Monday, November 24, 2008

Lab D

Lab D was an interesting experience. For this lab we had to use technology and so I decided to continue with my square dancing unit. What I wanted from students was to learn and become proficient with the square dancing skills that we had previously taught them. I planned to split the class up into two groups. One group I had planned to be the group who had past experience with dance so they would get the more challenging skills. This was done to incorporate intra-task variation into the lesson. Each group got three skills. What I wanted them to do was, as a group, video tape themselves performing the skills. I did this because by having them say the cues then perform the cues it is learning through the physical and helping them to learn the skills. This lesson concentrated more on the affective and cognitive domains. While the students are still being active by performing the skills they are working on the cognitive domain but having remember the cues and writing them down in the written assessment. They are focusing on the affective domain by working together as a group to get the task done. As you can see in my time coding form there was a lot of instruction that had to be done fore this activity and less activity done in this lesson them previous lesson.
That was the plan of my lesson but of course, nothing ever goes according to plan. I had two surprises during my lesson. In previous Lab D lessons when other classmates where teaching, the students acted out with behavioral problems. When planning my lesson I was figuring out what would happen if that happened to me, what would I do?
Well there were no behavioral problems for me. Adam was my ESL student and Michelle was a student with a visual disability. These were curveballs that really threw me. With Adam’s situation I was really stumped. I made sure he had a partner to show him what to do but I knew that wasn’t enough. If this was a situation where I knew I was going to have him in my class I would be prepared but this was right on the spot. When it was time for the written assessment I went over to him and made him show me and draw out what he did. In Michelle’s case the only thing I could think of on the spot was what I did when I was a monitor or a student who was blind in my school. I was told to let the student hold my elbow and lead him to where he had to go and tell him if he had to take a step or anything else. This activity was perfect because by saying the cues Michelle would know what to do whether it was to clap or skip and follow in the direction that Brandy took her.
Those 15 minutes in which I had to teach went by very fast. I was a little disappointed with my performance. I felt that it could have gone a little smoother and I feel like I missed a couple of points I wanted to touch on. If you read my transcript you can see that some problems with it is that I talked way too fast at some parts, almost to the point where I couldn’t even understand what I was saying myself. My feedback however was better. Because I didn’t have to talk throughout the whole lesson I was able to go over to the individual students and give them positive feedback. This is just another lesson that will help me in becoming a Rockstar teacher in the future.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day Two of Lab C


Day Two was a good day. Going into the lesson I was very confident and felt that Jess and I prepared ourselves to kill the lesson. We had amazing visual aids that guided not only ourselves, but also the students throughout the lesson. I felt like this was an easier lesson to teach because it was more fun and more active. This time we were teaching the students an actual dance and it was really easy to get into. One Day 1 I had to make up the time that I had left over and Day 2 I was going over time. I found that I was way more relaxed when teaching and that you can get lost in it when you are enjoying what you are doing. A problem with my lesson is feedback. I found that I was talking throughout the whole lesson, whether it was to instruct the students or by counting out loud to the dance. I really need to work on giving feedback. When doing an activity like dance it would be helpful to have another teacher so that one can focus on the content while the other goes around giving feedback and help to the students.
Okay, so…. Wow! I didn’t know how annoying that could be. When looking at my transcript you can see that I say that a lot. Another thing that I have to fix is saying guys; I should say guys and girls, or younger students, boys and girls, older students, men and women. Another thing that I say a lot is “gonna” and “wanna”. I’m so used to talking the way I do that when I’m teaching I have to try to fix how I sound and make it sound more professional.
Overall I felt it was a successful lesson. As you can see in my time coding form, I had a lot of activity time which is a good thing. I tried to take the mistakes I made in the second lesson and fix them for this lesson and I feel a was successful.

Day One of Lab C

Day One of teaching Lab C was very nerve wracking; this was the first big block of time where I had to teach by myself, and seven minutes felt way longer then you could ever imagine. My lovely partner was Ms. Jessica Laing and she was a delight to work with. The lesson we chose to teach was square dancing. We figured this would be a fun activity because it steps away from the idea that the only way you could be active is by playing a game or a sport.
We had planned that I was going to teach the first 7 minutes of the lesson. My job was to tell the students about the background information of square dancing and teach them a couple of basic square dancing skills. Well, that lasted less then 5 minutes because after Jess taught we still had more time, so we continued with our lesson. At this point I was flustered and all over the place but I tried to compose myself and go on with the lesson. Because Jess and I had all of our 20 tasks already set it was easy to continue with the lesson. This experience showed me that I have to slow down when I’m teaching. When I talk I have to slow down, but also the content has to be slower. I rushed the background information and the steps. When teaching I have to remember to slow down and make sure everyone understand what is going on and for my lesson I should have spent more time teaching the skills. This lesson also showed me that I have to be over prepared with what I’m teaching so that I will never run out of things to do when teaching.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ye Ol' Scavenger Hunt


The presentation Freddy and DJ made was interesting. I feel like it was supposed to be a “fun” lesson but there were a lot of elements that were just okay and I feel it could have been better.
To start off, I feel like Freddy had a lot of good energy and enthusiasm. By him dressing up, it made the feeling of the room lighter and he stole the show when it came to the introduction. One thing that I have to rag on is their signs. They were hard to read. I could see them from 30 feet, it was big, but I couldn’t read the words because of the font style. In class that is one of the things we got critiqued and so I feel like that was important to show us how it should be.
I like the idea of a scavenger hunt, I love doing them. I’ve don’t them at home with family and friends and they were a ball. Another thing that I did not like was the idea of sending the clues via cell phone. I feel like that was complicated and some groups were one three clues while other were on 5. I think what Freddy and DJ could have done was give us the list of clues and when we find them we take a picture and send it in. I feel like this was more of an activity than it was a lesson. I would do this with my class as a reward for something that they did. The reason why I say it is an activity as opposed to lesson because there was no demonstration, no pinpointing and no feedback given. This was just an activity of smarts and who can get to the clues faster.
Another thing I would change about this activity was the surrounding. I would never let my students run around the school while class is going on. I would do this activity in a gym or in an enclosed area outside were I would still be able to supervise all of the students while they were doing the task.
Another thing that is tricky in a school system is the cell phone aspect. I know that in my high school cell phones weren’t allowed. If a teacher saw it, they took it an; at least till the end of the say. In schools like mine or even a school where cell phones can be had but not used, using them in a P.E. class is asking for trouble. Its saying students cant use their cell phones in school but they can us them in class? It’s a contradiction. Ask the yearbook staff, or the photography teacher, if you can borrow a couple of cameras. Expecting the students to use their cell phones is unacceptable and asking the students to bring in a camera from home is also not a good idea; they can be stolen, broken, or even forgotten at home and then what do you do? The best thing to do is be prepared for you students.
As activity goes I feel like I was active when I was looking and running to the clues. On the other hand, there was an equal amount of time where we were standing around waiting to receive the clues. My step count on my pedometer was 1738 but that was the steps from that class and the class I had before.
Overall I thought the lesson had potential to be very good but there were some problems. I know tat DJ and Freddy tried to make it fun and different but I feel like we would have learned a lot more about teaching if they did a basketball unit or something like that were we could see how a lesson should go, having a demonstration, pinpoint and feedback, which would have been more effective. I feel that if we weren’t doing a good job with our C labs they should have did a lesson that showed us how to be better.