Practicum Reflection – Week of Nov. 9th

It has been a pleasure observing so many lessons and activities in which Teacher Candidates look to plan and facilitate valuable learning opportunities for their students. These have included both active and more passive learning strategies.

Active learning has been defined as “a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content.”  (from CRLT)

from: http://picshype.com/tactile-learning-style-examples/encourage-active-learning./862

from: http://picshype.com/tactile-learning-style-examples/encourage-active-learning./862

The Cone of Learning (based on Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Experience” make visible how active learning can support retention and knowledge acquisition. There are many ways to accomplish this! (NB: there has been much discussion and literature about the validity of this use of Dale’s model)

I have seen so many examples of active learning in classrooms this week and had several discussions about engagement, so thought it might be interesting to have a conversation and share strategies you are using to promote engagement.

How is it going for you? How have you worked to engage your students? Are you finding ways to put your students at the center? Did you plan something and then, after teaching, consider a way that it might have been more active or more student-centered? What are your thoughts about Active Learning? Are there different ‘level’s of active?

 

 

 

 

39 comments on “Practicum Reflection – Week of Nov. 9th”

  1. Sara Reply

    This past week I had an opportunity to teach a language arts activity. I began the lesson by asking the students to name and describe the various elements of a story; I had visual prompts and asked the students to also come up with examples of each element. I was able to keep the students engaged by asking students to raise their hands as well as asking them to call out altogether. I showed them a picture from the story I was about to read and gave them the title. I then asked for predictions. The students were very engaged and were working off of each other’s predictions. It was great to see them actually making meaningful predictions. I also had the opportunity to ask almost every student in the class – as they all raised their hands and were eager to tell me their predictions. I then made sure to pause as I was reading the story for dramatic effect as well as to speak to their predictions and whether or not their predictions had changed or if they wanted to add anything. After reading the story and talking, a lot, I realized that the students were getting restless and I wasn’t quite finished what I was teaching – so I improvised. I needed the students to shift their position so they were able to see the board, so I instead asked them to stand and we played a short game of Ms.Wynne Says. It was a fun way to get them up and moving and also change positions. It seemed to work and they were again engaged in the lesson. It was an interesting experience and I was impressed by my ability to think on the fly. Throughout my other lessons I think I was too nervous and pretty much stuck to my lesson plan, but this time I was able to scan and see what my students needed and adjust the lesson accordingly! It’s amazing the amount of things I have been learning by being present in the classroom and getting to teach the students and make mistakes along the way!

    • Rasheena Sekhon Reply

      Hi Sara! I am also doing a language arts activity with my class. I have adjusted (with the help of my SA) a few of my lessons to help promote more student engagement. I’m reading a novel (about fables) and I often do two chapters a day. This can be very teacher loading when students are just sitting and listening! So, to engage them more, I ask students to think about what they think the moral is at the end of every chapter. This allows them to anticipate throughout the chapter what will happen to the characters involved. Then we have a discussion on it afterwards. In the cone of learning, this is the “participating in a discussion” part. This technique allows students to think about something specific as I am reading, and to look out for it. My novel also has several character names, that are important to how the characters develop. I created a chart on the front board of all the names. As I read, and the students hear a NEW name they raise their hands, and I pick a student to share the new name. This allows for active learning and participation throughout my read aloud. After I finish the chapter, I write the new name on the chart, so students have a visual. I also ask students to recap on the previous chapter before I begin reading for the day. This allow students to think and understand about what we read the day before. I usually ask about 7 students to share, and all their ideas build on one another. Through this, students learn from other students and this can be very valuable for student engagement.

      • Darrien Reply

        I love the name writing idea! That’s so clever and a great way for students to keep track of the story. You’re keeping your students engaged and aiding in comprehension. There are so many other ways you could use this tool – vocabulary, plot, key literary features (like smilies, alliteration etc for older grades). Plus I’m sure you’re students were proud when they recognized a new character. Definitely going to remember this one.
        Also, what novel were you reading?

