Consistent with my mentor‟s approach
  28. 28. (WLA) and school approach that is based on School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) framework; I have developed the plan to ensure that my classroom is positive and appropriate learning environment for all students. 2. Mentors feedback- I have taught lessons that were disorganized, noisy and lengthy but my mentors feedback and guidance assisted me to develop skills in this area. I am mindful of all the strategies when I am teaching, observing or monitoring students to minimize disruption to learning tasks and to manage behaviour. I have achieved this by planning lessons and transitions carefully, and by allocating appropriate time for activities and packing up. I have worked hard to make sure that students were on task, had the materials they needed, were aware of the task and had clear expectations around behaviour and safety. Citation from my mentor‟s feedback: - „Working to ensure you are aware of everything in class.‟ - „More organized‟ - „Excellent classroom movement with Kiara, Jordie, Lodoviko.‟ - „Asked students to cut and glue later so that interruption to lessen is minimized.‟ - „Instead of going through the entire sheet aimed at student developmental level and went straight to “other foods” because knew needed clarification- this is good as ensures students aren‟t being bored going through entire sheet and values student ability to do some independent reading.‟ - „Was good to see students follow instructions clearly to move between activities.‟ - „Clear instructions were given and clarified by students,‟ - „Great idea to have a poster showing kids your expectations of pack up- make sure you refer to it though.‟ 3. Visual reminders- I created two posters for tidying up and best behaviour. I put these posters in front of the classroom on display board. It a good way to refer these to students and get their attention. 4. Student work as a model (Praise/encouragement) -Infusing encouragementstrategiesthroughout the learning process is an ongoing need. I used one of my autistic student‟s work as a model for the class. It is a good way to make student feel capable of performing classroom tasks and support his/her learning. It also forms the foundation of positive teacher/student relationships. 5. Professional Discussions- I have always sought advice and strategies from other professionals like special need teacher or teachers‟ assistants to manage challenging behaviour in the classroom. Discussions on school and government protection policies have been really helpful with mentors and special need teacher. During my first placement, my mentor teacher advised me to always seek out information about student allergies and other special conditions that may require attention. I have had opportunities to attend yard duties and I have observed my mentors administer safety of the students and sent students to the front office if there is any urgent requirement. I am aware that nuts are not allowed in the school.
  29. 29. 6. Sun Safety Practices & use of gardening tools- I am aware that students‟ are required to wear hats while going out in the sun during lunch breaks. Sunscreen lotions are also provided in the classrooms. During sustainability classes, students need to be given instructions on how to use the gardening tools and should be supervised. I have attended one sustainability lesson, and I observed her giving instructions on tools handling. I moved around in the garden to monitor students and making sure that they are working safely. 7. Social Skills lesson on resisting peer pressure- To cover wellbeing lesson, I used my assignment ETL414 to design a lesson on teaching social skills. The focus of the lesson was on how to resist peer pressure using role play strategy. 8. Managing ICT safely–I have reviewed each website and videos before use for safety reasons. 5.1: Assess student learning 5.2: provide feedback to students on their learning Assessment is a central element in the overall quality of teaching and learning which forms and shapes virtually all that teachers do. Different forms of assessment informs teachers about how to teach students, whether they have learned effectively and identify any misunderstandings or misconceptions that the students have. The information collected inform teachers of their teaching practices and how they can refine their teaching programs and sequences. While assessment shapes the course of student‟s learning, timely and effective feedback to students‟‟ of their work is equally important to improve their learning. Evidence: 1. Lexile Framework- Lexile program is designed to match a reader‟s ability with different range of texts books, which not only improves the reader‟s confidence but also enhances the competence level and control over the text. During my first placement, I monitored scores of student‟s comprehension level after they take a Lexile quiz. For short reviews, students would complete a diary. Lexile framework gave different options for teachers to monitor the progress. I would regularly check the latest updates of the quizzes students took and would discuss and monitor their progress i.e. student who has not taken quiz in last 14 days, student who scored below 70 % on the last 3 quizzes, student who has not passed at least 3 quizzes above student‟s Lexile level and student who has selected books significantly lower than student‟s Lexile level. 2. Assessment Rubric- With guidance of my mentor, I created an assessment rubric for the health unit. Students would create a diet for day covering all the food groups, nutritional values, food labels and serving sizes. I also created an assessment cover sheet which gave an overview of the assessment task. I discussed the assessment cover sheet with students. Students highlighted the key points in the rubric to guide them while planning the diet.
