Student teaching episodes.

This post is my in-class reflections of how student groups who taught the class made use of learning theory to inform their teaching.

Group 1: spelling.

You started by tapping into student prior knowledge by brainstorming words they found difficult to spell. When you started playing the game, I am struggling to understand how the game fits with learning theory. Perhaps you are considering motivational factors.

Almost all of your questions are simple “is it spelled right?” & those that are better questions, “how do you know?” you don’t actually wait for any meaningful answers. When you simply tell students how to remember certain spellings, you are not promoting active mental engagement.

Group 2: social norms

Started with a video to tap into students thinking about the scenario. The video served as a nice pre planned experience but consider how doing something in class that students experience instead of just watch might be even more concrete.

Having students brainstorm social norms makes sense & sharing ideas as a class encourages them to connect the ideas of socials norms to prior experience.

Many of your questions were open ended & you waited for multiple student responses. Yet some of your “on the fly” questions were simple yes/no. Developing the ability to create open ended questions on the fly takes much practice.

For a while I was wondering where you were going with the lesson, but then you ask why social norms are important in society.

You seem to have scaffolded students toward the more complex question at the end. You gave them more and more subtle social norms then asked them to reflect on social norms in general.

Group 3: speeches

Started by having students discuss in groups about a topic. This will encourage them to actively mentally engage, however I wonder if you are starting too abstract (but I don’t know what you are teaching yet).

You used some BLT with the candy. I want to caution you not to get carried away with this kind of strategy.

When you have the two example speeches you are providing a concrete example then encouraging students to reflect by asking what they notice about the speeches.
You are using student ideas about the speeches to develop ideas about good speeches.

I really liked the example speeches & the way you got student ideas, buy I am unsure about the very first “group share” & at the end you started simply listing characteristics rather than using student ideas.

Having students give speeches is a nice idea, but if this was a real classroom you are likely jumping way beyond their ZPD.

I do like how you seem to have attempted to utilize the learning cycle. Explore, develop concepts about speeches and then apply to their own speeches.

Group 4: states

Just because students are young doesn’t mean the questions must be simple. Second graders could answer “where have you been outside of Iowa?” instead of “how many of you have been outside of Iowa?”

You hand out some sheets to have students work in groups. The group work fits with SLT, & the pictures on the sheets fit with DLT, but I wonder if there is a better way to represent the states. Thing like the state bird & flower seem like pointless facts to me. However they might be things you are required to teach.

Your organization scheme is a nice scaffold, but for 2nd graders you’ll likely need to provide the chart for students.

Some ideas off the top of my head would be to use google earth to “visit” different places in the state or have the students choose “class birds” “flowers etc”. Then you can link star flowers etc to heat their class flowers, etc.

Much of your lesson is abstract. It is simplified, but still abstract. Also, I struggle to see how students would connect these state artifacts to their own lives.

You have made use of SLT extensively & attempted to use DLT, but I do not see a clear connection between you teaching & CLT.

I still struggle to believe these facts are time well spent in a classroom. To what extent are these ideas simply going to memorized?

Group 5: Spanish

The English starting sentence is a nice way to introduce the need for conjugation with more familiar terms.

The rocket ship is a nice way to provide some scaffolding, but I wonder if introducing all tenses is too much at once.

Perhaps filling out the rocket in english would further help students scaffold between their knowledge of English & their learning in Spanish.

Much of your lesson was teacher oriented – meaning you did most of the talking. How could you better encourage students to participate & do the thinking instead of you doing the thinking form them.

The race is a nice way to motivate students, but consider what the rest of the students are doing. It would be very easy for them to mentally “check out”.

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