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Assessment, feedback and reflective practice


Chemistry: Separation of Mixtures

This artefact demonstrates my initiatives to utilise a summative science experiment coupled with a written report task to assess student learning during a unit on Separation of Mixtures and gather quantitative data to be used for reporting purposes.

Assessment

I have consistently used assessment AS and FOR learning to improve learning outcomes, inform my teaching and provide feedback on learning. I often utilise self and peer assessment strategies and strive to provide whole class as well as individual (written and verbal) feedback. I am steadily developing my summative assessment practice – developing rubrics, marking tests, conducting running records.

Whist teaching Year 7 students at the Methodist Ladies' College, who were studying a unit on Separation of Mixtures, that aligns with the Year 7 AusVELS Science Curriculum, I developed and delivered an engaging sequence of practical hands on lessons that included: Separation of Insoluble Substances: Filtration, Decanting, Centrifugation, as well as lessons on Evaporation and Distillation. This unit of work culminated in students having to plan and conduct their own experiment (see image on the left). For these lessons I developed custom worksheets that would accompany their practical components to guide questioning and support students in constructing meaning.

Lesson plans for these can be accessed by clicking on the following links:


I have found creating custom worksheets in InDesign (Adobe SC6) allows me to use the available space in creative ways (unlike MS Word) by incorporating images, graphics, tables, text in a layout that I feel will be not only appealing to the students but also will aid in effectively structuring and scaffolding learning. By accessing the following links you can examine several examples of worksheets that I developed specifically for experiments that accompanied this unit of work.

 

Screenshot 2015-10-23 19.30.14


 

Feedback

In my teaching I would seek feedback from students, mentors and other staff to improve units of work and lessons, and ultimately improve student learning and my own pedagogical presence in the classroom – I regularly sought feedback on my practice from my mentors at MLC (and Toorak PS) as well as reflected on my learning. For example, whilst teaching Science to class 7F and 7D at MLC I would discuss and evaluate the lessons with my mentors and subsequently modify and fine tune the resources, activities, content and my teaching accordingly whilst delivering it the second time around.

 

Reflective Practice

The images above demonstrate reflective practice – upon discussions with my mentor and personal reflections, I refined the worksheet (on the right) to better fit the learning intentions and success criteria and to suit the time frame of delivery. Left - original: students were required to complete both a conical and fluted filter fold and make decisions on suitability and ease of use, Right - refined and improved: students were asked to complete conical fold, I introduced to the students the fluted fold as available option and demonstrated the method. Followed by a classroom discussion on advantages and disadvantages of each.

Excerpt from my notes/diagram on distillation demonstration that I was doing for the first time.

Through my practice I have demonstrated links to PoLTs:

PoLT 1. The learning environment is supportive and productive, by: utilising strategies that promote students' self confidence and willingness to take risks with their learning; providing students with learning experiences founded on structured support, valuing effort and receiving recognition of learning through assessment practices and constructive feedback.

PoLT 2. The learning environment promotes independence, interdependence and self motivation, by: encouraging students to take responsibility and control of their learning; by working collaboratively as well as independently.

PoLT 3. Students needs, backgrounds, perspectives and interests are reflected in the learning program, by: using strategies that cater to different learning styles and that incorporate and support different ways of thinking and learning; building on students prior experiences, knowledge skills though providing sequential learning programs founded on experiential learning.

PoLT 4. Students are challenged and supported to develop deep levels of thinking and application, by: building lesson sequences that emphasise connections between ideas; by setting high yet achievable expectations that challenge and support students to questions and reflect; developing higher orders of thinking though structured as well as self directed investigation and problem solving; utilising innovative and creative skills and attitudes.

PoLT 5. Assessment practiced are an integral part of teaching and learning, by: providing frequent constructive feedback to support further learning; implementing engaging assessment practices that reflect a full range of learning objectives; using evidence from assessment, feedback and reflections to inform future planning and teaching.

Screenshot 2015-10-24 15.10.16

VIT Separation of Mixtures

Click on the image above to view links to VIT standards related to my lessons on Separation of Mixtures, in detail. Press Esc key to exit.

 

 

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