This week at our field placement, we started the day off as usual with ELA. The students did their usual read to self, and then read to a partner, and then they were given December writing prompts to pick from and to work on in their ELA journals. After this, the kids had recess, and after recess, they got to go to the book fair that was at the school. After that, they had time to go on the iPads and play academic games or conduct research that they may not have finished in their science class on a previous day. The students also had the chance to play a math game on the whiteboard, where the teacher split them up into two groups and they worked together as a group to answer various math questions.
In terms of how they are being taught, I see the teacher using a variety of methods of instruction. She uses the iPads for example as a means to engage the students and for them to practice math questions and stuff like that. We have also witnessed her using youtube videos to convey a point to the students, such as showing them an inspirational video and getting them to journal about it. The teacher has also used games in the classroom, and stations around the classroom. These are all on top of traditional teaching methods that she will also use in her classroom such as lecturing or starting discussions.
I was actually surprised in this classroom with how well most of the students seemed to grasp the concepts being taught to them. One time specifically when they surpassed my expectations is when the teacher showed them an inspirational video and they had to raise their hands and discuss the message the video was trying to give. I really was surprised by how deeply some of them thought about it, and how they were able to speak to and reflect on abstract concepts in just grade 3 and 4. Another time that I was surprised by their knowledge level was when they were playing that math game on the whiteboard. Most of the students were able to quickly calculate the answers to various math questions in their heads and write it on the board.
Overall, we had another good week at Henry Braun, however, it would be nice to get the chance to teach something or to have a more active role in the classroom.