Today was a very successful day. I felt like a lot of the students were listening well, participating in small group and class discussions, and were very productive. I started my lesson this morning by doing a bit of a review. I caught my students attention by revealing candy to the person who answered the question correctly. I was a bit cautious about using candy as an award before the lesson, but I really think in the end, it had a positive effect on all the students because I gave everyone an opportunity to answer a question by only awarding one candy to someone even if they knew more than one answer. It also kept the students engaged because they were waiting for the questions so that they could answer correctly. Once I was finished my review of the water cycle and watersheds from the last few lessons, I taught my grade 7/8’s the importance of the First Nations and Metis people’s perspective on water and water pollution. I was a bit nervous about teaching this lesson because I was not sure how my students would react, but as I was teaching them this part of the lesson I was pleased that everyone was being respectful and stayed engaged.
After this we moved onto specifics about water pollution. I showed my students two videos and as they watched both videos they stayed engaged and definitely thought things through. After watching the videos on the life of a plastic bottle and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch the students seemed to be left with deep thoughts about the videos. Even in the discussion after each video I could tell that they were thinking deeply about the topics. One student asked, “Why can’t we just scoop up all the plastic in the ocean and recycle it?” and another student responded, “because there is too much plastic to clean up and it would take too much money”. These students had some very good questions to ponder and try to answer. After some small and large group discussions we came up with some things that we, personally, could do to help the water from being polluted with plastics. The students all had some great ideas about how to respect our water and how to properly recycle our plastics. In the last 10 minutes the students created some personal pledges on what they could do to help this ecological issue of plastics getting into the ocean. Some of their pledges were: to use reusable bags, throw their garbage in the garbage can, recycle their plastic bottles, reduce the amount of plastics they use, chew less gum, reuse their plastics to create something new, and use reusable lunch containers rather than plastic bags. In the last few minutes of class, I wrapped up by talking about Nature Works plastic cups. This was something else to ponder because it is a company that claims to make plastics out of plants rather than oil by melting plant sugars and making polymer chains, which are then 100% biodegradable, but in reality have to be recycled in a specific way, rather than composed in a regular landfill.
Overall, I would say that my lesson went really well. I was really proud of what I taught and what was accomplished. While my C0-op teacher and I went over my target sheet and overall evaluation for the semester she told my classmate and I that our lessons have been the best lessons that she has seen from any of the other interns that she has had. This made me feel really good about my efforts and my abilities to teach in a middle years classroom and I am very glad that I got placed at this school for my Pre-Internship.