Friday, 10 June 2011

My Most Discerning Critic Yet

On Thursday, the other Grade 2 teacher came to observe my class.  I often look to her for sound advice and if I am trying something new she asks the hard questions!!  I was not surprised when after the lesson she started out with, "That was an interesting lesson..."  I smiled, unsure of how to respond.

"What did you think?" I asked.

"Well," she said, "it was very fast paced.  I was a bit overwhelmed!"

"Yah," I responded, "it takes a bit to get the rhythm and technique down."

She continued, "I wonder if your weaker students are able to follow the lesson?"  I explained that, often, they were the students who shined because they were able to share their knowledge orally, rather than on paper.  Furthermore, I told her I often repeat the concept during the lesson three times with mirrors and gestures, to make sure everyone catches on, as well as I will teach the whole lesson later on in the week.

"Do you ever use manipulatives?" she queried.  I had been reviewing the equal sign, combining it with unknown variables in addition and subtraction equations so it was a valid question.  I admitted I hadn't thought of using manipulatives, although I had used them earlier in the year for the same concept. Still, I could easily add them anywhere in the lesson.

She continued, saying, "I noticed two or three students not participating - what do you do about that?"

"Gosh, I hadn't even noticed - I would usually give a frownie, remind again about 100% participation or perhaps move the class from Winners back to Team!" I responded, a little embarrassed.  Now that I reflect on her observation, its true; there are always a few kids who are caught up watching everyone else before they do their own gestures, often on the third repetition.  Then, there are the quiet, shy ones, who struggle orally, so it is a challenge.  Finally, there are the students who will do anything to get your attention, including not participate.  I think WBT has a rule for that? :)  I'm going to have to work on keeping my little ducks focused and not forgetting to add some manipulative activities every once in awhile!!  Thank you Grade 2 teacher for keeping me accountable and making me a better teacher!!

1 comment:

  1. You are Blessed to have a second mind to back up your overview. Also your page is nice.