Field Experience: Lesson #2

Although my first lesson plan didn’t go terribly, I had a lot of feedback that I used to make my second lesson better. I focused on making my lesson plan more detailed and was more confident in what I was going to teach. My second lesson was on using editing symbols to edited other peoples writing. The lesson went really well. I was able to speak more in a more commanding tone of voice and direct the class through the lesson in a clear and organized way. The lesson was well received and the students seemed engaged.

At the end of the lesson students were supposed to edit and hand in a paragraph to be graded. For the remainder of the class students were supposed to use their skills learned in the lesson to peer edited their historical fiction pieces. However, I noticed students take up silent reading or sit in their desks not doing anything. I took the opportunity to walk around and ask students directly to find a partner and peer edit. Some students told me they didn’t have their stories, but I modified the activity so they still worked on peer editing. In the future I would turn the lights on and stop the projector once students copied the paragraph down, so that it would better signify that they have to do the next activity.

This week I learned that I am a bit of a push over in the way I deliver instructions. I would say you ‘can’ write these notes down. When I say this I mean for the students to copy the notes without being pushy. I have the idea that students are responsible for their learning in a way that demonstrates an excitement to learn, but I can understand that students often want to take easier ways out and they might see my instruction as an opportunity to not take notes. In the future I will be direct and tell them they have to take down the notes. I will also make sure they do. I often assume students are like me in this way, but some students will need different levels of instruction than me.

 

Advertisements

Being Culturally Responsive in the Classroom

The article on cultural responsive management in schools speaks to social justice practices and also provides examples of culturally responsive and non-culturally responsive management behaviours.

The article describes cultural responsive management as being aware of the diversity of learners in the classroom and using that knowledge to manage the classroom in a way that promotes equity and social justice and doesn’t advantage some students over the disadvantaging of others. When teachers are part of the majority and advantaged by societies common sense it can be easy to be blinded by that common sense and so being culturally responsive means to identify ones own culture and not just see our common sense as the norm and all others as lesser ways of operating. Cultural responsive management means taking what we know about ourselves, others and societal norms and managing the class in a way that is understanding and accepting of different ways of being. We cannot simply punish students for falling outside the norm, instead we have to understand different ways of behaving and seeing how that can be a part of classroom environment and management.

The examples provided in the article clearly outline common misunderstandings that result in the disadvantaging of some students, namely students that fall outside of those privileged in western society. Students that have a different cultural background than our own have learned different views of schooling than we may have. For instance a student that is more vocal or doesn’t speak at all, or students that value group collaborations rather than individual accomplishments. The different ways of knowing have to be acknowledged and integrated into our own understanding so that we can build culturally responsive management in the classroom environment. The examples also show how the disadvantaging as a result of non-culturally responsive management has a negative impact on students education, because likely they will be reprimanded and come to believe that they are not a good student and they can have more trouble succeeding in an environment that doesn’t reflect or acknowledge them.

I believe that culturally responsive management is important and I hope to be able to create a classroom environment that reflects my beliefs on the subject and that from there I will be able to work toward social justice in my classroom. Has anyone picked up on good or bad examples of management that is or isn’t culturally responsive? If you have do you think it will help you to be culturally responsive as a teacher?

Field Experience: First Lesson

I am teaching in a grade eight classroom. For my first lesson I taught the students how to make their writing more descriptive. The students are already working on a historical fiction writing project, so I taught them about the five senses and how to incorporate descriptive words that appeal to the different senses into their writing. I was able to get the students to respond to parts of my lesson and they seemed interested. I also asked them to add descriptive sensory words to a boring paragraph and hand it in as an exit slip. From the paragraphs it seems like the students understood what I taught them.

The timing didn’t go quite as planned, so I will have to continue practicing time management skills. I wasn’t loud or assertive enough and I didn’t feel as if my lesson did everything I wanted it to. I was hoping I could get students to rewrite their open paragraphs using what I taught them, but because my instructions weren’t explicit enough they just continued adding on to their writing.

I would have kept better track of time so that I knew I was on point, because when you’re in front of the class it can be hard to gauge how much time has passed. I would also be louder and more explicit in my instructions. Perhaps using tangible objects instead of a slide show would bring the ideas home more too.

