Saturday, November 15, 2014

Week Four

Standard four of the Graduating Teacher Standards states how teachers must create a high quality teaching and learning environment. My personal goal for this placement in regards to this standard is to create a high expectation environment for all learners.
During this week I had a strong focus on creating rich reading and mathematics sessions. For the past few weeks I didn’t have rotation rubrics operating very well. Each day I would provide students with an activity to do and meet with only a couple groups. But this week I set up my own rotation rubrics' on a Google Doc and displayed it on the projector during the lessons. In reading I had 5 groups so set up a rotation of 5 steps. Within these 5 rotations I included a number of things such as Big Books, Library Corner, Literacy Games, Worksheet activity and teacher small group. This rotation rubric worked really well because it focused the whole lesson and kept students interested because they only stayed on one activity for a short period of time. This rotation setup also meant I could give students better and higher quality follow up activities because the students weren’t overtaken by worksheets. Some key points that I learnt from this setup was the importance of having shorter rotations, varied activities and richer follow up activities.
Another aspect that I introduced into my classroom this week to create a rich learning environment was a computer programme called XtraMath. It is a basic facts programme that enables each student to complete an individual programme for only 5 min per day. I set it up so that students take turns on the two class desktops each day. This is a very rich programme because it allows students to learn exactly at the right level and also keeps them engaged and focused on completing their learning.
It has also be very exciting to discuss this computer programme with a number of other teachers and see their excitement for its potential in their own classroom. For teachers who aren't within an already digital school I have observed that it is hard to become aware of such programmes and their benefits. The teachers who I discussed this programme with had never heard of such a programme but were totally impressed by it and that fact that it is free to use.

Overall this week I have been able to create a richer learning environment which has resulting in better student focus and learning behaviour. It showed me how important it is to ensure that in all lessons and activities learning is rich and focused.

No comments:

Post a Comment