Field Experience Week 7: First Math Lesson

This week I taught grade 8 math, specifically it was a lesson on isometric drawings. It was the first chapter of the topic and some of the students were excited as soon as they seen the linking cubes they would be using to help them in the lesson. I first explained what the lesson would be on, used terms and guidelines that they would have to use to draw the nets of 3D images. I used the overhead projector to go through examples that paralleled the practice assignment they had. I let a few students use the projection to try out what we were learning. There was only one student that need clarifying at the end of the lesson, so I think that it went well. I had the students get their own linking cubes to assist them with their assignment. Something that went particularly well was how engaged they were with the lesson as a result of their excitement to use the linking blocks. Some students expressed how ‘fun’ they found the work and so I would like to see ways that other math topics could be made more interesting/engaging with other materials to bring the ideas to life. Math can be fun!

As I said earlier, there was one boy that needed further clarification, which I did by handing him a block of the image and as a class tried to go over the turning of the object to see the different view points and mark down their lengths and dimensions. Additionally, I think I could have had a way for students to participate during the lesson by using the white board, maybe that would have helped with students who need to learn through their own experiences.

As my coop teacher suggested after, I think it would be better to have students that got the lesson and are ready to work on the assignment to get to work while I went over clarifying the material with a smaller group of students that needed extra help. I think he got what I said and everyone seemed to be on the right track as I walked around. I think letting students get to work as soon as they’re ready would help keep the excitement up and motivate them to get the assignment done.

Something I learned about myself is that I can be somewhat innovative (or maybe it’s something I’ve learned through my experience) and have been able to think on my feet to bring the message home for the students. I think I’m gaining a sense of when thoughts are dropping off and so I was able to change my plan from going over the practice questions myself for the class to watch, I was able to ask students to come up and give it a try. I don’t think there was anything wrong with handing the reigns over since I had already covered a bunch of different types of lessons and I think it was helpful. Perhaps I could build these innovations into my lesson.

 

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Revising Lesson Plan #1

I have chosen to revise my first lesson to incorporate what we have learned in class and improve the lesson. You can check out my initial plan, target, reflection, as well as the progress I have made in using that information to improve and revise my lesson and my teaching by clicking the links provided.

Here is a link to the first lesson plan (without revisions): ELA 8: Descriptive Writing

Here is a link to the target (with observer comments) that accompanied it: Target 1

Here is a link to my reflection about how the lesson went: Week 2 Blog reflection

Here is a link to the revised lesson plan: ELA 8: Descriptive Writing (Revised)

For further information on my PDP, here is a link to the target for the following week: Target 2

Reflecting on the Revising Process

I chose to revise my first lesson because I felt that the lessons and experience I have learned from, since teaching the English Language Arts lesson in my first week of teaching, would allow me to improve the lesson to be more effective than it had been. Part of what could have gone better was my teaching techniques which I have since worked to improve and such progress can be noted in comments made in my second target (link above). However, improvements to the lesson plan would also increase the effectiveness to the lesson. I added more adaptive dimension, considered differentiate more deeply, and incorporated Treaty Education. I felt that the lesson reached high levels in Blooms Taxonomy in that they were able to use what I had taught them to create sentences and stories that were descriptive and used different sensory language to create vividness and imagery. The lesson asked students to not just memorize, but create something new from what they had learned in the lesson.

Additionally, while I did provided an adaptive dimension and differentiation I felt that I could do even more. In addition to listing prerequisite knowledge I considered what I might do for students that don’t have that level of knowledge. I decided that the information could be given directly so that students could work on writing first. I stated that because the focus of the lesson was not on spelling or grammar, but using sensory words to create vividness in a story that’s what I would be evaluating on. Students would not be meeting the outcome by using descriptive words. Moreover, I added other ways for students to provide me with material to evaluate whether or not they met the outcome. Students will be allowed to orally and pictorially provide the needed information. I added these to reflect the ideas we have worked on in class, such as working with diverse students and student needs/abilities. Since not all students begin with the same level of knowledge or show their learning in the same way I wanted to provide extra ways through the lesson plan for students to be successful.

I also added treaty education, which I had previously overlooked. The class was working on historical fiction stories and adding descriptive language to their stories, so the treaty education outcome I included fit the lesson well. It allowed treaty education to seamlessly fit into the lesson. In addition to showcasing descriptive words students could relate it to their own assignment and also to a bigger idea of the history of First Nations people in Canada. I think it is important to provide examples from often othered voices and stories and I know it is part of my job to include treaty education in my lessons. While it wasn’t a stretch to include a First Nations narrative at the beginning of the lesson and therefore provide an aspect of treaty education, I think it is deeply rewarding to do so.

