Planning for Science: Reading Reflection.

Reading Reference:
Primary Science, Teaching Theory & Practice. , 2014, Chapter 7:Planning pgs. 70-86.
Key points:
Within this book, Chapter 7 explains in depth qualities and strategies that are used in effective planning.

The Key points include:

  • Planning effective learning takes place at three different levels: long-term plans (which are often made by the subject leader); medium-term plans (that are often made by the subject leader and year group team); and short-term lesson plans (that are made by the class teacher).
  • Long-term and medium-term plans be combined into a scheme of work.
  • Lesson plans should begin with clear learning intentions and objectives.
  • Key elements of a plan may include: finding out existing ideas of children, adopting a suitable structure and pace, designing suitable activites, asking effective questions, using differentiation effectively, oportunities for assessment.
  • Teachers should reflect on the sucess of their lessons by evaluating them and setting targets for future lessons.
This chapter gave me insight to the skills needed when planning sucessfully. It allowed me to recognise the differences between long-term plans, medium-term plans and short-term plans.

It allowed me to recognise that a successful lesson in science may contain specific qualities. For example, they may contain practical aspects frequently. Successful lessons also relate to the children’s real life experiences (this can be developed through practical activities).

A statement in this chapter than emphasised subject knowledge of a teacher included: “Onne of the greatest challenges to teachers is to understand for themselves the scientific ideas they wish to teach. They have to know well beyond what they expect their children to learn”. This has shown me the importance of research and reflection of personal knowledge and skills. It has made me aware to always think forward of what the children may ask and the knowledge they may have.

Another aspect about planning this chapter has taught me is to always try out practical activities before delivering it in a lesson. This has shown me that something may seem like a simple activity descibed in a book, however what appears to be straightforward may become difficult in practice. It is important to review whether an activity will work with your children, by trying it out for yourself and then reflecting on it!

This chapter has also gave me insight on what a learning intention should specifically do. It should focus on what the children should learn, rather than what they should do and it should aim to develop both the children’s conceptual understanding (knowledge and understanding of the physical ideas in science) and procedural understanding (their understanding of skills and processes involved in working scientifically). This should also be a measure of what the children should be progessing in.

The learning intention in a successful plan may be a statement of what the teacher intends the children to learn by the end of the lesson. For example:

  • Learning Intention: ‘by the end of the lesson, most children should be able to use a bar chart to record the colour of childen’s hair in the year group’
  • Success Criteria: ‘Record data about hair colour on a tally chart; use this data to make a bar chart of hair colour in the year group.

I have learnt that structue of a lesson usually goes as follows:

  • Introduction – 15 minutes.
  • Main – 40 minutes.
  • Plenary/conclusion – 10 minutes.

Neverthless, this may vary, depending on the length of the lesson.

Next Steps:
  • Recognise a method for lesson evaluations.
  • Write a plan for a science lesson (allow it to be peer assessed during a seminar).

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