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Observation Sheet Questioning

(Please complete this form for both primary and secondary professional experiences and
place in your ePortfolio)
Graduate Standards - AITSL
Professional Knowledge: 1. Know students and how they learn
Professional Practice: 2. Plan and implement effective teaching and learning

Question Type
Do you feel your questions were clearly
structured and readily understood by the
students?

Yes. I kept in mind the range of knowledge
and academic level in the classroom and
used questions that would be understood by
all of the students in the classroom.
Did you use a variety of question types?

During my lesson, I used a combination of
factual, convergent and divergent question
types. Because I was introducing the topic of
equivalent fractions I didnt want to use
Evaluative questions.
What balance was there between the various
question types?
Consider both why and when you made use
of the different question types?

When I was introducing the topic of
equivalent fractions to the class I steered
away from divergent questions because I
didnt want to encourage a discussion to start
off with. I used factual and convergent
questions to gauge what they already knew
about the subject and to observe whether or
not they had a firm understanding of what
fractions were and the different relationships
fractions with the same denominator had
with each other. When I did want the
students to discuss what they thought
equivalent fractions were I made use of
divergent questions. I wanted the students to
think about their previous knowledge of
fractions and come to a conclusion about
what they though equivalent fractions were
and why they would be called equivalent
fractions.

Distributing and Directing Questions
Did you recognise any pattern in the
distribution of your questions amongst the
students?
Consider reasons for this pattern?

Yes. The students that always responded
when questioned were the ones that I
focused on and always chose to answer the
questions. I think that this pattern occurred
because as a teacher I didnt want the
discussion to fall flat. But as a consequence
of always choosing the eager and responsive
students to answer questions I was unable to
observe what the other students knew and
didnt give them a chance to participate in
the discussion.

How have you directed questions to the
group?

I asked the students to think about what they
have learnt and then gave them wait time. I
also encouraged volunteers, asking can
anyone?, does anyone?, who can tell me?
instead of pinpointing certain students. I
didnt encourage the students to talk aloud
all at once and asked them to raise their
hands if they had an answer. It would have
been complete anarchy if I allowed the
students to shout out if they knew the
answer.
Have you used wait time?

Yes. As part of the discussion, when I was
directing questions to the whole class. I gave
the class a chance to think about the
answers. During the wait time I also used
prompting questions to encourage the
students to recall what they have previously
learnt.

Did you make eye contact with the group as
you directed your questions?

Yes. I tried to make eye contact with every
student but I also tried to focus on the
students who didnt contribute in order to
encourage involvement from them. I was
always sure to make eye contact with the
students that were answering the questions,
so that they knew that I was listening to them
and cared about their contribution to the
lesson.


Reactions to Students Responses
How do you deal with correct responses? Do
you qualify any praise given?

I praised the students who volunteered their
answers no matter whether their responses
were correct. When their responses were
correct I nodded as they were speaking so
that the other students understood that as I
was listening I was also appreciating the
information given to me. I told the students
who provided the correct answer that they
were right and would reiterate to the rest of
the class what the student had just said and
elaborate on how the students response
was right. For the students that didnt
contribute very often I also provided them
with a Wildcats raffle ticket (which is a
rewards system throughout the school) as a
form of positive reinforcement.

How do you deal with incorrect responses?
How do you deal with students who stumble
and grope for an answer?

When a student gave an incorrect response I
thanked them for providing their thoughts
and offered my understanding of why they
might have thought that their response was
the correct one. I didnt tell them that they
were outright wrong, because I see that as
negative and demeaning for the student. I let
the student think again about the question
and prompted them. I allowed the student to
attempt to answer the question again and if
they didnt get the answer I let another
student answer it for them.
Do you keep eye contact with the students
until they have completed an answer?
Do you cut students off and go onto the next
point before they have finished responding?

Yes. I kept eye contact with them so that
they knew that I valued their answer, no
matter whether it was correct or incorrect. I
didnt cut any of the students of because I
wanted to demonstrate to the students that
everyone has to show respect to whoever is
speaking during a discussion.
What use do you make of the students
responses to develop the teaching point?
Have you redirected any questions in order
to add to an initial response?

I directed the students responses on what
they already know about fractions e.g. all
fractions are a part of a whole, to build on the
point of equivalent fractions and to introduce
the topic of equivalent fractions and the idea
that they are all of the same value even if
they look different. The students were all
able to answer the questions that I gave
them in full and I didnt have any need to
redirect the questions to build on any of the
initial responses.
Are you the only evaluator of the students
answers?

