Here we are at the end of PRAC 491 already! It seemed so unreachable only a few weeks ago. This is such an exciting time for all of us and I hope my cohort is feeling the excitement as well. With COVID always being at the backdoor, it is a reminder how disconnected we all have felt throughout this past year so on April 12, when we celebrate our learning, it will be so nice to see the group again!
My last few weeks I started my 2nd set of unit plans in Math, Socials and English. The 2nd time seemed so much clearer in what I had to teach, how to adapt when needed and how to assess the students. My 2nd unit in Math focused on decimals (adding, subtracting and multiplication). When I was breaking it down into days with my CT, it was interesting to see how much I had to break down each step for the students. I had to make sure my units were flexible and easy to move around if my students needed more time or if they breezed through, but reality is…how long ago did they work with decimals? So we had to start small– breaking it down right down to learning to multiply 2 digit equations before even getting into the decimals. I had to focus on my backwards planning, what was my main goal? Where did I want my students to be at the end of this unit? We ended my math unit with a quiz that was more like an assessment to see where their understanding was at. So when I finished my practicum, my CT would know if she had to backtrack and work more on multiplication of decimals or move forward to division.
In English, my 2nd unit was on Poetry. We started with literary devices where we found literary devices in songs–with this being a grade 7 class, the students made a huge connection with the music (we added a few more song’s by request for me to connect with the students as well!!).
The beginning of the practicum I started with Science then finished with Social Studies. It was a deeper look at Ancient Civilizations (which was what they had been working on pre-practicum). I tried something new and I handed more of the learning to the students. They were given a choice as to which Ancient Civilization they would like to learn about. I gave them an overview as to what I was looking for in their presentations as each student created their own PowerPoint. My goal was looking for growth from their last presentation in the fall with Mrs. H (CT) I had to do some research and read previous notes on how they presented prior to my presentations and their comfort levels. I branched out even more by handing the assessing over to the students as well and we co-created how and what they wanted to be marked on for their presentations. This was created into a single point rubric where they were marked on how the presented (voice, tone, body placement, length of time etc.), the content in the slides (main points all covered), and the slide features (colorful, pictures, etc.). This single point rubric was used for me to assess their learning as well as it was used as a peer evaluation and their self-evaluation where they could assess how they felt they did in their presentation as well. It was a great tool and extremely powerful to watch how much these students have grown!!
These last few weeks I was able to focus on relationships, building a safe classroom community and really focusing on the final wrapping up of assessments and marking. It has been extremely busy getting formals finished and the final marking done but it was all worth it! On April 1st, I found out that I received my first posting which is the Thursday/Friday with my very own practicum class! I am very please to announce that as of April 15/21 I will be a TEACHER is School District 28, Quesnel!