June 05, 2011

Directed Task – evaluating learning

The way the task has contributed to your understanding of teaching and learning and your reflections on what you have learned from completing this study.

When I first saw this class, I was terrified. The first lesson I observed saw the class teacher sit them all in a circle and ask them why they behaved so badly and what they would like him to do. They came up with ideas like working on their own, and some wanting to work in table groups. It was a scary first lesson for me to see. My lessons didn’t start off all that great either.

However, I now feel that I have improved and that these pupils are learning something from me.

On a personal level, because I didn’t start off so well with this class, my mentors and the school put in a lot of effort to make sure I improved my behaviour management. I have tried almost every technique in the book and have found that there are some that work and others that don’t. Each class to their own really. I have learnt a lot with this class, in terms of lesson structure, making sure that there are a variety of different tasks, dealing with different abilities….it has been good. I have had a number of days when I went home and cried about the class, but it is all about learning I guess.

This study allowed me to look at the reflections of three pupils in the class on a deep level that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. It forced me to think ‘what actually has Pupil B learnt?’ ‘how do they actually feel about what they can do?’ ‘does this match what they can actually do?’

It was endearing that at one point I thought I taught them that….

This task showed me that teaching and learning is a two way street. Whatever I say is going to be remembered and so I must be careful. I must make sure that there is something for every one in the class to do, something that is appropriate for them.

I have learnt to look at the pupils as their own people through this study, rather than viewing them as a collective class. When I thought about the way that Pupil A writes or that Pupil C will throw a tantrum over certain things, I brought this into my lesson planning and it immediately made a huge difference to the way the lessons went. I am glad that I have this understanding before the new year starts. =)

The impact your teaching has had on this group and class of learners and evidence of your intervention in order to ensure progress

My teaching with this class has been somewhat based on behaviour management and somewhat based on making sure they understand basics. They are set 3 of 4 and sometimes I do feel as though I expect too much from them. After one lesson I was told that I had done well and that most of the pupils had learnt something new, but to myself I wasn’t satisfied as they had only learnt a small thing. But this is what they needed. Small steps every lesson. I am pleased to see that pupils now carry the correct equipment, draw margins and follow the date, title, starter procedure.

There are times when some of them will play up and create dramas but I know that by the end of each lesson everyone will leave having learnt something new.

My ability to work one-to-one with pupils has allowed me to spend time with the weaker pupils and push them to making progress. From going from coming into the class and doing nothing, I am pleased to say that they now come in and work well for at least 40 minutes of the lesson, before a fight kicks off or somebody runs out of the class.

I feel that with the way the lessons are differentiated, those in the class who do work well and behave have also made progress and I can prove this by showing that they spend the last 15 minutes of most lessons working on Level 6 problems based on the relevant topic. They like getting to this stage and are always pleased by their progress.

Once the lessons are over, I spend time considering what worked, what didn’t, and regularly try out different types of tasks – involving drawing, origami, mini whiteboards, games, group work – and use the successes as basis for the future lessons. From the close monitoring of the pupils progress I saw that those who could have fallen behind because of the behaviour aspect of this class, didn’t and I am expecting them to improve a grade in the tests they do in the next few weeks.


Copies of assessed work is available in my teaching file with the lesson plans for this week. This includes photocopies of pupil work, my marking and targets set.

The school policy is such that they will be sitting tests next term and so I was advised not to test the class as yet and so I have no official documentation of the progress the class and my three chosen pupils have made.

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