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Planning and evaluating a sequence of two lessons.

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Introduction

Planning and evaluating a sequence of two lessons. Reflective teaching is a model that underpins constructivist learning, both for students; and their teachers. In order to plan for progression through a sequence of lessons, the success of previous teaching episodes and the existing, and possibly constantly changing, conceptions of the students must be monitored and critically evaluated. Whilst long-term planning is a necessity within an education system based primarily upon summative assessment, it is not just valid, but essential to maintain flexibility in lesson planning so that even lessons with independent aims and learning objectives flow from one to another and provide students with a clear structure within which they can continually improve their performance. As Roger Smith points out "a good teacher sees change as positive and necessary in any inspired institution", whilst "an ineffective teacher sees outcome as standard and stereotyped and develops a restrictive timetable that dominates every routine." This assignment explores how two lessons were planned in order to teach the topic of neutralisation reactions and their use in fertiliser production to a year 11, low ability set, in preparation for a GCSE module exam to be taken in March. The group consisted of thirteen girls aged fifteen or sixteen. Their key stage 3 SATs scores varied between 5 and 6, and six of the group had individual education plans (IEPs). ...read more.

Middle

In evaluating the first lesson draft several decisions were made. The first of these was that although the class may have been more familiar with the reaction of HCl with NaOH to form the common salt, sodium chloride, preparation of ammonium sulphate would be more beneficial on account of the ability to link one lesson with the next. Use of ammonium sulphate also allowed explanation that sodium chloride whilst being called 'salt' is not the only compound given such a definition in a scientific context. Additionally the group were to be permitted to work in pairs with whom ever they chose. Since the lessons were on consecutive days, without timetabled homework between them, any assessment relating to the first lesson had to be completed within class time, and it was decided that the most efficient way to do this was using a worksheet which would also provide a plenary to the lesson. After the first lesson, an evaluation yielded several points, from which revision was made to the second lesson plan. The most notable issue that was discussed regarding the first lesson was that too much knowledge regarding acids and alkalis had been assumed. On account of this it was decided that the time taken to recapitulate the ideas from the worksheet was to be extended and the crossword was to be discussed as well as the cloze procedure questions. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was further explained by setting up three Petri-dishes to try and grow radishes, one of which was fed only water, another was fed the class' ammonium sulphate salt, and the third with a commercial fertiliser. Unfortunately, as it turns out, one week after the lesson, only the control had started to sprout. Encouragingly however, this unexpected result was able to be explained by several students by the idea that the dosage of fertiliser given may have been too high, and have poisoned the seeds. The wonderwall exercise at the end of the lesson did not provide a large amount of assessment of the pupils since only three were involved in answering questions, however it seemed to show that the majority of the girls could remember basic facts about acids and alkalis, and knew why fertilisers may be used. To a certain extent it also gave a measure of who had gained most from the lesson, as it was these students who were the most vocal with regards to asking questions. This method of assessing achievement does not however necessarily account for the very quiet pupils. The initial list of words was added to in order to offer more of a challenge for one of the stronger pupils towards the end of the lesson, and by score-keeping in the corner of the board, a competitive element was introduced which seemed to increase enthusiasm for the exercise and, at this point, even the quietest of the students took part in answering her peers questions. ...read more.

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