My day at school was great this week and was a great learning experience. I am feeling a lot more comfortable interacting with the teaching staff and with the students. Each weak, my partner and I take on more responsibilities in the class. This week, the teacher let us do some marking for her as well as read a Halloween story to the students in the class. We also got to sit with students and help them with their school work.
When we asked our cooperating teacher about how she promotes learning in the classroom, she shared with us that she sometimes uses field trips for the students to learn about different outcomes. For example, the students are to learn about agriculture this year, so the teacher is planning a field trip to Agribition. There is also a teaching assistant in the classroom throughout the day, and the TA helps students that have a little bit more difficulty than others in the classroom. I also noticed that in this class, the teacher uses different ways of instruction, and I believe this helps support all different kinds of learners. For example, in their health class, they are learning about healthy relationships, and their task was to create a skit in their table groups that displayed both a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship. Other types of instruction the teacher uses are written instruction, verbal instruction, and visual instruction. The class also does independent work, group work, and discussions. I think it is important to have a variety of instructional methods in the classroom.
To promote student knowledge in the class, the teacher hangs up student work around the classroom so the students can feel accomplished and proud of their work. Another thing I noticed is how the environment of the classroom supports knowledge. Not only does the teacher hang up and present the student’s work, but I find the environment to be calm, quiet, and organized, which all help the students to feel like they can learn.
Our cooperating teacher told us that she does backwards planning for her class and that she plans day-to-day. She said she does this because there are a lot of different types of learners in her class, and they all take different amounts of time to do tasks and assignments. She said that she uses a website called “teachers pay teachers” to get some of her assignments and activities. I had a look at this website, and I think it is pretty neat, and it is something I will remember for the future. She also said that when she lesson plans, if she is having a hard time coming up with an activity to meet an outcome, she will ask one of the other grade 3 or 4 teachers for ideas. I think this is a great example of collaboration.
Overall, I learned a lot this week, and I feel that my partner and I are being more helpful in the classroom and getting to know everyone better, which feels great. Next week we are there on Halloween, and we are both pretty excited to dress up and join in on Halloween festivities with the students.