4th Grade English - Revised Plan

As you can see earlier I was thinking about the content . I thought it would be great to test this pattern and so I visited the school where I will be doing my teaching practice . The IB school gave me a theme namely Rights and responsibilities and I have to develop the aims and objectives . I was also informed that Grammar is not done in the traditional manner . So I have to develop language skills along the way without giving grammar specifics . I can still retain the idea of introducing regular writing in some form or the other . Another observation was that I would have to plan the content levels keeping in my that the new students have just entered 4th grade which means I have to keep the levels of a third grader in mind in the initial classes and then raise the levels slowly . Since the children will already be having an on-going school regular class with their English teacher I feel i need to design my plan in such a way that they associate a particular pattern with me. I don't want my classes to clash with the regular ones . So therefore i think it is a good idea to go and meet my learners or atleast observe them prior to actual teaching . I also want some kind of a stamp , my individual style which will help students relate to me better and they can then associate something e.g particular activities or styles etc with me solely . I think this is important because then they won't have problems tuning into me immediately when i take a class . I have yet to talk about a time table but ideally i would prefer a gap between each session so that I get time to think about the class and all the rights and wrongs of the practice itself . It was indeed wonderful meeting my mentor . I definately gained from all the valuable inputs . I am now spending time finding songs , videos , articles , books etc to see which one of these resources are the best way to convey the various learnings i want the chikdren to benefit from . For 4th grade the main title is Rights and Responsibilties so I also get to at this stage think about the various aims and objectives . I am finding this part time consuming as I feel that having too many objectives is not possible to fulfil in a given session . Maybe i can do justice to one or two objectives and work towards the main aim . I want to keep simple objectives which can be measured and fulfilled . I want to go for quality and not pack in too much . Apart from the materials and list of resources I think I will visit the school to see how well i can get to know my future learners .

Group work in Math classroom





Initially the chairs and desk in my classroom was arranged as rows and columns. I thought this would be ideal for my students to learn better. But after my classes with TTF I realised that if students were seated in groups they learn better. So I rearranged the chairs and tables as group of four. Initially I had lot of issues as my students complained that they were not comfortable with this new arrangement. I was very disappointed with my change in seating arrangement in class. But to my surprise when I started with revision work for the final exam I noticed a drastic change in my class where there was lot of discussion happening in each group and they started learning better and participated well in class. They had fun learning in group as they discussed the solutions to math problem to each others in group. There was also healthy competition among students whoever completed the work had to come first to the board to give the final solution. When the answers were not matching with the rest of the group I used to explain the concept again to the whole class. Now I realised group work is always better.

Water fun

I completed my third and fourth sessions for practice teaching today. The children enjoyed the activities especially that they had so much to do with water and sand. When working with water, we added food color in the water and that got my learners all charged up for the activity. The most important thing was that they were able to explain to me the meaning of the word capacity. I also introduced the vocabulary for this topic. It was a great class and I am looking forward to tomorrow especially that I will be observed by my mentor.

4th grade - English

I have been given a unit but need to think about developing the content . For 4th grade English the various ways in which I could develop language skills is through writing . They can write to show their knowledge , word - meanings , sentence construction , antonyms and homonyms , question and answer worksheets , they can take notes , write poems , short essays and they can have reflective exercises . They can read biographies and write about what they feel . They can make comparisons and also show their understanding of spellings and vocabulary . I can give a rubric and they can assess their own work . They can write a short speech and narrate it and present it . They can watch videos and write a summary . They can write a script for a debate and discuss . I would like to choose the writing aspect as the main focus of development as I feel assessments can then be formative as well as summative .
Please give me more suggestions .

My first session during teaching practice

My first two sessions went off very well yesterday. I was a little nervous before starting, but at the same time, I was very confident of my learners. The nervous feeling disappeared the moment class started. I felt things moved from one to the next with ease. My learners enjoyed the second session better where they had to measure water / coloured water / sand. I felt that I had planned a bit too much especially that I had included the feedback form the last 5 minutes. So I have modified some of my plans for the coming sessions so that it does not feel like a lot to learn in little time. I want my first graders to enjoy the lesson. All in all, I was happy with how the sessions went off yesterday.

Bulliten Board

My Grade 2 learners are joining the school on 2nd of june.I have to decorate my outside Bulliten board in order to welcome them. Can anyone suggest what theme i can choose for the board which can make them happy and excited to enter the class.

Blooms Taxonomy

HOW TO USE BLOOMS TAXONOMY?

I am writing about what I have understood so far however I would appreciate someone to verify this understanding. We are now at a stage where we are learning about assessment It is therefore vital that I know that I am comprehending this part properly.

