Well, today was my last day in my Pre-Internship classroom this semester and I can honestly say that I am a bit sad, but also a bit relieved at the same time. It was a great experience to learn by actually teaching in a Middle Years classroom this semester, but I am definitely ready for a break. All day, the class seemed a bit more anxious or “rowdy” because they were excited for their field trip to the Science Center that would be happening that night. Most of them would also be sleeping overnight at the Science Center as well, so I am sure this was a factor as to why most of the students were behaving the way they were today.
In my lesson today, I planned to do a Science experiment to keep the students actively engaged by giving them a chance to try to make a paperclip “float”. I first taught the students about buoyancy, buoyant force, and talked about different things that float before explaining the experiment. Then I introduced the Predict, Observe, Explain (POE) experiment and let the students pick their groups of either four or five people. The instructions for the POE experiment were verbally and visually given to the students on the projector screen and on a piece of paper in front of each group. I think I did well with differentiation today for visual, auditory, interpersonal and kinesthetic learners with this lesson. I think most of the students enjoyed this lesson because they got a chance to do an experiment and then find out that the results were not what they thought they were. Most of the students thought that paper clips were buoyant, but what they found out in the end of the experiment was that paper clips are not buoyant, but are actually just suspended on top of the water and held up by the water’s surface tension. So overall, I was glad that most of my students took this message away from the lesson.
As I worked on classroom management again today for my target, I think I did a lot better than I did at the beginning of the semester. Today, I worked well on monitoring the groups as they were experimenting and helped each group further their learning by answering their questions and giving them ideas to get the paperclip to “float”. I did have to ask for the student’s attention a few times though because one group was not paying any attention to what I was trying to say. I also had to take a moment to ask for their respect because they were wasting everyone’s valuable time to do the experiment and learn. In the end, the students became a little bit more respectful, so I feel like I have gained some ground over these past eight weeks. Classroom management has definitely been something that I have been improving on this semester, but it is also something that I believe that I will always need to be focusing on and improving on in my future teaching career.