November 26, 2018 – Week 7

Today was an exciting day at my placement because my partner and I were able to go into two other classrooms and also give a lesson to our regular class.

Both of the other classes we went into were 7/8 splits and they were very different from our regular grade 3 class. In the first classroom, I noticed that almost all of the students had cell phones and they seemed to be on them more often than not. One of the girls had her ringer on through the 45 minutes we spent with them and it kept going off. I noticed that when the teacher told the students what they were to be doing, they didn’t always listen, also. At one point the teacher had to run to the library to grab their textbooks. She told them to work on a small English assignment she had given them last day and then added a second one for anyone who was done. As soon as she left the students started talking to each other loudly and going on their phones. One of the boys started walking around, distracting the few who were actually working. I went over and asked if he was done the first assignment and he said yes then I asked if he had started the second one. He said there wasn’t a second one. I asked him what their teacher had said right before leaving and he just looked at me and I ended up telling him the second thing. Then he went and sat down but didn’t do the second assignment because he was back on his phone. When the teacher got back she told them that they were going to need to change their seating plan. She explained to us later that she had let them pick their new seating that morning and so they all chose to sit with their friends and so that was probably why they were acting up so much.

The second 7/8 class seemed a lot more mature than the first. Again, many of them had cell phones but they had them sitting on their desk face down and only looked at them if they were going to listen to music or every once in a while when they were actually working. I also felt more welcomed into this classroom by the students. The first class I noticed would try to quiet their conversations some of the time when my partner and I were around, for example they were doing a little race where they had to write down 12 things that fit a certain topic and once the first team said they were done then everyone had to stop. One of the girls in the back group we were standing beside continued to try telling another student things to write down until she noticed that we were listening. In this second class a few of the students included us in some of their conversations and I had a couple of students ask me for help and clarification on the assignment they were working on.

At recess, my partner and I went back to our regular classroom and got ready for our lesson. We went and met the class as they were coming in from outside. A few of the students, when they saw we were back in their class, got really excited and wanted to tell us about things that have happened in their week. This was so exciting to see because it showed that the students were enjoying having us there.

The lesson we did was on Chief Poundmaker. We started off with a refresher on what peace meant to us and what we knew about treaties. Then we read a few sections on a book about Poundmaker and had some discussion on the main ideas we felt were important. Then we had another discussion about ways we could work to bring peace into our communities and talked about examples. We ended off with a song from a Saskatchewan Heroes CD about Poundmaker and we had a copy of the lyrics projected so that the students could read and sing along! I felt that it went well except that in the discussion when I first asked the students about peace I somehow forgot most of their names right on the spot! I think this must have been a result of being nervous. Our co-op teacher at the end of the day told us she felt that it went over well and that we had good time designated for each activity to hold the class’s attention.

We finished the day with health and learning how to make healthy decisions by looking at two options we could choose from. First  we did an example as a class, then one with a partner, and ended with each student doing their own. While they were doing their own I worked at the back with three students who asked for a bit of help. Two of these students were ones I haven’t worked with too much so it was great getting to see how these two also worked through their assignments. After helping these students I walked around helping other students before class was done and it was the end of the day.

As I have mentioned, a lot of the grade 7/8 students had cell phones and they used them more or less depending which class they were in. In the second 7/8 class they were doing some readings in textbooks and a few of the students had their own tablets and iPads from home they were doing the readings on. The grade 3 class I am with also uses iPads during Daily Five when they do some of the read to self exercises. For research they often use a combination of books from the library and online research using things like Britannica and they have math programs that involve games and activities that help them learn their skills.

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