2nd Observed session

My 2nd observed session went off quite well . My mentor felt that I am good at designing activities . Todays session was all about the generations of ideas , recording them in a spider web mind map and then using an essay graphic organiser to develop ideas into structure and organisation . I used think-pair share strategy . It was very student centric and a fun day .

Creating essay folders for easy class management

I created essay folders for all students for easy use and management of activities. To have folders containing everything they require to help them in the process of essay writing activity was a huge time saver . The folder contained 2 mind maps - spider web diagram , an essay easy-to-follow simple checklist , 2 graphic organisers to organise ideas – of students preference – e.g I had students choose their graphic organisers and then they gave me their preference for - hamburger writing , flower petal writing , robot writing , ice cream scoops visuals . They will then use the mind maps for brainstorming ideas and will then use graphic organisers to deveop those ideas into sentences and arrange them into a 3 part namely introduction , body , conclusion essay format . The folder also had feedback forms attached . I didn’t have to stop the students midway and disturb class in order to give out materials from one step to the other . The transition from one activity to the next was smoother and class discipline and focus was maintained in a better manner .

Write traits Ideas

The ideas plan was a more complex one and required understanding from students. The plan could have been more focused as it had more than one objective - namely: generating ideas, as well as learning and using the essay format.
Although I offered many choices of graphic organisers, students were not able to categorise the tool they were using, when questioned. Some more reinforcement is required. Maybe, get them to use each organiser over time so they are familiar with them and can choose an effective one for the purpose.
The plan was ambitious, time wise:)
Students are comfortable with me and my teaching style.
I displayed a caring nature towards students and patience with the ESL students .
Planning a think-pair-share strategy for my next class .

Reasonable Success!

During the past two weeks I was involved in an interesting experiment! I divided my class of 24 Chemistry students into five groups and assigned them each a topic from the chapter 'Water' for presentation and a short work sheet at the end of the presentation.I took care to form a heterogenous group of differing intelligence to ensure a good synergy. Each presentation took something between twenty to twenty five minutes and a brief worksheet of about ten to twelve minutes. The worksheet was answered by the members of the other four groups individually.The involvement of the teams was total and infectious.The students said they had lots of fun preparing the presentation and lots more fun preparing the worksheet to really test their class mates mettle!!!!!!.Each group corrected their tests.At the end of it I had four sets of marks and a fund of questions.
The proof of the experiment came when I administered a worksheet on the whole chapter the class presented in parts. Reasonably good success! ( Even if I say so!!!!!!) Planning on an encore on some other topic next term.

Day 3 write traits : Word Choice

A collegues feedback on my session

Today I thought your lesson (Word Choice) went very well! I observed the following good teaching practices:
Good control - You laid expectations of respect for group work.
You asked the students who left the discussion area to come back, as you had not dismissed them yet - good reinforcement of rules. Next discussion time, you can remind students of the discussion time expextations as well.
You made differentiated groups based on their reading and comprehension assessments. Your kinesthetic grouping by giving each child a coloured paper chit and asking them to find their coloured group was an interesting way to form similar ability groups.
You gave students the choice to work individually or in pairs/ groups (within their coloured groups) - I suggest you still monitor their choice and exert your grouping if their choice is detrimental to their learning.
You reminded them to put their names and date on their paper - a good practice as this small but tiresome point plagues teachers.
Students were clear about their task and immediately set about it, therefore instructions were clear and effective.
Teacher reminded students that they could check the word wall created on the board if they needed to - a big help to support students.
Went around to each group and monitored progress and proided assistance.
You gave them time checks and ensured each activity was ocmpleted in a timely fashion.
You provided differentiated worksheets to support our ESL and lower ability students.
Successfully called them back for discussion twice to give instructions for the next activity.
At the end of the lesson, asked students what they had learned that day - helped them reflect and cement their learning
A well planned and well delivered lesson, Sonali. Smooth flow of students from discussion to task and back!

Session on 'Differentiation'

Since the day I joined CIDTT ,the term 'Differentiation' had been associated with all our discussions but this term was not explained to us saying that it would be (rather needed to be) dealt with exclusively.So our whole group was quite eagerly awaiting for the session on 'Differentiation' and after attending the session realised how crucial it is for effective learning to take place in a classroom.

When we prepare a lesson plan we always cater to an average child and extend ourselves a bit for 'below average' child but completely forget the one with superlative intelligence and there the pandora's box is opened!Because the kids who already have a prior knowledge of the topic or who tend to grasp faster get distracted and bored very soon and in turn disturb the flow of the whole class.Herein compacting strategy comes in effect which helps in enriched and accelerated learning for high level learners.

