First full week of planning and teaching
This past week I started on World War II, mostly using my own unit plan. I have now taken on full responsibility and am taking on the task of planning and teaching. I think that creating lessons ahead of time and using backwards design is helping me a lot with my organization and pacing. I also am learning that each class period goes at a different pace and has their own distinct challenges. This has allowed me to always have extra activities or worksheets for students who work faster.
Another way that my CT and I are planning to help pace the classes better is by pulling out students who need remediation to work on activities with my teacher while I teach in the classroom. It has been challenging because the students are on very different levels and I feel that if I try to teach them all the same things, I end up spending most of my time on helping students with trouble reading or trouble understanding the activities, leaving out students who are higher level and need self-directed learning. If my CT pulls out students once in a while, this should help pace everyone better.
Another aspect that I was able to experience this week was parent-teacher conferences. We only had 2 for the whole day and they both went really well. My school has team conferences with the four core teachers and reading specialist (if needed). It was nice to see a different way of conferencing. I felt like it helped the parents to cross reference how the student is doing in different subjects and different times of the day. I also think it helped because teachers were able to point out things that the students were doing positively and really keep the students best interests in mind.
As I look to next week, I will look towards trying to expand the creativity and scope of my lessons and get the students motivated for WWII. I am very excited to see how the students respond to the activities and materials this week.