Standard 3 – Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning.

Focus Area 3.2 – Plan, structure and sequence learning programs.
Graduate level: Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

https://www.aitsl.edu.au/standards

Focus Area 3.3 – Use teaching strategies.
Graduate level: Include a range of teaching strategies.

https://www.aitsl.edu.au/standards

Focus Area 3.4 – Select and use resources.
Graduate level: Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

https://www.aitsl.edu.au/standards

During my placement in Grade 6, I was asked to deliver a sequence of lessons on 3D shapes and nets (Artefact 1) to 28 mixed gender students from diverse backgrounds.

I chose to use a Gradual Release of Responsibility framework (Fisher & Frey, 2013) to deliver the sequence. Using GRR enabled me to include explicit teaching of the core concepts (3.2) and scaffold their learning before allowing the students to explore and practise, an essential skill for maths learning (Reys et al., 2014) (3.3).

The introduction for lessons is important for setting the scene and getting students to think about the learning to come (NSW Department of Education, 2023) (3.3). The class was interested in Ancient Egypt so I showed a pyramid PowerPoint (Artefact 2) and played a true or false game where the students had to sit and stand, intentionally incorporating a movement break into the lesson (3.3) which have been shown to increase cognitive function, decrease challenging behaviour and improve teacher-student relationships (NSW Department of Education, 2023).

Artefact 2 – Delivering the ‘hook’ – Introduction to the pyramid lesson.

I endeavoured to include a variety of High Impact Teaching Strategies into the sequence (State of Victoria Department of Education and Training, 2019) (3.3). I asked open-ended questions to elicit deeper thinking and promote reasoning (3.3). Discourse in the classroom can support a range of student needs including those with English as an additional language or dialect as the concepts are explained amongst peers in their own language (Reys et al., 2014) (3.3).

Manipulatives are important when learning mathematics (Payne & Rathmell, 1975) and I chose to use different resources during the sequence to keep the class engaged and support the learning goals (3.4). Giving the students matchsticks (Artefact 3) and polygons to work with in different scenarios gave them hands on experience to practise the skills that I was teaching and to promote mathematical fluency (Reys et al., 2014) (3.4).

Artefact 3 – Students collaborating and working with tactiles to build a pyramid.

I chose to use ICT in the sequence as a way to promote engagement, to provide differentiation and to support effective learning (3.4). Digital technologies are increasingly important to our young people, so using them intentionally can enhance the learning experience and promote outcomes. I used YouTube to enhance explanations, a Kahoot quiz which the students were highly engaged in, and iPads to record and reflect on learning (3.4).

My mentor teacher gave me good feedback on the lesson that I had planned and delivered (Artefact 4). The students were engaged in all the activities and by the end of the week could all produce pyramids from a net – effectively achieving the lesson goals that I had set.

Artefact 4 – Mentor teacher feedback on APST Standard 3. A = Achieving Standard E = Exceeding Standard

I was able to reflect by meeting with my mentor teacher and discussing the lessons. He always asked me first how I thought things went which allowed me to personally consider how things went before receiving feedback (Artefact 5). He highlighted some things that I need to work on including behaviour and time management. He also warned me against using too much class discussion times as the same students kept leading the conversations. He also advised to be mindful of doing too many up-tempo activities and to not be afraid of down-time – giving the students and myself time to focus and absorb the learning. I have found some professional learning courses available online that can help me with behaviour management and time management that I can complete in my own time.

Artefact 5 – Mentor teacher feedback on lesson – strengths and opportunities.

References

  • Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (n.d.). Australian curriculum: Mathematics: Foundation to year 10 curriculum [Curriculum Document]. Retrieved September 15, 2023, from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/mathematics
  • Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2017). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. https://www.aitsl.edu.au/standards
  • Fisher, D., & Frey, N. A. N. C. Y. (2013). Gradual release of responsibility instructional framework. IRA e-ssentials, 1-8.
  • Payne, J. N., & Rathmell, E. C. (1975). Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Number and Numeration. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Yearbook.
  • State of New South Wales (Department of Education), 2023. Planning a Lesson. https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/professional-learning/teacher-quality-and-accreditation/strong-start-great-teachers/refining-practice/planning-a-lesson/the-lesson-as-episodes
  • Reys, R., Lindquist, M., Lambdin, D. V., & Smith, N. L. (2014). Helping children learn mathematics. John Wiley & Sons.
  • State of New South Wales (Department of Education), 2023. Brain Breaks for Cognitive Wellbeing. https://education.nsw.gov.au/schooling/school-community/wellbeing-framework-for-schools/cognitive-wellbeing-strategies/brain-breaks-for-cognitive-wellbeing
  • State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training), 2019. High Impact Teaching Strategies. https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/practice/improve/Pages/hits.aspx
  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Ascd.