I planned my lesson keeping four
domains in mind: planning and
preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional
responsibilities (Danielson, 2013).
This approach helped me to link previous knowledge of my students to new
learning, as I want my students to
get into the habit of linking and constructing meaning from their experiences
(Costa and Kallick, 2008). Evaluation of
prior knowledge enabled me and my students to devote our time and energies in
most productive ways focusing on areas of weak understandings.
I used two
widely accepted principles about learning (Cooper, 2003) in my lesson plan.
Firstly, learners construct their own knowledge by using their prior knowledge,
and secondly, learning is an inherently social phenomenon, which supports the
use of group learning. I started my lesson by dividing the students in
groups; “same sweets, same group”. The
use of sweets to divide students into groups ‘hooked’ students’ interest, and
ensured random distribution of students. As I provided the students with open
ended essay writing, it resulted in enabling
my students to discover deeper meaning in the content and improve their
thinking skills (Johnson and Scholes, 1993).
believe that the school can be referred to as a
vehicle of direct instruction (Engelman and Carnine, 1982), like a social institution embedded with rich
of norms, customs and ways of thinking only conveyed by a teacher. I delivered
a moral based story in class because as a teacher I did not want to pass only knowledge, but also values and right attitudes.
My understanding of the inclusive classroom is teaching
approaches that address the needs of students with a variety of learning
styles, and abilities (Ambrose et al., 2010). I felt the class was inclusive
since every student had access to the materials they needed in order to learn,
as I was ensuring that every student knew it is okay to struggle with something
and I am there to support them (see image 7). To do this, I encouraged mistakes and
reinforced my students who always try their hardest, even if they sometimes
struggle. I also felt that through group activity and moral based story telling
I had created a safe and secure learning environment in which students formed
strong bonds and maintained respect for each other.