  30. 30. 3. Assessment strategies- I have used a range of worksheets as a part of formative assessments. I have created a comprehension task based on Blooms Taxonomy. Discussions and whole group/ independent activities have also been a part of my students‟ assessment. A source analysis task was set for the geography unit where students had to make observations, inferences and predictions based on the source photograph. The source analysis task was set on Geographical features of India. I have also created an assessment for history lesson. I created three cloze passages on Child labour in England in 1800s, Life in England and Conditions on prison hulks. I also presented three pictures for which they had to make observations. 4. Individual Observation Form- An important element of Walker learning Approach, observation form, can be used as a guide to assess individual student‟s learning, covering literacy and numeracy levels.This is a good way to keep individual record for future reference and to monitor the progress. 5. Positive Reinforcement and range of strategies * guided by mentor discussions- Teachers can reinforce learning of the students by providing them positive constructive feedback on their work, involvement and behavior. I have learned many strategies to provide specific and constructive feedback by observing my mentor. I have regularly given feedbacks to students on their learning. My mentor told me that the student should know for what they are being praised for: the feedback should be specific i.e. I liked the way you .., excellent! It shows that you have been paying attention to. It is important that students should be monitored during the tasks and be given feedback. I have learned and used a range of strategies to give feedback i.e. oral, written. 6. Small groups during Guided reading- Small-groups settings during guided reading are one of the most effective ways to provide individualized instruction and attention, while still reaching variety of students. As a part of literacy centres, I have taken guided reading session with small groups of 4-5 students. This has been really helpful for giving specific individualized instructions to students for their reading. 5.3: Make consistent and comparable judgements 5.4: interpret student data Assessment moderation is an important process; enabling teachers to compare judgments to either confirm or adjust them. Teachers work towards making judgments that are consistent and comparable and the process ensures that teachers‟ judgments on students‟ work are fair, and that no students‟ are unfairly disadvantaged. Another important aspect of assessment is to effectively interpret student data, which can aid teachers by informing their future teaching. Evidence:
  31. 31. 1. Plan, Discuss and review planned diet assessment task – I haveplanned an assessment task by developing an assessment rubric (with the guidance of my mentor) for planning a food diet in health unit. The rubric contains five marking criteria which describe the requirement of the diet plan. Underlying each criterion is a continuum of development described by the category descriptors. The category descriptors are coded A-E which are used to grade students‟ work. Students‟ texts were marked by judging which category best describes their work and then assigning the grade. I assisted in marking the students‟ work which was reviewed by my mentor. I explained the judgments made using the rubric criteria which my mentor approved. 2. Persuasive text assessment marking- I had an opportunity to assist in marking the persuasive text assessment task of the students which my mentor rechecked and was further taken for assessment moderation in a meeting. The students have written a persuasive text justifying why television advertising is better than radio advertising. I could not attend the meeting but my mentor explained the process. Each teacher brought their several previously assessed works, and teachers randomly chose the samples to see if they would have marked it the same. In this way the cohort developed a fair and equitable moderation process. I thought that this was the highly beneficial discussion and have kept in mind in order for me to gain understanding of fair judgements. 3. Professional discussions with the mentor and Teacher assistant- I have always discussed my lesson plans with my mentor before delivering the lesson, but I have also discussed the activities with other relevant school support staff. With one particular autistic student, her support teacher told me she enjoys what I teach and finishes her work. She always completed her notes. During start of the placement, he told me that she does not like noisy environment, the same thing had been told to me my mentor. He also told me that she liked doing her work independently and might not even want to respond if I approach her. She would get adjusted on her own, and it did happen. She started showing me her work and would talk about her interests. Her support teacher told me that she likes me. 4. Assess, plan and reflect- I have developed an understanding of how to use the insights from marking student work to evaluate their learning and to modify my lessons and teaching strategies accordingly. For Health unit, a compare and choose worksheet was given to students which highlighted misconceptions in students‟ work. I had to plan a lesson to clarify the nutritional values and the health benefits. 5. Observation and mentor discussions on how to keep and access student data- I have had the opportunity to attend a meeting where my mentor had to inform the Assistant Principal of students‟ progress in recent assessments. My mentor teacher showed all her assessment records and her methods for storing and retrieving this information. The assessment tasks set and their results werewell organized according to curriculum outcomes, which can identify gaps and achievements across the learning continuum. She explained the assessment tasks and how she had been keeping records on student‟s progress to inform her subsequent lessons. Her assessment data was meaningful and relevant to her planning and teaching.After the meeting she explained the assessment tasks in detail and how to interpret student data and how to use that data for future lesson planning and assessment. I am aware that to implement her comprehensive approach I have to really work hard and maintain well organized systems for recording student achievement.