        • Rasheena Sekhon Reply

          Thanks! I am reading “The Fabled 4th graders of Aesop Elementary”. There are over 35 characters, so this chart and name writing method is needed!

          • Yvonne

            I’m with Darrien Rasheena. The organized visual really adds to the ability of the students to keep track. By including the visual, students can quickly scan to ensure they’re idea is ‘new’ – this can increase their sense of confidence as they participate. I’ve seen teachers keep ‘powerful language’ charts as well… when students hear powerful words they give a signal and the word gets added to the chart (strong descriptive verbs – pummel – for example)

      • Meliza Reply

        Hey Rasheena!
        Definitely already know what you’re doing with your class (:P), and I as well like the idea you have been using with the name chart. I’ve had the pleasure of actually seeing it and I feel as though having it up there throughout the day and weeks will be helpful in their engagement too. I like the idea that it is up at the front for students to refer to it throughout the day and even give them the opportunity to be reminded of the fables they had heard in the morning. Also, since you’re asking students about the morals at the end of your read, it is engaging in the sense that you’re cueing students as well as promoting active listening. Keep it up girl!

      • Yvonne Reply

        Cueing students to think about something as you read is definitely a valuable engagement strategy Rasheena. re: the cone of learning – the idea of discussion can be broken down into so many different opportunities. I would be interested to know what types of discussions you and your colleagues have engaged your students in and if you find some are more ‘active’ and engaging than others…

    • suritis Reply

      I also had the opportunity to teach a language arts activity with the students. I have noticed that most of the students enjoy story time a lot. They love listening and looking at the images. However, there are a few who do not listen and tend to day dream. For one of my language arts activities I decided that I was not going to show the images to them till after the story was over to see if they were paying attention. I gave them instructions about this before I had started reading the story out loud and also told them they would have to do a journal activity after this. Surprisingly this seemed to work. All of the students started listening to the story very carefully. After the story was over, I showed them images from the book which I had printed out. None of these images had text so no one could read for clues (as we do have some good readers in the class). Even the students who usually don’t participate were raising their hands up to participate. After this I went around the room asking each and every student about their favourite part in the story. Once they had told me, I wrote on the board “My favourite part in the story was”. They had to copy this into the journals and write what their favourite part in the story was along with a drawing. I was amazed to see their sentences and drawings. I had asked them to be creative and that is what they gave me. Most of the students seemed to enjoy this activity, which felt very rewarding.

      • Meliza Reply

        Hey Suriti! Looks like Roxanne’s read alouds are coming in handy! It is so good to see you strengthening your students’ auditory ability! Also to pick up the fact that your students were becoming too carried away with the images (and not paying enough attention to the story itself) is so insightful! I’ve also noticed with my class that they are a lot more engaged with having images incorporated in their lessons/activities.

        Since my SA is a lot more traditional in the way she teaches, I can see how much more responsive and engaged they are to my lessons when I have the PowerPoint (imaged filled). I as well have been focusing my lessons around Language Arts, particularly poetry. Since poetry is meant to create imagery, I have been using just images to explain my lessons instead of my words, or text. I’ve noticed a lot more engagement through this as it created more questions in their mind on how to create their 5 senses poems, acrostic poems and haikus. Another way I’ve been trying to keep my students engaged throughout my poetry lessons is presenting myself and responding to my students in a non-evaluative manner. Some of my students tend to have high anxiety and want to get everything perfect so giving them the opportunity to feel less strained in getting the “right” answers or making the “perfect”/”best” poems (that will get them the 4’s) allows them to be more free and creative in their poetry.

      • jasleent Reply

        I love that you didn’t know the images until after. I’m definitely going to try this during my long practicum because I’ve noticed that some of the students have a difficult time listening, instead they would rather just look at the pictures. I may give my class a couple of options next time before reading to them just to see what works best for them. Im sure that being able to draw in a drawing book while listening may also help them stay engaged and relate better to the story.

