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Observing Experienced Practitioners & Observation foci #2

Observation 8: English Year 7

Class started with a starter before finishing the end of yesterdays lesson. New lesson: Learning Objective: To be able to complete spy profiles using creative vocabulary and language features. Yesterdays Starter: Adjective challenge! Think of as many adjectives as you can to describe secret agents and spies? Todays Starter: Sentence challenge! Using your adjectives from the last lesson, can you create an interesting sentence? Think about how you could start the sentence and what punctuation you could use.

Starter: Teacher asks for examples of introductions to stories they wrote during the last lesson. She then gets the pupil to write a new sentence using the instructions from the starter. e.g. Quickly and quietly, the sneaky spy walked down the corridor. Final Stage: Teacher provides model on IWB of her personal profile and reminds them to finish theirs. Included on the IWB are success criteria they need to include: Facts, Opinions, Alliteration, List of Three (3 different words to describe a noun), Adjectives, Good punctuation. Teacher tells pupils that they have 10 mins to finish. Are pupils engaged? Pupils seem to be keen on what is covered in the lesson. When asked about success criteria, they give a clear description and are more then happy to share their answers. One pupils was struggling to come up with ideas but with support, got on with her work.

Teacher gets students to share some details of their stories with the class . My thoughts on differentiation: Teacher gives extra work for pupils who have finished first. Is this differentiation? Pupils may have finished first but may not have tried as hard or produced good work. How do you differentiate in creative writing? Is it by outcome? Surely each pupil will produce work specific to them and its up to the teacher to check their work and see if they have progressed from prior learning. Perhaps the pupil who was struggling could have been given some words to get them started. But would this help of inhibit creativity?

When I asked the teacher about differentiations, this is what she said: They pupils are placed in 3 different groups according to ability. The work is differentiated by outcome. For example, during this lesson, the pupils in the lower ability group are expected to produce 2 adjectives per noun while students in the higher ability group are expected to produce 3.


FOCUS Reflect upon the extent of the subject knowledge required to teach the lesson. You may need to refer to the National Curriculum requirements. Reflect upon the childrens learning and acquisition of new skills was there evidence of prior knowledge ANALYSIS of LESSON OBSERVATIONS Firstly, it is necessary for teachers to have a firm grasp of the English language, including a range of descriptive vocabulary to help provide pupils with good examples. It is also necessary to understand English grammar. Next, teachers must be able to understand other elements that make writing better, such as the rule of threes and alliteration. Finally, teachers must have an understanding of how to structure writing, such as profiles, in a constructive way. Teachers must be able to get this information across to students clearly and diligently.

The children had started this task during the previous lesson. Though they are aware of all that is expected of them, and know all the information present ed to them, the real challenge for them is to extend their creativity. Some students were doing so quickly and coming up with good work while other students struggled. However, with assistance, and support through questions and effective elicitation, struggling students were able to come up with original ideas which meant they were meeting the objective. The prior knowledge they were drawing was what was discussed last lesson, including elements that make good creative writing including writing adjectives in

drawn upon and links to other curriculum areas and the wider learning environment Reflect upon the extent to which all children were included and the scope for the ECM outcomes to be addressed Identify a development point based on what you have seen that you could use to improve your own teaching.

threes, alliteration and a mixture of both fact and opinion.

All children were included as all children were able to accomplish this task through differentiated outcomes. Their teacher knew what each student was capable of so knew what they should be producing to take their learning further. For example, during this lesson, the pupils in the lower ability group were expected to produce 2 adjectives per noun while students in the higher ability group were expected to produce 3.

This and the previous lesson were well structured and scaffolded. When teaching a lesson on writing profiles, or any creative writing, I could use the same steps to get strong outcomes. For example, for a lesson on personal profile, I could do the following. I could start by having students predict the personal profile of a famous spy, like James Bond, to get them to come up with what a personal profile might look like. I could then get them to brainstorm some creative adjectives that could be used to write about a spy. Next, I could get them to imagine that they were spies and have them think about things they might do. Then I could give them an example of my own spy profile. Finally, I could take this profile away so that they dont copy my model and get them to write their own profiles about spies.