The particular lesson that she took over was a 3/4 maths lesson and the students were learning about currency. Their regular teacher had left them all work sheet and she was helping one student on the floor using the plastic coins to help with the lesson. At the end of the session she called them all onto the floor and they discussed what they had been doing and what they had learnt. Reflection is important.
Once the bell went and the students went out into the yard we talked and she said that worksheets have their place but investigation is very rewarding and more engaging to the students. She talked about putting limits on things like asking students to make 90c with only 3 coins as it makes sure that they are able to understand the concept.
The most important thing to be gained from the conversation though was the need to stream lesson towards the middle of the levels that the students in the class are at. Also to make sure the activity can be suited to all different levels- students can do different levels of the same activity. Then there is the importance of asking leading/ probing questions. This comment reminded me of Blooms Taxonomy: Create, Evaluate, Analyse, apply, understand, remember.
An example of investigating in learning is another mathematics lesson that this particular class had. While studying quantity-volume- they made lemonade.
The other 3/4 class -lets call them 3/4B- studying the same topic filled lots of different size containers with water and then the teacher got students to guess the volume of the container. Then she would hold up two similar sized containers and ask the students to say which one has the greater volume. She filmed this and then showed the clips in class so that they could review what they did.
Other interesting things that I noted was the CAFE program in used in the literacy lessons. CAFE standing for comphehension, accuracy, fluency and expanding vocab. CAFE is something that in the future I would really like to learn more about and I am sure that it will be covered in a turorial or lecture at some point at uni.
I also am very interested in the Developmental Curriculum in place at the school. It is being used in the prep classroom and I think that it is absolutely brilliant. I know that I do not know everything there is too know about it but from what I do know it is genius.
I love the preps and when I am the school I spend a lot of time with them. I love their creativity, how they are so curious and so full of energy. I loved watching them play freeze once. One of the students who had been caught out was speaing in a put on voice saying things like 'great job guys' trying to sound like a host of a show like 'So you think you can dance'. I thought it was so adorable.
Not all intearctions with students when you are a teacher can be as pleasent thought, it's a sad but true fact. In the same game one of the students was very upset when some of the other students and myself called him out. He is the type of personality that likes doing what he wants and does not like being told otherwise and he can then act up. It is something that I saw about him at the start of the year as well, he has the tendencey to ignore an instruction once he is upset and go and sulk in the corner. At the very start of the year when I first observed this I was told by the teacher that I should just ignore him. She had called all of the other students to the floor and said to them to 'ignore him because he was just being silly'. Once she had the other students sorted and he had calmed down she talked to him and sorted it out. This technique works and I am so glad that I saw this because my instinct was to go over to him right away. By leaving him it shows him that his behaviour is not right and he starts feeling left out of the group, after all the act of acting out is to get peoples attention and if that attention is not given he will learn that acting out is not an option.
So even things like tantrums have not deterred me from wanting to be a primary school teacher or teaching preps. I enjoy it too much to want to change my career plans. Even though students can be stubborn sometimes like a student ( a prep) was more interested in colouring rather than making patterns like he was supposed to in one lesson. He did not appreciate me saying that although it was really nice coloring he had not done patterns!