    • suritis Reply

      Definitely used Roxanne’s techniques. It worked out really well during my lesson. I can already tell that some of them prefer visual-based instruction and activities more.

  2. Madeleine Reply

    As someone new to teaching, I always tend to think about “what activity can I do to go along with my lesson?”. I wanted something tangible to show for what the students learned, a worksheet, an art project to take home, that sort of thing. However, some great learning is done using open ended questions.

    On Friday I taught a math lesson about patterns. So far that week we had been making linear patterns using different colours, shapes, and letters. I wondered how well the students understood the concept of a pattern and decided to make an open ended lesson. I set up four stations with different manipulative (beads, popsicle sticks, snap cubes and blocks) along with a couple of circle and spiral templates. I asked the students “can a pattern be in a circle?” they all thought yes, but I wanted them to prove their answers to me. I let them work out patterns or non-patterns, each student trying two different stations and with no guidance from me, they were either successful or not. I walked around with the iPad and took photos of them and their patterns, which I had told them we would look at after the activity and I would chose three or four people to share their pattern and their thought process. The students went right to work and I was amazed at some of the patterns they came up with! It also gave me a real chance to assess how much they understood about patterns, some students stuck to the linear pattern, while others challenged themselves to make circular one. I told them to do their best and that there were no wrong answers (since a pattern can be a circle, but not all circles are patterns!). It was by far my favourite lesson, the students were keen to show what they could do since they knew I would be taking pictures to share, and the classroom management was a piece of cake that day. As they all giggled at themselves up on the projector, I got a real sense of who was at what stage in their problem solving skills, not only could they do it, but could they explain it. I should also add, one of the students who made my favourite pattern is very shy, he normally does not get up to speak in front of the class too often, I told him ahead of time that I would like for him to explain his pattern. I feel that this gave him the chance to say “no” to me, or it would allow him to prepare himself a little bit longer. When the time came, he jumped up and told his fellow classmates about his work, everyone was very impressed!

    So the moral of my story is this, a lesson does not need something tangible, doing activities that are open ended and allow the students to think and problem solve creates a valuable learning opportunity. I am so glad that I had my SA to help me out with this lesson and explain the value of an activity like this. I was so focused on the idea that the students needed something to show as proof that I had taught them something. There is, of course, value in both methods, I just thought I would share my experience with everyone, I highly recommend trying an open ended lesson when you have the chance!

    • sophial Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing, Madeleine!
      I love the concept of having open-ended lessons because as you saw, the children were able to show you what they were able to do and they were able to create some creative patterns! I like how you didn’t interject and just allowed them to create on their own – creating a sense of ownership for the students. As evident in your post, the children loved the activities that you laid out for them and were eager to participate and share with the class.
      For primary students, center time is a great way of creating open-ended activities for children to do. It engages students and they also have fun AND learn at the same time. I did a math based centers last week, which was a lot of fun. I focused more on counting for that. The children’s favourite activity was the game board that I created, which emphasized counting steps along the game board. The children got really into it! I’d love to hear from our intermediate TCs about ways that they have incorporated open-ended lessons and activities into their classrooms (since Grades 4+ don’t have “center time”).

      • Rasheena Sekhon Reply

        Hi Sophia! I agree that open ended questions give students a lot of room for creativity. I have a grade 5 class, and I did an instagram activity with them for our novel. The students had a small amount of criteria to follow, but they were able to pretty much choose to draw and write about anything they wanted, as long as it related to the book. Through this, I saw many students take the acitvity in different directions that I never even thought of. It was neat to see how giving students agency and keeping things open ended can help fuel creativity within the classroom.

        • amandas Reply

          I agree that giving students opportunities for creativity within activities while still providing some framework is important. Some students do really well with having lots of room for creativity while other students needs support and encouragement in exercising their creativity.

    • jasleent Reply

      I love the fact that the students got to work at stations! Such a creative way to assess where students are at in terms of patterns.

