For my second observation, I had my peer observe my second attempt at the subject-verb agreement lesson. I went into the PM class lesson with my CT and professors tips and suggestions still fresh in my mind. I penned in a few edits and adjustments to my lesson plan and felt much more confident this round.
After lunch the students are usually running on high energy and want to discuss what happened during specials and lunch. This has been a challenge for me to bring them back and settled and ready to learn. My peer noticed this too. I circulate and say let’s wrap up our conversations and begin our dictation. I try to remember how much time students spend not talking throughout the day and be flexible during transitional periods. As I’m preparing for my full-time internship in the Fall I started thinking about a better way to bring the students in the classroom and back to their seats and ready to learn run more efficiently. I want to try and have students walk in and have a procedure such as have a sip of water, pick up your dictation journal and return to your seat. I think having a talking distraction such as taking a sip of water will help students separate from the conversations that take over. Obviously, no one would be forced to drink but something along those lines. Another idea would be to encourage a quick transition back to their desk by letting them pick the sentences to correct or maybe earn a 3 minute game of Simon Says or 3 minutes of doing Kids Zoomba to help combat extra energy and have students learn the benefits of working towards a goal.
Speaking of goals, I have been working on a system of making sure all students are included in lesson talk and discussion. IT To achieve this goal it is imperative that I establish and specify during lesson procedures. It can be challenging to assure every student has the opportunity to participate so by establishing interaction routines teachers are more likely to master the task (Weinstein & Romano, 2015, p. 95). By establishing early on procedures students are less likely to feel they are being “picked” on if you call on them and the teacher can establish a safe environment in which getting the wrong answer isn’t embarrassing. My peer noticed improvement in my interaction skills. It is usually easier for me to call on those students who are explicitly engaged in the lesson but its often the students who are disconnected that have misconceptions or have reached their frustration levels. What kind of educator does taking the easy side of street make me? Not one that I would want teaching our future generations of students. My peer gave me some suggestions to try and I look forward to applying them. *This just reminded me, I would hate to lose all of these tips. I need to start an “idea/suggestion” journal and add tabs such as behavior management, Rules/Procedures, etc.*
Another area of improvement was that the more educated I am on a subject matter, the more confident and informed I will be for the students. During the lesson, a misconception was addressed and I wasn’t able to articulate a rationale behind the irregularity so I told the students let’s use Google and see if we can find out. While this was a good way to model what to do when you’re unsure of something it also took a few minutes out of the lesson. Basically, that is a great thing to do when time or content permits but it’s not always the best use of time. The only way to combat this is plan a few weeks ahead and then become an expert in the field by research, asking colleagues and consulting other resources such as team leads and coaches.
All in all, I’m feeling much more in the groove because while nothing has been flawless (not even close to flawless) I now have a direction and goal I’m seeking. I must put it into action and track my findings in order to assure I’m growing into the teacher I desire to be.
Until next time,