Standard #3: Planning
The student teacher's lesson plans are carefully written and detailed, noting content and skills objectives, describing activities, and noting special learning and diversity needs where appropriate. Lessons exhibit clearly focused, sensible connections from one to the next, and are designed topromote construction of knowledge by students. The student teacher takes time to explain lesson objectives to student and, using a variety of strategies, checks that students are clear about what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Standard #3: Reflection
Organization and routine are critical to my work as an educator and most certainly, life in general. While we were discussing our lessons and generating ideas, I was sure to put our thoughts on paper to ensure an easier transition to the lesson plan format. On the lesson plan, I would create an agenda listing all that we planned to do, including how long that would take and the times at which we should be transitioning activities, adding details when necessary. We also created a list of accordion activities which we would use for both filling time when necessary as well as differentiating instruction in the case that a student was either not challenged enough, or was having a hard time comprehending instruction. Some of these accordions included additional questions to further investigate a topic as well as articles on the American Dream which students could read and respond to.
One way which I added to our planning routine was to create an array of skills which we could draw upon to either check comprehension or gain attention. Some of these were in the objectives while others were on a mental checklist. These included thumbs up/thumbs down, five fingers, and eyes up. It was a nice way to involve all students, even if they didn’t speak up, they were at least able to share their opinion in nonverbal ways.
A goal that I have is to better my understanding of working with special learners with diverse needs. We had a couple students in particular who either had specific learning disabilities or were well behind grade level. It was difficult to find activities that would be comprehensible for these students but still challenge our most advanced students. I would like to improve my understanding of students’ needs and understandings and to make sure that my class and approachable for all.