On Thursday I taught two lessons: Lesson 2 of my unit to the grade 5/6's, and Lesson 1 to the grade 3/4's. The grade 5/6's learned a bit about gesture drawing, and I think they had fun. After looking at all their drawings it seemed like they were all doing well. I asked them to write down one thing they learned, and one thing they want to learn as a closure activity. After reading through what they wrote, I decided that I should spend another day on drawing the human figure with them because a lot of students had written down they're interested in learning more about drawing anime bodies. It means I will probably cut out the flipbook animation lesson I wanted to do initially, but I will also start their final project a class earlier so they have more time.
There wasn't time to hear my TA's feedback on this second lesson with the 5/6's because she taught the kindergartens right after, and then my university consultant was here to observe my 3/4 lesson right after that.
It was interesting to teach the same lesson to the 3/4's and they came up with some really great answers to my questions. I showed one picture of a scene from Naruto (an anime about ninjas) and asked them to describe what they see. One boy answered "there's conflict" and I was pretty impressed. As suggested by my TA previously, I added a slide showing a page from a Batman comic and a page from a Dragon Ball Z comic and asked students to pick out some differences and similarities. One girl commented that both pages had the hero sort of coming out of the page, which was a great observation.
The 3/4's were more chatty than the 5/6's, and I had to try to regain their attention too often. I need to tell them my expectations during discussions next class because the block is so short, having to wait for them to pay attention cuts down our learning time even more. I didn't have enough time near the end to give them time to draw on their own and was rushing the completion of my anime face demo. Walking around and looking at their drawings, I could see they were all understanding it though.
My UC told me she thought it was a great lesson and I gave good reinforcement feedback to the students while I walked around to view their work. She gave me some things to consider like, I could move some students if I feel they aren't working or staying on task at the same table, and as I walked around passing out paper I could still be talking and instructing so the students aren't inclined to chat with each other. There was also a lot of wait time during this lesson because students weren't prepared with their sharpened pencils, and I had to regain their attention after each step of my demo because they were chatting with each other. One of my UC's suggestions was to draw a step in the demo, then walk around the room and as I start walking towards the front I can start saying "Now I'll show you the next step." This would give the students a signal that they need to refocus up front. Overall, my UC seemed happy about my performance and is interested to see how the different grades differ with the same material. I'm looking forward to seeing how the junior high students respond next week. I feel it's easier for me to appeal to younger students (K-6) and it has always been clear that being an Elementary School teacher would suit me best. I wonder if this experience with the junior high students will change my mind.