Once again, it was another fabulous day! Now that I have been able to teach for the fourth time at Walker school, I can’t say how much I am getting excited to be teaching. I am finding that the more I do it, the easier it gets and the more comfortable I am doing it. Things are starting to flow smoothly and every day I leave wanting more!
Mr. Leupold started the day off by giving a lesson on analyzing poetry. It was nice that the lesson was themed around Remembrance Day and the students could think about what that means to us as Canadians. It is always interesting to see the different personalities and work ethics start to emerge when students are working on the lessons we present. As in most classes, there is usually a student who does not feel like participating or simply does not care enough to put in any effort. Connecting with these students, I feel, is a really important strategy to use to help those individuals overcome that struggle. In today’s class there was one student who was always doing something he wasn’t supposed to. He just did not want to participate at all but he loves to draw. So, I made a bargain with him. If he wanted to draw, he had to draw an interpretation of the poem showing the different elements that we were talking about (theme, mood, imagery, etc.). And he did! Perhaps we have a break though?! This was really my first hands-on experience with differentiation, although unplanned, where I got to see how it really works! Seeing him engaged and thinking about what we were doing, but showing his understanding in a different way, definitely made me reflect on how I can adapt my lessons.
Later in the morning, I was able to teach my science lesson. I feel that this lesson went really well. Something that I noticed about my students was how engaged they were. All my other lessons that I did before today took place in the afternoon. Today’s lesson, on the other hand, took place in the morning. I found the students were more willing to engage in this lesson. It’s not like they weren’t engaged before, but today was different. Maybe this was because their minds were still fresh or they weren’t as mentally exhausted? It will be interesting to keep track of this and see if this trend continues as I start teaching more.
For my lesson, we looked at adaptations within animals. One way we went about doing this was by playing an I spy game with pictures of really well camouflaged animals. They were literally on the edge of their seats trying to find those animals. It was so great to see! In the next part, we looked at animals that use deception to either hide from or scare their predators. For this, I related the video of jungle animals looking in the mirror so that they could see how the animals exhibit those behaviours. They found this really engaging as well because it is really funny to watch. The last activity, and definitely not the least, was the ice bath challenge. For this, one student with a bare hand, one student with a rubber glove, and two students wearing a glove filled with lard, stuck their hand in a bucket full of ice water. This was to demonstrate how fat acts as an insulator to keep animals warm once the weather gets cold. I really liked this activity because it was a hands-on activity. The students seemed to get a lot from it and it was easy to set up. I loved teaching this lesson and I would definitely do it again.
Lastly, it is great to see that the relationships both Mr. Leupold and I are developing with the students are starting to pay off. The students are always excited to see us and we now have new names as well. Apparently, I am Mr. Awesome and Mr. Leupold is now Mr. Cool. These kids are too funny! They are a thrill to teach and I can’t wait to see them every day next semester.