Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflection 11

This last week my group had the opportunity to teach a sixth grade class at an elementary school. I learned a lot from this experience as we both prepared our lesson plan and taught the students.

Something that made me think about how I’m going to handle some of my students as a teacher: There was this little girl that would say the sassiest remarks to me! She could be quite the brat, I’ll be honest! It also made me laugh because at one point when she was being sassy towards me, my professor Geoff just walked in. In seeing how she was, he responded to me, “Now you know how I feel!”. This made me smile because this made me think of the times us students in our class have given him a hard time. But at the same time, Geoff most definitely asks for it sometimes too. Anyways, this little encounter with this student made me think about how I’m going to deal with sass from students. I am going to have to figure out what is the best way to deal with that because it is most definitely something I will have to deal with in high school. Being a teacher, there is so much more than knowing how and what to teach. You have to know what is the best way to handle certain situations with your students.

Overall, I really enjoyed teaching at the elementary school. It was very rewarding and has made me even more excited to be a teacher. People always talk about how rewarding teaching is and this experience most definitely proved that. It felt good to teach these children and see their progress as they learned our material. I think I will really enjoy being a teacher.

Reflection 10

Teaching, teaching, teaching.

There is so much that goes into this!! Just recently we’ve been preparing our lesson for a group of sixth graders. As we’ve been preparing what we want to teach them and how we’re going to do it I’ve realized that there is quite a bit of work that goes into this.

As a student, it is so easy to overlook a teacher or professor puts into his lesson. I feel like I’ve grown more of an appreciation for my teachers as I have experienced myself what all goes into it. I feel like no matter what though, the teacher puts in more work than a student recognizes (that is for those teachers that actually plan their lessons!). Our group thought out every detail of our lesson as we prepared different stations for the kids about magnetism. Not only did we have everything well thought out, but I learned quite a bit! As a teacher, I seem to learn the material much more when I KNOW I have to teach it to someone else. Now I just need to get this mindset of that I will have to teach this material I’m learning so that I can learn it that much better!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reflection 9

Last week we were discussing student achievement vs. student learning and how we test students in the classroom. This really made me think of what is better for the student. It is so easy to write a test in which that test is not a clear determination what the student learned. In the classroom it is important to find a clear way to assess and evaluate your students learning.

What is the best way to evaluate and assess a student?? Common testing methods include true/false, multiple choice, and essay form. True/false is a poor way of testing as no matter what a student has a 50/50 chance of being right. Multiple choice can be ok as long as you are simple and direct in your question. Essay is good because it shows exactly what the student is thinking, but as well as this it is also the test that takes the longest to grade (something BYU isn't always a fan of).

I think about myself and testing. I am not a very good test taker. I am typically much better at essay question type tests, although I hate them as well because they are the tests that require the most time, effort, and studying. When writing tests for our own classes, we need to consider the different ways to test them and make sure we are clear in what we want so we can try to be as effective as possible when teaching them. Here is a list of some general rules for when making a test:

simple and direct wording
avoid jargon
avoid trivial items
match items to learning out comes
each item has an agreed upon correct answer
write more questions than you will need
avoid the use of negatives
Enough information to answer the question
Direct questions preferred
Blanks at the end of the test
Include words repeated in all responses
Provide constraints: time, etc.
3-5 per item
Avoid “all of the above” and none of the above
Grammatically correct with stem
Similar length and structure
Avoid absolute words
Listed in a logical order
Distracters should be plausible, can use cliché, use partial answers
Group items by type
Sort items by increasing difficulty
Add instructions
Review layout and pagination
Write answer key
Wait to grade-and all at once (or same conditions).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reflection 8

Last week our professor was out of town all week. It was interesting that with him out of town, in one of my classes several of us ditched class and chose to sleep in or do other things. I'll be honest, I did not attend one of the class periods that week as well. Is this a bad thing or not? Class to many might not have seemed as crucial, as we were only learning STL's which we could easily read up on later to know. At the same time, by not going we are not being supportive to our fellow classmates who are teaching. Some could also argue that by having fewer students there, the pressure of teaching wasn't as high. The arguments go on. In the end, what is good or bad comes down to the individual. What is it that they want to get out of school? It's up to the student.

Thinking about this also makes me think about how each student is different in what is "important" to them in their classes. Each student is different in whether they are always on time and in class, ditch, come late every day, turn assignments in early or late, etc. Where is the best level for a student to be at? We all know that no student can be perfect. What is the right balance for them and their learning? Should the ones that are a little more "lazy" in how they approach class, assignments, and learning change their approach? These are just some of the questions I have as a student and for myself. Each of us as a student need to figure out where that line is and what kind of student we want to be. As for me, in certain areas I know I most definitely need to be better!