Week 3 Reflection

This past week was a very short week because Monday was BC Family day so it was a holiday for students and staff, and then Friday was a Pro D day. Students were off school and staff members were to attend professional development seminars for the day. Hence, there were only 3 days of instruction this week. Of the three days I had two days of instruction with my Math 8 classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This week was a really great learning experience for me because I was going to have my first test with my students and attending my first professional development day.
On Tuesday, I had my second observation from my faculty advisor with my Grade 8s. That day we were finishing our last lesson before the test and working on finishing all the work we had to have done for our portfolio for the unit. I knew that a group of my students were right on schedule with their assignments and placing their work in their portfolios, but I also knew that the majority of them were confused or slightly behind or even having misplaced their work. I decided since so many of the group were absent during this time and having a hard time comprehending and keeping up with the checklist of assignments I would be not too strict on whether everything was done and handed in. During class I had students write a pretest on the content so far and mark each other’s work highlighting the good work and discussing the struggles. The rest of class looked much like any other day with a short lecture, some assigned questions for practice and an activity to enrich the learning.
I had been practicing and discussing with the classes the importance of being respectful when others are talking and making quicker transitions between activities. That day there were moments of good transitions, but my faculty advisor discussed with me working more on classroom management with the students. I hope that as we continue to work together and create routines that this will progress into stronger transitions, and a better working environment. I am feeling pretty good about how my progress is going with my classes so far because most of my observations have gone well, only having issues majorly with classroom management which I believe can only get better with time and practice.
On Thursday, my sponsor teacher was away and I had a TOC assisting me in the classroom. It was test day for unit 4 and I had planned on having a game of Math Jeopardy for review with the class for the first half of the time, and finishing the day with the test. Overall, everything went well with the review and the test, but I definitely left feeling like I needed to change a few things around to improve the situation. The students loved the game for review and everyone participated with a lot of excitement. However, there were moments that got a little too energetic, so I think that for next time I need to establish stronger rules for presenting solutions and giving out or taking away points. I think this will help to create fairness amongst the students and minimize chaos. When I moved on to giving the test to the class I gave much more time than I needed to ensure everyone would have enough time to work through it all, but I think that I should either give less time or create a longer test with simpler questions.
I asked students to complete a reflection sheet at the end of class on unit 4 noting the things they enjoyed about the unit, things they struggled with, and something they would like to suggest for next time. I was thrilled with the responses because I didn’t realize some of the things they would like. I got comments for more practice time in class, questions with more simple numbers, students needing more explanation, etc. I am taking into consideration their requests and hoping to be able to apply most of them for the next unit we are working through.

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One thought on “Week 3 Reflection

  1. Amy, some good ideas on what to do next time. Games are always fun, and the learning curve for the teacher doing this for the first time always provides feedback on what to do differently next time. Good for you. Taking a risk to try different ways to review the skills and concepts will guide you to effective ways to help your students learn. See you Tuesday.

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