Day four of pre-internship, and I’ve just come to accept that the world of education and teaching can present the most chaotic and unpredictable situations that you just have to roll with! Each week though, I’m coming better prepared for those unprepared situations and am really getting into the swing of it. Today was a great day and totally flew by!
Mr. C and I started out our morning over in the grade 6/7 class, and woah, what a difference in classroom management! Now, to be fair, I’ve never been in our 7/8 classroom at the beginning of the day as we’ve had phys ed in the gym, so meet the students in there, but these 6/7s sure have a routine down! They efficiently came in, hung up coats and backpacks, and got right to reading a novel until the announcements came on. It was a really peaceful way to start the morning, and might be something that I work with students on doing in my own classroom one day. I loved seeing how into their books some of the kids got in just a few minutes…which made them not want to put them down for “O Canada” and announcements! It warmed my heart to see such a great class routine in such a kind and welcoming classroom.
The morning was a whirlwind of activity: a guest assembly with some of the Regina Pats, a social studies lesson with Ms. D where students wrote to pen pals in other countries, and Mr C’s math lesson on prisms and nets! The kids were great through all of it, and it seems like they are really connecting more with Mr. C and I, which is really cool. I love that I can joke with them and give them tips and suggestions.
After lunch was an ELA lesson by yours truly! I was really nervous and excited for this one, as I spent a LOT of time creating it. My co-op had suggested trying to teach a reading strategy about how to solve unknown words, so I took it to the next level by adding a few “PIRATE” tactics like a board message, and immersing students in the learning more to create an experience with the content, and it was a great success! We started with more of a direct instruction approach explaining some strategies, but having the students actually do the solving of the unknown words. This worked well, but another time I might add in a few more examples for some practice. After the instruction we broke into groups and I gave each group a clue. They had to “de-code” the clue by solving the unknown word, and solving the riddle to find out where the next clue was…somewhere around the school! The kids loved that they got to go around the school looking for clues (don’t worry, we went over respectful behaviour and I pre-warned all the teachers in the school)! On each clue sheet there was also an additional sentence problem to solve. An adjustment that I would make another time is to set up the clue sheets and the student work sheets differently as the students were a bit confused on which part was the clue and which part wasn’t. It was also difficult to make sure that all students were working well as they were all around the school at the same time! I did circulate as best I could and helped those that needed some assistance in solving clues. They did a great job though!
The lesson did take longer than I’d anticipated (about 10-15 min extra), but it was really difficult to try and figure out how long the scavenger hunt would take. Another time I think I would either put it in a place where there was more time, or make the clues a little simpler, or change the additional sentences to work in a different format. I think this lesson would also work well if done outside, but the weather wasn’t really so great for planning that today. The main idea of the lesson went really great though, and the kids enjoyed it while still learning something new, so that was the whole point! My co-op and Mr C thought it went really well, and I’ll take it as a sign of a good lesson that my co-op teacher wants to use this lesson in the future himself!
The more I teach, the more I love it. The more I teach, the more comfortable I feel doing it. The more I teach, the more relaxed the students feel with me. The more I teach, the more I want to teach.