Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reflection of My Classmates' Lessons

All of my classmates’ lesson plan presentations seemed to go very well also. Normally, a half an hour seems like a long time for a presentation, but for this particular one it went by so quickly. I think the girls who presented on days by themselves, as opposed to two groups going, were the only ones who got to finish their entire lesson plan. The bunny ear activity Marie and her partner did during their lesson really stuck out for me. I thought it was cute for the students to make their own bunny ears and wear them for the remainder of the lesson. Like we talked about in class, the way they used the three primary colors for the head bands could easily branch off into so many different other activities. I think that is what makes an excellent activity in the classroom. It is something that can be used in a multitude of ways.

The different teaching styles I witnessed throughout the lesson plans were also quite interesting. As we all know, teachers all teach differently and some methods work better than others. We got a firsthand account of this right in the classroom from watching each other. Some of the girls were more soft spoken and laid back. Some were the loud, disciplinarians. We all taught differently and with time and experience, hopefully we will all perfect the teaching style that works best for us.

My only critique about the lesson plans, which we did discuss in class on numerous occasions, is the language. When speaking to a classroom full of students, you can’t talk the same way you do when you’re out with your friends. I can be guilty of this as well. I’ve noticed that I sometimes slip and say things like “you guys.” The language issue is something we are all going to have to deal with at one point or another. Learning to watch our accents, slang, and the use of different phrases is a major part of being a good teacher.

Reflection of My Lesson Plan

Overall, I think the lesson plan went pretty well. I’ve done plenty of lesson plan presentations for other classes, as well as teaching in an actual classroom, but the behavior cards in this class made doing the lesson much more difficult. In order to prepare for the lesson, my partner Kathy and I created the lesson plan and activities needed for the centers. We also made a “Sticking to Great Behavior” chart to use for classroom management with regards to the behavior cards. The first objective of the lesson was for the students to be able to write a prediction about the story after listening to the beginning portion of it. This was assessed using a rubric, which is a summative type of assessment. The other objective was for students to work cooperatively in groups during their centers. We assessed this formatively by just walking around and observing the students at each center. Our lesson plan was not executed exactly how we planned it on paper. First of all our podcast was not loud either and we had to read the story aloud to the students. Also, we did not have enough time for the students to spend at least five minutes at each center. Aside from these two minor glitches, the lesson plan went pretty well. I learned from the students that, as a teacher, you have to have eyes in the back of your head. You always have to be aware and observant of everything that’s going on in your classroom—with both the students who are behaving and especially those who are misbehaving. We definitely could have improved on our podcast. Looking back, the first mistake we made with that was doing it in four different “episodes,” because the story was long. When we went to make the lesson plan, we had to figure out how to incorporate the breaks between each episode. It would have gone much more smoothly if we created only the two episodes—the beginning (where we stopped and had students make predictions) and then the rest of the story in one episode. The second mistake regarding the podcast we discovered when we went to do the lesson and the volume on it was way too low. No one could even hear the story.

Reflection of the Podcast:
As I briefly mentioned above, Kathy and I created four different podcasted “episodes.” We planned on listening to the first episode, stopping, and having the students do a writing activity predicting what will happen in the rest of the story. Then we would listen to the rest of the podcasts. We ended up not using the podcast because the volume on it was too low and the class could not hear it. Obviously, the podcast would have been more effective if we could actually hear it, but also if we only created the two podcasts. That would have made the lesson run more smoothly. Although our podcast for this lesson plan did not go so well, I think the idea of podcasting is extremely effective. It worked well in many of the other lesson plans and definitely could be used in future lesson plans. Aside from having students just listen to podcasts, they can make them themselves.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

After Thoughts

Today, we accomplished a lot. Kathy podcasted the story in a series of differnt episodes; while I went back in and wrote brief descriptions of each and posted pictures for the episodes. We broke the story up into differnt "episodes" so we can stop throughout our lesson and ask the higher level thinking questions to the students. Now, we just have to work on our lesson plan and then we'll be all finished :)

Last Day in the Computer Lab

The past couple days have been rough ones, today I'm by far feeling the worst... hopefully working with partner will take my mind off things. Today, we're finishing up our podcast and reviewing the questions I worked on last week. After that we're going to get started on our lesson plan, that we will eventually teach to the class. We have a lot to do today and it's our last class here in room 215.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

After Thoughts

I still didn't start my podcasting, but I have a 2 hour break between my next two classes, so I will be in here working on it. However, I did do my comprehension questions for the story. Since my partner is not here I did the questions by myself. The questions might be revised after I sit down with my partner and review them, depending on her input, but at least I got a head-start on them today.

Questions for Elizabeth, Larry, and Ed

Before the story...

1. Look at the cover page, which character do you think is Elizabeth? Which is Larry? and which is Ed? Why do you think that?

After the podcast...

2. What do you think Elizabeth's surprise for Larry is?

Once the students have read the entire story...

3. Why did Ed move in with Elizabeth and Larry? How would you feel if that happened to you? Where would you go?

4. The last sentence of the story says, "And there was a special place set aside in the swamp for all of its unusual creatures." Who were some of the "unusual creatures" we met within this story. What makes them unusual? Do you know of any other unusual creatures and where they live?


5. Go back to the beginning of the story, the illustration on the first page shows Elizabeth and Larry relaxing in front of their home. What do you think life was like for Elizabeth and Larry before the story began?

Podcasting Day 3

Well, our podcasting of the story is supposed to be finished by Friday... my partner and I didn't even start our story yet and she's not here today. Oh and of course, we possibly picked the longest story ever. Today, I am going to start podcasting our book. We orginally planned to read the first part to the class and listen to a podcasting of the ending, but since my partner isn't here and it's due the next class, I think I am going to start podcasting the beginning. This way if we do not get a chance to finish podcasting the rest of the story, our ideas for the lesson plan will still work using the first part of the book.