I understood that Blooms taxonomy is a list of intellectual levels that motivate teachers to help children move from low order to high order thinking and to train their minds so that they can develop tools for critical thinking .
Building on knowledge and helping kids begin to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate is the key to helping them grow .
Since the taxonomy is displayed as a pyramid, I would start at the base and work my way up. Having my students work through the levels of the taxonomy would help them to familiarize themselves with the materials I present in my future instructional units, going from basic activities to more advanced ones.

My question is – Will I cover Blooms Taxonomy – pyramid across the number of class sessions or can I use them in one class and if so how? I need more clarity on this .

My question – When I question my students is it ok to mix up the knowledge as well as the evaluation level questions? I feel this is good as I can gauge my students understanding better as some students maybe capable of evaluating while others maybe just on the comprehension levels . This is great for me as I can vary my instructional levels accordingly . What do you think ?

I think believing in my students is also crucial . I need to also raise the levels . If I have low expectations of them then I don’t think I will go up the Blooms intellectual ladder . I will have to take the time and practice a lot as grading lower levels is much easier . Grading assignments based on high level thinking is time consuming but I am sure I will find Rubrics important for quick. fair and accurate grading.

Please comment on this thought .

Becoming a teacher again

With a teaching background I felt that the next great step for a teacher would be to try something outside of the traditionally run educational settings. I started corporate training and personality development in 2004 .

The skills to become a trainer overlapped with those of being a teacher as I knew it. I was used to presenting, being in front of a room, capturing the attention of your audience and having an impact on how they think. I could design a lesson to have an impact. There were better and worse ways to deliver the same content and I was accustomed to working out methods to get the message across. I learnt that I can't teach everything the same way.

Before I joined this course I wasn’t aware of so many skills and insights and methods that would enhance my skills as a trainer / teacher . My adult students tend to have more fixed patterns as a result of their experiences and can therefore be less open minded than children to new learning. Children, with less experience, are often more open to learning new things.

It is now thanks to this program with all the new learning that is developing and as I change towards being a more evolved person I feel like going back to teaching children . I want to cease being a trainer and go back to teaching children .

It's hard to put into words all the reasons why I want to be a teacher again. Some days when I take time to ponder the immensity that the role of a teacher entails I feel overwhelmed. Some days I find myself just dying for my chance to touch children's lives. It's hard to describe, but something inside of me tells me that though it's not going to be easy, this is what I am meant to do and I want to return to being a primary teacher especially now with all this wonderful training I am undergoing . Earlier I just followed a system and there was no interaction .It was more or less a one way approach. It was structured and I found no challenge in the earlier ways of primary school teaching .

Now with all this learning and reflection taking place it would be unfair to myself if I don’t take the opportunity to turn to my earlier audience – children . I want my classroom to be an exciting place . I want children to leave my class with more confidence, compassion, and enthusiasm for life and learning than they entered it. I will try to teach them the skills they need to know to succeed academically, and the skills they will need to love themselves and others.

I bet changing back to a teacher and choosing to teach primary after years but armed with new found knowledge and active learning skills will be exhilarating, overwhelming, frightening, but exceedingly worthwhile. I am ready to accept the challenge of becoming an active learner and teacher with my arms, mind and heart wide open.

The Rubric grading method

I tried the Rubric style of grading . For me personally I found that my students work can be rated as excellent , good or needs improvement . It made it easier for me to assess the students and also to explain to them where they are going wrong and where they are following suitably . I plan to share the rubric kind of paper with the students before an assignment so that they know what is expected of them beforehand and so they can perform the task much better . The students also are aware of what they will be graded upon and show more responsibility . They also know that I am being honest and clear and fair . As a trainer this method is helpful because I don't have to doubt my evaluation . I can conclude fairly after seeing the detailed results . Preparing a detailed rubric is a good way to introduce order and accountability in grading. If a student asks me for a re-grade or someone asks me to justify my scoring, I can communicate evidence to support my approach .

Rubric

Rubric for beauty & make –up practicals

Criterion :


1. ENVIRONMENT

GOOD -

The student addressed the worst lit areas in the room and found spaces where sunlight or natural lighting prevailed .

The student made sure that the room was cool and airy .


UNSATISFACTORY

The student did not start the process with the right conditions for make up application .

2. HYGIENE

GOOD -


The student washed hands and kept the tools, testers and counter tops clean. The student used gloves and antiseptic products and performed the steps in a neat , clean manner .

UNSATISFACTORY

The make up tools were not washed through the process. The tools, testers were not of the disposable kind and the surfaces were messy.


3. COOPERATION & ATTITUDE

GOOD -

The student made the client comfortable and was patient. The student showed sensitivity to others feelings and participated freely .


UNATISFACTORY -

The student did not communicate with the client and was tensed through out the process. Their attitude was poor and upset the client.


