Saturday, March 10, 2012

CP Reflection Week 6

Yesterday's post was my 400th post. Should I have celebrated somehow?

I totally meant to work on this reflection throughout the week, but I just never took the time. Ugh! Maybe next week...

Thankfully, it was kind of a light week, so hopefully this doesn't take me too long to write up.

Monday, 3/5 - At the end of each unit, we have a day for current events about something related to the unit. Since we just finished a unit on Japan, the current events assignment was related to the tsunami/earthquake that hit Japan March 2011. The assignment might have been a little vague, and we may have assigned it without ample time, but in general, the presentations were really sub-par. It was disappointing. This current events assignment was created by my mentor teacher.

Tuesday, 3/6 - World History had their Japan unit test, so nothing to do for that class. I taught most of the class in AP Euro, though. It was on Soviet propaganda vs. the reality of life under Stalin and then taking that and discussing how the Socialist Realism movement was possible. I think the lesson went pretty well. I was relatively relaxed and confident in my lesson plan. It had to be quick because there were other things Nathan wanted to do i.e. go over their test from the day before, so it was a few video clips and some primary source readings. I am definitely pleased with how it went.

Wednesday, 3/7 - The other sections of World History took their Japan unit test. I still had quite a bit to do to prepare for my the Thu/Fri World History lesson, so most of my day was consumed with prepping that lesson. Also, I did get most of the exams graded. Well, my part of the grading. The students had to write 3 short essays out of 5 prompts, so my MT graded the answers to 1-3 and I graded 4-5. It's a system that works quite well for us. That's how we did the China unit test, too.

Thursday, 3/8 - Our next unit in World History is Latin America. My MT hasn't been really pleased with how this unit has gone in the past, so it is largely my creation. I really like what I came up with for an introductory lesson. First, we did a little free association to begin class. I asked the students what some of the first things were that they think of when I mention Latin America. Then I paired the students up and they drew the name of a Latin American city. I provided some guidance and let each pair do some research on their city to get a sense of what that area is like - its geography and climate, common activities for visitors, what the population looks like ethnically, what language they speak. The idea was to get them to recognize the diversity in Latin America. I thought it was a fascinating lesson! I enjoyed researching all the different areas even though it really bit me with the travel bug! After they did their research, they created a travel poster and presented their findings to the class in a quick 1-2 min presentation. I was really impressed with the creativity this class put into both their posters and presentations! I felt like it was a pretty effective lesson.

The rest of the day was spent grading tests and preparing for my next lesson.

I spent the evening making some minor changes to the World History lesson. Despite the changes being minor, it took me several hours. Mostly because I needed to include a few more locations because I forgot that one of the classes about 6 more students.

Friday, 3/9 - Same lesson in World History, but these two classes weren't nearly as creative and interested in the activity. Perhaps I ought to have left the lesson alone from the day before. Really, I think it  had more to do with the different personalities of the students. The third time around, I especially had difficulty getting the students to stay on task and focused on the project. Also, the 3rd time around, many of the students researched the country instead of focusing on the city. With some countries, the geography/climate can vary greatly from one area of the country to another, so this didn't really accomplish exactly what I was hoping for. Still, I would totally use this lesson again.

When I wasn't finishing the grading, I was working on my next lesson. Unfortunately, this was the first day I didn't end up having time to eat lunch. I should have gone during AP Gov since I was working in a different room, My MT was being observed by the principal but I thought I'd do down during lunch right before World History. Unfortunately, I didn't take into account the necessary set-up for my lesson, and suddenly class was starting in 10 minutes. Surprisingly, I made it through without even feeling too hungry!

Saturday, 3/10 - that's today! I finished writing my lesson plan for Mon/Tues. It's on the Olmec and Maya civilizations. I feel pretty good about it, but I still need to do some additional research on the Olmec to feel even somewhat confident during delivery. I imagine I'll spend a good deal of time on it tomorrow plus I'd like to get a good start on the next lesson plan, too.

Now, I'm off to sleep because I need to be uber-productive tomorrow, and I'll be losing an hour thanks to the time change.

What are your Sunday plans?

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