Friday, March 20
Teaching science on March 18
This week I was teaching my second lesson. Lauren and I were teaching a science lesson together about the differences between the four seasons. We had divided up the lesson so that Lauren would read the book, First Comes Spring, and I would direct the activity at the center. We had assumed that the students knew the four seasons and that we would only have to activate their prior knowledge, but it turns out that most of the children had no idea what the seasons were. Lauren started our first center off by asking students what the seasons were and what they knew about the seasons. When they stared at us and answered our questions completely wrong, we were both shocked. Our cooperating teacher had told us that the students would be able to understand the lesson, and that she would have taught an introduction lesson or two relating to the seasons, so both Lauren and I were caught completely off guard when the students did not seem to understand. After she read the book, we both asked a bunch of questions to see if the students had retained anything from the reading. Some of the students did not understand how seasons were different from months. After reviewing, I told the students that were going to draw four pictures, one of each of the seasons. We got up from the carpet and sat at the table, where each student had a piece of long white paper. The papers were divided into four sections, and each section was labeled with one of the seasons. I explained what to do, and suggested some things they could draw. Since it was about to be spring, and spring is technically the first of the seasons, the first season was spring, then summer, fall and winter. Students were to draw themselves in the season, or something that happened in the season (for example, draw themselves playing outside in the pool during summer, making a snowman in the winter, leaves falling from the trees in fall, etc). Students needed a lot of help thinking of ideas, and many of the students mixed up the order of the seasons, like drawing a pool in the box for winter. Overall, this first center went okay, not very well or very bad. I was not happy with how the lesson went, and I wished that we had known exactly how much prior knowledge the students had. The second center group went very poorly in my opinion. The class had gotten more students recently and each group had grown in number of students. There are four students with special needs in the classroom and they are all in the same center group. As I was reading the book to them, it did not seem as if they were listening or even paying attention to the pictures. The last center group seemed very interested in the book. I think that all the groups could have benefited from an introduction lesson and more hands-on experience with the seasons. At the time I was very frustrated that our lesson did not go well, but I now know many things that I need to do to make sure that my next lesson goes more smoothly. Each lesson we teach is a learning experience, and I learned a lot from our science lesson.
Posted by Shannon Ashley at 10:26 AM