October 16, 2012

PSP 5 Inclusion EAL

Follow-up to PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning from Bobby's blog

If I were suddenly going to college in a place where I do not speak the language, I imagine would feel isolated and confused. This would be a stressful experience as I would be worrying about how much of the lesson I might mis-understand due to the language barrier. It would also be difficult in terms of forming supporting social networks.

As a teacher looking to support EAL students in the classroom,

  • I would establish a buddy system wherein confident English speakers support EAL students.
  • Provide a first language/English dictionary for students to consult.
  • Respect pupil’s right to a ‘silent period’ (if they are new to the country)
  • Provide opportunities for speaking and listening in groups
  • Give students the opportunity to write in their first language
  • To share their first language with the class
  • Us e key visuals
  • Oral and written modelling of sentence structures
  • The use of writing frames
  • Setting differentiated homework

October 12, 2012

PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning

Follow-up to PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning from Bobby's blog

The teacher in the second video asks the pupils open questions, prompting the students to identify for themselves focal points for assessment in the work they are marking. The students are marking their peer’s work. One student commented that this is preferable to self-assessment. Another pupil commented that peer and self-assessment is really useful in terms of learning strategies for writing and analysis that can be applied to different questions and subjects.


PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning

Follow-up to PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning from Bobby's blog

The teacher in the video supports the pupils understanding of the grade descriptors by encouraging group discussion around how they can achieve the different levels. She provides scaffolding by contributing to the student discussion and highlighting key points.

She also conducts whole class reviews of their own assessed work. This encourages self-assessment as students are able to refer directly to their own work to see why they have attained a particular grade and what steps they may take in future to improve on that grade.


PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning

Follow-up to PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning from Bobby's blog

In my school I have observed teachers use learning objectives in a number of ways:

  • setting a clear objective at the beginning of the lesson which is discussed in detail and returned to in the plenary
  • writing the objective on the whiteboard which students are expected to copy into their books. The objective is indirectly revisited in the plenary but not explicitly so
  • the objective is withheld from the students and only revealed in the plenary. This gave the classroom a spontaneous energy, and seemed to make students feel a greater sense of driving their own learning
  • setting pupils two objectives, one related to subject knowledge another related to skills for learning. This was designed to empower pupils with knowledge of their own learning process

PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning

Follow-up to PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning from Bobby's blog

In my school I have observed teachers integrate a number of ASL techniques into their practice:

  • asking closed and open questions about the previous lesson to check for learning and to be able to differentiate between different levels of understanding in the class
  • asking students to reflect on their learning in groups before feeding black to the whole class
  • setting homework tasks that will demonstrate levels of learning
  • editing power points to accommodate for rates of learning that are slower than expected
  • being prepared enough and flexible enough to introduce higher levels of learning into the lesson if students show sighs of needing greater challenge
  • encouraging students to ask questions
  • encouraging students to use the traffic light system that they have in their planners (they can display a coloured page which correlates with how confident they feel about their understanding of a topic
  • peer assessment

PSP 4 Assessment for/of learning

Follow-up to PSP 3 Communication and Questioning from Bobby's blog

If half of my class were exhibiting signs that they had not understood a topic thoroughly, I could use summative assessment. This might be in the form of an exam which reviews the topic. The results of the exam would help me identify specific areas of weakness for individual students and the group as a whole. I would then feed forward the identified areas into my planning for the next class, structuring the work to accommodate student gaps in comprehension. This process of using assessment to evaluate student progress and adapting teaching practice accordingly is called formative assessment. So the ‘exam’, traditionally associated with summative assessment has become incorporated into a model of formative assessment.


October 05, 2012

PSP 3 Communication and questioning

Follow-up to PSP 3 Communication and Questioning from Bobby's blog

Paper cube


PSP 3 Communication and Questioning

Follow-up to PSP 3 Communication and Questioning from Bobby's blog

What effect do the adverbs create?

Is there any?

Who wrote Of Mice and Men?

How does this group’s performance compare with the original scene?


PSP 3 Communication and Questioning

Follow-up to PSP 3 Communication and Questioning from Bobby's blog

In order to encourage pupil to pupil listening, the teacher can first set ground rules which encourage respect and turn taking. Pupils can be asked to feedback to class the comments that previous pupils have made in discussion.

The teacher can request obsevation and feedback from other staff members so they can reflect and evaluate their listening skills.


PSP 3 Communication and Questioning

Follow-up to PSP 3 Communication and Questioning from Bobby's blog

The body language of the teachers in the videos shows they are listening: nodding and eye contact. Verbal response and attention to the detail of pupil questioning also exemplifies good listening skills.


PSP 3 Communication and Questioning

Follow-up to PSP 3 Communication and Questioning from Bobby's blog

Front facing desk are useful for listening to teacher instruction. Desks arranged in groups, obviously facilitate group work. The horse shoe arrangement is great for whole class discussion. For English and drama it is also a good idea to dispense with desks altogether, enabling active approaches to text.


PSP 3 Communication and Questioning

Follow-up to PSP 3 Communication and Questioning from Bobby's blog

Comprehension questions, Recall questions, Application Questions, Synthesis questions. Open and closed.


PSP 3 Communication and Questioning

Follow-up to PSP 2 The way pupils learn from Bobby's blog

Teachers can help pupils express themselves by asking them questions which will be easier for them to answer and about a topic which may already be relevant to the pupil. For this to be achieved the teacher must make efforts to know the individual pupils. Teachers should create a classroom climate for learning that positively embraces classroom contribution, as opposed to valuing only the right answer. Open questions are good technique to encourage this. The teacher must structure discussions so that quieter pupils are not only given the opportunity but actively encouraged to put their ideas forward. Pupils can also practice self-expression using non-verbal or written forms of communication eg drawing a picture, using their bodies etc.


