Week 7 Reflection

It’s been a while since my last reflection because we just had our two week spring break from school. I went back home to Whitehorse for the break to visit friends and family while I enjoyed the time off. It was great to have the break and share my experiences with people from back home, and I’m looking forward to going back and bringing all I have learned here. Going back into school mode from the two week break was a little challenging at first, and the week started off a little slow with everyone’s brains moving into work mode again. On top of that I had several students still away on vacation, so they will be playing a bit of catch up for the next while.
My grade 8 classes completed the first half of Unit 5 before break begun and had written their Unit test for that, so I was starting the second half this past week. We had to go over the expectations for the Unit through their portfolio checklists, but since this was a familiar concept to the students it went smoothly and we were able to transition into work right away. I have noticed that the students are really responding to the current content and have been able to complete tasks in class. My observation this week by my faculty advisor was in my grade 8’s class this week and from start to finish I was pretty thrilled with everyone’s responses and work habit in the class. My Faculty advisor seemed to really enjoy the class giving me a few tips on taking responses from students and checking for learning. I have been able to implement most of the techniques that my advisors have given me and really notice the effect they have in the classroom. Since we had just completed a Unit test, my students had received their marks for them and I have been offering the chance to retest by attending a morning tutorial and then setting a time for the re write. I had several students make arrangements with me and attend the morning tutorial which was great and many of them have improved their understanding and grade. I get really excited to see my students taking the initiative to improve and get that extra help they need, and so I am very glad that I have been able to give that to them.
My Pre-Calculus classes this past week were a hectic at times since we left for break in the middle of a unit and are working to finish the unit right away. Most of the students hadn’t done any work over the break and were either behind in the unit or needing time to re-familiarize themselves with the content. The first day had a few bumps because they were just coming off having no school for two weeks and their attitude towards class and work wasn’t very positive. I had an activity planned out which we tried to go through, but we struggled through some of the procedures. After it was all said and done I thought that I could try that activity again someday changing it around so there weren’t so many steps and on a day that we could focus so it would be more beneficial. It was an excellent learning experience and from the behaviour of the students I was able to come to class the next day with stricter rules for class time which improved greatly that day. I was able to have a discussion with all of my students this week to get a feeling of where they are in the unit, how they are handling the work, and when they will be writing their tests. I was glad to see that many of them were coming in on their own time to get extra help, so I am hoping that this will continue next week so that we can get everyone on track. I finished the week knowing that I need to continue enforcing the behavioural rules as well as communication with students and parents to continue progressing through each unit successfully.
Outside of class time this week I had two major events occur, my midterm evaluation of my practicum and my first parent-teacher conference. My midterm evaluation was interesting and really successful, as a group my advisors and I went through the evaluation list and chose where I was at for each question. There were 4 categories to choose from and I received mostly the second highest category of consistently meeting expectations which I was really glad to see. There were a couple of approaching expectations questions that we decided on, but I knew that that was accurate because I am working to improve those and have been regularly reflecting on ways to do so. They were things such as monitoring student behaviour and different types of assessment. I was really excited to see that my advisors thought I was exemplary, the highest category, in a few of the questions and I plan to continue that and hopefully build up to that in some of the other questions. Overall, I really benefited from that experience because I got the reassurance that I was strong in most areas and where I was weak we were able to discuss some possibilities to improve. Later that same day was my first parent-teacher conference and before it began I was pretty nervous because I had no idea what to expect. However, once it began I was having a blast because I enjoyed meeting some of the parents and sharing what we have been doing in class. I brought with my all the tests and marks for each student in all my classes and that was a great idea because when we talking about tests or anything I was able to physically show them were their child was strong or needing some extra help. I have always been a pretty social person, and even as a child I liked talking to adults so I think I did great with my first experience in conferences and got a lot of great feedback from my students parents.
I am going into these last couple weeks planning to try and mix things up a bit with my assessment strategies and potentially implementing what I do in my flipped classroom into my grade 8 classes to incorporate more use of technology. I will continue to work on monitoring behaviour in my classes and communicating with my students and parents.


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