Well I’m back, successfully completed my second field experience! This week I was able to actually get my hands in there and teach the students a math lesson; it went well! I was asked to plan for a multiplication and division lesson and I chose to focus my target on set and closure (how I gain my students’ interest and attention).
To start my lesson off we played a round of “Around the World” where they compete against each other by who can yell out a multiplication or division fact first. The students were ecstatic playing this, they absolutely loved it and Ms. Whaley was really happy with how it turned out as well. Now, once the actually teaching began things started getting challenging and I was able to notice things I needed to work on in the future. For instance, maintain classroom management, so I think that will be my professional target for next week! The kids weren’t misbehaving but the transitions between playing the game and remaining seated during my lesson was a bit interesting. My CO-OP suggested I try the “give me 5” method, where I do not being to talk until all eyes are on me.
So for this reflection I am going to focus on what I thought my strengths were and what some areas of improvement would be. Beginning with strengths, I found working with the students to be a breeze and I was able to communicate well with them and be engaged in the activities alongside with them. Interacting with the students and having them volunteer and participate in my lesson worked out great too. It is such a huge encouragement to continue when you can tell by the look on your students’ face that they enjoy being there!
One struggle I had during my lesson was being able to re-explain and re-evaluate what I was writing on the board so that it was clear to each student. There were also students who have hardly learned their numbers to 10 yet, and a few students who are able to do Grade 6 math. I went into the lesson unaware of these multiple abilities and assumed each student was at the same place and able to complete one level of math; I was very wrong. I guess I learned my lesson at that point though too which is helpful.
Another skill I need to improve on is being able to KEEP my students’ attention. A few times throughout my lesson I noticed students playing with objects in their desk, distracting themselves and neighbors and one student was doodling. I want to be able to keep my lessons interesting from beginning to end to keep my students intrigued. Another suggestion Ms. Whaley made for me to try during my lessons is not to continue calling on the students who repeatedly raise their hand but to try calling on students who rarely speak up.
I know I mentioned more areas of improvement than strengths that I already have, but that doesn’t discourage me as this was my first time attempting to teach a lesson in a classroom! I was very happy with how I did and my CO-OP said she thought things went great but just wanted to provide me with a few suggestions that I could take or leave. I really appreciate feedback and help from my CO-OP so that I am not going into this experience alone or helpless! Next week I get to try teaching Phys. Ed, so I am going to be challenged with classroom (gymnasium) management and hopefully things continue to improve!