  32. 32. 5.5: Report on student achievements A teacher should know a range of strategies to assess and gather reporting information on students. These need to be organized to form an indepth analysis of the student which is then written in their report. I have had the opportunity to be able to observe the reporting process in action, the form which it takes and gather advice on how best to complete the process. Evidence1. Merit Awards- Every second weektwo students from each class receive a merit award at assembly. It is a good way to encourage and support student‟s achievement. It is an exciting moment for them and they are eager to show to their parents. The students are excited when they receive the awards and are eager to show parents. Receiving an award boosts students‟ confidence and provides motivation to work better. It is a good way to inform parents of their child‟s exceptional work. 2. Mentor’s discussion regarding keeping accurate records and methods of gathering evidence- my mentor has discussed with me the importance of keeping records for reporting to students and parents. My mentor has kept separate folders of the assessment worksheets and results to keep record for future reference and in the case of a parent/carer asking questions about their child, it is a quick way of demonstrating areas of strength and weakness. It is advisable to have photo evidence of assessment. 3. Teacher student parent interview- I have been a part of the reporting process and observed how my mentor reports on the student‟s achievement. She discussed how important it is to highlight the positive achievements of the student first and followed by any improvements. The teacher facilitates the process: Parents learn about their child's progress, have the opportunity to ask questions, and together with the teacher use strategies for supporting the child. The purpose of the PTI‟s is topromote shared responsibility for student learning and strengthen communication with parents. 4. Report writing –My mentor has told me about reporting process and that formal written reports are sent to parents at the end of semester 1 and 2. 6.1 Identify & plan professional learning needs 6.2 Engage in professional learning & improve practice 6.3 Engage with colleagues & improve practice 6.4 Apply professional learning & improve student learning Evidence:
  33. 33. 1. Self-Reflect Assessment AITSL Tool:Guided by my mentor, I used self-reflect assessment AITSL tool to know my strength and weaknesses to improve my practice. The SAT is an online questionnaire enabling teachers at all career stages, in a range of contexts, to reflect upon their practice in accordance with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. 2. Attend Whole school Professional Development program- I have had the opportunity to attend professional development programs at both the schools I have attended on the placement. I have attended two professional development programs on Guided Reading and Walkers Learning Approach. I have received the notes for this and have been trying to apply the knowledge. 3. Professional learning resources- GDTL set texts on child development, assessment and reporting and classroom management have been a valuable resources through my learning journey and developed my understanding of the curriculum, content knowledge, literacy and numeracy skills; pedagogies, teaching strategies and behaviour management. 5. Math’s Dictionary- Being an international student, I was not aware of many mathematical terms and often find it difficult to explain concepts. My mentor gave me this book, „Illustrated Maths Dictionary‟ by Judith De Klerk, to familiarize me with the different terms used. Whenever there is a mathematical concept I seek out all the mathematical terms that could be used for it so that I am informed and be able to explain the concept to students without getting conscious of not knowing the terms. 6. Attend Staff meetings- I have attended most of the staff meetings, which provides a good platform for sharing new ideas and professional learning. There have been many 7. Discussions with special Ed teacher and other staff members regarding their roles- I have actively sought advice for my teaching practices in regard to varying abilities in my classroom. I have discussed and planned lessons sequences with my assistant teachers so as to maximize student engagement. I have often discussed strategies to deal with challenging behaviour and managing my classroom practices with special need teacher. 8. Seek and apply feedback from my mentor and supervisors- I have always asked for the feedback from my mentors and supervisors present in the class after each lesson I have taken during my placement. If I have improved in teaching, managing the classroom activities and been able to get maximum student participation and engagement, then I would say the major credit would go to all these continuous feedbacks I have received and applied. My mentors have been generous enough to give me constructive feedback and have always helped to try to achieve the best and be the best. 9. Continued development through Mentor’s guidance- I have been introduced to WLA through my mentor, which is Australian based holistic pedagogy with a key focus on building relationships with students. I have been introduced to a range of teaching and assessment strategies by her i.e. Blooms taxonomy action verbs, WLA developmental domains, consequences wheel, source analysis, Modelled writing, reading strategies,behaviour strategies and many more. I am more confident with my teaching now as I am aware of various practices to engage students and support their participation.