This week I learned that I would like to be a teacher that has a more of a collaborative relationship with my students rather than being the kingpin (or queenpin?) of the classroom. But I think that this relationship will still require me to be more assertive than I am. I also think could classroom management will be the key to keeping such a classroom environment functional.

My preferred classroom community is different than my co-op teachers (although the classroom functions amazingly because she is the boss). Do you think the kind of community you have is effected by the grade you’re teaching? Or do you think it discounts children to think that they are too immature for certain types of classroom communities?

Week One – Field Experience: Ice Breaker

The first week of my field experience was about getting to know the students. The “lesson” me and my partner and I worked on together was an ice breaker activity. We used a beach ball with four colours and questions assigned to each colour to get the students engaged and to get to know the students a little better. I think the lesson went well in that we used our time well and the students actively participated and seemed to be engaged in the activity.

The only thing that didn’t go quite as well as it could have were issues with students remembering which question corresponded with which colour. The problem was resolved right away by writing the question/colour combinations on the board.

I think the activity could be changed by writing the questions and matching colour on the board to avoid confusion and streamline the activity. I think the lesson would also have to be altered, time considerations, if the group of students were bigger and other issues with physical ability that might prevent all students from being able to participate if there were students that couldn’t catch the ball or if a student was hearing impaired we could account for them in modifications to the lesson. In our classroom there was nobody that couldn’t participate, but in other classrooms it may have to be a consideration.

I learned that I find it difficult to tell students that something that they’ve done in their work is wrong, especially when it would mean that the student has to start over. I understand that it will be in the student’s own benefit to have the issue pointed out and resolved with my help rather than letting them continue from an improper starting point. I will have to work beyond my fear of hurting someone’s feelings, but make sure that when I do I am not belittling or making the student feel like they can’t do something.

I think that when I am teaching a lesson plan of my own, on my own, I will find out more about who I am as a teacher. While in the process of working on my lesson plan I have realized that because I am used to university classes I am finding it difficult to get past the idea of lecture based teaching. I find this interesting because I do not even think that straight lecture teaching is particularly good. Is anyone else finding this?

Field Experience Goals

Setting Goals for Field Placement

Goals:

1) Make and teach engaging and motivating sets.

2) Respond and react appropriately to behavioural problems.

3) Appear and be confident while teaching my lessons.

4) Ask questions that prompt discussion.  

Steps:

Goal 1)

  • Relate the material to student interest and real life significance.
  • Provide a hook that is interest and not too long or short in length.
  • Use my own passion to bring the material to life.

Goal 2)

  • Notice when students are behaving inappropriately.
  • Respond to students complaints of others inappropriate behaviour if I have not noticed.
  • Have a regular way of dealing with issues and stick to it.
  • Be assertive, but not aggressive.

Goal 3)

  • Create a thorough and detailed step by step lesson plan.
  • Prepare back-up steps in case the original lesson plan needs to be changed.
  • Practice going through the lesson plan ahead of time.
  • Meet with my coop and discuss my lesson plan, and be ready to take suggestion that will help make my lesson plan more successful.
  • Think positively.

Goal 4)

  • Consider the outcome of the lesson plan and prepare possible questions to stimulate discussion that will help students reach the outcome.
  • Know where I would like to see the conversation go.
  • Ask open ended questions, rather than strictly yes or no questions.

 

 

Data Collection:

Goal 1) did students appear interested during the set?  ____ Yes _____ No

Did students seem motiviated and interested in participating after the set?  ____ Yes ____ No

Goal 2) did I respond when students were behaving inappropriately? ____ Yes _____ No

Was I consistent from student to student? ____ Yes _____ No

What did I say? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Goal 3) did I appear to be confident while I was instructing the students? ____ Yes ____ No

Comments: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Goal 4) did I ask a variety of open-ended questions? ____ Yes ____ No

Did students engage in conversation from my questions? ____ Yes ____ No

Mark every time I ask an open ended question that students respond to:

 

 

 

An observer could make judgements about how the students appear and how I appear while the lesson is taking place. They could make notes of times when my teaching methods seem to get students to pay attention and participate in class discussion. An observer would know I was meeting my goals by seeing if my teaching, my responses to students, and my lesson plans are effect or not.