I read chapter 6 of Kumiko and the Dragon, then the students did a listening comprehension – sharon divided them into groups of six, and each child in the group was given one of six plastic vegetable counters. I read the question out, and the groups had a few minutes to confer with each other and look in the text for the answers. Then I chose one vegetable, and whoever had that vegetable in each group stood up and gave the answer for the group. Reflection – This activity, combined with the reading, took more than 40 minutes. I waited until all the groups were ready before asking each group representative for their answer. What I should have done was taken the answers as each group was ready, then moved on quickly to the next question. I need to be more mindful of the time I am taking, and also be focused on which students are losing interest and attention in the task at hand. Note: This was unprepared. I offered to do the reading this morning and Sharon asked if I would like to do the comprehension section as well, so I said yes. Considering that it was unprepared AND both EPT and MPO combined I am happy with how I handled it.
I started to put together a lesson plan this morning but didn’t get it finished, so wrote it up quickly at lunch time. I knew I wanted to do odd and even numbers, and some more work on patterns.
We started out on the carpet in a circle, and did counting activities – first by ones, then twos, then 5s, starting on random numbers. The counting by 2s was too easy for some, like TZ, and they misbehaved and very quite disruptive, but when it switched to 5s they found it much harder. Some students were calling out the answers to those who didn’t know the next number, and I tried to stop this by asking them to support each other with strategies not the answers. I prompted students with count-on strategies with they got stuck.
Reflection – I stood in the centre of the circle and went around standing in front of each student for their turn, but this meant my back was turned to the other students, who would then be disruptive. Next time I will stay in the circle facing the middle, and make eye contact with each student, which will enable me to watch the rest of the group. I also need to follow through with discipline, and make use of the good choices wall. Everybody starts the day on “ready to learn” and moves up or down depending on their behaviour. The further down you go the consequences are time out, reflection room, a Major (report), and being sent to the office. There are rewards for making it up to “Superstar”:
I used a hundreds chart to teach odds and evens, and displayed it on the white board for all the students to see. I explained the difference between odds and evens, then asked the students to find numbers based on clues I gave ie “ I am thinking of an even number between 79 and 82” etc. I am going to write this one up as one of my lesson plans as one that didn’t really work – the use of excel actually were more of a hindrance than a help, I don’t think it particularly enhanced the learning…I am teaching number patterns, would love some ICT ideas help…
My mentor always introduces a concept using the definition, which she gets from this book, and I think I will get a copy for myself:
I actually did get the history lesson plan done, and my control of the class was much better. Sharon reminded me of the 4:1 ratio, with 4 praises to every 1 criticism, and I remembered this during the lesson, and it really made a difference to the control of the room. As for the lesson itself, there was too much from me and not enough chance for them to practice what I wanted them to learn.
I am very happy with my mentor, she is very supportive and helpful, and wants me to succeed. I have been really struggling with reading and understanding the C2C unit and sample lesson plans, and was heading the wrong direction with the history unit she had given me to teach. But today she went through it all with me again, and I finally got the penny to drop. It is hard not having access to the C2C website and resources, as that would have helped a lot. But I have come to the conclusion that we do not get enough good practical experience in this degree, and there should be more of an emphasis/insistence on preservice teachers at least doing volunteer work in a classroom. This will be something that I will be actively seeking out after this prac.
Day two done.