My hope for the revisions I have made to the lesson plan is to be able to teach the lesson again, but see how it is more effective with the changes. The feedback provided by my cooperating teacher and others has helped me find ways to add adaptive dimension and treaty education to the lesson. My own experience has given me a better idea of what might make the information reach the students better and how I can provide an education that can work for all students. I think that actively editing my lesson and considering how changes might make the lesson work better has helped me consider how I might do this somewhat pre-emptively with other lesson I am planning. I look forward to making similar revisions to other lesson I have taught, so that I can build up a portfolio that not only reflects me as an educator, but also provides ideas for future use.

Field Experience Week 6: Teaching Grade 3/4

This week my partner and I team taught once again, but this time we were in a different classroom. We had observed the grade 3/4 class the week before and this week we taught a bell work lesson. It was a thirty minute lesson that acted as part of a morning routine to get some lesson time in for reading, writing, and editing as well as get the students to prepare for the rest of their day. We wrote a small paragraph on the board with a bunch of mistakes that the students were to write down in their booklet and correct. Our target was classroom management since we were in a new class and they just got a new teacher at the start of the week so it would give us a chance to actively work on classroom management. The lesson actually went very well and specifically the target was successful. The students were well behaved, they did their work and continued to work on something else quietly while they waited for others to finish. I got to step in a couple times to exercise classroom management, but the students received my instructions well and altered their behaviour to be on task again.

Something that didn’t go as planned was how quickly the students were able to identify the mistakes, which we corrected as a class. The students completed the lesson early and asked why we didn’t have more. I thought we had put enough mistakes that ranged in difficulty. However, since the students found the lesson not quite challenging enough I think if I were to teach it again I would increase the length of the assignment and adjust the difficulty of errors to be more challenging for the students.

Something I learned about myself as a teacher happened when we observed and helped out in the grade one classroom during their math lesson. The classroom was different than others I’ve observed. Such that it had a garden and had many areas and tools in the classroom that would help with differentiation. I particularly enjoyed the energy level of the students. Teaching and observing younger grades has helped me realize that I would also really like to have the opportunity to teach in younger years education in addition to secondary education. Has anyone else experienced these realizations in terms of ideal grades they’d like to teach?

Field Experience – Week 5: Team Teaching

This week I taught in a team teaching style with my field experience partner. We taught the students about citing sources. We opened with an analogy about using addresses to find really awesome places and therefore why it’s important that we cite sources properly (so others can find the information). We went through what information different types of resources need and then we did a project. The project was having the students arrange pieces of information on separate slips of paper in order. The students really liked the game and so they did it for a while, getting a great deal of practice. Lastly, the students were shown a web site (easybib) that they can input the information for their source and turn out a proper citation. The students used what they learned to edit their bibliographies. I think the lesson went well in that the students had fun and got really good at putting the information together.

It was the first time my partner and I team taught and so something that maybe didn’t go quite as planned was going through our slides as smoothly as we would have liked. We still have to improve on getting a sense of what the other is doing and using cues and detailed lesson plans to go through the lesson smoothly. If we changed something about the lesson I think we might have more interaction during the showing of the easybib website, so that it was more captivating for the students.

This week I learned that I really feed off of the students energy. I think that their energy is best focused and maintained during activities that are both educational, but also are something they find fun. Since I am realizing that I gain from their energy, I am feeling the need to find ways of getting them more involved and interested in the lesson through interesting exercises that I never considered before.

 

Field Experience #4

This week I taught an introductory lesson on the Power and Authority unity in grade 8 social studies. I introduced the structure of Canadian government, the three levels of government and also a bit of information on the governance of First Nations peoples in Canada. This week my time management was spot on, so I feel that I am gaining a more innate sense of how long to take on different parts of the lesson and my general pacing. Additionally, I had the students play a game as a class where we identified what responsibilities went with the different levels of government. They enjoyed the game so much and asked if we could play it again, which I felt was great. Whenever learning can be fun I am happy and I’m glad the student were too.

Something that didn’t go as I planned it was probably the relaying of information and expectations for note taking. My slideshow had jot note information on it and I expanded on the information verbally, as my cooperating teacher recommended since it is a way for students to listen to what I’m teaching and learn how to take notes from oral information. I walked around the classroom, but I’m not sure all students took down full information or if they copied only the jot notes. Moreover, I worry that I wasn’t able to provide deep information related to the governance of First Nations people. I acknowledge my lack of education on the subject, but I do not use it as an excuse. I tried to get as much information for myself as I could, so that I could provide educational material that I had lacked in my personal education. I feel as though my lesson would be made more powerful and information rich if I had better resources. If I could change something about my lesson it would be to have stronger resources to provide better understanding on the subject.

How do you find yourself increasing your knowledge on subjects out of your area? How are you incorporating Treaty Education into your lessons? If you have resources that you have found to be helpful feel free to share them 🙂 Also, feel free to ask me any questions about my reflection that you might find helpful.