-In the classroom I was observing for my field placement my teacher had this posted on the board. When working on a task she would ask the students to give her a 1-4. This was an easy way for her to know how well the students were understanding information, and where/ who needed help. I think this is a great tool to have the students think about what they know, and what they still need help with.
I had a very positive field experience in ECS 100. I was placed at St Josaphat school, in a grade 4/5 classroom with one other student from my class. The teacher we were placed with was thrilled to have us, and was very helpful throughout out time there. The teacher and I had a discussion the first day about what I wanted to get out of this experience, as well as the course objectives. We decided that I was going to instruct a few short lessons to the class to get an idea of what it is really like to be a teacher. This was a little nerve racking for me but made my experience that much more beneficial.
My first day was a great experience, I was greeted by the staff of St. Josaphat and immediately felt welcome. I wrote in my week one blog:
“The students had a very positive learning environment. They seemed very responsive to the teacher’s instructions, eager to be engaged and involved. There was lots of collaboration between the students, and it seemed like a comfortable environment. The students were very passionate about the daily activities, and expressed excitement toward common activities ie. Group reading, drama games, and Kahoot! Due to weather we had an indoor recess where the kids played board games, did homework, and cleaned their desks/lockers. While talking to the students I learned that they are part of a reading challenge, as well as a an exchange across the world. The students explained to me that the video they worked on would be sent to a school across the world, to show the students what life at St. Josaphat School is like. It was nice to hear that the school is collaborating with others from across the world. This reminds me of when I was in elementary school, we used to do Pen Pals and get to know students across the world.”
I went into week two a little scared. I knew I had to teach them about clouds, in regards to an art project. I made a small plan but had no idea what the teacher wanted me to do. After discussing with her, I came up with a plan and had a great first day teaching. I wrote in my blog:
“The students completed an assignment similar to an escape room with the Teacher Librarian. It was really interesting to see how the teacher librarian incorporated technology into the activity as the students were working in groups but had to complete tasks individually. I was asked to assist a group ensuring the students were completing the tasks. It was interesting to see how the students worked together, and how they worked individually. This activity really emphasized to me that every class is filled with a variety of learners, and some students need different things to succeed.
I was asked to lead an art project making clouds out of cotton balls. I asked the students to try to describe the visual characteristics in order to design them. Most of the students were relating the definitions to things in their environment, and connecting the words to things they have already learned.”
Week three we focused on language. I loved this lesson! It was very interesting to see how a language lesson is taught, and how the students responded to the topic. Some students were thrilled to learn about commas and other did not seem to care. I focused on knowledge this week trying to recognize how the teacher honored her students, and included everyone. I wrote in my blog:
“The teacher I am with does a great job of honoring her students and makes sure everyone is comfortable. When explaining tasks, or information I have seen her use many different strategies to incorporate all people’s knowledge ability. One example would be relating an idea to more than one thing in different areas of knowing. I have also noticed that when she asks a student for an answer, she never says that it is wrong, and tries to make it fit the situation if it originally did not by asking for more information, or an explanation.”
Week 4 was a an average day in the school. We worked on religion, and had library time. I focused on inclusion and diversity this week. I had a conversation with the teacher after class regarding the diversity of the school. She explained to me that because of the location of the school it is not very diverse. She said almost the whole school was born and raised in Canada, and there’s not much cultural diversity.
I looked through the halls and talked to the teacher regarding the LGBQT community at the school. There was nothing visibly posted regarding the LGBQT community, however the teacher explained to me that there are places students can go to get support, and that is thoroughly discussed with the students in many different subjects throughout the year.