I think I’m going to try to blog shorter pieces everyday as part of my reflective process, It helps me think through what I am learning better then if I was to only write once a week.
Last Thursday I taught my first lesson based on the story ” Sensing Peace” and we followed it up today with a visualization to music exercises that asked the students to draw what came into their mind when they heard four different pieces of music. We also completed their reflective writing on how they sense peace with each of their senses.
I’m starting to feel like a real teacher, I even had prep and marking to do tonight! I actually enjoyed today’s marking as it let me get to know my students better. I didn’t give a numerical “grade” to the assignment as that was not the purpose, my assessment focused on asking the students questions to help them expand their thinking and commenting on areas that showed great insight into them selves. I feel that having my students engage in this sort of reflective thinking process that I have been able to learn something about each of them that I may not have otherwise. The careful thought that went into many of the responses surprised and delighted me, I had not expected such thoughtful and often mature responses from grade 4/5 students. I am hoping that the insights that the student’s writing has given me will help me to connect with them better in the coming week as building positive connections and relationships is one of my goals this week. Below are some that I found interesting or really resonated with me
I hear peace when I hear soft music because I calm down and it does not make me excited. – Grade 4 Student
I see peace when snow flakes fall from the sky because it is really calming ( well, to me). – Grade 4 Student
I taste peace when we share food and try new food because sharing food is nice for other people and trying new food makes new possibilities. – Grade 4 Student
I see peace when I watch the rain fall because the rain is peaceful – Grade 4 Student
I feel peace when I play with my dog because when I play with my dog I feel peaceful – Grade 4 Student
I taste peace when I’m eating a watermelon because watermelon is my favourite fruit. Watermelon makes me relax. – Grade 5 Student
I hear peace when the waves crash softly because if the waves are crashing hard there could be danger. If the waves are soft, the waves don’t cause danger, it causes peace and relaxation. – Grade 4 Student
I smell peace when my grandma bakes because my grandma makes the best deserts ever. – Grade 5 Student
Tonight’s prep was for my first 2 math lessons for tomorrow and Wednesday. Math is a subject that I’ve always enjoyed and found interesting, I like the challenge of solving the problems and discovering the solution. I hope to share this with my students in the coming weeks as math isn’t a chore to be done but a mystery to be solved.
I also taught my first PE lesson today when we played the game fireball, this is a game that I have always enjoyed with day camp groups but playing in the gym was a completely different experience as the space was smaller and more contained. This was also the first time I had noticed children being ” ball hogs” for lack of a better term. I found that as we were playing the game I was constantly having to adapt it. At first I thought that it wasn’t going as smoothly as I had planned because I had too many players all at once so I split the students into 2 groups and the gym in half using the centre line of the basket ball court. Then when the game still wasn’t running as well as I had hoped we took another pause and I told the class that they could only hold the ball for 5 seconds before they had to throw it. With these two changes the game ran much smoother, while I would like to try this game again I think that I may need another modification such as adding more balls increasing the number from 3 to 5 or 6 which will hopefully allow more students to have a turn with the ball. I also feel like I need to work on having a more commanding presence especially in the gym, my second goal this week is to improve my classroom management skills so that my students will listen to me quickly and build respect for me. I think that this is tied into my first goal for the week because as I take the time to learn about my students and develop a relationship with them it will make them more likely to respect me because I have shown them that I respect them and I care for them.