Having started my first teaching post two months ago I received my first formal observation today. After a weekend of preparation, a rubbish
night sleep and morning full of nerves my observation came and went. I often wonder why I get so nervous before an observation as they are never as bad as I imagine. This one was in fact a lot, lot better than I thought as I achieved a grade 2 and the feedback that I received was that the lesson only just missed out on grade one, which is outstanding, as my lesson objectives were too vague and couldn’t easily be measured. I was over the moon with this as not only is it my first teaching post, I was observed teaching an age range and a subject I’m not trained in, with ss from Entry Level 1 to Level 2, so I was surprised by how well I actually did. I trained to teach Functional Skills English to teenagers but was observed teaching numeracy to a group of unemployed adults.
Idecided to focus the session on money. During the last session we had looked at maths vocabulary so I started this class off by splitting the room into different maths symbols e.g. +, -, =. I then called out a word that corresponded with one of the signs e.g. add, equals, subtract. The students then had to stand by the symbol that they thought represented the word. This exercise not only got the ss up and moving around, it provided an interested activity for kinaesthetic learners. To grab the learners attention and to focus their minds on the session I followed this activity with a bag reveal; I pulled out various objects relating to money and shopping and the ss had to guess what the lesson would be about. I then revealed the lesson objectives and the running order for the day. To continue with the maths language theme the ss were then given a selection of money vocabulary cards and had to match the number and word to the correct coin, for example 1p and one pence were put at the side of a picture of a one penny piece and so on up to £2. As the ss are really competitive I then split them into teams and we had a game of money snap. I shouted out the name of the coin and the quickest team to pick up the corresponding word or image won a point.The class then discuss how different coins can be used to make different amounts of money. I demonstrated this upon on the board. I gave the ss a pile of paper money and after writing an amount on the board the ss had to pick a selection of coins that could be used to make that amount. for example 70p = 10p +10p + 50p.
As I was catering for every level possible, inorder to provide the correct level of differentiation, the main part of the lesson focused on individual worksheets. The first exercise involved the students analysing various shopping receipts in order to decide what coins could be used to create
the various totals. I then brought the group together to discuss various methods for addition, for example splitting coins into smaller amounts, long division, using number lines etc. The students were then given an individual addition worksheet depending on their ability level. For the next part of the lesson I had adapted the celebrity shopping baskets activity that I blogged about in February. I extended the worksheets and adapted the activities to suit the needs of the students; each workbook was tailored to the specific level of the exam they will be sitting.
To bring the students together at the end we played ‘I have…who has?’. I got the idea form Super Teacher worksheets but adapted the resource to use British coins rather than American. The students really seemed to enjoy the session and as I received excellent feedback I will certainly be using the session again.
Game cards for ‘I have…who has’ can now be found on my profile at Skillsworkshop. The addition, reciepts and celebrity shopping baskets will be published shortly.