Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reflection of other classmates' lessons

Teaching the lessons has been the best part of the course so far because it really hits the target of education. The behaviors cards, although we disliked them, they were effective in giving us the opportunity to feel and observe how to handle discipline. Each lesson taught me something. For example, Stacey and Rebecca’s lesson demonstrated how having work for students, meaning keeping them busy, at all times allows for less distractions and conflicts. The students did not have free time to misbehave. They had work for us to do after each work we completed. Lauren’s lesson taught me how it is possible to be a nice but firm and confident teacher while having the students be respectful and productive. Her homework pass idea was also an idea I found motivating for students that I would consider using in my future classroom.
Overall, the books were followed with creative and effective lesson plans. I remember having had my teachers read much of these books when I was in the early grades, but I do not remember such creative lessons as these, especially in terms of technology usage. Although I did not use any technology in my lesson, I did enjoy and would have liked to have used the smart board as others did in their lesson. In the last lesson, for example, Yermen and Renee had the students write their sentence about the animals on the smart board. Even I, as an adult, felt motivated to do the work, and even more so with the pie chart reward system they used. It was certainly enthusiastic for us to do our work.
There was a lesson, during which I was able to understand how crucial it is to keep a stern attitude with students. I noticed how one of the teachers was losing her confidence due to the students’ misbehavior. The students immediately noticed something was wrong and even thought she was about to cry, but she was just not handling the entire situation very well. On the contrary, her partner was able to stay confident. That is important because although one may feel vulnerable, one has to show and try to keep a confident and strong attitude so the students will take you seriously. For the most part, the lessons used coloring as an activity, in my case, my partner Jessenya and I used a more hands-on technique. Seeing the students make the clouds with cotton balls was as fun as having done them myself. Nearly all, with some very few exceptions, of the students made the clouds and appeared to have enjoyed to do so. Therefore, I also learned something from my own lesson, and that is that hands on is important, can be very productive, and is still educational all at the same time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Reflection of Podcast

How did you and your partner plan to use the podcast in your lesson?
At first, we plan to have the story read from the pod cast.
Did you use it during the class lesson? Why or why not?
We decided that since in the past lessons the audio was not loud and clear enough, we would read it out loud, while having the students sitting around us.

How did your students react to the podcast?

How do you think it went?
From my eyes, reading the book out loud was better. I read the story loud and clear for everyone to hear. I would have added more enthusiasm though.
What could you have done to infuse the podcast into the lesson more effectively?
Louder speakers for the pod cast hearing, while showing the class the pictures in the book would have worked well.

Do you have any other ideas of how you would use podcasting in your lesson or future lessons?
I would certainly consider using the podcast as we did in this course. I would also have students use podcast if they have individual or group projects and presentations. I could incorporate the use of pod cast by alternating from the traditional standing up and presenting to the class to having the presentation done from a pod cast.

Reflection of my lesson

How did you (and your partner) prepare?
My partner and I had many ideas of how we wanted to go about the lesson. We each shared our ideas and throughout the time we had to view others’ lessons, we modified our ideas. The day before our lesson, Monday, we got together and discussed exactly what we would do the next day. We spoke about the seating arrangement, who couldn’t sit next to who was important in that aspect. We also decided I would read the book and Jessenya would explain the project. The “students” would sit in a circle on the floor as I read the book. Early morning on the day of teaching the lesson, we met up in the computer lab and printed out all the material such as the questions and the extra time coloring pages. We also decided on a token economy type of reinforcement and a set of rules for the class.

Explain the objective and assessment measures of your lesson
The objective of our lesson was for the students to identify the three main clouds: circus, cumulus, and stratus. Our means of assessment was informally done by walking around and looking over the students as they wrote a sentence about one of the three main clouds and made their cloud out of cotton. Formally, we assessed their work by having the students read their sentence and show their clouds to the class.

Was your lesson plan executed exactly as it was written?
For the most part, I would say my partner and I performed our lesson as written. I believe we only added in the part during which the students would present their clouds and read their sentence to the class.

What was the most important thing you tried to teach your students?
The most important aspect , which was our lesson’s objective, was having the students identify the three main clouds.