The mentor teacher was also evaluating the
answers of the students. He was observing
whether or not what he taught them on the
subject already has been learnt by the
students and that they retained the
information and are able to recall to it and
use it for understanding future content.
Overall Comments
I feel that I need to aim my questions at all of the students instead of allowing the more
eager students to monopolise the discussion. My questions were suitable for the students
level but I feel that they werent engaging enough to hold the attentions of the students. At
the age that the students are at I think it would be easier to hold a discussion if the questions
were interesting, engaging and not always the same. I should have made better use of
evaluative questions, as the students are in year 6/7, they are at the stage where they
should be able to use cognitive and emotional judgement in order to analyse and answer an
evaluative question.










Observation Sheet Management
(Please complete this form for both primary and secondary professional experiences and
place in your ePortfolio)
Graduate Standards AITSL
Professional Practice:
1. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
2. Planning for Effective Management

Was your lesson plan effective for managing
the class?
e.g. How did the students react to your
lesson overall and to your planned activities?
Did anything unexpected happen?
Did you provide a variety of activities?
Were you satisfied with your timing,
particularly for the end of the lesson?
Did you feel you were able to change things
if needed?

The lesson plan was very effective in
managing the classroom. The activity that I
planned involved cutting up straws, it was an
activity that had the students engaged and
kept them preoccupied for the majority of the
lesson. I was not able to reach the end of my
lesson; I had to adjust my lesson to the skills
of the students and the speed at which they
were able to complete the activity that I had
planned. Towards the end of the lesson,
there were some students that hadnt quite
grasped the main idea of the lesson and I
found that I had to explain further to the class
that the straws that they were cutting up into
different sized fractions had to stay the same
length when put back together in order to
demonstrate equivalent fractions. If the
students had finished the activity or we
finished the activity together as a class, I did
have extra worksheets based on the topic of
the lesson for the students to attempt.
Was your organisation of materials and
resources efficient and effective?
e.g. Did you and the students have
everything you needed?

I had all the needed materials and resources
ready the morning of the lesson. I had to
provide six straws for each student, which I
had already sourced earlier in the week,
enough copies of the worksheets I had
planned for one each student and enough to
spare and blank A4 sheets of paper. These
materials and resources I had sourced and
prepared the day before or the morning of
my lesson. I went into the lesson fully
prepared and with full access to any spare
material if needed. I did have to make sure
that all the students had a pair of scissors,
glue and a ruler. If any of the students in the
class didnt have any of these materials I
made sure that they had access to them
from the class supplies.
Did you plan how and when you would
distribute and collect materials?

Before my lesson I asked the students if they
had access to the materials that they would
need to provide, (e.g. scissors, glue, a ruler)
and made sure they knew where to loan
them from. I decided to let two students who
were well behaved to distribute the straws,
keeping the worksheets to the side until
needed. I let the students distribute the
materials because they saw that as a reward
and I wanted the rest of the class to see that
good behaviour is rewarded. The materials
were distributed after I introduced the lesson
topic and the aim of the activity that they
were about to complete. I did this because I
didnt want them to be distracted by the
materials (i.e. the straws) while I was
explaining the activity to them.
Were you aware of classroom procedures
and school disciplinary policy? How much
did you know about your students?

The first thing I witnessed in my classroom
was the use of the disciplinary system. The
main thing that the teacher wanted the
students to learn during any disciplinary
action was responsibility for their actions.
The students were to write their own names
under the sad face on the board so that
they were responsible for their own
discipline. There were five steps to the
system one: verbal warning, two: name on
board, three: one cross next to name (third
warning), four: two crosses next to name
(detention), five: three crosses next to name
(front office and contact made to parents).
The mentor teacher used a countdown
system when he wanted the class to settle
down and pay attention. At zero, he
expected the whole class to be silent and
anyone who was still talking would
automatically have their name on the board. I
integrated this behaviour management tool in
to my lesson; it is a good tool because the
students already know what is expected of
them and how the countdown tool works.
After just a couple of hours of observation I
was able to identify which students provided
the most worry for the teacher in terms of
behaviour and saw that the system that the
teacher had put in place for managing the
students worked very well.



Maintaining a Positive Attitude in the Classroom
How did you demonstrate to the students
that you valued them, and enjoyed learning?
e.g. Tone of voice, facial expression, sense
of humour, introduction to students and topic.

