Welcome! Professional Teaching Portfolio Sonia Hankova Education/Art/Science. E-Mail: sonia.hankova@gmail.com, Phone: +61 425 703 860

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Selecting resources and teaching strategies to deliver engaging lessons

I have over the course of past four years developed a wide vocabulary of teaching strategies to engage students and develop their critical thinking and creative skills, at the same time adhering to the curriculum content for the appropriate year level. I have been lucky to observe many great teachers, at university as well as in my placements.

A variety of topic appropriate and relevant resources is crucial when teaching science (and other subjects). I would consult my mentors and lab technicians when selecting these; I would enquire what the school has available to support my students' learning. I borrowed numerous science textbooks appropriate to specific year levels to further develop lessons and get ideas. I spent considerable amounts of time brainstorming and searching the internet for appropriate resources – educational websites, ideas for lessons, ideas for worksheets, ideas for experiments, activities – mixing and matching these to create engaging lessons that I developed from scratch. I strive to design my own worksheets (though I understand that this may become difficult once I am teaching full time, nonetheless, I believe sharing resources if the way to go), include a wide variety of external resources, videos, websites, online simulations, games, experiments and hand on tactile activities to cater for a variety of learning styles. Luckily, I am a multimodal learner, this has been helpful in being creative when developing and structuring lessons as I incorporate a mixture of learning and teaching styles. I have learned that a lesson that I design myself is so much easier to teach than one that was given to me by someone else.

I think that I am creative in selection and use of appropriate resources, as I’d like my lessons to be fun and engaging. I was very fortunate to experience a progressive learning environment at MLC where the choice of resources is astounding. Nevertheless, I understand that we must be adaptable, innovative and be able to improvise, and still be able to deliver engaging and fun lessons without all the resources under the sun.

I think that teaching is an evolving craft and that teachers must continually experiment with different teaching strategies. What works once might not work another time, or in a different classroom, or for a different teacher. There are numerous books, government and independent websites and resources that teachers can access and apply in their classrooms. To note a few that I have used in my classroom – de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, Thinking Tool Box A-Z of thinking tools, Costa's Habits of Mind, Dweck's Mindset Theory  – an extensive collection of teaching tools and strategies for an effective delivery of content and improved learning.

Strategies for improved teaching and learning

  • • Flipped quiz
  • • Seek student feedback via surveys
  • • Fake test
  • • Eyes up, screens down, pens down
  • • Read circle underline (chem)
  • • Pairing up of students (low/high for different activities), rotate the pairs for different activities
  • • Stations with different activities
  • • Use the mini whiteboards e.g. to draw atomic composition of an element
  • • Wiki with daily content split into three parts: what the students do, relevant materials for lesson, homework
  • • Digital footprint
  • • Home group decorations e.g. ‘This is a positive thinking area!’
  • • Classroom rules
  • • Use paddle pop sticks to call out students randomly
  • • Voice over video if you don't like the narrative or voice
  • • Lets put our science hat on!
  • • Brainstorming
  • • Games
  • • Mind maps
  • • Think pair share
  • • Simulations
  • • Field work, excursions
  • • Traditional lecture style delivery of instruction
  • • Explicit instruction
  • • Demonstrations
  • • Experiments
  • • Modelling
  • • Providing feedback, peer assessment
  • • Inquiry based learning
  • • Project based learning
  • • Problem solving activities
  • • Collaborative, cooperative learning
  • • Flexible grouping using a variety of grouping formats
  • • Independent learning
  • • Development of positive interdependence
  • • Face-to-face promotive interaction
  • • Individual accountability and personal responsibility
  • • Interpersonal and small-group skills
  • • Group processing

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