During my second visit to the high school classroom, I was assigned (again) to my previous class and my cooperating teacher Mrs. S. During this visit, I had to examine the class from a different prospective. For example, I had to analyze her lesson presentation and the way she engaged her students throughout the lesson. I noticed how when she wants her students full attention, she goes to the front of the classroom and ask her students to put their ipads away. Then she uses her computer to mirror everything she is explaining on a LCD projector and she asks students to provide their opinions about what she is saying.

     After she explained her goals for the new book and movie they were going to watch, (How to Kill a Mocking Bird) Mrs. S. asked them research online about the movie and the book. They needed to look up for information regarding guilt, innocence and fairness connected to the settings and the plot of the movie. The students also had to make personal connections to the theme and experiences related to the movie and the film. Once the students have finished their research Mrs. S. ask them to share their information in four groups of four. This way Mrs. S. have the time to walk by the groups and over hear the conversations and the students understanding of what the movie and the text book are about.

     Mrs. S. likes to use the technique called “Jigsaw”. This is a technique used to develop communication. By using it, Mrs. S. helps the students to understand and retain information. The jigsaw is used to develop collaboration in groups and help the students to become “experts” on a specific text or body of knowledge. It also asks the students to share that material with another group of students. This strategy is most effective when students know that they will be using the information they have learned from each other to create a final product, participate in a class discussion, or acquire material that will be on a test.

     After this type of discussion Mrs. S. starts playing the movie and tells the students that they need to compare, and find the differences between the movie and the book. What is missing from the book?, What is different from the book? And what is necessary from the book that the movie did not provide? Mrs. S. asked them to type an essay that includes answers to the previous questions. This is the way for Mrs. S. to grade the students about their ability to read and comprehend literature. Also, Mrs. S. ultimate goal is to help her students to be able by the end of grade 11 to write complex essays, independently and proficiency.

     While they are typing their essays Mrs. S. likes to bring them one by one to talk to her. She likes to start with those who have the hardest time writing essays and she explains them for approximately five minutes what they are missing on their thesis or what they need to improve, etc. For those who Mrs. S. was able to review, I felt they were also the ones who want to improve their writing and are taking this class because they need it to graduate.

     Although, there are others who even thought Mrs. S. provides plenty of time to write and prepare their essays, they are not taking advantage of this time as much as they should. Some of the students are playing video games on their ipads, others are more concerned about shopping online, and others are just talking or wasting valuable time!

     I know this is valuable time because one day, or I should say: soon! They will be in college and they will not have someone to sit with them, and help them to correct their writing on a one to one basis. Some day, they will look back at the great work their teacher was doing with them and for those who took advantage of it will be a great memory. However, for those who just wanted to have a “good” time and relax in this class; they will be the ones who will regret and feel the pain of being in a non-credit class because they did not take high school seriously.



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    mrs. Gould 

    My blog has the information about the direction I am taking for my future roll as a teacher. Please feel free to be part of an extraordinary world!


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