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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Final Reflection of Other Classmates Lessons

I thought all of my peers did an excellent job during their lessons. Caroline was really patient with us and walked us through a simple activity. Gabby did a great job at maintaining our behavior and showed great confidence while teaching us. I enjoyed the lesson where we cut up strips and tried to find a cause and effect for them because I think it was an activity that could be utilized in different ways for different lessons and it was something that could be tweaked to use on the Smart Board as well.

What I found consistent in a couple of lessons though, was that many students didn't want to go through the actual motions of disciplining a student even though there were moments when "a child" obviously needed to be reprimanded a little more heavily than just having their name written on the board. A great piece of advice of Professor Luongo's was that as teachers, when we make the rules and their consequences clear to the students, we should follow through with them when the rules are broken. Students, especially students who misbehave, need consistency and a reason NOT to misbehave.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lesson Self-Assessment

I prepared for my lesson by cutting out pictures that I would need and gluing them to construction paper so that they wouldn't be so plain. Also, I read the story beforehand, just to see what it would be like and I felt like the book would be too long for a class of first graders to listen through.

The first objective of the lesson was for the students to gain a little background on different types of birds because many young children, especially children from the city, don't get too much interaction with different types of birds. Next, they had to listen to the story, create their own ducklings (which were so cute), and finally for them to make their own mini-stories to go with their ducklings. The corresponding assessment measures were my personal observations during our class discussion about birds, during the set, (where each student had to come up with a bird feature), and during the story, when I asked them for their predictions and about how they felt. I was also observing while I walked around the room during their individual time working on their ducklings. Additionally, I created an informal rubric to assess their stories and their ducklings.

I tried to go through with my lesson plan exactly as I wrote it, but I know there were a few things I missed in my anxiousness, such as the discussion about fairy tales - which was vital for the unit. The most important thing I tried to teach them was about bullying. I asked them how they felt and their reactions to the poor duckling getting tossed and beaten and they seemed to understand that what was going on was not nice.

Overall, I think the lesson went pretty well. I was expecting all of my peers to act out but they were relatively well-behaved as compared to other days where children were getting out of their seats, crying, throwing papers, etc. I got through most of the material and the class seemed to like making their own ducklings.

I learned that even grown students get impatient when sitting down to listen to a long story.

Looking back, instead of reading the story myself, I would have used the online version, which I later found on Starfall, because the words were condensed and it was simpler to read and understand. I could also have made this lesson even more effective by going more in depth with anti-bullying and maybe tying the set a little closer to the lesson.

I planned to use the SmartBoard, which worked very well for the set at the beginning of the lesson, but again, I could have used it to read the story with Starfall. I think every time we use the SmartBoard it's a good experience because it gets us involved and it gets us to move around, even if it's only to write one word down. The students seemed to enjoy the use of the SmartBoard as they do in every class. I can bet most of us didn't have the privilege of using the Smart Board in our classrooms when we were in grade school, so we enjoy using it for the simplest things. In future lessons the daily do now can always incorporate the use of the Smart Board. Also, Starfall is great for activities throughout the day and movies when appropriate.

Thanks so much to all my fellow students for behaving :)