This year I got the opportunity to be placed in a grade 1/2 classroom in the heart of regina. This classroom is very different from the school I attended as a student, which means there is a lot of potential for me to learn.
Week One- Informal Introduction Activity – Co- teaching
On our very first day placement we really just wanted to focus on getting to know the kids. As I have learned throughout this degree so much of our teaching relies on our relationships with students. With that being said I wanted to get off on the right foot so I tired to make a small interaction with each of the students to allow me to introduce myself and get to know them a bit. Me and my partner co-taught a very basic introduction lesson. This allowed for us to interact with the kids and see what they are all about. Overall I feel the day went very well. I still have a lot of work to do on remembering students names, however I see the importance in knowing their names and I will learn them with time.
Week Two- Developing Problem Solving Strategies & Skills- Co- teaching
This week of placement I took a more professional approach and planned a proper lesson plan then taught it to the students. My teaching partner and myself co-planned and co-taught this lesson. This lesson was very interactive and a great first lesson to teach. The group discussion aspect of the lesson was definitely instructing because the students don’t get to work in groups often. However I think having the students work in groups was a great introduction to my future lesson because I believe group work can be a great skill for students.
This week for PDP’s I focused on implementing a written lesson plan . I decided to focus on this in the first week becasue I wanted to have feedback on my first lesson plan to be able to make my next ones better and to my cooperating teachers standards. The second PDP I worked on was observing students while teaching. This lesson is very interactive and descussion based so that made it easy to observe the students while teaching. In conclusion I feel that this week in my placement I learned a lot about creating a lesson that I’m going to teach.
Week Three-Identifying Beginning, Middle, End and Setting- Co-teaching
In week three of placement we got the opportunity to teach an English Language Arts lesson on beginning, middle, end and setting of a story. This lesson allowed the students to practice comprehension skills then make visual representations. This lesson also included an adaptive dimension for students with lacking literacy abilities. This was my first time teaching a lesson with adaptive work however overall I would say it went very well. We taught the lesson to the entire class then explained the activity. Then I pulled aside the three students I was providing the adoption to while the other kids got working. This allowed me time to example to those three students what they needed to do without taking time away from all the kids. This was my last week of co-teaching next week I will teach my first lesson by myself.
This week I focused on learning to plan by making a detailed lesson plan and rehearsing interactions with students. I choose to do this PDP this week because it allowed me to reevaluate my lesson plan making skills and ensure I was making high quality lessons. I decided to focus on interacting with students in this lesson because it is easiest in a smaller group setting or with more educators so being how this was my last co-taught lesson I thought it would be a good one. For this PDP I just focused unobserving and making direct meaningful comments. It actually really well and it allowed me to become more familiar with the students and continue building relationships.
Week Four- Exploring Pumpkin Characteristics and Life Cycles- Independent Teaching
In week four of my pre-inernship I had my first opportunity to teach solo. I was pretty nervous to teach solo my first time but one I started my lesson and the class discussions I felt a lot more confident. Overall I would say the lesson went very smooth. We started off with a short formal lesson and a short class discussion then the students had the chance to do a pumpkin investigation. I really liked this activity because it didn’t directly relate to Halloween but it was still fall themed.
For this weeks PDP I focused on two goals from the section learning to plan. The first PDP was becoming familiar with the curriculum. This aspect of my learning was done before I got to the classroom. I did this activity by picking a theme and then searching the curriculum to find outcomes and indicators that could relate. This allowed me to make myself familiar with the curriculum. The second PDP focused on considering the actions of myself and my students. This was done both in the planning stage and in the classroom stage. In the planning stage I focused on creating a lesson that considered my actions as a teacher and the students reactions or responses as learners. I did this by creating time for discussion and allowing students a lot time for their actions and or reactions/ responses. In the classroom I focused on this goal by asking questions to students and giving proper wait time to ensure they could answer them. Giving wait time is defiantly trickier then I thought it would be but it really allowed me to see how important wait time is. Giving what time got the students more involved and motivated to learn so going forward wait Tim is something I will continue to work towards.
