Sunday, May 20, 2007

Week 2: Reflection

Here are some of the problems / positive / points I need to work one:

* Misjudged timing for different activities.
In my first lesson the students went through the activities faster than I originally thought. I did however get them to begin working on their homework for the last 5 minutes of the lesson. I think I underestimated their ability and the moved through the material rather fast. (yr.11 Modern History).
* Questioning
I think that I need to work on my questioning technique.

* I have been successful at making the material and content interesting (Productive Pedagogies: Connectedness). I really believe one of the keys to teaching is to make the material and topic relevant.
* I have learnt most of the students names and have used them successfully. I think this is key to connecting with students. It also works a charm when dealing with behaviour management issues.
* Be organised
I have written unit plans for: yr.11 Modern History, Yr. 10 Modern History and Yr. 9 SOSE (studies of society and environment).
I have written lesson plans at least 4 days before they need to be taught.
I think the key is to stay on top of things and not to fall behind.
* I have created good relationships with students
* This is a really small thing but I think my blackboard writing is rather good -- I thought it would be worse.

Need to work on:
* class questioning/discussion
I think that I am a little scared of the unknown.
* I need to give students time barriers for activities.

What I have learnt:
* If students do not completely understand something teach it in a different manner or more intensely.
Last week I was teaching about the government decision making process and the students did not completely understand what lobby groups do. So I reshuffled my unit plan and taught a double lesson on the role of lobby groups. I explained their role and then had the students work in groups of 3-4 to design brochures as if they were a lobby group. I had half the class look at anti-uranium mining and other half pro-uranium mining (Yr.9 SOSE). It worked really well and the students gained an understanding of how lobby groups work and use persuasive language. I think the students also really liked designing their brochures too : )

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Week 1: Reflection

Here are a couple of the major points I have learnt thus far:

** Never overestimate the power of positive reinforcement
-- I need to work on this. Often I am so focused on the flow of the lesson and what I need to do next that I forget to praise students.

** Establish good behaviour management strategies with each class.
-- This strategy is different depending on the students and year level.

** With younger students (yr8 &yr9) you really need to be explicit.
-- For example, when asking students to analyse a picture, tell them to "go for detail. Try to make your list as long as possible. Write like a shopping list - dot points not full sentences." or "You can talk to the person sitting next to you on two conditions (1) that you are discussing the work (2) that you are not disrupting other students."

** When asking students questions as a group, restate what the student has said, so that the whole class understands what the correct answer is.
-- This is another thing I need to work on -- interaction with students during classroom discussion.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Recap of the first 3 days of prac ...

This first week is all observation and allows me time to prepare unit and lesson plans:

Yr.11 Modern History (Hitler and Totalitarianism)

Yr.10 Modern History (Cuba Missile Crisis)

Yr.9 SOSE (Government decision making process)

Next Tuesday, I will have a brief unit plan for all classes, lesson plans for that week and the following weeks lessons.

With the yr.9 class I need to establish strong behaviour management strategies!!!

I think I am handling things ok. The first two days were very overwhelming! Not to mention that is it "that time of the month" and I'm a little over-emotional : (

The kids at the school are very nice and friendly -- I love hearing Miss or Mrs. __!

I am very excited to be involved in helping a group of three Aboriginal yr:8 students with their English school work. They all seem to have a lot of potential and I think with my background in teaching ESL I will be of help. Having this small group of fun, talkative and excitable students this afternoon tested some of my behaviour management stratagies. Firstly, I realise how difficult it is to keep students on task on a wednesday afternoon!

I will write more when I get the chance : )