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Reflection on a lesson

9CC monday 25th August

I reflect on all my lessons, mostly informally but when things go well or something doesn’t go to plan or goes wrong I aim to reflect more formally and think on how this could change my teaching, my planning or future lessons.

Today I had 9CC and it is the second lesson on light.

I made the first mistake of putting up first up questions and having mixed up my year 9 classes (it is inevitable this would happen - thankfully it didn’t happen until term 3) I gave them questions on content we hadn’t covered and they had no idea. I asked them then to search up the keywords and find information and also try for an educated guess on what they words sounds like to them. We then covered the missing content and added it to their notes.

But this wasn’t the only mistake. I took them through how mirrors form images. I should have taught basic reflection and the laws of reflection first to help scaffold the idea. It was a bit too much for them too fast.

I have readjusted my planning. 9CC will do reflection and revisit finding images in mirrors again to review. 9XA will cover reflection laws first then mirrors.

Though some things did go very well. They could describe and identify properties of mirror images like left-right reversal (lateral inversion) and equal relative size and distance (1x magnification on a plane mirror).

We also looked at how to write mirror (lateral inversion skill)

and practiced bouncing light off mirrors - making use of the property that light travels in straight lines so will bounce (reflect) off a plane mirror straight.

Being observed again

New student teachers started last week and one wanted to observe senior chemistry classes so she has joined 2Chemistry which is an interesting experience at the moment for myself and I’m sure for her too.

Last Thursday I felt a bit nervous, I hadn’t been observed in over a year and I felt as though i was stumbling through explanations (I probably wasn’t, and the students didn’t seem to notice, or were forgiving). She was excellent at diving in, wandering around and working with the students.

On Friday it was a smaller class with quite a few away on EOTC and I felt more comfortable, we worked steadily. The student teacher commented on my pacing and asked me about it. It was good feedback for me.

Today I felt as though I had explained calculating concentrations well and I had spent a lot of time preparing, but hit a problem when students came to try it for themselves, they got stuck and didn’t know what to do or were overthinking the first problem. It was a good experience for both the student teacher and myself to handle the situation and see my response, to change the lesson on the fly and work through it.

Also interesting I think for her seeing a teacher not long out of being a PRT


Oh dear! so very annoyed, a website I have used many times in past years I set for my year 9’s to use and its causing no end of problems! 

The result, homework not done, they are now scrambling to do it another way or to do it again because their work was lost or deleted from the site.

Looking at the speed of sound today, a students asks:

We know the speed of sound and the speed of light but what about the speed of dark?

The question stuck with me and after school when browsing my YouTube subscriptions this was up today…

…excellent timing


Our e-learning professional learning group had Campbell from eTV show us how it works and what we could do

I was pretty impressed, theres a lot of my favourites such as Cosmos, David Attenborough, Crash course, Brian Cox, Mythbusters, etc

My homework tonight is to look for new teaching favourites

Rubens tube experiment

To kick start the year 9 sound unit, I have done 5 lessons and 5 practicals or demonstrations. Each one demonstrating an aspect of sound or waves

1. Tuning forks (sound is caused by vibration

2. Slinkies (to show longitudinal and transverse waves and movement of energy)

3. Rubens Tube (standing waves of fire - change pitch and frquency and observe)

4. Sound can’t travel in a vacuum (a bell ringing in a sealed jar, pump the air out until you can’t hear the bell)

5. Musical instruments (guitar, drum, etc a range to apply all learning of sound waves - complementing their current research into an instrument of their choice)

Upcoming classes have many experiments, demo’s and practicals - measuring the speed of sound (outside with wooden clappers), measuring intensity of different sounds (using a smartphone/device decibel counter), altering pitch and frequency (using a smartphone/device oscilloscope)

and more i’m sure I will encounter

/Grump - Reflection 17/6/14

Today numbers are returning to normal though 10H1 is still small.

My day ran smoothly with 3 groups of students from 9CC even coming in at lunchtime to do extra work on their projects

However, there are frustrations with 9XA as I explained to them at the end of class

My gripes:

  • not tidying up after themselves, not respecting equipment and class environment

  • not respecting each other right to learn by distracting disruptive and unruly loud behaviour

  • not respecting their teacher by interrupting


I explained the impacts to them and their learning.

  • misuse your learning time - fall behind, not learn, therefore, not  passing assessments and missing opportunities

  • as a class missing opportunities for class and group discussion as unable to manage own behaviour

  • misusing equipment leads to not being able to use it. Need to keep the trust.

What I am doing to minimise this

  • Reinforce settled start to class - line up, equipment out, do first up task.

  • remind class and talk to individuals, groups and class when they need to monitor themselves


Regrettably, i also am taking out the project time in class as 2 classes in a row (with mini chats and warnings) they are not using the time. They will get opportunities to ask over Edmodo or work at lunchtime. It is not structured enough for where the class is at the moment.

I can review it to put back in after a week I think.

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