  3. ramans Reply

    Hey Sara, I completely understand when you speak about the kids becoming very restless. What I have really been appreciating in my classroom is the constant daily brain breaks we have been giving to the kids, these breaks are physical activities we allow the kids to do throughout the day. During or daily five and daily three, when the kids change their daily they are allowed to go for a quick run, do jumping jacks, burpees, or push-ups. These breaks not only give them a physical activity, they allow the kids to release some energy and refocus on their task, and they work as a very positive release. At times with certain students when I feel as though they are getting excessively restless or unfocused I allow for them do this activity and self-regulate their learning.

    • Sara Reply

      Brain breaks are such a great idea. I have been using them throughout my lessons since I first tried one during my language arts lesson. Last week I asked the students to hop to their desks like bunnies when I had finished reading to them at the carpet! They loved it! And my SA even commented on how excited they were and how serious they took it, even calling their friends out when they weren’t being bunnies! I am going to have to try the quick run or getting them to do something more physical. I could easily ask them to run to the fence and back. Thanks for the idea, Raman!

  4. hannahc Reply

    Suriti, my grade ones also enjoy story time. We read stories twice/day. I liked your idea about not showing the pictures until afterwards. It really allows them to use their imagination. I may try this on Friday.
    I also like that you include a writing activity about the story (their favourite part). This is a great extention for having students remember this that they “do” and it helps them go beyond them just hearing the story.
    You make the students wait until after the story is finished for questions and comments. I do this too. I have found this to work really well. I remind them that if they have an idea, they keep it in their head until the end of the story.

    • suritis Reply

      Hey Hannah! Let me know if you ended up doing this activity with your students and if so, how did it go?

  5. sophial Reply

    On the topic of read-alouds, my class also love to hear stories being read to them. I read at least one story to the class everyday and the children are always engaged. Things that we’ve discussed previously – such as tone and volume – play a large part in student engagement during read-alouds. Sometimes in the afternoon, I also read one chapter from a chapter book series that is provided by my SA (called “Frog and Toad” for those curious). For this reading, I also do not show the images in the book, aiming to help spark the students’ imagination. I recommend that if you do something like this, that you have a discussion with the students the images that they were imagining before going through the book to show the actual pictures. This allows the children to share their ideas and it also excites them when they see the same images from their imagination in the book! I notice that the children are sometimes eager to just see the pictures straight from the book as you read, but if you make the act of imagination fun, then the children will be into it. Before I begin, I like to excite the class by saying something like, “Alright class, it’s time to take out your imaginary imagination caps and place them tightly onto your head! I want you to carefully listen and imagine some of the images in the book as I read to you.”

    • grahamh Reply

      Sophia, I love that method of engaging the student’s imagination first! It is such a powerful tool the students can use and often, it is left out of a lesson. These read-alouds have been a very interesting way of gauging student involvement and I agree that how you deliver the material is critical. A powerfully told story is captivating (I would submit any story we’ve had read to us in Roxanne’s class as evidence) and that idea of a student’s imagination taking over is essentially what we are working towards (ex. that’ll be the case when reading novels). I wonder how the opposite activity would function where you only give the pictures without a story and they must use their imagination to form the plot. I feel like this kind of “Choose Your Adventure” activity would also be incredibly engaging and would compliment the inverse “Use Your Imagination” well. Thoughts?

      • Sara Reply

        That is what I did, Graham. I gave each table group an image and asked them to develop their own individual stories. As they are grade 2 students, getting their ideas down on paper can sometimes take longer than anticipated and as such, not all of the stories are completed just yet. The students loved the idea of getting to be the author of their own story. It was also great to see just how big their imaginations were. Students who were seated at the same table group, and had the same picture, had come up with completely different ideas on how the image could be interpreted. I had the opportunity to touch base with each of the students and was overwhelmed by their stories and the attention to detail that they were including. I can’t wait to read the final results!

    • ashleym Reply

      I love the idea about not showing the images from the story. It definitely helps them stay interested and can lead to a very interesting discussion afterwards!