September 29, 2012

PSP 2 The way pupils learn

Follow-up to PSP 2 The way pupils learn from Bobby's blog


‘Closed’ this way, ‘negotiated’ the other. ‘Framed’, positioned neatly between the two; in theory. In practice, it is possible for an individuals teaching style to be closed in one area of the classroom/lesson and negotiated in another, bypassing the realm of the framed altogether, unnerving!

Given the current framework of the national curriculum, it is probably most easy to classify the majority of contemporary teachers as working with a negotiated teaching style, but with a tendency towards either closed or framed.

The similarities between the styles can be found by looking at what the framed teaching style has in common with each of the others, and the differences can be identified by comparing closed with negotiated. Is it necessary for me to be more specific?

Here are some general commonalities between the styles in practice: The teacher talks, pupils might work on tasks in groups, the teacher asks questions, hand outs film and other instructive or stimulating materials may be used; each classroom will have rules and expectations to which students must adhere.

Ideally, the teacher should be able to move between teaching styles depending on which is most appropriate to the learning objective and the students. Teaching approach will differ depending on whether we are teaching skills, attitude, concept or knowledge (SACK).


PSP 2 The way pupils learn

Follow-up to PSP 2 The way pupils learn from Bobby's blog

Teaching strategies in placement school, hmme…..I’ve seen some direct instruction, work in pairs and guided class discussion. The ‘Pee’ approach to textual analysis was taught indirectly through textual exploration. Hand outs with visual aids complemented themes of lesson.


PSP 2 The way pupils learn

Follow-up to PSP 2 The way pupils learn from Bobby's blog

In Drama or English (or other subjects) we can use a technique called ‘Mantle of the Expert’ where the students are required to achieve a task ‘in role’. For English a group of three might be asked to conduct an ad campaign for a new healthy snack bar, one pupil would be in charge of overall strategy, another would be responsible for writing pr, and another would deal with graphics. It is important that they maintain their ‘in role’ professionalism throughout the task. They are then given the opportunity to reflect on the process out of role.


Professional practice and self study behavior management

Follow-up to Professional practice self study behavior management from Bobby's blog

Rights of a teacher

  • To be safe
  • To be respected
  • To teach with minimum disturbance

Rights of a pupil

  • To be safe
  • To be respected
  • To be offered an environment/given a chance to learn.

Teachers' Responsibilities

  • Provide a safe environment
  • Offer creative opportunities
  • Acknowldeg progress and growth

Pupils' Responsibilities

  • Cooperate with teachers and others
  • Be willing to learn
  • Allow others to learn.

PSP 2 The way pupils learn

Follow-up to Professional practice self study behavior management from Bobby's blog

The discussion between pupils in the lessons I have observed so far demonstrated pupils learning by assimilation and accommodation: using existing schemata to interpret the dialogue which conforms and reinforces it, and to interpret new words and word patterns which don't fit with an exsiting schema, therefore creating new schema.

The intellectual and emotional individual is developed through social interaction. I think this will have helped pupils to engage in the topic with greater depth, the aquasition of schema broadening the possibilities of conceptual thinking. Learning in the context of peer discussion may also help them to retain more information in their long term memory.

I believe that for some pupils, dependent on their learning style, the opportunity to vocalise thoughts is a big factor in solidifying knowledge.


September 26, 2012

PSP 2 The way pupils learn

Follow-up to Professional practice self study behavior management from Bobby's blog

I can only comment upon what little I have seen in my EP school so far. These observations and discussions persuade me that broadly speaking the school applies operant conditioning strategies in order to manage behaviour. The Vivo scheme which the school operates is an example of this. Vivo enables pupils to accumulate credits for good behaviour and effort. When credits pass a threshold, they can be used to purchase reward items. A parallel process applies for disruptive and negative behaviour. Pupils are given strikes for low level disruption that will result in penalties i.e. removal from class/ detention/letter home. These strategies seem to be firmly embedded in, and out of lesson time.

The school allows for differentiation within this framework and recognises that children are at different levels of academic attainment and behavioural development for a number of reasons. Staff members are encouraged to appreciate that some students will be dealing with significantly challenging issues in their lives and that it these cases it may be appropriate to lower the behavioural expectations that are deemed worthy of reward. Teachers work collaboratively to share information about students who may face above average challenges in their lives.

The school aims to be clear and consistent about what it expects from pupils. It promotes its ideas about good learning and good behaviour using the ‘The Five Rs’: Resilient, responsible, Reflective, Resourceful, Reasoning. The school believes that good learning and good behaviour are not mutually exclusive, and that will develop together if pupils are taught to behave in a way which exemplifies The Five R’s. Teachers should model the Five R's.


September 24, 2012

Professional practice self study behavior management

There are many teacher behaviors that can influence pupil’s behavior for learning, all of which should be thought about as tools for building a positive classroom relationship. For the teacher who has yet to build this strong relationship with pupils, it is sensible to abandon dressing to express their personality in favor of the impersonal ‘professional look’. The uniform will signpost that the teacher is to be taken seriously and respected. Most importantly, it minimizes the risk of potentially comic style choices that pupils can exploit for sport. Language should also be fairly standardised for the same reason as specified regarding clothing. It is also important that language be used in a way that is respectful to pupils. It is helpful to be able to project voice as a means of commanding attention, but shouting at/or over pupils should be avoided as it gives the impression of losing control. Non verbal communication and thoughtful use of space can instead be developed as a means of non disruptive behavior management.

Relationships with other adults are something which must be attended to with care. Fostering a positive relationship with parents will only have a beneficial impact on pupil behavior for learning. Within school to the teacher must demonstrate respectful, collaborative and supportive relationships with other members of staff. Since children learn by example, the teacher must model the principles she hopes to impart to her pupils.


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