Demonstrated knowledge in student learning including the standards, the Principals of Learning and Teaching P-12 and Assessment and Reporting Advice and the ability to design curriculum programs consistent with their intent I have a sound knowledge of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and how to incorporate theses standards into the classroom. I have attended a professional development day investigating the VELS at Gladstone Park Primary School. I have also applied VELS in my teaching this year and have used the Quick Vic Reporting System. I believe the VELS are put in place to create high quality learning environments for children, to increase student outcomes and enable then students within your class to reach their full potential. Throughout this year I have used the VELS curriculum. Along with fellow teachers we have began to re-structure out curriculum in accordance with the VELS. I have attended an Integrated Inquiry training session and we now have begun to develop our own Integrated Inquiry topics that focus on the VELS and the student’s needs. I believe the standards have been introduced to prepare children for a world that is complex and forever changing. The standards identify what is important for our students to learn at different times in their schooling. It is important that children are exposed to the broad range of learning area in the three core, interrelated strands set out in the VELS to give each child the chance to succeed in all areas. Physical, Personal and Social Learning; Health and Physical Education, Interpersonal Development, Personal Learning, Civics and Citizenship. Discipline-based Learning; The Arts, English, Languages other than English, Humanities, Mathematics, Science. Interdisciplinary Learning; Communication, Design, Creativity and Technology, Information and Communications Technology and Thinking. Last year I attended a professional development day looked at POLT (Principals of Learning and Teaching). I believe that POLT allows teachers to look at the way we teach, highlighting the areas that we do well in and the areas in which we need to improve. Principals of Learning and Teaching provide us with feedback from a wide variety of sources i.e. the students that you teach, POLT coordinator. I believe that the Principals of Learning and Teaching allow us to; Become skilled practitioners who provide meaning for students Reflect and evaluate on our own learning Gain feedback from students Restructure, learn from and change areas that need to be improved. I believe that it is important to continually learn and improve and in my teaching I will do this by; Constant reflection and evaluation of teaching and learning. Attend professional development days and staff meetings relating to current initiatives Continually research into new ways of learning and teaching. Discuss and conference with other team members about ideas and training. Demonstrate an understanding of how students learn and effective classroom teaching strategies and the capacity to work with colleagues to continually improve teaching and learning. I endeavour to provide students with a safe, engaging and enjoyable learning environment in which they can learn and work towards achieving their goals. The learning environment that I promote fosters critical thinking, develops problem solving strategies and facilitates the acquisition of lifelong learning skills. As a teacher I believe that it is my responsibility to know my students and be aware of their knowledge when they enter the classroom, in order to connect to that knowledge and build on it. I continually adopt and adapt various strategies and methodologies to cater for students needs. Ways that I have achieved this are through; Being Supportive of individual needs Being aware of the different rates if learning, adapting approaches accordingly Utilising various resources, hands-on experiences, games and learning technologies, to allow students to reach their full potential. Placing high learning objectives for students that are challenging, but encourage them to work towards experience and success. To allow students to reach their full potential it is important to employ high quality teaching skills which resolve around individual students needs, differences in culture, backgrounds, interests and experiences. This can be achieved by incorporating various teaching and learning strategies and theories into the planning and implementation of programs, these may include; Gardener’s Multiple intelligences, which revolves around auditory, kinaesthetic abilities. This year in my teaching I have found that when explaining tasks and situations it is important to provide a visual component as well as an auditory component. In order for students with different needs to gain the most from each lesson. For example during modelled writing time a visual representation of a piece of writing in the board along with a verbal explanation helps visual and auditory learners. Also, by incorporating drama into the activity allows students to act out the experience to gain meaning of what has been taught. De Bono’s six thinking hats, which considers ideas and issues from different perspectives. Blooms Taxonomy, which provides sequential components of learning a skill. The teaching strategy is to incorporate the taxonomy in the planning of a learning task. These should incorporate the competencies of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation, respectively. Thinking curriculum, within a thinking orientated curriculum the teacher should provide students with challenging tasks that will stimulate, encourage and support thinking. Teachers also will model thinking and learning strategies that they want their students to develop. I believe that it is extremely important to work as a team with colleagues in order to strengthen, teaching practices and to further own learning. I have developed that ability to work with other teachers to improve teaching and learning this year by; Working effectively, team teaching along side my mentor and the fellow grade 2 teacher. Constantly seeking advice and seeking out information from other teachers. Working in a virtual classroom with my mentor. At Gladstone Park Shopping centre, promoting our school for education week. Continually meeting with my working teams and planning as a team. Capacity to monitor and assess student learning data and to use this data to inform teaching for improved student learning. This year in my teaching I believe that I have been able to effectively assess students throughout the year. I have done this through using a variety of assessment tool these are as follows; South Australian Spelling Test- In which students are given a spelling age and a score, this allowed me to structure my spelling groups for the year, putting students into 4 ability groups. MIOOW Spelling test- A spelling