4. ORGANISATION

GOOD -

The student had a complete make-up kit . The student organized the trays according to the sequence of their future work process

UNSATISFACTORY -

The make-up kit was incomplete and the student borrowed things. The student also wasted time in locating tools and the trays were disorganized and not labeled .

5. APPLICATION

GOOD -

The student considered several ways to achieve the right look . The composition was directly related to previous knowledge and problems were solved with ease . The project was completed on time and with pride .

UNSATISFACTORY -

The student could not achieve the right look . The student lacked knowledge and was not able to solve problems along the way. The project lacked finishing touches.

6. RESULT

GOOD -

The client was happy with the result .

UNSATISFACTORY

The client was not satisfied and compalined about the execution and completion of the task and its process .

Motivating my adult learners

I tried something new today. I have completed sessions in various different types of etiquette individually with 4 adults and in a group of six adults. The objective of this merging of all these clients was so that they could find common associations, make new friends, voice their opinions freely and find similar reasons for doing the course. When I spoke to my clients earlier everyone hesitated. Some said due to lack of time, some felt that it wasn’t important and some lacked confidence.

To motivate them I explained how it would help them to meet others and how interesting it would be to learn other peoples reasons why they are doing personality development and should they have same skills, how they plan to build upon them in future. It would be an exercise to satisfy a curious mind. Eventually much to my delight everyone agreed.

When all the people gathered we didn’t introduce one another. I felt it would take up too much time and hence I straight away delved into a quiz. A sort of rapid fire where there was total participation. The quiz was based on previous topics that they all had done.

The quiz results showed that they were able to recall a lot of what they had learnt.

The interaction also improved. We then did a brainstorming session. I made a list of names and I wrote the reasons behind why they chose the course. It was amazing to see the common points. 3 said they wanted to achieve a higher promotion. 2 said they wanted to adapt to a new culture abroad . 3 said they wanted to impress others. 2 said they wanted to secure a good life partner / marriage alliance etc

I then grouped / paired up the people according to their common reasons. It was at this point having found common ground that they introduced themselves and chatted. I used this as the ice-breaker.

We concluded with a few activities and a discussion. At the end I found they had formed new acquaintances.

What I learnt was that my group of adults needed motivation but they needed a reason for learning something new . According to me the best motivators are benefit and interest.


Whatever they learn must have a connection to real life . They should be able to see the way in which this new learning will help them. My group saw the benefit of learning and hence were self-motivated later on .

They learnt in an open , low stress environment where the lesson content had high importance .

Most adults had tested what they had learnt and had turned it into experiential learning. They shared funny incidents with each other.

I think the best way to motivate adult learners is to encourage them towards being self-motivated .

Pairing gone wrong

I gave the class a topic and they had to choose to do the exercise either independently or in pairs . At this point 2 out of the six felt that they could work alone while the others complained that they wanted to work in pairs . I had an idea to combine a strong person with a weaker one . So i divided the group into two . Each group had 3 adults where two were weak and one was strong . This pairing soon didn't work out as the strong ones in both groups found that they were doing all the work while the others just sat back and let that one group member do the solving and that they would follow whatever the strong adult says .At that point I removed the strong person in both the groups and told them to continue working independently . To the others I told them to make pairs . This worked better . Although both parties were having difficulty however they told me that since they were sharing , the anxiety levels had gone down and they were not as worried as they were before . I found out that in some adults this idea of pairing a strong one with a weak one doesn't work well .

Another MI indicator

When I gave my adult learners a choice of the various activities based on three different intelligences they chose their strong topic and agreed to work independently with a lot of confidence . These intelligences have been explored through the preliminary interviewing stage .

In the second part I gave them no choice of content . I just told them that the activity was non flexible but they could either work alone or in pairs . 2 out of the six showed confidence in doing it alone while the others voiced that this activity filled them with doubt and uneasiness as they werent cut out for that particular intelligence . I learnt that the way a person chooses to work on something - alone or independently has a lot to do with whether or not they are strong in that particular area or not - another indicator of their intelligence .

Getting to know the learner

Yesterday two new adults joined the existing group of four making it a total six and I wanted all of them to be on an even platform so instead of asking them to fill out a KWL sheet prior to the lesson , I had an open discussion to see what they already knew and what they wanted to learn . This way the expectations were clear . The discussion also helped me to communicate what all they will be studying and so we all got to know each other far better than had we filled up KWL sheets as that would have been time consuming and not this much of fun .

