This section contains identification, reflection and evaluation of my teaching experiences in my work placement at St Vincent College, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Mathematics during the first semester 2005-06.
AB College is an open-access community sixth form college situated in Portby and serving surrounding areas of south east Hampshire. The College offers a wide range of courses from Entry level to Level 3, including a full range of A and AS levels, GCSEs, AVCEs, GNVQs, NVQs, BTECs, City & Guilds and Childcare courses for students aged 16 or above.
There are *** full time students on the roll at the College and a far larger number of adult learners in a wide range of vocational and non-vocational courses.
AB College opened in *** on an historic site, formerly a [removed].
AB College is providing a challenging educational environment where everyone can achieve individual and group potential.
Department of Mathematics is a sub-division of Faculty of Sciences and consists of four full-time and two part-time teachers, many of whom have other responsibilities at the College.
The Department offers a very wide range of courses split into four major levels:
Entry Level Preparation Course Numeracy (working with Numbers) for people with severe learning difficulties and Bridging Course for students with moderate learning difficulties Key Skills Numeracy ;
During the first semester 2005-06 I was involved into working with the Subject Mentor and other teachers in the classroom, team teaching, small group teaching, individual teaching and support and whole group teaching and learning support on all four levels of courses offered by Department of Mathematics.
During the Semester 1 I worked with one of these groups FSMQB1 (normal teacher the Subject Mentor) four lessons a week providing either teaching (whole group or part of the group) or individual support for a dyslexic student.
This is one year course, minimum entry qualifications for the students: no formal qualifications in Mathematics or grades E or below at GCSE with possible combinations all BTEC First/GNVQ courses or any other one-year courses, if qualified. The students are developing skills: general ability working with numbers, problem-solving, use of spreadsheets Next step possibilities to intermediate level GCSE in Maths and to higher level college courses
Method of assessment of this course is 50% coursework / 50% examinations. The coursework was done continually throughout the course and students had to complete it all to pass. One examination was in January, the second will be at the end of May.
The group has four lessons each week, one of which is timetabled in an IT suite where the students learned to use spreadsheets to help them manage data. There are two study units, Managing Money and Making Sense of Data. Throughout the Managing Money unit students look at real-life situations involving money. Throughout the Making Sense of Data unit they look at ways of gathering information then analysing and presenting it.
There are seven students in the group with a significant ability range. The layout of the classroom is U-shape table with tables in the middle. The room is intimate and comfortable, and there was plenty of space for teachers to provide individual support and I could spend considerable time assessing individual progress and checking on the students' work.
Good working relationship have been developed quickly with this group.
The students are generally well behaved and supportive to my inputs.
I have regularly produced the handout/worksheets for the lessons on this level. Half of the lessons the students are working on their assignments with individual support provided. The students were not using any particular books for the lessons and the room doesn't have IT facilities, so there were mainly boardwork for the explanations.
The management of the classroom was reasonable, but on a number of occasions I was working an example through on the board, and giving instructions, (also talking at the board) without gaining the attention of the students. When discussing "work" I need to ensure that the class are paying attention, and talk to them, eye contact etc., and not the board.
During the Semester 1 I worked with two of groups GCSE A and GCSE D - two out of four lessons a week for each group (due to my presence at the College for three days a week out of five) providing either whole group teaching or learning support for a whole group of students.
Students should have at least a grade E at GCSE Mathematics to start the FSMQ Level 2 course or a grade D at GCSE Mathematics to attend GCSE classes from the start. Students are taking this course alongside any other Level 2 or 3 study. This gives them the opportunity to obtain a qualification which is basic entry requirement for many careers and academic courses. So groups on this course are usually large in numbers (18 - 25 students) and very mixed regarding students' mainstream subjects.
For the first two months students studied topics which explore some of the financial aspects of maths which are common to both courses, finished by a test on this material in October. After that if students have a grade D at GCSE and/or have completed every homework and performed well in the October test, they follow a dedicated GCSE Intermediate course. - the Intermediate level of the Edexcel GCSE specification in Mathematics A (1387).
