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EDUC 461

Alison Haynes

TWS 8 Reflection, Self-Evaluation, Professional Development


Whole Class Throughout this math unit, there was a pre-assessment, seven lessons-all with homework assignments (mid-assessment), and a final test (post-assessment). Each of these was planned based on the seven objectives of the unit. After analyzing the data from the preassessment and post-assessment of the unit, I feel like the overall instruction resulted in success of the students. Subtraction is one of the biggest building blocks of math, and it is imperative that students understand. My goal is to make sure students understand the content completely, and therefore, I will do anything to help each student understand. During each lesson, modifications were made based on the response and participation of the students. For example, if no students understood the lesson, I would stop where we were in the lesson and back up. I would show the students how to do the problem(s) in more detailbreaking down the steps into more detail and further explanation. On the other hand, if students were grasping the concept rather quickly and fully participating, we got through the lesson, passed out homework, and moved on. I do not believe in dwelling on a concept, or taking up a certain amount of time for math just because that is how it is scheduled. If we finish early, we move on. Sometimes, that may not be the case and math may take longer than expected and take away from something else. This is how and why we adjust. It is like a give and take relationship between academic subjects. I started each lesson by reviewing the previous lessons homework, which I thought was the best way to start since each lesson is related and builds on each other. To start the introduction of the new lesson each there, there was an activity of some sort of activity to introduce and build some background knowledge of the lesson they were about to receive. Some of these activities involved manipulatives, relating to what they already know, and working with partners. During the lessons, I used different instructional modes, such as lecture, demonstration, hands on experiment, and partners. Also in the lessons, instructional aids were

EDUC 461

Alison Haynes

used: videos, Promethean board, and manipulatives. Students were actively involved at least 75% of the time. It was very easy to relate the content of the unit to the lives of the students, specifically through word problems. When I thought up my own word problem examples, I always used students in the class as the character of the problem. After reflecting on the students behavior, my classroom management, and disciplinary actions, I feel like I let a lot of things slide. For example, many of the students struggle to pay attention the entire lesson, and it is usually the same ones. I should have given a nonverbal or verbal warning, maybe two, and then did something about it, like making all students stand a dance to a math song or make those individuals sit on the carpet in front of me and the board. I did do this for one student during two lessons of the unit. Although it seems very unfair (and it probably is), this student tends to get an attitude and likes to argue back when I tell him/her to pay attention. To me, there is a respect issue present. Three Individual Students Student #20 was the most successful student in this unit. The student excels at everything he/she does, and strives for perfection. He/She is very determined and motivated to do well, and will not settle for anything less. I have never seen a 7-year-old seek so much in his/her education and understand the importance of doing well. It may be because both parents are also educators. He/She made a 100% on the pre-assessment and on the post-assessment. Student #9 was an average performing student in this unit. He/She made a 79% on the pre-assessment, and then progressed to make a 97% on the post-assessment. The student has been retained once prior to second grade. I think this has helped make a big difference in her ability, motivation, and results. Being retained at an early age was just enough to benefit this student, and bring him/her to where he/she needs to be in order to be successful. Also, he/she is more mature to the point that he/she knows that it is important to perform the best possible. Student #13 was the least successful in this unit. Although his/her scores were not the lowest in the class, the increase in percentage from the pre-assessment to the post-assessment

EDUC 461

Alison Haynes

was slim. After analyzing the mistakes, most of his/hers go back to not knowing basic subtraction facts. This student is also the student that nearly refuses to pay attention during the whole lesson each day. Then, he/she feels the need to make an argumentative comment, which led to him/her sitting on the carpet. Reflection & Professional Development Throughout my student teaching experience, I have learned so much about the profession and myself, as an educator and a person. Two things that stood out to me mainly are (1) I know teaching is what is in Gods plan for me, and I wouldnt want to spend my life doing anything else, and (2) experience is the best teacher. There are also some goals that I have developed for myself in my professional future to make myself a better educator. First of all, I want to do more creative and fun activities with the students to help them learn, instead of just using a worksheet. I learned this throughout my college career, but coming up with ideas is my weakness. To go along with that, I want to be able to pull ideas out of my pocket as Plan B or Plan C, just in case something goes against my initial plan, such as technology failure. Although people have told me that my classroom management is good, I still have gaps that I am trying to work on filling. One thing is coming up with appropriate consequences on the spot. Another thing is determining in a situation if it is something to just let go or punish; this only occurs in some situations. Also, how many warnings is enough?! So far Ive found that it depends on the situation. My ultimate conclusion to help with these weaknesses is that experience is the best teacher, and I have to find out what works for me. Ive also found that it is important to work closely with colleagues: ask questions, take advice, and learn all that you can. Professional development gives the opportunity to work closer with colleagues and learn from them to help build my weaknesses. Also, it gives the chance for me to share my strengths, and even add to those strengths. Professional development opportunities allow time to reflect upon my work, capabilities, and weaknesses, and educate me more in some way or another. Regardless of the

EDUC 461

Alison Haynes

type of professional development, there is always something to be learned, such as teaching academic strategy, building relationship, or working with a team. It is a time to bond and work with other people who share the passion of education, and share with and learn from each other.