My plan was to do some review and see what they remember about our novel study lesson on Wednesday first, especially because some of the students were missing that day. They also remembered the Japanese words I taught them. I am going to give them a handout with the words on them because I forgot to give them paper to copy down the new words I taught them today. I'm thinking I should get them to make a folder to keep all the stuff I give them too....but I'm too tired at the moment to ponder that problem.
On my lesson plan I had estimated 25-30 minutes to teach them step-by-step how to make the cranes, but it was more like 50 minutes. I had to finish after recess. Now I know! I was actually really impressed with their folding and ability to understand the steps though. Some of the best cranes were surprisingly folded by the students who usually have trouble paying attention and focusing! My TA told me afterwards that the boy who sits in the back corner and often can't focus asked him if he could tell the class to be quiet and listen because he really wanted to concentrate on making the crane. My TA told him that he has to ask me because I'm the teacher and the boy said the class is too loud and doesn't listen to me. My TA told him that the class does listen to me and the boy said they don't listen quick enough and that he should get mad at the class. It was really amusing to hear that story haha! It felt good that I got the student who normally has the most trouble focusing engaged!
I'm trying to be more conscious about transitions. I find I like having the agenda written on the board because the students won't be as tempted to ask me "what are we doing next???" I transitioned from a mini-Japanese lesson to the art activity (origami) by asking if they knew what origami means and telling them the direct translation (fold+paper=ori+kami=art of paper folding.) I asked one of the classroom helpers to pass out scissors and waited....it seemed to take forever but I think it's not necessary to always be talking.
After each step of the crane folding, I had to walk around and check their work and make sure they were folding correctly because each step builds upon the previous. I had to use management techniques to regain their attention after each step but I see now that it was necessary. At the time I was slowly starting to get a little flustered because it was taking so long, but upon reflection, I think it was good that there was some chatter as the students worked and tried to figure the steps out. I asked those who got it to help a neighbour who might be struggling. This kept the quicker ones stay engaged a little longer as I circulated.
My TA filled out the first Professional Semester One Formative Assessment Form today. We identified that we haven't really looked at questioning techniques so we agreed that will be our focus for next week's lessons. He said he will spend one lesson writing down all the questions I ask and then I can look it over and reflect on it before we discuss it the next day. I do ask a lot of questions but I feel they are mostly lower level questions and I have to think about ways to question for higher more complex levels of understanding from the students. Another thing that he noted is that my voice is a bit quiet at times so I might lose the back group. It's one of those things I've always struggled with! I think I'm making progress one little step at a time though.
The strengths my TA identified were: 1. Very professional, 2. Calm cool + relaxed when teaching, 3. Approachable for students/good rapport.
There are so many art projects I want to do with the kids but so little time! After today's lesson they're all interested in origami and it would be great to do a whole unit on paper craft. Besides origami, there's kirigami, paper model building, paperquilling, papier-mache.....The more I think about it, the more I can see the possibility of each of those types of papercraft being its own unit!
I need to calm down. I'll stick with the art lessons I had in mind before: drawing animals + people, brush painting, and calligraphy. There's only 3 weeks left! I also need to worry about all the other lesson plans I need to write on subjects I'm not too familiar with.
Next week my teaching schedule is looking like so:
Monday: Language Arts mini lesson (10 mins), Novel Study ch.2 (45 mins)
Tuesday: Health-Sugar Shocker (45 mins), Social Studies-starting First Nations unit (45-55 mins)
Wednesday: Math-starting multiplication (45 mins), Novel Study ch.3 (45 mins)
Thursday: Math-multiplication con't (45 mins), Social Studies con't (45-55 mins)
Friday: Art (60 mins)
I'm doing my own thing for Novel Study so that's subject to change. If we don't get through my ch.2 plan on Monday it will carry over to the next day. I love Fridays. Art lesson and short day :)
Alright, I'm going to sleep now because my brain can't function well enough to continue lesson planning right now. I feel like I'm almost on the verge of getting the slightest bit quicker at lesson planning. My goal is to