Story Time- Week 5

After a few days off from University classes which included a break from our placement, I was excited to get back to my students.  It feels a bit strange to say “my students” because technically I guess they really aren’t. However, it is equally as strange to just say “the students” because to me that implies there is no connection and that is not true.  I missed being at the school on our days off and as our time with them is quickly coming to a close, I am going to miss them a lot.

The connections with the students are becoming deeper, more than me being just a novelty in the classroom.  Students are beginning to share more about their personal lives with us(my co pre- intern and I). One student, who is very shy, is finding her voice around us.  She sought me out one day to tell me about a book she was reading and this past week even put her hand up to answer a question. That is a good feeling. I find they engage in classroom topics with us at a different level too.  Maybe that is because we are more confident now in teaching our lessons and are finding our groove in engaging the students. Which brings me to the lesson I taught this week.

This lesson was a Social Studies lesson, my favourite subject.  It was a lesson that was new to me in all aspects. It was a lesson that outcome and indicator were from the regular curriculum requirements as well as Treaty Education requirements.  I have never been party of Treaty Ed. in the classroom so to teach it was a bit intimidating at first. I also used a KWL(what do we know, want to know and want to learn) chart, something that was new to me as well.  The lesson was an introduction to the unit my cooperating teacher is starting. The unit is on the importance of the buffalo to First Nations communities.

My job was to introduce the buffalo to the students.  We started with a picture of the buffalo on the smart board and filled in the K(what do we know) portion of our chart.  I, as well as their teacher, was surprised at how much they knew about the buffalo and the importance to First Nations people.  After we finished the K portion we moved on to the W (what do we want to know) and again they had some great answers. There were a couple of times were I had to decipher a bit what the student was getting at but we got to the point.  We then moved on to the best part of the lesson reading a story. I love reading stories to kids. We read Honouring the Buffalo, which is a Cree legend.  Most of the students were very interested and engaged in the story and we had an amazing discussion of the book.  The discussion was so good we had to rush to finish our L(what we learned) on our KWL chart. The contributions were great and there were so many hands up.  So much fun. I can’t wait until next week, because I am sure they are going to tell me all the new things they have discovered about the buffalo while I am not there.

 

A Classroom Lesson- week 4

Today was my fourth week in my pre-internship.  I got to teach a lesson in the classroom today after teaching in the gym and outside my previous 2 weeks. My lesson was on writing a persuasive letter.  The lesson went well for a subject than can be kind of dry to grade 4’s and even this learning teacher.

I chose to do a lesson on writing a persuasive letter because I thought it might be fun and it fits into the curriculum requirements as well.  I knew going into the lesson that it would require a fair amount of sitting and listening from the students and that can be hard to do for adults never mind 9 and 10 year olds.  The students did really well and I tried to get them involved in the “lecture”(for lack of better word) part of the lesson. I had them tell me what they remembered from a previous lesson that was taught on letter writing. We brainstormed together who we could write a persuasive letter to and what we could persuade someone to do.  I also played a short youtube video to explain some of what we were doing. I introduced an organizer for their thoughts and they got to work. The lesson went really well I felt. But….

 

After thinking about the lesson, I discovered I like teaching the fun stuff, like outdoor math games and basketball skills in the gym much more than writing.  I was reflecting on that lesson it is something that has to be taught, and I tried to make it interesting by allowing the students to choose who they would write to and what they were going to try to persuade that person to do. However, I was left thinking if I wasn’t overly excited by teaching the whole lesson, what did the kids feel like.  I was also left wondering how do I make the “lecture” part of the lesson more interesting and engaging. I thought the activity was good. Students need explicit instruction, but does it have to be so dry? I would love some suggestions how to make the lecture part of teaching more interesting. Until next time.