The first thing I did when I entered the
classroom was to take the time to learn the
students names, memorise them and ask
them how to spell and pronounce them.
When I spoke to the students I wanted to use
their first names so that they would feel that I
was invested in getting to know them. I also
made sure to introduce myself to the
students and remind them of my last name
so that could become familiar with me.
I used a soft and calm tone of voice the
whole time unless I was noting a students
misbehaviour and smiled when interacting
with them to indicate that I enjoyed my time
when I was with them. I shared jokes and
chatted with the students in order to build a
good rapport but discouraged any topic that
was inappropriate to joke or talk about.
I made sure to encourage the students
during my lesson, coaxing information out of
them and using wait time, in order to build
their confidence and their comfort in
answering my questions in front of the rest of
the class.
Which aspects of your teaching style do you
feel helped you maintain class attention?
e.g. Variety of activities, class or group
discussion, pace of lesson, interest at class
level.

My class and group discussion was an
aspect of my teaching style that, I feel,
helped me to maintain the class attention. I
was, through the use of questioning, able to
keep a class discussion going for a period of
time. Having a generally kind and giving
disposition, I feel that my ability to establish a
positive relationship with the students
allowed me to have the students respect
and attention throughout my lesson.
Did the students know what was expected of
them?

Behaviour wise the students were more than
well aware of what was expected of them.
Throughout my placement and thankfully
during my lesson they were generally well
behaved and respectful. Before I introduced
the lesson, I made it clear to the students
that I could and would use the class
disciplinary policy to discourage any
disrespectful or disruptive behaviour during
the lesson and the students acted in
accordance with the classroom rules.
Were you able to redirect energies of
attention seeking students? Did the students
have enough to do?

Because the activity was so hand on, I felt
that any of the students that were known for
attention seeking were too absorbed in the
lesson to distract the class. I was happy to
see those few students trying to gain my
attention by completing the activity as fast
and as efficiently as they possibly could.
Their ability to disrupt had been focused on
pleasing me and my mentor teacher by
finishing the activity before the rest of the
class.


Dealing with Minor Misbehaviour
Were you aware of what was happening in
all parts of the classroom? Did you know
what each student was doing?

Throughout my time in the classroom, as a
part of my observations, I felt it best to move
around the classroom in order to find any
patterns in the students behaviour in
different places in the classroom and to
communicate with the students and observe
their work. Because I was moving around the
classroom the whole time, I was aware of
where every student was and I also knew
when a student was not meant to be
somewhere. I also observed the different
behaviours of the different students and was
able to identify certain problem groups
among the students and know when they
would become a disruption to the class.
Did you take any action when you observed
poor behaviour? Why? Why not?

When I observed poor behaviour, the only
action I would take was to ask them if their
behaviour is appropriate and/or necessary
and whether their teacher would allow for
that kind of behaviour. The reason I only did
this was to establish that their teacher and
his rules were still in place and misbehaving
with me would not be punished any
differently. I did this to make it clear to the
students that their teacher was still the one in
charge and to not allow the students to
behave any differently to what they are
usually expected to. During my lesson I did
make it clear that while I was in charge of the
classroom, I would deal with any disruptive
behaviour the same way that my mentor
teacher normally would. Thankfully, the
students were well behaved and any
disciplinary action was not needed from me
or from the mentor teacher.
Did you use non-verbal cues?
e.g. Contact, pause, gesture, movement
toward student/s concerned.

Yes, I did use non-verbal cues. When the
student/s concerned were disrupting the
class in any way, I made eye contact with
them and made it very clear with my facial
expression and body language that they
were doing the wrong thing. If the student/s
continued disrupting the class I would walk
towards them and stand in a close proximity
to them in order to discourage further
misbehaviour.
During my lessons it was more appropriate
to pause while speaking and make eye
contact with the student/s concerned. This
would not only discourage the student/s from
misbehaving as they can see that the lesson
has stopped because of them and they have
the attention of the teacher and the whole
class but it would also dissuade other
students from misbehaving.
Overall Comments
Though I was told that the class that I had been placed in was one that faced many
behavioural problems I found that, using the right techniques that the students were very
well behaved and at most times treated each other and both me and the mentor teacher with
respect. I felt more confident dealing with students one on one, as one technique that might
work on one student might not work on the other. I was impressed that my mentor teacher
was able to handle such a class the way he did. I will have to take note of the techniques I
saw being used in the classroom and try and integrate them into my teaching strategies.

















































Schools as text looking at the whole school

Describe the school in terms of its
demographics, appearance and resources
(be general here and do not name the
school).

