This week was a continuation of my last weeks’ lesson. I handed the students back the worksheets with my comments on them back to the students. Then I had the students write out a rough draft of their story. This style of lesson allowed students to work at their own pace, while I could walk around and help students who were having trouble focusing their ideas. This was my favorite part of my lesson as it allows for maximum interaction with the students, they can articulate their ideas about their stories to me and I can help them find a way to put that on paper. As a continuation lesson I would have liked to do more than just have a work period but they needed the full time to finish their stories. I would have liked to have students display their story in multiple ways such as through a skit, a painting, a drawing, or creating something. This would be great for multiple intelligences as students would be able to work with what they enjoy most and show me that they met the indicator in whatever way they choose.
I felt that my choice of story to read the students went well. I chose Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Smith; it is about a young girl who wants to dance at Powwow but doesn’t have a jingle dress. The kids all gathered around me on the floor as I read it and it lead to great discussion after about what makes up identity, community, and social responsibility, which led to the outcome. The students were very engaged, and all of them were answering the questions I asked.
I wish I had planned an example of a story to tell the kids as after we brainstormed story ideas a few of the students were still stuck on what to write. My co-op stepped in and gave a quick example to show the kids how to go about finding a story idea. Having some story ideas in my head would have also helped me when students were having trouble coming up there own. I would also change a couple of things when adapting this for my own classroom. I believe that the students would have benefited from having more time when filling out there story idea worksheets. I also would love to give students the option of painting an image, writing a story, making a video, or creating a skit to depict there knowledge about identity, community, and social responsibility.
This week I learnt that as a teacher you must have an idea about what you want the students’ work to look like before the lesson. Without this knowledge you can’t guide students properly and it is unfair to expect them to do something that you don’t even have in your head yet.
My lesson this week was for St. Patrick’s Day, we learnt about Limerick, the style of Irish poetry. I began with a slideshow explaining what a Limerick is and how to write one with a focus on explaining the rhyme scheme and the beat. Then we wrote one on the board together. As a class we brainstormed St. Patrick’s Day words to give them ideas for writing their own limericks. I then handed out worksheets with a shamrock and they wrote their own. The brainstorming went really well, as I didn’t have any students that seemed stuck on what to write. The only problem I found was that I wish I could have explained rhythm a bit better, as I felt some of the students were confused. I learnt that I love seeing students creativity, and that I want to encourage this in my future lessons as a teacher.
For my field placement I have been placed in a grade five classroom, which is usually when bullying begins to start and was surprised to find very little evidence of bullying since I have been there. We have many exceptional learners in our class including one student with a hearing impairment, three ESL students, and two students with learning difficulties. Since bullying usually relies on differences I was again surprised to find little of it in the classroom. My confusion was cleared up when I walked around the school and found many displays painting differences in a positive light. Through the last few weeks I have observed my co-op bring this attitude into the classroom, by having the kids learn both American Sign Language, and Urdu (the language our ESL students first language). The one time I heard a student show a bullying attitude was when he had said, “that’s gay” to another student when discussing a new movie. My co-op overheard and immediately took the student aside and said “Remember what the class discussed at the beginning of the year, that word is not an insult, so we do not use it as one” the boy apologized and went back to his desk. This is something I want to make sure I do with my class. I plan to explain the rules about bullying at the beginning of the year and make sure students know that demeaning behavior is unacceptable. I am not sure what the specific bullying issues are related to my class, but I believe in modern society entertainment is a big issue. When students hear words like “gay” being used as an insult, they won’t understand that it is demeaning.
I was nervous going into my third week of teaching, as this was the first time I was teaching without my field partner. With time management as my target I set out to teach my lesson on the influence of media through advertising. The lesson went really well and the students were really engaged, which made for good open discussion. I felt really glad to have this group of students as my first class for teaching as they are so receptive to learning. I went through the slideshow and all of the students seemed excited to see the commercials and to answer the questions I asked. Then we moved to group work, which was where I had my only problem. I had forgotten to decide how I wanted them grouped but luckily my co-op teacher was there with the idea to number them from one to four. The group work went well and I circulated the class as they searched magazines for ads and brainstormed to make sure students were staying on task. Then I asked them to go back to their desks, and write a paragraph about their favorite ad, which most of them did quite well. Overall my lesson went very well, and the project is one I want to continue to use.