We were introduced to the tiering technique through an interesting geometry exercise.The eight of us were divided into 4pairs and each pair was given a different assignment but the main topic was the same-'comprehension of the five geometric terms-point,ray,line,line segment and angle'. Renu and I had to create an argument as to which is the most important term.The argument turned out to be a hilarious one!!even others came out with wonderful results.Hence,we discovered that even a simple math topic could be conveyed in so many different ways catering to the different interests and capabilities of the learners.

We were also familiarised with concept based and MI based techniques through some video clippings.

As a teacher,we are already aware of the fact that in a classroom we have diversity in learners which can be due to various reasons and we always struggle to find a common route to reach out to all of them .But same technique doesn't work for everyone ,and sometimes we end up being frustrated seeing the blank look on the face of some of our learners..Well now I know that this problem can be solved by applying the concept of differentiation in our teaching strategies.

Thanks to CIDTT for enriching us with such wonderful tools of teaching!!

Day 2 Reflecting

Self-reflection - This is what I learnt today .
To give instructions only when the whole class is quiet. Best to get them on the floor for their undivided attention. If I talk over the students, they will ignore me . Also, some groups were waiting today as I went to each group to give them the words. In another classroom with easily distracted students, I might face discipline issues. It might be a good idea to give them something small to focus on while I come around.
Good setting of expectation by asking students to raise hands before I
answer them.
Giving them a time countdown '___many mins left' was a good way of making them aware of the passage of time and giving them a chance to close activity.
Differentiation was well planned -but I need to be more subtle as many support students are embarrased that other students are aware of their lower level worksheets. I may make diff group and subtly create a group of all support students. That way I have them all in one area and they feel freer. Also, as I am getting to know the children, I can raise the level of the engagements.
They are enjoying the learning:)and even I am learning so much :)

Teaching Practice begins

A colleagues feedback about my Day 1 practice . I am teaching English - grade 4 .

Day 1
Plan: Students found the plan interesting and engaging. The plan was appropriate for the age group.
Resources: The worksheets were ready and you were well prepared for the plan. Do practice using the Whiteboard tomorrow so that you are self reliant by your observed session.
Teaching components: Sonali, I would like to commend you on taking the failure of ICT - and the video you had planned in your stride and continuing with another aspect of your plan smoothly. This ability to improvise will stand you in great stead.
Student interaction: Students understood your instructions clearly.
There was a lot of differentiation as you have foreign students .
Ask students to put everything in their hand away, they get very distracted playing with pencils, erasers, etc.
Overall, you did a good job, effortlessly.

Looking forward to Day 2


We find lot of people with different level of intelligence/ we can say differently enabled thinking people around us. When it comes to teaching, teacher is always considered as parent after the real parent, so she has to do justice to all the wards of his/her class. How is it possible? How do we do this? and bring justice to the students who is expecting a good mentor in you.

This situation is very critical and sensitive to both student and teacher also.
Teacher want teach all the kids in the best way possible.

There comes differentiation!
*Concept based learning for different level with respect( actually the 'respect' word puzzled me and Nina same time Nina voiced it, Ms Fathima came up with a beautiful explanation, which I felt very appropriate for the group).
*Tiering-for different level of understanding
*Tic-Tac-Toe- for multiple intelligence
*Impacting- this was really wonderful for above average children( i found it little tricky, because the guideline is not move form the concept, being the in the same concept how you can cater the higher order thinking of the child, that was really, I think I should put in more effort to do this)
*Gardner and Bloom grid - really helps to plan your lessons to greater extent, I think you can cover maximum varieties of students of the class.

