During completely grasped what I had been teaching

During Placement
1a, I was allocated to a small primary school with under 200 pupils attending.
I worked with Year 3 who, like the rest of the school, has a one form entry but
the class had a total of 33 children. I will refer to the Year 3 teacher as Mrs.
B and the teaching assistant as Miss B throughout my assignment.


Lesson Planning:

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taught the lower ability half of the class for my phonics lessons as Mrs. B
advised that this would be more beneficial for me and for those particular
children. This allowed me to clearly view each child’s progression which meant
I could adapt the teaching to suit their learning styles. I had originally
planned to deliver three phonics lessons, each teaching a new sound for the
children to learn. For my third phonics lesson, I had to change my plan. My
first two lessons followed the original plan and I used the short ‘oo’ sound
for my first lesson and the long ‘oo’ sound for the second. During the second
lesson, I created a short spelling test for the children to complete including
irregular words and a group activity in which we were able to separate the
words we had learned into the short and long ‘oo’ sounds. When marking these
tasks, I found that the children had not completely grasped what I had been
teaching them this lesson and I decided to revisit both sounds in my third
lesson instead of introducing a new sound. I noted down the words which most
children found hardest to learn and made sure to include them in my planning
for this lesson.

learning objective for this lesson was ‘To be able to read and write words
using both the long and short ‘oo’ sounds’. My lesson plan allowed for this
objective to be met by the activities I included. Firstly, I planned for a
group discussion with the children in which they would remind themselves of which
sounds we were looking at. I planned to chat about the objects that were inside
my ‘magic phonics sack’ that used the sounds. I planned the discussion so that
the children could recall their previous learning as a base for the lesson (see Appendix 1i), so they
could quickly apply this to the next activity. For the children that struggled
previously, this gave them the opportunity to regain a basic understanding.

planned to follow this activity with a flashcard game in which I would hold up
a card showing a word and a picture to help the children who had low ability
reading skills. The flashcards were useful for pictorial representations for
the visual learners. The children must then call out together the short or long
‘oo’ sound that is used within the word. This was useful for me to identify
which children hadn’t quite understood how to identify the sound or if they
struggled with particular words (see Appendix 1i). In a large group, students with such feelings of
embarrassment will not be ‘forced’ to speak, but in small groups, they are
unlikely to avoid having to participate if staff are managing the group well
and ensuring participation (Grace and Gravestock, 2009, p.61). I
planned this so that all children felt like they could join in. By doing this
the children were building on their prior knowledge by applying the sounds to
words and objects (see
Appendix 1i). We then discussed how we know which ‘oo’ sound it was so
that the children could use this skill in their reading and writing. The
children were able to ask lots of questions here to develop their

B had previously informed me that the children had learned to spell some words
by drawing around the word to view the word as a shape. I used this as an
interactive task on the whiteboard and every child had a go at drawing around
the word after I had modelled this to them. Previous knowledge can help or
hinder the learning of new knowledge. It has been demonstrated that students
will retain new knowledge better when it links to previous learning (Grace and Gravestock, 2009,
p.34). The children took great enjoyment in
coming up and drawing around the words as they were confident doing this.
Later, the children used this technique in the ‘read, cover, write, check’
activity that I had planned. This showed me that the technique was helping them
along with what we had discussed earlier on how to tell which words used what
sound (see Appendix 1i).
The children enjoyed this independent activity as they were able to test
themselves. This reflected on their spelling scores, as the children improved
on the words previously tested on with an understanding of why we used that

planned to assess the children through formative assessment (see Appendix 1i), ‘observing
pupils at work on set tasks and questioning them frequently about their
learning, and involving them in discussions’ (Johnson, 2012, p.13). For
example, by observing the children (when playing the flashcard game and when
completing their read, cover, write, check’ sheets) and questioning them to
check the children’s understanding as they were progressing through the lesson.
I planned a summative assessment by ‘summing up the learning achievements of an
individual pupil’ (Johnson, 2012, p.16) by combining their work in the lesson
and the spelling test.

used the social constructivism theory for the knowledge base in the lesson by
using group discussion to come to a conclusion of knowing which sound to use (see Appendix 1i). I,
therefore, carried this through to the teaching of the lesson through
‘collaborative learning which is facilitated and guided by the teacher; group
work’ (Wray, 2014, p.70). However, I planned some of my lesson by using the
behaviourist theory of motivation by using a reward system to motivate the
children to try their best which resulted in a positive response.



will be referring to one of the children who I observed as Child A throughout
this section.

an English lesson, the children were using their History knowledge, from the
museum trip that we went on, and using their imagination to write a story based
in the Stone Age. The children had already planned their story with a partner
but during this lesson, they were now writing the story independently. I was
working with Child A during this lesson as he struggles to complete quiet tasks
that heavily require concentration. I got him to explain the story that he had
planned to me to get him engaged in the task. I assured him that his story was
going to be really exciting but when it came to writing the story he lost
interest and lacked the motivation to write it down. I tried to help him start
the story, however, whatever I said he refused to expand on. I notified Mrs. B
of Child A’s behaviour and she advised me to leave him alone for a while as he
can start depending on help too much and he wasn’t appreciating the help that
he had. The headteacher (Mr E) happened to be in this lesson and went over to
speak to Child A to explain that his behaviour and attitude to learning wasn’t
acceptable and he would be staying in at lunchtime with Mr. E if he hadn’t
finished what was expected by the end of the lesson because he had been wasting
time and not appreciating the help that was being given to him.

