Thursday 20 October 2016

Watch me teach!

This morning I had my final observation from Paula Were (our literacy PD lady) on writing. To be honest, I was not feeling overly great about it - I was just feeling very tired, have pressure from uni assignments etc etc. Just not excited about it, ya know?

But I decided that whatever will be will be, and tried to just move on with my day.

I wanted to show Paula how I have been using videos in writing as I have found it so effective with our target students. Archana was with Paula (as she is the head of literacy) and the syndicate leader Aireen came to watch as well.

Here is my planning for this lesson.
My goals from previous lessons were 
Teacher goals:
  • co-construct SC
  • teacher model how to write
  • scaffold through prompt
  • take a video of lesson as evidence

Firstly, we talked about the WALT and co-constructed the SC. This included me giving them an example sentence 'the girl went down the stairs' and the students recorded their suggestions about how to add detail to make the sentence better to get their head around what 'detail' meant.

Next, I introduced our video prompt.
(0:00-0:20 only)

 I played it once through, and asked the students to record whatever thought they had about the clip.

We went through the clip again, and I paused at particular parts I wanted to emphasise. 

At these points I would scaffold the students to realise something the hadn't, use particular words (e.g. reflection), make them think deeper about a particular point (e.g the characters feelings).

After we had brainstormed lots of detail about the character, we then formed sentences which would make a paragraph. I wrote the first sentence for this to show students how we can combine ideas from different people and write it TOGETHER (i.e. teacher modelling).

Here is what we wrote together.

After this, I asked the students to go back to our WALT and SC and tick the things they thought we had done - they did this. One student pointed out that although we wrote we should include a simile, we didn't actually include one. I agreed, and said that can be our next steps for next time - making sure we do include one.

After this, the kids watched the rest of the clip (they were interested and hooked into this character and wanted to find out more..) and I went with Paula, Archana and Aireen. We interviewed a couple of the kids to check their understanding of the lesson (did they understand what the aim was? did they know how to achieve it? did they know who/what helped them?). 

After that, Paula, Archana, Aireen and I discussed my lesson and checked it off against a teacher criteria for effective writing practice (I will link this doc here once I receive it).

Things to celebrate about this lesson
  • Using a resource that students all could connect and relate to 
    • there was a lot of conversation about their own gaming consoles and the games they play
    • the character was the same approximate age as the students so they could connect to his daily experiences
  • Co-constructing the SC and ensuring students were able to refer back to it and check for themselves if they had achieved it
  • Referring back to the WALT throughout the lesson and making sure we only focused on that one aim 
    • the students made spelling/punctuation/etc mistakes, but I purposely ignored these as it was not the focus of the lesson
    • one student also kept trying to jump ahead to the problem section of the narrative, but I kept him focused that we were only writing about the character
  • Getting positive feedback from my peers (sometimes teachers don't celebrate each others success explicitly, which did happen today and was awesome to hear!)
Next Steps
  • Have a specific vocabulary in mind that students will learn through the lesson - not just using words they already know
  • Ensuring ALL the students are equally actively involved (in the lesson one student did say a lot less than others)
I would love to hear your feedback on this lesson! 


  1. Hey Ashley, this looks/sounds like an interesting lesson!

    I love how you have filmed yourself in real time, this is such a good way for you to reflect on your own teaching and think about where to from here! The students seem really engaged. At the start of the videos you gave lots of questions, sometimes there were too many to keep up with, but at the end you asked less and less and empowered the students to discuss and talk through their ideas more. Maybe in the future allow more time between your questions so students can think through their answers. Don't be afraid to have silences - as these can be powerful!

    Some feedback would maybe make some links in your planning to diagnostic/formative/summative assessment and then where you would head with the lesson in the future; so as the reader it is easy to know where they have come from and where you would like them to head. This is evident in your questioning of students such as asking them to read the goals on the board, but not yet in your planning.

    Your reflection is honest, and has great future steps - I love how you have begun to think about how to include everyone. Sometimes it is so tricky to hear everyone's voice, but it is so important! Because otherwise, how would we know if everyone understands or not, if we always hear the same voices?

    I am really enjoying reading your posts - I wish I could steal your lessons! Keep up the awesome work :)

  2. Thank you Georgia, good things for me to think about!
    I definitely agree that I was talking too much at the beginning lol, I make the excuse of being nervous having so many other adults watching me but I need to be more aware of this for future observations and keep myself more cool, calm and collected.
    Appreciate your comment!


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