  6. Vicki Reply

    When I initially spoke with my SA about my read-aloud (this seems to be a trend to use this as an example), she gave me a theme to base my book choice on – social responsibility (I chose “You’re Here For a Reason” by Nancy Tillman). Almost immediately, I wanted to incorporate the schools policy (“Take care of yourself; Take care of others; Take care of this place”) into the lesson and landed on the website for Random Acts Of Kindness. This is a foundation that I have looked at previously and pulled into my High School and University classes for certain projects, so I already knew that it would be appropriate for the students, but I worried about how much they would really want to partake in any of the activities/assignments that I would be giving them. I didn’t really need to worry.

    For first assignment directly after the read-aloud, I brainstormed with the class different “acts of kindness” that they would be able to do at school, at home and then in the community. Once we had a cohesive list, I put the students together into groups, taking into consideration what I had already observed in class/on the playground, and their dynamics with each other. I tried to pair them up with people that they aren’t close to, which allowed them a chance to work with people that they wouldn’t choose for themselves. The hope for this was also to cut down on the amount of time spent socializing rather than working. As a group, they were to choose one of the “kind acts” that we had written on the board and then create a skit that they would perform in front of the class. I pre-empted complaints by letting them know that if they didn’t want to have a speaking role, that was fine – as long as everyone was involved. The end results were almost all on point (most of them related to bullying, despite their topic not being on bullying, but at least they recognized that there are things that they can and should do if they ever see bullying on the playground).

    I bridged this activity and read-aloud with my final lesson in my class – we had already talked about what they could do for other people and for the environment, but I hadn’t really brought the students themselves into the equation. I introduced them to the idea of RAKtivists, (Random Acts of Kindness Activists), and the scientific study that a person who does kind things for others will, in general, be happier. I asked them to create posters, with word clouds or by hand, that would be posted all over the school that contained positive thoughts and encouraging statements for the rest of the student body. On top of that, three groups were selected to write letters to three teachers (the band teacher, the French teacher and a substitute that was in the class frequently) that helped in the class, letting them know that they are thankful for being a part of their community. The catch would be that instead of signing it with their names or the class division, we would call ourselves #PeaceArchRAKtivists and allow it to be anonymous. My hope is that they watch the other students take in the messages that they helped create, and feel good about themselves and ultimately happier for being able to spread positivity around school.

    This time, I had them choose their own groups for this assignment. Student engagement in most of the class was at a high. They were very eager to get this work done, and had a lot of fun working with the word cloud website. There were a couple of groups that were not focused, aside from a couple of members, but in part, I recognize that this assignment was done essentially on a Friday before a loooong weekend. If I were to let them choose their groups again (my SA already told them that she would not do that again, but I might be willing to try one more time), I would split up the groups that weren’t getting the work done after having been talked to – either by breaking the group up entirely and placing individuals into other groups around the room, by breaking them into smaller groups, or having them work alone and keeping a close eye on their progress.

    • Yvonne Reply

      An interesting sequence of lessons Vicki. What about the theme or activities, specifically, did you think helped supported engagement/student involvement? Can you connect your activities to the theme of ‘active learning and enagagement’?

      • Vicki Reply

        It’s been an ongoing theme throughout the year – “What have you done to make the world a better place?” Instead of it being a question at a check in that they answer with a mumbled sentence (usually “I picked up a piece of garbage”), it was something that they really had to engage with and relate back to their own lives. They had already had a base to work from and then given the opportunity to work in a group creatively allowed the to expand on this.

        If you look at the Cone of Learning in the post, these activities fall under the ‘Do & Say’ category, which is active learning. They committed kind acts with the posters and messages for the rest of the student body, after having to discuss within their group what message they wanted to put out into their school community. The skits, which allowed them to discuss as a group what their particular kind act would look like, created dramatizations of the lesson that I had been teaching them.

        I’ve also encouraged them to get out there and do something in their community or at home as well, especially with November 13th being World Kindness Day.

        • Yvonne Reply

          A very valuable exercise and opportunity to truly engage students in the theme! I think you’re right that having them ‘do’ something increases their involvement (and limits the mumbled automatic response!).