test that outlines what common words the student can use and what words they have to learn. Burt Reading Test- A test that gives students a reading age and allows you to see what the students are struggling with. Running Records- Allow the teacher to benchmark students reading levels; this has been extremely helpful in seeing the improvement of the student’s abilities as well as for placing them into their task board ability groups. MIOOW Word Recognition test- This test allows the teacher to see what common words the student can read and the student can be tested every term to see their progress. DMT Maths test- This is a great test for the start of the year it allows the teacher to see what the student can do and what they need to learn. This is also a great test to place students in their numeracy groups. Numeracy Interview- I went to a professional development session in 2005 that explained how to use the interview. This test allows the teacher to see the strengths and weaknesses in each child. Observation- Constant observation allows you as a teacher to see how students interact with others, their work habits as well as the improvements and weaknesses in their work. Individual Learning Plans- Students that are ‘at risk’ I have put on individual learning plans this year. This has allowed me as a teacher to constantly work on helping the individual reach the set goals. Throughout this year these tests have given me an insight into each individual and how they are progressing along. This allows you as a teacher to adjust what you are teaching to focus on individual students needs. Demonstrated high level written and verbal communication skills and high level interpersonal skills including a capacity to develop constructive relationships with students, parents and other staff. An essential part of the teaching role is to be a part of the teaching team. I believe that teamwork is about sharing, collaboration, planning and evaluation as a group and being part of a supportive network. Good teamwork ensures a supportive and encouraging environment for people to work in and ensures a consistent approach towards curriculum delivery. Team work allows us to create a forum in which we can openly discuss ideas and gain different perspectives. I have demonstrated my ability to work in a team by; Regularly attend staff meetings Consult on a regular basis with the other year level teacher. Work in a team teaching environment Volunteer for professional development days Be an open colleague so teachers feel that they can come to you for advice. I believe that as a graduate teacher I can bring fresh ideas, if selected I look forward to continue to involve myself in extra curricular activities. Throughout this year in my teaching and on previous teaching rounds I have demonstrated my interpersonal and communication skills with parents, students and colleagues by; Participating Parent Information nights Being apart of 3-way conferences Discussing issues with parents before and after school Attending meetings and professional development days with staff Creating an environment in which students are valued in a climate of mutual respect. Participating and contributing to team and level meetings I believe that communication in the classroom is a three-way process in which parents, teachers and students become partners in learning, working together to achieve a common goal as we all have the student’s best interest at heart. I believe that parents play a pivotal role in children’s learning and should be involved in their child’s learning when ever possible, this can be done in a variety of ways. Parent- Teacher interviews Informal and Formal discussions Emails, notes and letters Diaries Reports and newsletters Demonstrated commitment and capacity to actively contribute to a broad range of school activities and a capacity to reflect on, evaluate and improve professional knowledge and practice. I believe that it is extremely important as a teacher to constantly look for ways of improving ones teaching and learning. This year I have attended many professional development days these include; The Graduate Teachers seminar You Can Do It Training The Brain Man Professional Development on Intellectual Disabilities Visual thinking PD Thinking Curriculum PD Integrated Inquiry PD Oral Language PD Developmental Play PD These professional development days have given me an insight into new initiatives and new ways of teaching. It’s fantastic to hear different perspectives on areas that I have great interest in. I have been able to reflect upon these days and have tried different methods in my classroom. From this I have been able to see what has worked and what hasn’t worked. I have been able to reflect upon my professional development undertaken this year by completing my portfolio that had a running description of the days undertaken. This year I have demonstrated my commitment to contribute to a broad range of school activities by being involved in; School Concert Virtual classroom Christmas Carols School excursions Interviews and information nights Market Day Demonstrated ability to create a supportive classroom environment where positive student welfare and management practices are implemented. Throughout my teaching experiences I have endeavoured to provide students with a safe, engaging and enjoyable learning environment in which they can learn and work towards achieving goals. My classroom environment is one in which myself as a teacher and the students work together as a team to learn. I am an approachable person in which students, parents and teachers feel they can come to, if they need to talk or ask for advice. Examples of how I continually adopt and adapt various strategies and methodologies to cater for students needs are; Being aware of different rates of leering, adapting approaches accordingly. Utilising various resources, hands-on experiences, games and learning technologies, to allow students to reach their full potential. Maintaining high expectations of students that are challenging, but encourage them to work towards positive experiences and success. Understanding a wide range of individual needs. Evidence of establishing positive discipline strategies and creating stimulating and supportive environments include; Establishing class expectations and consequences with individual behaviour management programs as required. Using Carter’s assertive discipline model or class management strategies as outlined by Bill Rodgers. Establishing and creating with student’s class rules and consequences Creating meaningful and innovative lesson’s in which students feel stimulated and supported. Using a range of small group learning opportunities such as cooperative and mixed ability groups. Working as a part of a team to ensure effective and positive classroom management. Critically evaluating and reflecting on learning experiences.