Reflection on Artifacts for Standard Three
The items I chose as artifacts for Standard Three demonstrate that I am approaching Standard Three: Planning because they show that while I work hard to gain a mastery of my content and come with creative ideas to pass on that content I do not always allow enough room, time and structure for students to develop meaning and critical thinking skills from that content. Throughout the summer my co-teacher and I largely followed the curriculum plan we had laid out at the beginning of the summer following backward planning principles. Yet our original plan and ideas focused on content and developing communication and historical thinking skills. Realizing now that I never thought about developing critical thinking skills it doesn’t surprise me that allowing students time and structure to make meaning of material through development and use of critical thinking skills doesn’t surprise me.
My lesson plan on globalization was focused on exchanging information about globalization and developing note-taking skills. I outlined, from the beginning, where the conversation on globalization was going to go—from breaking down the definition to examples in the text to historical examples (as I thought it was important to have students understand it wasn’t a new phenomenon) to seeing globalization in our own clothing to small group concept mapping of globalization. I used a lot of visuals in this lesson appealing, hopefully, to a wide audience in the class. I should have scaffold the concept map differently, instead of giving the groups a bland concept map with only a couple of bubbles to fill in I could have talked with the students about and modeled developing our own concept maps and let the students develop concept maps themselves that would have held more meaning to them. While this is more classroom practice, I also need to work on handling student to student sharing of information more efficiently and being okay to tell students we’re going to move on you’ll have to hold your comments.
My lesson on child soldiers was almost entirely small group activities. I again had great planning and ideas of how to convey this information but I missed opportunities to make meaning for the students. I didn’t debrief the chalk talk or share the students ideas and connections between the topics going to be discussed that day or make meaning out of the map activity on where child soldiers are used. I need to slow down, as I was trying to cover so much in the last few days of the class. I also didn’t connect this lesson well to their last piece of their personal history portfolio which was essentially asking them to write a letter about why its important to stop or to learn about child soldiers and wars affecting young adults in other ways.