Week Five- Little Red Riding Hood Story Investigation- Independent Teaching
In week five of my placement I took a new approach and started by teaching the first lesson in a group of connected lessons. This was something I really wanted to try before going back in March where I will be teaching a unit. When first brainstorming for the lessons I felt a bit overwhelmed. However I found it easiest to start with three activities then create the lessons all at once. By creating them all at once it made it easy to intertwine and connect the lessons to each other. This first lesson focused on examining then visually recreating the settings. The students where very excited about this lesson and super engaged so that made it very fun for me as the teacher.
This week I decided to focus on organizing a complex lesson plan. I decided this would be a good PDP for this lesson because this lesson was very complex to organize with all the different sections. I did this in my lesson by giving the students a clear outline of all the lessons and then broke it down to each lesson or day of teaching. The second PDP I focused on was having clarity of direction. I decided to do this PDP because in some of my past lessons I feel like this is an area where I lack. In the past I have given good directions but the directions are to multi step for the students. So in this weeks lesson I just focused on having single step very simple directions. I found this worked well and the students they where on task and listening well to the directions I had given.
In week 6 of my placement I wasn’t able to make it to the school due to weather. Instead I spent my time at home working on my two upcoming lessons for my last two days of placement.
Week Seven- Little Red Riding Hood Story Investigation- Independent Teaching
The energy in week seven of my internship was astonishing. I missed week six so the students where very excited to have me and my teaching partner back. My week seven lesson focused on charter, specifically Little Red Riding hood. I brought a bunch of supplies to have the kids physically create Little Red. As soon as I pulled out the materials the student where so excited and couldn’t wait to get started. The lesson was loud and very busy but the students where intrigued and learning so I would say that’s a win.
For week seven PDP I decided to just focus on being aware. In a busy lesson like this it is really important to be aware of the students, are they on task, is more direction need, what students are needing support and so on. I worked on this in my PDP by constantly floating and interacting with the students.
Week Eight- Cookie Decorating.
In the final week on my placement I wanted to still teach a formal lesson that still related to curriculum but I wanted to make it fun for the students. So I decided to do a cookie decorating lesson related to health and traditions. The lesson had a lot of very loud learning but the students where having so much fun and so engaged I didn’t mind. I taught the first section of the lesson then the students went with there math teacher which allowed to set up for my activity. Once the students returned I was all set up for my activity and they where so excited. This was my favourite lesson of the semester and I can’t wait to go back in March.
My teacher had recommended that I work on a clear closure as my last PDP so that was my goal. I had the kids do the activity then a gallery walk to see there peers creations then we winded down by eating a cookie and listening to a book.
Areas of Growth From Pre-Internship & Professional Growth
My biggest area of growth in my pre-internship is developing and applying lesson plans. Having the ability to try out some of the lesson plans I have create really allowed me to curate and adjust my lesson plans to work best for myself. In this journey I have learned a lot about adding time to each section of the lesson and how this supports overall time management. I have also learned about the importance of making very detailed lesson plans. I liked to have a lot of details in the lesson so if I’m feeling lost I can easily just grab the lesson and see where I need to go next. Also having lot of details in the lesson plan ensures I give full directions and don’t forget any key parts.
My second biggest area of growth is a more personal area of growth. Throughout my internship I have really been able to examine the importance of forming a relationship with the students. Forming a relationship with students is important for a lot of reason. One reason is it allows us to get to know our students and once we know our students we can start using inquire based learning on topics our students are interested in which drives students determination to learn. Forming a relationships with the students also allowed me to become familiar with the each students various strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore by knowing the strengths and weakness of my learners I could easily identify which students would need support in a particular lesson. In conclusion I feel I had lots of areas of growth throughout my pre-intership and I can’t wait to continue teaching and learning.
Resources from my placement.