About myself and reflection on Group Work

I was always passionate about teaching and I feel proud to say that I am a teacher. My name is Shuchi. I teach Mathematics to 5th and 6th standard. I did B.Ed. not only to add a teaching degree but also to gain perfection in teaching. Now I joined C.I.D.T.T. course not only to add an international degree to my CV but also to make my students enjoy learning with the help of different activities in my class and I also to satisfy myself to the core of my heart by teaching. After taking a class, I always look forward to have the feeling that yes each and every student in my class has understood the concept very well and each and everybody has replied to my questions and can apply the knowledge.
Before joining C.I.D.T.T. course I have taught many concepts with the help of Group Work and I have almost succeeded. But there was always some chaos among students. I always had to ask each one of them keep quiet, finish it fast, do neatly, clean your desk after the task, everybody has to participate etc. etc.. But after the Group Work session of C.I.D.T.T. I learned some tips to take control of the class with some effective planning.
When I did Group Work activity in my class V B. The concept was finding the area of a square. I made 5 cutouts of squares with each having different sides. I divided the class into 5 groups A, B, C, D and E. Each group had about 4-5 students. I instructed some ground rules. I made one student as “Timekeeper” who will keep tab on time, one as “Material Manager” who will bring the material required for activity from the teacher, one as “Facilitator” who will make sure that the work is done by all and all have the opportunity to participate and one as “Creative Director” who will be responsible for overall presentation. I made an announcement that whichever group comes first will get red star on the conduct chart but with all the correct answers and whichever group keeps quiet will get a red star and also in which ever group all the members of it take part actively will also get a red star.
After announcing the ground rules I was double assured that my activity will be hit today. I was really amazed to see that students of group D and E were behaving according to the role given and also were very happy. In group B, there were 3 boys and 1 girl. She was little reluctant and was not participating. The other 2 boys were much more active than her. I tried to encourage her and asked those 2 boys to give chance to her and the fourth boy who was keeping quiet.
After the class I thought that she was the only girl in the group and was not feeling comfortable. When I did the same activity in Class 5 C, I took care of this point. There was only one boy in a group so I asked him to exchange his position with any other student who would like to do. I know that the group should not be comfortable because the students talk more do activity less but it is not true always. But I learned that there should not be only one girl/boy in a group of 4-5 students. Any suggestion ?
In group C, the 2 girls were very active but the 1 boy was only busy in telling to keep quiet and the other was not at all participating in the activity. So I asked their roles and reminded them the ground rules. Then the other 2 boys started participating.
1 boy in this group C who was not at all participating, understood the concept very well with this activity. After this activity he was able to answer the questions orally.
In group A, 3 students were participating and 1 boy was sitting behind all these students and was peeping. Then I asked him to come and sit in the circle and participate. Then he took some interest into the activity.
Group D and A had a race that who will complete the activity first. They both made mistakes in writing the name of the square. So I asked them to go back and correct it. Finally, group D was the winner.
I could see the team spirit in group D and
A. They all were busy in correcting their mistakes and each and every member of the group was helping. I could see that all the members of group D took part actively that is why they were the winner. After all this I asked the winner of group D to put the chart on board outside the class. I gave red star to them.
In this way I did the group work in my class VB. Some errors done in VB were taken care off in Class VC. Still on the learning path.........

Geared up with learning tools.

After attending the session on learning tools, I as a teacher, am spending more time on planning. I understood that my basic job is only to guide the flow so that the day's
objectives are achieved. My lesson are "well pre-planned" by my school and according to that I had to cover my topic through a ppt presentation (18 slides). I decided to
implement chunk and chew method after 5th,9th, 14th and 20th slides by spearing 3 minutes for each.
After the 5th and 9th chunk and chew, I ended up doing the explanation of the topics (again). I made mental calculation and realized that I was running out of time hence
took a decision on not doing the 14th chunk and chew.
After the 20th slide when I did chunk and chew, the results were amazing. The children were able to answer better, which showed that the understanding level has gone up and this was because the views were shared, points were repeated and participation was to the maximum level. I also realized that recap was done during this process.
Hence, for me, chunk and chew is one of the best recap tool.

Strategies for active learning

We have already been acquainted with the fact that 'active learning' is need of the hour,but how to make it happen successfully,was a question which had been tinkling my mind for quite a while. Well,the session on 'Tools for teaching' by Asha assisted in satisfying my quest and had a lot to contribute to my bank of knowledge.

KWL sheet was an absolutely new concept for me.I found it very convincing and practical for tracking the progress of the learner and it also provides feedback to the teacher as to how effectively she has imparted knowledge to the learner.
Then gradually we were introduced to the 7 strategies for active learning and I found them to be very interesting.Previously,I had never imagined that 'questioning' (in the form of jeopardy,20 questions ,muddiest and clearest point)could be used so effectively in class.
Questioning from the teacher always scares the learner but if the learner is allocated that task,at the first step itself the element of threat is removed from his mind and he is much more able to comprehend the concepts taught in class.Moreover, it also leads to the development of higher order thinking skills.
The only strategy which didn't convince me completely was 'active reading-SQ3R.I always felt that first reading of the topic should be complete from the first line to the last,and then it should be in chunks according to the requirement of the questionnaire.
Well, may be further practice would help me understand this better!!