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Professional Internship Portfolio

1 | P a g e T o m a s D e v e r e u x P I P o r t f o l i o

Entry 1: Professional Knowledge
Standards 1 and 2
(Know students and how they learn) (Know the content and how to teach it)
The first standard broadly encompasses having the knowledge and understanding of the implications
for learning of students' physical, cultural, social, linguistic and intellectual characteristics. This
requires an understanding of how students learn and recognising the different learning styles and
individual talents that each student has. In addition, an effective teacher needs to be able to
differentiate lessons to ensure that the learning environment is structured to meet the differing
circumstances and needs of all students. It requires a positive attitude, flexibility and innovation.
The second standard is about knowing the content and how teach it. This is also crucial if you are to
plan and teach effectively. A comprehensive understanding of educational theory and pedagogy is
needed to facilitate learning that achieves the desired curriculum outcomes of the Australian
Curriculum and the Early Years Learning Framework. The impact of new digital technologies is a
critical and evolving aspect of teaching and learning.

Reflective commentary:
Prior to the commencement of my Professional Internship I had the chance to meet, observe and
team teach my Year 2 class for two weeks. This allowed me to learn all their names (many with
unusual spellings and pronunciations due to their EAL backgrounds), get to know their personalities,
and start to understand their individual strengths and challenges. In this classroom, as with most,
there was a vast range of learning styles and abilities amongst the 25 children. I also began
developing a relationship with parents too, by providing them with some information about myself
(see Appendix 1), and arriving early to be available as they dropped off their children.
Standard 1.5 specifies that the graduate teacher is able to differentiate teaching to meet the needs
of specific students across the full range of abilities. To be able to differentiate teaching I needed
to know my students well. This required me to observe them, ask questions of them (open and
closed), constantly be making anecdotal notes to make sure I had them in the right groups, and be
open to moving them around if need be.
Some of this work had been done for me, as the class had already been split into 3 ability groups for
the core curriculum areas of literacy and maths. Having 3 different groups allowed for students to be
split into an extension, average, and below average group (although this terminology didnt
really sit well with me). However it did allow me to organize tasks at differentiated levels to better
target the learning needs of specific students, resulting in children being motivated to achieve
positive outcomes with work that was tailored to the right level.
The wide range of student abilities and language and literacy levels in my class made programming
and lesson planning very important and also very complex. I found I needed to think about each
lesson and how tasks could be extended or simplified, often needing to prepare a number of
different differentiated work sheets (See specific examples in Appendix 1 : Tiddilik writing lesson
plan). In this lesson we were continuing with work on Dreamtime narratives. I had prepared a lesson
that involved watching a video, and then trying to think of an alternate ending to the story of
Professional Internship Portfolio
2 | P a g e T o m a s D e v e r e u x P I P o r t f o l i o

Tiddalik the Frog. I had downloaded the You Tube video, so as to avoid the problems I had when
streaming in other lessons previously. In an effort to accommodate students who have difficulties
with completing work, I devised a cloze sheet with a word wall, that took them through most of the
story, but they still needed to complete the alternate ending as this was the main focus of the
lesson. The students enjoyed the video and were attentive. The video was 6mins long, and I think
this is a good length for students to maintain attention. When I have used longer videos (around
10mins or more), I had noticed that behaviour deteriorates and students start to get restless. I wrote
key words on the board that most students may not have known how to spell, so that I wouldnt be
constantly asked for help (eg. Tiddalik, thirsty, etc). I had also identified three students that
continually struggle when asked to write long texts, so I brought them to the front and went over
the cloze activity with them. On reflection I was happy I had prepared the worksheet that
differentiated instruction for the students that needed it. It still reinforced the same skills and
concepts, but was paced and structured to meet their specific literacy level. This allowed all students
to participate and the class went smoothly with no behaviour issues.
But it meeting student needs isnt just about differentiating worksheets, throughout all my teaching I
also needed to be offering individualised instruction and support, altering the amount of modelling,
scaffolding, demonstrating, and directing I used as was required, as well as looking at my seating
plans and grouping strategies.

Standard 2.2 is about content selection and organisation. Planning in this area was dependent on a
number of factors. At my school they had specific programs in place around spelling (Soundwaves)
and maths (imaths), which made it relatively easy to follow and work through these lessons-only
needing a quick look over beforehand to think about how I would introduce the topic and also about
extension activities. As these type of activities didnt require as much planning, I would just write a
small plan for the lesson on my daily work pad. For subjects like science and history I was given the
broad theme or content area but I had to find a way to teach it and make it interesting and
engaging. This required much more time planning (making sure goals and lessons were aligned with
curriculum outcomes) and also in preparing lessons and sourcing materials and examples to make
the learning hands on and engaging. (see Appendix 1, History Program Overview; photos).
Another important part of knowing the content is being aware of the new Australian Curriculum,
and ensure programs, lessons and activities I was planning were complying with content, scope and
sequence.

Standard 2.4 is: Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote
reconciliation between Indigenous and nonindigenous Australians. As a teaching group we had
decided (having completed a multi-cultural theme in term 1) to develop an Australian theme in
Term 2. While this was a broad area I particularly took the opportunity to focus on incorporating
Aboriginal history and culture, specifically developing an English unit around narratives, using
Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, and using Aboriginal stories as reading activities, and I also did some
Aboriginal dot paintings for art. I made sure to be respectful of Aboriginal traditions, and gave the
students some background information on the Aboriginal people and how they were the first
Australians. I also reminded them that we always need to use capital letters when using the words
Aboriginals or Indigenous as this is a part of showing Aboriginal people the respect they deserve as
Professional Internship Portfolio
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Australias traditional owners (See Appendix 1: Aboriginal Dreamtime Literacy Program; dot
paintings) .

Documentation of evidence: (lesson plans, worksheets and photos included in reflection)
1.1 About me introductory note to parents
1.2 Tiddalik lesson plan and scaffolded writing activity worksheet
1.3 History program overview
1.4 Photos of materials students brought in for the history unit Technology of the past
1.5 Aboriginal Dreamtime literacy program
1.6 Dot paintings (photos)

Action Plan:
This placement was a steep learning curve for me. As I hadnt taught a Yr 2 class before I needed to
keep checking in with the ACARA website to make sure I was meeting required outcomes. I found
the standards of work portfolios (on the ACARA site) very useful in judging work output and
standards and would need to use this (and other material on the ACARA website) if I was again in a
situation where I had not taught the Year level. But it will also be important to keep checking in with
ACARA as other parts of the AC are coming online (Phase 3). Professional development workshops
will also be important. I found another important tool to use in the future when using and working
with the Australian Curriculum is the Scootle website (which is a national professional learning
network with links to individual outcomes). I found this particularly helpful in planning my History
unit of work. Something else I would like to do is find a support group of other teachers I can talk to
when I first start out. Luckily because I have taken longer than my peers to finish I know a number of
friends who have now been teaching a number of years, and I also have three cousins who are
experienced teachers, that I would be feel comfortable getting advice and support from. One was
particularly helpful on this prac as she had taught Year 2 for about 5 years.
I am also pretty good at finding my way around the web and have joined a number of online groups
with great teaching resources (eg. TES (UK and Australia), Teaching Channel; Steve Spangler science;
Pearson OLE community, etc). I found these sources provide a lot of ideas, videos and webinars that
keep your teaching ideas fresh.

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