How do you think it went?
This was successful because the students understood that there were three main clouds. However, had they made each of the three clouds out of cotton and written a sentence about each, they would have been able to really understand them, versus concentrating on the cloud they were told to make.

What did I learn from your students?
I learned a lot from my students. For one thing, I am glad my partner and I did not give the students the glue themselves because this would have just caused chaos. The students also showed me that they would have learned about the three clouds more effectively by making all three types of clouds. Moreover, the students taught me that hands on helps them learn better, seeing as all the students who made their clouds did so exactly as we expected. I also learned that this book was a bit too long. By the middle of it they seemed somewhat bored.

What would you have done differently?
Rather than have the students just make one type of cloud, have the students make all three main clouds on a bigger construction paper. I would have also divided the book into two days so the students would not get bored because the objective of that lesson only really called for the beginning information about clouds.

How could you have made the lesson even more effective?
Like I mentioned in the previous question, creating all three clouds versus just one would have assessed the objective more effectively. In addition, having the students use the smart board, such as having them come up and point and name a cloud.

What do you think you need to improve or do differently?
Personally, I think I should be stricter, even though I felt that I was both nice but also firm. I am not the type of person that would want my students too feel afraid to express themselves, I want them to feel comfortable in my classroom but also have respect for me as their teacher and for their peers. Therefore, being more strict might aid them in not joking around so much.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unbelievable! After repetitive re-recordings, we still have not finished! Technically, we did finish but this computer did not save the recording. My throat and voice have gotten worse, and all for nothing! My partner and I are very upset about this issue because it was the one time we read through the entire book without mistakes! The podcast recording took up our entire class time, so we did not choose the questions, but at least we have a lot of questions listed. Even with Dr.Luongo's help, we were not able retrieve our work. For now, we will have another podcast recording up, but it is not the final take yet! We are not satisfied with that recording, so we will finish recording on our own time within the week.
Today, my partner and I plan on finally finishing the podcast recording for our The Cloud Book! Last time she was sick, this time it is I who is not feeling well. I am upset that my voice is fading, therefore, I will sound horrible, as if I did not already dislike hearing my voice on the podcast. Anyways, we will also go on to choose the top five effective questions about the book. I like the idea of "team teaching," so I plan on discussing that with my partner, but I really do not have a preference as to whether or not to teach alone or together. My main concern today is finishing the podcast already, especially before I completely lose my voice!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I accomplished one of my plans today! I was able to come up with sixteen questions for The Cloud Book, although we only need five effective questions. I will have my partner Jessenya look them over and also come up with her set of questions, and then mutually we can pick the top five questions amongst the the two sets. In this session, I was also able to search through some lesson plans online, but it was not enough. I will still need some more research and work on it before I can actually begin to set up the lesson plan I will teach in class. But I was unable to log into podamatic because I did not know the username and password, since my partner and I decided to record on her account. I should have written that information down! Anyhow, here are the questions I came up with:

1. What do you know about clouds?

2. After having read the story, explain what are clouds?

3. How many main kinds of clouds are there? Briefly describe each one.

4. Describe fog.

5. Name a group of people who looked at the clouds and saw things.

6. Which clouds are the highest clouds in the sky?

7. Which clouds are sometimes called “bed-sheets clouds,” and why?

8. What clouds would you see in the winter?

9. “In the olden days, people looked at the clouds and saw things” (20). Describe a time when you looked up at the sky and looked at the clouds and saw something. Make an illustration - of your experience/ to go with your description.

10. List all the examples of things people saw when they looked at the clouds.

11. What is “she has her head in the clouds,” an example of?

12. Take a look at the sayings about clouds that help tell about the weather. Now, create your own saying or pick your favorite saying and explain why.

13. Compare and contrast Cirrocumulus and Altocumulus clouds.

14. What is fog?

15. Name the characteristics of cirrostratus.

16. What is one new learned fact that you found the most interesting after reading the story?

Today, my partner Jessenya was unable to make it to class because she woke up sick. We have yet to finish podcasting our story, The Cloud Book, and since we are reading the story together the podcast recording has to be postponed until next week. On that note, I will work on another area for this project. I plan to use this time to work on the comprehension questions for our book and also on my lesson plan. I hope to be able to completely accomplish one at least, or half of both within today's class period, and also hope my partner feels better!