During the first term students worked on Handling Data Theme - collecting statistical information, presenting it graphically and understand trends. Students are also need to do two pieces of coursework with this syllabus: they did statistical coursework towards the end of the Autumn term and investigation coursework during the Spring term.
The large room with computer data projector is used for these courses. The layout of the classroom is U-shape table with tables in the middle. The room is comfortable, and there was plenty of space for teachers to provide individual support and I could spend considerable time assessing individual progress and checking on the students' calculations working either as a group teacher or .a LSA. and ensuring that all the students were understanding your chosen materials. When some failed in the first instance to grasp the work, you gave individual support, and you were flexible in your approach and methodology.
While teaching GCSE classes I could combine board work and worksheets/handouts with IT presentations. This brings variety into the lessons and attract more students' attention to the inductive explanations for each topic. Working with these groups I had an opportunity to produce IT based presentation and improve my relevant IT skills as well as using materials which were suitable for the students, and they maintained their interest. Normally every student uses and keeps in their folders a text book for each theme specially designed by AB College Mathematics Department.
|Audibility and modulation were good, but clarity at times was a little "difficult". This will improve with practice and support..|
|You presented your self as being enthusiastic and enjoying you subject, which is positive. You provided lots of individual attention to those in need, and in general your support to the group was good.|
|You had a good rapport with the class, and the students responded positively to your questioning.|
|Your classroom management needs to improve, especially when giving instructions. Often you were working on your own on the board! When demonstrating examples, do ensure that you have the attention of all the class before you commence your "exercise".|
|You ended the class with a very effective summing up the learning objectives.|
|This was your first formal assessment of your teaching, and even though there is scope for improvement, . in general the lesson was a success. The students were engaged and carried out the exercises required. Well done.|
The syllabus is written by MEI and in the first year students will cover three modules for AS Mathematics and three modules for AS Further Mathematics. Students may then continue on to A level Mathematics and A level Further Mathematics courses in the second year, taking a further modules (three for each A level).
For AS Mathematics the students study the following three modules in the first year: Pure Mathematics 1 (C1), Pure Mathematics 2 (C2), and Statistics (S1). For Further Mathematics AS level they study Further Pure Mathematics 1 (FP1), Mechanics 1 (M1) and Mechanics 2 (M2).
This course explores ideas in greater depth and so there are seven students in the group who have a particular focus on Mathematics and who are academically strong. The academic challenge it offers makes this course a subject discipline that is held in high regard by many universities and employers.
All modules are assessed by a written examination paper. Each module is assessed by a hour exam. Students took the M1 and FP1 module exams in January 06 and the remaining four module exams in May/June 06
The College is providing courses designed to help students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
PREPARATION course is for students with severe learning difficulties and includes topics such as:Numeracy (working with numbers), Information Technology, Communication, Independence and Personal Skills and Team Enterprise. All these topics taught by specialist teachers. Students can also choose from a number of options: Science, Technology, Art, Cookery, Dance, Music, PE and a range of Short Courses.
At RSA Numeracy Skills First Grade I was working as LSA to one or two students out of six students middle abilities group alongside The Subject mentor as a normal teacher and a specialist SEN Unit LSA. There were two one hour lessons per week, I did one of them. The students I was giving personal support varied from lesson to lesson.
Numeracy skills students developed were recognising and combining numbers, recognising coins and using coins and notes for shopping, understanding the idea of time and measure time in different ways, naming and using units of measurements and collecting and presenting information using graphs and charts. The key point while doing these activities is to remember that students should enjoy their learning experience.
Good working relationships have been developed quickly with this group and I had a good rapport with the class.
group clear direction given in lesson for tasks
In the UK I studied ESOL and Integrated Business Technology Level 3 as well as the GCSE English. I also gained direct experience of FE and HE. This has given me valuable cultural insights that some natives may take for granted and leads to comparisons with Russia. The British education system is less formal than in Russia, and perhaps still requires some cultural adaptation for me and further understanding.
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