The school is located in the South-East
suburbs of Perth along the Armadale train
line and is considered to be in a low SEI
neighbourhood. The school, because of its
location, is considered as a Low Socio-
economic Status School Community and is
part of a national Partnership that provides
funding to school in an attempt to address
the challenges that students face in
disadvantaged communities and to try and
end the cycle that is present in schools and
disadvantaged communities.
The school also has funding provided to
them through the Commonwealth Literacy
and Numeracy program. The campus, as
well as a being host to a primary school
holds an Education Support Centre that
works in accordance with the school to
provide the best resources for troubled
students attending the school or the is
attending, full-time, the support centre. The
school has employed a full time Getting it
Right Literacy Teacher and specialists in
Aboriginal Cultural Studies, Health and
Physical Education, Art, Music and Dance,
and Library and Information and
Communication (ICT). The school has
access to Aboriginal Islander Education
Officers who provide positive home-school
partnerships and help increase the learning
outcomes for Aboriginal students. The school
is also fortunate enough to have a committed
group of highly skilled Education Assistants
working with children across all year levels.
The schools grounds are extensive with a
range of facilities. The school has a
networked computer laboratory that allows
all students access to the Internet via the
school's curriculum server. Each class has
access to laptops and iPads that are to be
used to enhance the students learning in the
classroom.
The school has a specialist art room with
kiln, a spacious music/dance area, library
resource centre and two undercover areas.
There are also excellent grasses and hard
court facilities for sport, physical education
and recreational activities.
What were the roles and responsibilities of
the teaching staff you observed?

The main role of the teachers was to make
the classrooms engaging and inviting for
students so that they would feel more
comfortable and involved within the school
community. The teachers, of course, were
responsible for educating the students
academically but they are also there to
manage and shape the students behaviour
in order to prepare them for higher education
and for joining the wider community as moral
and independent individuals. The teachers
have to teach in an equitable fashion, so as
to make every student feel that they can
achieve no matter what background or
disadvantage they may have. The teachers
have to discourage behaviour that isnt
acceptable in the wider community and
encourage the students to become confidant
enough to continue into high school and
hopefully university. The teachers are also
responsible for reinforcing the schools policy
of Choose Respect in the classroom.
What did you observe nonteaching staff
doing to support teaching and learning in the
school?

The nonteaching staff plays a crucial part in
the community of the school. The school has
under its employment, a number of
education assistants. The education
assistants take time out of their schedule to
not only help out with the students that are
eligible for extra assistance during school but
with the students who need help and are not
eligible for it. Because the school is located
in a neighbourhood that is classed as low in
the SEI, there are many students that have
every interest in not going to school. The
nonteaching staff, as well as the teaching
staff is responsible in persuading the
students that the school is a fun and
engaging place to be. An example of this
would be the role of the librarian in the
school. The librarian makes the library a
colourful and engaging place for the students
to go and behaves in a warm and welcoming
manner when the students go into the library
to browse and borrow books.

Students
You will have observed the diverse nature of
your classes.
How was this diversity supported?
The diversity in my placement class was vast
and in some cases it affected the academic
levels of the students. The teacher, in order
to support this diversity treated the whole
class, in terms of respect, equally.
One of the students has foetal alcohol
syndrome and has to be medicated. The
student was not separated from the class
altogether, but was allowed to learn and
complete his work at his own pace. The
student was treated no differently than the
rest of the class in terms of discipline and is
given the same opportunities to learn as the
rest of the class.
The teacher, instead of singling out students,
teaches the students as a whole and
provides extra assistance for those students
who need it. There is a wide cultural diversity
among the students, having indigenous
Australian students and a range of other
different

Function of Schools
Did you observe the connection of your
schools with the broader community?
How did this happen?

The school tries to have an involved
relationship with the students parents,
having an active P&C and providing Parent
Open Night for parents to observe how their
children are progressing. The school, during
my placement was preparing for a faction
carnival. The top competing students would
take place in a interschool carnival against
neighbouring schools, bringing together a
whole community of different schools within
the area.
What do you think the function of school is?

The main function of this school is to provide
an engaging and inclusive environment for
students to learn in. The school focuses on
providing a place for students to go and feel
safe and comfortable to learn. As the school
is located in a low SEI area, the main focus
for the school is to provide a constant,
consistent and reliable place for students to
go each day in order to keep them out of
trouble. The school also focuses on
providing a high standard of education for
students who, without support, would
otherwise struggle to maintain a commitment
to education at later stages in their life.
The school works together with the parents,
the teaching and nonteaching staff and the
students in order to achieve academic
excellence and an environment where
everyone can learn and grow.
The school aims to teach its students to
choose respect, having observed the
Choose Respect tool during one of the
schools weekly assemblies.