For the last couple weeks, Academy EDU has been focusing on the concept of lesson plans. We even spent a week in groups of three creating lesson plans for fourth/fifth grade concepts, under the impression that we would be teaching each other the concepts in a pretend elementary classroom environment. On Friday (2/6/15), we were surprised to see that our teachers had brought in real fourth and fifth grade students from Scioto Darby Elementary school and that we were now in charge of teaching our lessons to classes of twenty or more students. After the initial shock though, things went very smoothly, and my teachers created a quick blog question set for me.
1) Compare the lesson plan you used to teach your lesson to the "infograph" you created at the beginning of this project. Did your lesson plan have all the components you identified in your infograph? What do you think are the most important components of a lesson plan and why?
2) What was your strength during the lesson you taught on Friday? What strength do you need to work on to improve your teaching?
- The infograph was very generic compare to the lesson plan, though I think most of the key components were there. We put a lot more planning in to an actual plan than we did the infograph, but that would be expected. We included all the information we originally planned to, as well as including other important aspects of the plan like making it understandable for a substitute and thinking about time management with material distribution/collection. The most important parts of a lesson plan are probably the objective statement, method of learning measurement, plans for material placement, and creating a hook at the beginning and end. With these crucial planning components, a teacher can ensure that they know what the students learned, control the environment more effectively, grab the students' attention right off the bat and then make them leave the classroom ready for class the next day.
- Overall, the lesson went well Friday. I would say my greatest strength was just the ability to roll with things, as I came in late due to a minor school lockdown and was then surprised by the presence of an ACTUAL class of elementary students. However, once I arrived, I did most of the talking because I just couldn't stop. I really enjoyed explaining the science concepts to the students and trying to come up with ways to provide examples of inertia and varying gravity. The students really enjoyed the activity we had for them (computer simulation of different planets' gravity) and they were really involved in the demonstrations. For one demonstration, we had a student try to stop an empty rolling chair and then a chair full of heavy coats and bags. The idea was that the heavy object had more forward inertia so it was harder to stop. Even though it was a simple concept and we only picked one student to participate, the entire class was excited and interested simply because they had donated their own coats to the cause. As for a weakness of mine, I guess I would say I wasn't very personal with the students. I was only in the room for twenty minutes, so I tried to gauge their personalities and knowledge levels, but afterward I realized I never once asked a student for their name when they answered a question. That's basically rule number one on your first day of teaching a class: have students tell you their names in order to create a more personal connection. Overall though, I really enjoyed working with the students and would love to do it again sometime.