Over the course of my placement I have both observed and carried out different strategies in the classroom. I observed ways in which different years are taught using certain resources, and how a teacher can check progress simply and quickly, without necessarily using assessments.
Get the students to draw a cup/glass in their book at the beginning of the lesson, and tell them to draw a line (water) at a certain point in the cup to represent what they know about the topic before the lesson. Then, at the end of the lesson, pupils can draw another line to represent what their knowledge at the end of the lesson. This is a quick technique to use to both show pupil progress, and to reflect on the lesson you have taught. It could also be an idea to ask pupils to write down a question they still may have about what they have been taught, so that if you notice the same questions coming up, you can tweak your lesson slightly, or spend more time on a particular area.
I discovered that a good way to test understanding, particularly in KS3 is going through information, either using a video, PowerPoint, handouts etc. and then asking the class to complete a gap-fill exercise. This also provides an opportunity to assess and correct their own work when going through the answers as a class. The only thing I had to ensure was that different pupils were volunteering answers and not just the same few pupils.
For a lesson I taught about the resurrection with Year 7, I decided to try and make the lesson as interesting as possible, while still covering the lesson outcomes. The aim of the lesson was for the pupils to be able to analyse the resurrection story, and explore alternative explanations that could be used to disprove it. I gave any relevant information that would be needed for the lesson using a short video clip and some bullet points. The rest of the lesson was themed as a ‘Mythbusters’ activity. I prepared slides of information to give out, which looked at alternative explanations (each row had a different alternative), and used Bible extracts about the resurrection. The pupils then worked in pairs to discuss any similarities and differences in the extracts, alternative explanation they were given and told to decide whether they believe the resurrection really occurred or not. I gave out a piece of paper to each pupil, with the word ‘BUSTED’ on one side and ‘VERIFIED’on the other as a way for them to tell me what they thought. There was then a little discussion, which gave more opportunity for pupils to explain their choice, and listen to other opinions.
My Curriculum Mentor felt that this lesson went really well, and said that the class were engaged throughout the lesson, and appeared to understand what was being asked of them.
All in all I feel that throughout my placement I have learnt a lot about managing behaviour in the class room and hope to build on this knowledge in my future teaching.