  7. grahamh Reply

    Something that I think is so vital in getting your students engaged and being active in their own learning is the concept of project based learning. If the students are able to take in the information you are teaching and then actually apply their knowledge, both engagement and comprehension will increase. A solid foundation for application of knowledge is, what I am going to call, the 4P Model of lesson planning: Present the information (as the teacher), Practice, Produce, Present your understanding (as the student). Each step in this model plays an essential role and fits a part on Dale’s cone of experience.

    In the presentation of the information by the teacher, the students and reading, hearing, and seeing the foundational knowledge of what they will later be applying. This may seem teacher directed or passive on the student’s part, but it all depends on what form that foundational knowledge is introduced in. Placemat activities, or scavenger hunt style games are great examples of the students engaging in active learning in this “introduction” portion of the lesson. In the second stage, the practice, the students are asked to put the information to use and this is certainly and active stage of the lesson. Group or whole class discussions, think/pair/shares, or other activities where they are practicing the introduced skills, functions to reinforce the concepts. This again can be active where they are given a task to complete or are engaged in presenting their knowledge. Next comes producing something that shows their understanding of the concepts introduced. When the students are given the opportunity to transfigure their comprehension into something tangible, something they can create themselves, and drawn pride from the idea of “I Made This!’, engagement goes through the roof. Through this you place the students at the centre of not only the lesson, but at the centre of their own learning. Finally, giving the students a chance to present their knowledge and to TEACH others about what they have learned is the most engaging form of education of all. Retention is at the highest if the responsibility is on the student to not only show their understanding of a topic, but to help others in reaching that same level of comprehension. This model, and how it is implemented, is entrenched in the idea of active learning. The presentation aspect of it truly is a new level of “active learning” as they are making the material their own.

    However, what it boils down to is a responsibility by the teacher to make their lessons engaging. Yes teacher directed lessons do need to happen occasionally, but the vehicle in which the material is delivered has so much potential for connecting with the students. Keeping the thought of “how is this keeping the students engaged?” in the back of your mind when planning is critical. This will play a key role in how well the lesson is received and is relevant to your classroom climate as well. An engaged class is a focused class and a focused class results in fewer behaviour issues. In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for putting in the work to encourage “active learning”.

    • Yvonne Reply

      Thank you for so clearly outlining a potentially engaging plan of action Graham. You should patent this if you haven’t already ;D 4P’s and models like this can really help new teachers find success. Easy recall = internalization = less to look up = better & happier teaching! Thank you.

  8. ashleym Reply

    One of my first lessons was not as “active” as I had hoped. A few of the students seemed disengaged so I decided to try new ideas such as guided visualization (i.e: close your eyes, think of…) and the class loved it! When I asked them to open their eyes, their hands shot up with ideas/comments/questions pertaining to the lesson. In addition, I have also done a lot of think-pair-share’s and group work. My class is very active and love to contribute to any discussion. They are extremely insightful and ask great questions. During read aloud’s, I keep them engaged by asking them to make inferences before reading and I ask questions during the story as well. Having an interesting hook also goes a long way! For one lesson, I brought in an item that had significance in the story and we discussed it as a class. After stories, we discuss the main themes and connect them to students’ own experiences. I have heard many motivational stories about students’ families (Native ancestry, Chinese heritage, abuse in schools). Accessing prior knowledge keeps them interested and wanting to learn more, and definitely helps me get to know them better.

