Thursday, April 12, 2012

Field Experience Day 13

St. Marys School - 2nd grade

TOPIC: Assessments of student learning

            Prior to teaching this lesson, my partner and I collected pre-assessment data on the cartwheel. We then took the results and planned accordingly to teach specific cues for the students to enhance this performance. In this class my partner and I used the same psycho-motor assessment checklist at the end of our lesson to see if learning occurred. We started the lesson off with a thorough explanation of the cartwheel including the cues and pictures step by step. I made sure they all knew that by the end we were going to assess them on their cartwheel and to pay close attention to each activity explained. From our pre-assessment data we split the students into two groups. Group 1 contained the students who could successfully perform the cartwheel, and group 2 held the students who needed more direction and practice. Group 1 went off with my partner to rotate through the other stations of the gymnastics unit. I took group 2 and we started off with some progressions of the cartwheel.

            What I started to notice was that the progressions I choose were too advanced for the level the students were starting at. It almost turned into a mess! I was very nervous for safety issues. The progressions I had planned in my lesson turned totally wrong during the class. I realized I should have started at the complete beginning for these students. I needed to go back to the very basics of a cartwheel in order to boost up the confidence levels of the students who were afraid to try. I tried to figure out how to fix the problem before any safety concerns occurred. I brought the group in and we re-explained the cues. In the moment it was difficult for me to think of smaller progressions to teach the students. I assumed my organization strategies would go as planned, which was not the case. My host teacher helped and we came up with a new task to focus on, ultimately giving the students a better understanding of the cartwheel. I wish the class time was longer so I could have continued teaching once I finally started the better progression.
            Reflecting back on this lesson, I recognize that I should have gone straight to a source who has taught young children progressions of a cartwheel. As a teacher, I do not think it is bad that my lesson went wrong; it actually has helped me in implementing a change in my teacher performance. It is important to always have a backup plan. Student learning will be the most significant part of my career. In the end, only two students went from a no to a yes on the checklist. However, a handful of students did improve in certain critical elements. When it comes to instructional goals I need to plan accordingly to the age I will be teaching. If I learned one thing from this lesson, it is that all students are defiantly at different levels, especially in an area such as gymnastics. I believe I was able to act quickly in order to gain control over the class and redirect them in a different task. I enjoy reflecting on each lesson in order for me to continue learning and growing as a teacher. The only way to get better is through practice. This lesson gave me determination to create better lessons for my students. 

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