Same Difference

3/5/2010
While on the topic of differentiation, I’d like to share my experiences at this summer camp I conducted for kids aged two and half to 6years. As you can imagine in such a varied group the level of differentiation to be catered for is quite vast….not only between the various age-groups but also amongst learners of the same age-group.
All the children (varying from 8 -18, in number, on any given day) were given the same basic activity but were allowed to go the extra mile depending on their ability. So for example, if the whole group was making masks, they all had a choice of either choosing a pre-cut template and just colouring it or they could go the whole hog and start from scratch and actually design a template, cut it out themselves, colour it/decorate it with sequins or glitter glue or beads and add extra details like whiskers or ears etc. So while the whole group ended up making some pretty neat and interesting masks, no learner was either bored or over-burdened.

The world is my playground

(journal entry dtd 3/5/2010)

I haven’t started working at the new school as yet, so I can’t really comment on my target-group as yet. However ever since I started the CIDTT Course, I can’t help but notice how everyone around me learns. I seem to be tuned into how learning happens and can be enhanced, all around me, all the time now…….in the pool, at home, at the park…. And almost sub-consciously I keep squirreling away nuggets of info on more effective ways of reaching my students. Believe me once you’re aware (and the workshops are definitely awakening me to the various aspects of learning) you can find all the methodologies of learning in actions around you.

It’s Different

(journal entry dtd 24/4/2010)

Providing for differentiationin the classroom is what we learnt today. I can think of two instances where differentiation worked.

One was with my tuition group (grade 8, third language French students). There was this one boy who just couldn’t remember the gender of nouns, so finally I found a pac-man kind of car-chase game online where the concept was re-enforced in a visual, kinaesthetic manner and hallelujah he finally learnt! The other students meanwhile continued with their work (though I’m sure they were secretly wishing they hadn’t got the concept, since this boy was apparently having so much funJ)

The other example of how differentiation worked was in the Advanced level spoken English class (18-25yr olds) where learners’ put their linguistic and musical ability to use by creating a commercial for a given product. All learners had to participate in groups of five each. Each group had to take part but had the choice of any one or all of the criteria listed had to be employed:

a) A tag-line

b) A jingle set to music

c) A role-play

Two groups actually tried out all the options and one group was so good, I think they’re re-thinking becoming cabin-crewJ

Fun is the name of the game

(journal entry dtd 9/4/2010)
Saw this interesting video about how behaviour can be changed for the better if something is FUN to do. Reminded me of how I have used a lot of video-games online to drill verb conjugations and sentence structure into my grade 8 and 9 french tuition students. Would love to try it out at the school, resources permitting of course.

Here's the video:
video

I’ve got Designs

Today’s workshop was about how to actually do the design plan and as usual I think all of us learnt a lot more and had a lot of our doubts cleared when we got down to ‘hands-on’ practice

The workshop was effective, in the sense that it cleared a lot of the cobwebs and a lot of the theory now seems to make sense. Can’t wait to try it out once the session commences.

Young learners vs Adult Learners

Given all the differences between how children and adults learn, children can also be as present-oriented as adults (we’re not talking gifts here…..though the carrot always works, I would imagine and make a more concentrated effort (willingly) if the goal is clear.

I realised this when I watched how my six year-old made me buy her different flavours of bubble-gum and then diligently practised till she finally learnt how to blow a bubble. So she actually made a conscious decision to learn something and then pursued it with a single-minded determination till she achieved the desired goal.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to let the learner’s decide what they want to learn (within the scope of the syllabus) and how they want to do it so they actually make a conscious decision and are therefore more eager? Would like to try it out in a classroom situation?

There’s a new learner in town

The session was about ‘how adults learn’. This workshop set me thinking about myself as a ‘learner’. All this while, I have been looking at all learning from my students’ perspective. Today, I began to see myself as a ‘learner’.

Seating arrangement

I had initially made the group sit facing the blackboard in even rows. I decided to change the seating arrangement as per the activity. I tried having the students sit in pairs seating arrangement (when the two student desks are together and spaced away from other pairs ) I could walk about and monitor all the students plus I also found that pairs allow the students to work together and independently. For discussions and brainstorming I found the semi-circle arrangement to be effective.

A fantastic movie I found on YouTube

Hey I found this amazing movie and wanted to share it with all of you. I am sure you will agree that there is a lot more learning happening here than in our daily so called sought after schools.Enjoy this good movie.

Jeopardy

Hey Everyone, I tried out jeopardy in my social studies grade one class and it was amazing to see the interaction and the excitement. The quiz was all about whatever they have done the past terms to current. They enjoyed it thoroughly. However, there is one question that arose. I maintained the score throughout the game. Some of the children are still working on their team player skills. So at the end of the game, I did not announce the results and told the kids that it was important that they all participated and it did not really matter who won or lost. To 2 or 3 kids, knowing the results was really important to them. Did I do the right thing by not calling out the results?