  9. Ramneet Reply

    I was able to engage my students in an activity last week by dividing them into several groups to participate in a brainstorm. This activity really engaged them with the activity that I was presenting (a remembrance day themed lesson). They were very talkative, had a lot of opinions, and were interested throughout MOST of the lesson! This lesson prepared me for my second week of practicum, as I realized that the students prefer lessons that are student based! On Tuesday, I prepared a multicultural lesson on Diwali! To explain the history of Diwali, I had a few Hindu/Sikh students. Although I researched and understood the legend/belief for my own knowledge/preparedness, I allowed the students to explain the history! One student gave the ENTIRE rundown of what had happened (which was going to be presented by the video I had brought in)! However, her knowledge really engaged her classmates, as she, in a sense, became the teacher. Similar to our ‘team teachings’ I found that the students were really able to engage with the lesson when their peers would present! Furthermore, I have been able to engage students in my lessons by providing them with a variety of learning techniques! After recognizing that my instruction giving skills were lacking I began presenting BOTH auditory and visual instructions. By orally explaining to the students what is expected of them, they understand the brief overview of what to do. However, having a visual to look back on during the activity, really allowed them to remain on task and engage with the activity!

  10. jasleent Reply

    I was super excited to teach my class about owls! the first lesson I taught was an introduction to owls. My lesson included a know/wonder list on the board in which students got to participate by raising their hand. This was awesome! I was surprised to see all the knowledge students brought to the table. All the students were actively involved and engaged throughout the activity. The know/wonder list kind of worried me at first because I was afraid that the class may not understand the concept, may not participate, and/or may not be engaged. However, the class loved the activity and wanted me to continue further. I also showed a short clip about owls that I found on youtube. The students all watched and listened closely to each fact that was stated in the video and then all throughout the day, the students were coming up to me and telling me random facts that they learnt. This was probably the most rewarding feeling because it showed me that the students went beyond what I had asked them to do and really tried to absorb as much knowledge as possible. Coming into a grade 1/2 classroom made me a bit nervous at first because I was afraid they would require very simple tasks, but the class has continued to surprise me in so many ways!

    • suritis Reply

      Hey Jasleen! I was also nervous about having a primary grade as I wasn’t sure if they would participate. But I am amazed at how much these students love to engage in classroom discussions and that too by staying on topic. I am also thinking about showing them some youtube clips during my long practicum. My SA showed them a video about recycling, and I was surprised to see how attentive the children were.

  11. amandas Reply

    Some ways to engage the students that I have tried include using several learning styles. When I did my read aloud I used several of the techniques that we have been taught such as introducing important vocabulary. In this particular activity I used visual and auditory learning styles such as reading aloud to students as well as providing them with visual cues such as definitions and a map. Later they had a chance to express their thoughts through group sharing and a writing and drawing activity. I’m continuing to discover how to keep students engaged in the activities even if they aren’t interested. So far I have found student engagement is quite good. I’d look to work on exploring kinesthetic styles of learning particularly since this is a very active class. I have found they respond well to sharing their ideas out loud and are often better engaged when there is a chance for kinesthetic involvement.

    • Yvonne Reply

      Providing kinesthetic opportunities for learning is an excellent goal for any group but, in particular, a busy one! I look forward to seeing how this evolves.

  12. Andy_L Reply

    I have found student engagement to be fairly good with my class, I have read books, showed them pictures from books, used slides to get them to move around the room for DPA… The class moved, opinions were shared, etc. Though honestly, it’s usually the same few kids who would always share, always participate first. It’s my goal for the next few observations to narrow down which kid is not as receptive to my teaching methods and try to engage them along with the class as a whole. These guys are the kids that never tell me if something’s good or bad, if they like it or not. They are the ones that don’t ask me questions yet gets their work done quietly with varying degrees of quality. These are the kids lost in the noise and energy of the class and once I can teach properly for the loud and receptive kids, I will focus on engaging the class truly as a whole.

    • darrienk Reply

      I can totally relate to this! There are some students in my class that sit quietly, pay attention, and do their work, but don’t actively participate in class. It’s almost like cracking a shell. It’s equally important to engage these students. I’ve been making sure to go over and ask questions about their work, acknowledge the detail they’ve put in, and make sure they know that I know they are there. With so many students it’s easy to focus on the loud, struggling, or extroverted. I have found saying their names when you speak to quieter helps. I’m hoping that these students will start to feel confident enough to raise their hands and ask questions and we build our relationship and promote and encourage a comfortable, safe space.

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