October 14, 2010

Reflections on SCT1 Feedback

Follow-up to SCT 1 from Elizabeth's PGCE blog

This task was peer assessed. My group were very unclear about what was actually good or bad so found this difficult to do. We wrote some stuff that I have the feeling was utterly wrong now! Lots of other people found this too so there is a possibility the people who wrote mine found it hard to know what to say. 

I'm finding it quite hard to get much out of the feedback I've been given. They liked the starter and the homework, the differentiation and the architecture examples. Areas they feel I could develop:

There was a lot to do in each task. I might want to consider timings.

I agree. Since this was assessed, there was a temptation to put all the good material in together for this one lesson, which I wouldn't have teaching a series of lessons. I intended to put "prioritising notes" in next to each activity, to indicate which can be skipped entirely, which bits can be cut down in certain ones, and which parts are key and time for them must be preserved no matter what. It's very hard to know timings, especially with a subject like maths when there is a "eureka" moment which may happen quickly, take ages, or not happen at all! I prefer to overfill rather than under-fill a lesson, it's easier to skip parts than it is to make them up on the spot! Awkward waiting at the end of a lesson implies the lesson time isn't valuable which is the opposite of what I want. 

I'm going to resist putting too much into one lesson. In particular, I'm going to stop planning such multi-part lessons, with short tasks. Long sustained tasks are great too, and in many ways it's nicer for the pupils as they can work at their own pace and are given time to get into a focused state of mind. 

I assumed there would be a TA to work with the SEN pupils. What if there isn't? 

I found it hard to write a lesson plan for a fictionary class and decided to make some convenient assumptions. I'm finding "differentiation for SEN" hard to do at the moment: surely it is dependent on the exact SEN? This relates to something in the core session on differentiation which I'll write about soon so I'll not say anymore for now.

If there isn't a TA, then the SEN pupils will have to work without that support, and will just have mine. 

Perhaps it's aimed at the wrong year group. Main task seems more suitable for Year 9's. 

This was a very interesting point as it's not something I'd thought of. The nature of the task was to bring different areas of maths together, some from the other lessons in the topic (this was the last in a series of 6 sections), some they could make up, and some required by me (eg knowledge of an isosceles triangle). This is pretty dodgy with a Year 7 class at the start of the year as the knowledge they have will be dependent on the primary school they came from and so this may unfairly persecute the ones who haven't been taught it. I had the idea that I'd ask the class if they knew what it was, if no-one did I'd explain it and draw some on the board, if some did I'd get them to share it with the rest of the class. I didn't state this in the lesson plan, though. 

The task could have worked very well with Year 9 as they'd have a much larger and somewhat more uniform bank of maths knowledge to draw from. It would have been very easy for me to change that little "7" to a "9" in the lesson plan too, but it simply didn't occur to me. To plan a lesson then decide who to teach it to seemed a really unusual thing to do. I figured you get a class who will have a lesson and you plan it just for them (later adapting it for other years, perhaps, but again having the class known beforehand and then thinking this would be good for them). I realised thanks to this feedback that actually, at this stage in my career, the purpose of writing these lesson plans is a) practice and b) to build a bank of lessons to draw from in the future. In which case, deciding the class after writing the lesson seems a pretty good thing to do. 

Today we got the real feedback from the tutors. It consisted of a list of criteria with ticks or crosses if we'd hit the standard required. I did pretty well on the lesson plan (all ticks) but pretty poor on the topic plan (2 of 4). I'm really unsure of topic plans. Jenni recommended places on the National Standards website where I could find examples but unfortunately none of the links were working. I'll have to check again another day.

I didn't "structure using clear and appropriate learning objectives" (although I did "clearly identify appropriate learning ojectives and learning outcomes" in the lesson plan). Looking at what I actually wrote, there are no learning objectives whatsoever in the topic plan. We were given a table to fill in and I did exactly that, and there wasn't a column for learning objectives! I didn't know we could access the criteria we were marked against; it was revealed today it had been on the website for a while. If I'd seen it I'd have put some it, but I'm not entirely sure I'd have managed it well. 

The other one was "linking to the National Curriculum". Again, I have no clue how to improve this. I spend ages meticulously going through the enormous first section of the NC, carefully identifying which parts are addressed in each lesson (incidentally, this activity improved my topic plan a lot, I kept thinking of new and interesting things to do based on the key processes). I didn't include anything topic and level related, from the level descriptors for the strands of maths. This was mainly because every section of the topic plan had the same vague "properties of 2D and 3D shapes" (or similar, I've forgotten the exact thing) description. Would I have gotten a tick for that criteria if I'd included that? Who knows. 

I think I'll have to ask Jenni for additional feedback as I have literally no idea how to improve. I intend to resubmit it if I can to see if I can hit the other two criteria that I missed first time around. 

One last thing to note is that the feedback from the tutors and from my peers didn't contain any overlapping points. I got a tick by the SEN part of the criteria, and there wasn't a mention of timing or level appropriate activities in the tutor feedback form. Does this mean I've got twice the feedback to work on, or am I now dwelling on things that weren't really an issue? 

- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Jennifer Ingram

    The key to linking to the national curriculum is not giving the impression that after planning the lesson you have done a key word search in the national curriculum document and added the references (e.g. geometry and measures 3d, level 4). The national curriculum should inform the planning (and it may have done but I need evidence to give the tick) and the links between the key concepts, process and the range and content should be clear as well as the attainment targets (which might not just be one level if you are considering AT1 as well as AT3). Does this help at all?

    19 Oct 2010, 09:42

  2. Thanks Jenni! I didn’t mention content in mine, just key concepts/processes. I’ve been given a copy of the entire (and incredibly detailed) Scheme of Work for my PP1 school, so I’ll try redoing it like they have theirs. How do I resubmit it?

    19 Oct 2010, 22:21

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