On to week 2!
This week, I was very excited to get to work with students one on one. My CT asked his 8th period Honors class to write their first essay on Tao of Pooh, a novel about the Chinese “taoism”, and relate the book to either the modern or ancient world. I had each student come up and discuss their papers with me, identifying any issues they are having with writing. Some students simply had grammar issues and others needed structural help, etc. It was really rewarding to finally get some instructional time and see more of the students individual personalities.
In this weeks reading, Larson and Keiper discuss the importance of writing objectives for lesson plans and the differences in short-term and long-term objectives. I think this is especially important when dealing with students who have little or no exposure to the content you are teaching. For example, if I’m introducing a unit on Rome, it might be important to create the short-term objective of understanding the beginnings of civilization before learning about Rome in specific. This would also help in deciding on what to use from the curriculum throughout the year by identifying the importance of certain topics.
I also found the ABCD’s of objective writing helpful. During planning this week, I was reading for this class and my CT asked what the reading is about. I mentioned it was for objective writing and he told me that objectives are one of the key things that a lot of schools will require in terms of lesson plans. He said when he went on job interviews, many principals would tell him that their school requires the objective written on the board and a hard copy of the lesson plan available any time administration walks in the room. I know at my mom’s school she is required to write and submit lesson plans every day. Besides being required, I can see the value in setting up expectations for students because it sets the tone for the lesson and lets the student know they will be expected to perform in a specific way.
The last part of the reading that I really connected to my own field experience is performance assessments. The book discusses these assessments as a good way to determine how much students can use the knowledge from the lesson in the real world and connect the information to what they have already learned. My teacher has one Honors class and this specific period is very good at creating their own discussions based on what they’ve learned. Often times I am even surprised by how insightful their thought processes are. My CT has started requiring them to write and elaborate on the discussions in class for homework as a performance assessment. It not only allows them to conclude their thoughts, but also assesses the writing skills we’ve been working on in class. I really like this strategy. Overall, I am happy with the way that my field experience is going and am glad to really get to know the students a little better.