Student Teaching Week 5 [2/22 – 2/25]

It’s a short week for me since I’ve got to take tomorrow off (it might be a snow day in NYC anyways!); it’s been a week full of wonderful experiences!

MONDAY: Did the first explicit lesson on waves, their anatomy, and the wave velocity equation. Kids were a bit confused in the first period, so I tried to be more explicit in explanations and transitions and the second go-around went much better. I’m still frustrated with how quiet that second period is.

I collected the Pendulum Unit Projects and started looking through them. These kids are so bright and their projects are so entertaining!!

TUESDAY: We split the class up and my cooperating teacher took half the class out into the hallway for 20 minutes while I kept the others inside. He spent time discussing wave speed, reflection, and refraction using a slinky and snakey (tightly wound, long spring). I used the ripple tank and discussed reflection, refraction, and diffraction. The lessons went fine, but the kids were so quiet it was like pulling teeth.

I spoke with my supervisor (who had observed me on Monday) and he thought I was doing very well. I need to have more time for summary at the end of the lesson and stop saying “Okay.” all the time. I realized this today on my own, so had to laugh when he brought it up:

“Okay, Suzie why don’t you answer the question.”

“Sam, you think the answer is this, okay…”

“Okay, what do we think about this?”

“Okay, so here’s the equation we derived.”

I’m getting sick of hearing myself! In 2nd place is, “Go ahead…” – I NEED A NEW VOCABULARY!

WEDNESDAY: We split the class again and Mike introduced superposition and interference as well as the anatomy and concept of standing waves. I reviewed refraction and diffraction with videos and computer-based simulations. I really enjoyed working with smaller groups of kids at a time – the quiet class was much more lively and interactive in smaller groups.

I realized today that my interview for jobs with the Clark County (Las Vegas) DOE is in 2 weeks! Ah! I’ve got to get cracking on that teaching portfolio!!

THURSDAY: Wow, so it’s really difficult to teach a 60 minute class about Standing Waves and the Doppler Effect when you’re using mostly YouTube videos. I felt really overwhelmed. Luckily, my cooperating teacher stepped in a certain points during the lesson and we co-taught a bit. I really enjoyed that and he had some really valuable demonstrations to add to what I had started!

I’ve been trying hard to revise each of my lessons at the end of the day and update them on Scribd, so feel free to snag what you want. Looks like you can even subscribe to my documents via a reader!


3 responses to this post.

  1. “Okay” was one of my hard ones to get rid of, too. It’s like “um”. You can’t replace it, you just have to learn to bear that moment of silence :-)


  2. Posted by Sierra on February 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    The number one way to encourage participation is to ask questions.
    So, you ask a question and no one answers…hmmm.
    Ask the question a second time… asking it from a different perspective, one that may give students a better understanding of the question. Give hints or cues. (don’t give up till someone answers you)
    Or try this…
    Students can be reluctant to answer, or speak up if they are un clear if they are right or wrong.
    Ask a simple question, related to real life situations we all encounter, that everyone knows the answer to. Then relate it to the lesson you are teaching…. Once you get them talking they won’t be quiet Im sure… so keep the faith.
    EX. What color is the sky… no answer.. so you say, “The sky is blue”. Ask, ”What color is the door… and you will most certainly hear…from someone brown… I know its high school, so maybe not that simple, but you get the point.
    They still won’t answer you? Encourage collaboration. Ask a question then allow students time to seek help from peers, go over their notes, look in their books.. till they are sure to know the answer. Then ask what they came up with.
    (Make groups of 3 and 4, with the people sitting around them. Maybe they need to break the ice with their neighbors, maybe no one knows eachother??? Maybe they will feel better being wrong as a group.)
    Ask the group to pick a spokesperson… remember who those students are, and maybe address them when no one is talking later on.
    I don’t think , from reading your blog this is the problem, but emphasize what is right, attribute ownership of ideas to the students who initiated them… maybe they are intimidated by you, by physics, by the questions… so give them more reassurance perhaps????
    Require that everyone write an end of day question down, and put it in a box or whatever. Then you can read the questions that night and somehow answer each and every question in the next class. Say things like, “oh, this was a great question” and “oh here is another great question”…etc.
    Anyway, just throwing out ideas here.
    I hope this helps.


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