Sunday, October 16, 2016

Learning Journal Entry A

     This last week's assignment of teaching our own class on a subject of our choosing using a ELA Standard seemed really daunting at first. The first challenge, was narrowing down to a topic that fit with the standard I chose. I elected to give a lesson on figurative language for a 5th grade class. Poetic language is something that many children that age may struggle with. With the oncoming novels and classic literature assigned, it is vital that students grasp metaphorical language in writing and how they can use it to strengthen their own work.

     This lesson taught me that I needed to be better prepared with my materials and visual aids. It was difficult to do "hand outs" in an online forum, but in the classroom I feel it would be much easier to prepare. I also noticed other students in the class struggling with this. Being an effective teacher means being able to think on your feet when obstacles like this happen and adapting the lesson and materials as needed.

     I thought most of our lessons all went really well. The teachers that had selected lessons for younger grades were great about incorporating student input, visuals, and hands-on activities. In a student-centered classroom, each grade would have that same dynamic tailored to the age level. Reflecting over my own lesson, I would have liked to include some metaphors, similies and personification exercises where I would call out certain sayings like "I'm as hungry as a horse!" and have students identify which type of figurative language it was using cue cards.

     This was a more challenging experience than I had thought it would be. The speaking part is less daunting for me than just having the overall lesson ready. I found some of the other presentations harder to follow when they did not have visual aids. I can tell this is a really important tool in teaching as I, myself, am a very visual learner. The part that most impressed me was how each teacher checked for understanding throughout their lessons. The smallest assessments can help teachers so much in checking to make sure our students are keeping up.

     It was a really insightful view for some of our experiences to come. I think this will help me to be better prepared beforehand and have more questions for assessment prepared as well as visual aids for students like me!

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