Mr. E had spoken with Child A, he started to write his story quietly with the
rest of the class with only some advice asked for from Mrs. B and he was able
to show Mr. E his work at the end of the lesson. This could have been prevented
by warning Child A at break time what they were going to do in their next
lesson to avoid the negative attitude being brought to the lesson. This
wouldn’t be the same for every child however, Child A often gets distracted and
brings his feelings from previous episodes to the lesson. Child A was most
probably feeling emotional after a playtime incident so began attention seeking
but this was not appropriate for the lesson(see Appendix 2i).

this observation I learnt that if Child A or any other child in the class
refused to do the work that had been set for them I would take the same
approach as Mrs. B. I would leave the child alone for a few minutes to calm
down, as long as they were not being too disruptive, and return back to them to
talk about why their behaviour is unacceptable (see Appendix 2ii). I did get the chance to use this
technique again during my mathematics lesson. I started the lesson with an
interactive whole class activity. On the whiteboard, I would show them an image
with a shape being partly shaded and they had to write what the fraction was on
their whiteboard and show it to me. Child A missed out on the first slide due
to him being distracted by a fall out that had happened at break time and
refused to take part in the other slides because he had missed the first. I encouraged
him a couple of times to join in and write the answer on his board but when he
began to moan I ignored the disruption so that I could focus on the whole class
learning. When all of the children were then set a task a returned back to
Child A and explained why his behaviour wasn’t acceptable and what he could
have done instead, I moved him on from that problem and also re-explained the
task for him, so he could get the work done as he knew how to do it.

is a type of behaviour management. It is a communication approach whereby the
teacher ‘blocks out’ a student’s procrastinating argument by not entering into
the student’s attempt to argue (Rogers, 2015, p.103). I used this technique
when Child A began to argue against completing the work, instead of arguing
back with him I simply ignored the problem that he was causing and began to
refocus him on the task (see
Appendix 2ii) through ‘partial agreement’ by dealing with the avoidance shown
by the child by partially agreeing with the child (where appropriate) and
refocusing back to the required task (Rogers, 2015, p.104).


Provision for the
diversity and inclusion of children:

my English lesson, I planned a comprehension lesson (see Appendix 3i) which fit into the curriculum
and the Year 3 medium-term planning (see Appendix 3ii). At the beginning of the lesson, I read a story
to the class which linked to the children’s history topic (The Stone Age) and
their science topic (rocks). The book described the life of Mary Anning and was
factual but written in as fiction, so all the children found it interesting and
engaging. I was careful when choosing a book for this lesson as a detailed
non-fiction text or fiction text with a difficult storyline could have resulted
in some barriers being formed for some children in the group. If the book was
too complex then some of the children would instantly feel like it was too
difficult for them however, if the book was too simple the higher ability
children wouldn’t have been able to be challenged. I had originally planned for
my other student helper Miss O to help out throughout the lesson with the
average ability students however she was unavailable during the lesson, so I
managed with just myself and Miss B. This worked well however, to manage the
class size and ability range throughout it would have been more manageable with
another staff member to help.

children in the class who had a Special Educational Need (SEN) were placed on a
table together with Miss B. Here she was able to maintain their concentration
throughout the story, but the children paid full attention to the story as I
tried to read with as much enthusiasm as possible to engage them. The child who
is ADHD confirmed normally struggles to listen in lessons for a prolonged
period of time but he was comfortable and quiet during the story being read.
This was because I gave him his own copy of the pages to look at and he was
able to update his daily timetable so that he was still busy. I printed the
book pages on coloured paper so that the dyslexic children were still able to
complete the questions as it was meeting their needs.

Gifted and Talented children were given an unseen text from the back of the
same book which was set out differently and was non-fiction. This made the task
more challenging as they hadn’t heard the information from me when I was
reading the story, they had to pick out the key information themselves which
they needed to answer their questions. When supplying the children with a task
I ensured that it was intellectually challenging so that the children were
sometimes having to struggle to achieve (Eyre and Staricoff, 2014, p.504). (see Appendix 3iii)

the main task, every child had the same structure however the questions which
the SEN table started with were different to the questions that the higher
ability first had. Each child had the opportunity to answer the same questions
but to get them started on a task, the questions suited their academic level
more appropriately (see
Appendix 3iii).

following the Teachers Standards
(Department for Education 2012) I made sure that the goals were set to stretch
and challenge pupils of all
backgrounds, abilities and dispositions (Robertson, 2014, p.345). The learning
objectives were differentiated for the difference in ability. These were not
differentiated on work load but instead, on the quality of their understanding
and written answers. This was so that all of the children had reachable targets
that they were motivated to meet. The first tasks that I gave to the children
weren’t ‘easy’ but were at a level of their current academic ability. When the
children had completed the first set of questions, the next task pushed them to
develop their answers to a higher standard involving me encouraging them to
explain why they know.

also ensured that I was ‘accountable for pupils’ attainment, progress and
outcomes’ (Robertson, 2014, p.345). Throughout the lesson, I was able to
monitor the children’s progress by moving between the tables to see how the
quality of children’s written answers. I was also able to identify which
children were struggling with the task which allowed me to sit with those
children to help them develop their skills in using the information in the text
to answer questions. This meant that by the end of the lesson, most of the
children could openly speak about Mary Anning’s life and understand her story.
By identifying these children during the lesson instead of after meant that all
children could progress at the same rate, regardless of which questions they
were answering.

I made sure that I was ‘aware of the pupils’ capabilities and their prior
knowledge, and plan to build on these’ (Robertson, 2014, p.345). From observing
previous lessons, I was able to understand what level the children work at
during their English lessons. This meant that I could apply what I had observed
into my planning by setting each child an appropriate task which would develop
their prior skills of comprehension and ensure that a challenge was provided
for the children so that they were making improvement in the lesson.


this placement, I have learned how to plan effectively to suit each child’s needs.
I have found that the ability to differentiate tasks amongst the class became
easier after I had observed the children and their individual attitudes to


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