  34. 34. 10. WLA implementation- WLA reflects a system that continues to provide explicit instruction and direction. With the help of my mentor, I have been able to apply WLA core elements. Each element interconnects with the others to provide a holistic and consistent set of strategies in the teaching-learning cycle.The WLA philosophy underpins intentional teaching across all aspects of teaching and learning throughout the day, week and year. The key components for the successful implementation of WLA I have been able to implement: - Developing relationships between myself and my students Creating student-focused learning environment Communication boards Electronic media Focus students Clinic groups Explicit instruction teaching sessions Student project work (Education Research Projects known as ERPs- I have taken a part in monitoring and assisting students in their ERP. Teacher, self and peer assessment Planning 11. Continued Professional learning and improving practice- Teaching is an ever-developing practice. As a teacher, I am aware of the importance to continually participate in professional learning and its direct impact on improved student learning experience and outcomes. I started with almost no experience, but throughout my placement professional development and conversation with my mentors and other professionals I have come a far way. My major focus during recent placement has been on differentiation and providing explicit teaching based on the identified needs of the students, which I have developed in considerably with the help of my mentor. 7.1 Meet professional ethics & responsibilities 7.2 Comply with legislative, administrative & organisational requirements To ensure students get every opportunity for a quality education and can grow in a safe environment, it is essential for a teacher to be aware of and comply with professional ethics and responsibilities. There are many legalities and administrative requirements which a teacher has to meet Evidence: 1. Attend Staff meetings- I have attended most of the staff meetings every week during my placement.
  35. 35. 2. Treat with Respect- This is a legislation and every school requirement to be respectful towards students all the times. 3. Parents’ letter- It is not permissible to take pictures without prior consent of the parents. To meet this requirement I had sent letters home to ask for their permission to take photographs of their children for Portfolio‟s evidence purposes. 4. Mentor discussions- Being new to the system and legislative requirements, I have regularly discussed requirements, ethical responsibilities of a teacher towards students, parents and the school. I made sure to uphold the values of any school I am a part of and familiarised myself to school administrative procedures, such as absentee lists and late passes. 5. Code of Ethics - The code of ethics document is widely available to all teachers, and upholdsthe core values underpinning the teaching profession: Integrity, Respect, Justice, Empathy, Dignity. 6. Yard Duties- I have been on yard duties with my mentor to supervise student safety. 7. Safety policies-. OCHRE Card & police clearance- There are many legalities and requirements, ranging from legislative to administrative policies, which all teachers must abide by. To work with children, one must have been issued with a Working with Children Clearance Notice and a police clearance. I have been issued an Ochre card and have recently renewed my police clearance certificate. 7.3 Engage with the parents/carers 7.4 Engage with professional teaching networks & broader communities Maintaining good relationships with parents and carers is an important part of a teacher‟s role. This is in lines with standard 3.7. Being a teacher involves developing strong engagement with a wider community. These communities can be a valuable resource to develop and discuss teachers‟ professional knowledge and skills, as well as forming a support network which teachers can use to aid each other. Evidence1. Parental discussions- I have always made sure that I do not share any information with parents regarding their child. My mentor has to be present. 2. Letters sent home- it is a requirement to work effectively and sensitively with parents and carers. To meet the requirement a formal letter checked by the school authorities for parents‟ consent.
  36. 36. 3. WLA Facebook Page- After being introduced to Walkers Learning Approach, my mentor advised to join their Facebook page. The Facebook page has new entries everyday regarding new ideas, researches; quotes and learning centre pictures from different schools. I have also posted comments on the quotes and the learning centres pictures. 4. Nurse Practitioner visit- A Nurse, who is a clinical Nurse consultant visited to talk about indigenous health facilities and their family systems. Such professional visits are not only beneficial for teachers but also a good way to involve students in understanding different cultural values and practises. We shared with her before her visit that one of the students in the class was from Maningrida, she then included an aerial photograph of this community in her presentation. 5. Professional Learning communities/websites- I am a member of Scootle, Tes Australia, studyladder, and other professional learning communities where teachers share their ideas and resources. I have subscribed to these sites to get newsletters which are informing and a good source of new ideas and practices around the world. Discussions with other professionals, like I have often discussed with Special Need teacher about new policies and provisions for students with disability.

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