o Assessing Prior Knowledge- After teaching this lesson and being exposed to different ways of assessing prior knowledge throughout the semester, I realized that the introductory activity that we did in our lesson was a good one although not as successful as it would have been with younger students. However, I do think that the celery activity didn’t give as accurate results as we would have wanted. I’m pretty sure that students would have been a little confused and or disappointed by not seeing the results (celery changing color). For this, I feel that it would be good to do the celery activity a day before the lesson, right before leaving home as an introduction for the next day’s lesson. This way, the students might be eager to see results the next day and at the same time we are allowing more time for the celery to actually change color. The teacher may go over what the celery activity consist of (mainly observing). The next day, assessing prior knowledge, the class may discuss the observations on the celery and discuss what happened as well as make predictions.
o Planning Instruction- It was nice to plan the lesson integrating technology. Although, it was a bit hard since many schools do not have the availability of technology resources and thinking about it made me lose time. However, it was nice to learn about the variety of software programs and technology that one can integrate. This makes the lessons a lot more interesting and less boring. I definitely see myself implementing some of the technology that I learned through the semester in my future classroom.
o Designing Instruction- For me, this part took a lot to figure and design in a way that things would flow smoothly. It was time consuming trying to figure out different centers that would not be boring and children would enjoy. I do feel like we could have added a bit more of technology and less worksheet. Students learn best when involved in fun and motivating learning activities. If I were to teach this exact same lesson, the children would probably be bored and disengaged after completing the second center involving worksheets. I now understand that designing the instruction must be well thought out keeping in mind the students that one has and putting you in the place of the child, “how would I like to learn?”
o Planning Assessment- We used a rubric to assess the student’s center activities. Through this semester, I learned that student tend to perform better and have a more completed work when making them accountable for the work they must complete. For this, it would have been nice if we would have given the students a checklist of what they must complete in each center. The rubric worked well, but it mainly helped us (teachers) for the grading process. Indeed, we had a few flaws in the first rubric we designed and some parts had to be modified which made it more clear as well.
o Instructional Decisions/Teaching- there were some modifications that had to be done while teaching the lesson. The biggest one was having students attend the centers as they finished. Not all kids work at the same pace, therefore this is a modification that had to be done since some students that were done started getting bored and lead to disengagement. Thankfully we were able to get them back by making this decision. Through teaching the lesson, I learned that as prepared as you are, there will always be some issues that will arise where as a teacher you must be quick at making thoughtful at decisions and being flexible.
o Assessment of learning- As an informal assessment, we monitored around the class asking and clarifying questions which really made me aware of where the students were as far as the lesson comprehension. For the summative assessment, the students turned in a book including their entire center activities which I thought turned out really well and it was easy to assess/grade using the rubric. Throughout the semester, I have learned the importance of ongoing assessment which does not necessarily mean it should be formal but rather just informally asking questions. Implementing this strategy helped the assessment part be successful.