Pre Internship - Middle Years, WRITTEN REFLECTIONS



This week the grade 6 and 7’s began their power and authority unit. #WHOHASTHEPOWER
The grade 6’s worked on the outcome PA6.1 Examine the relationship between an individual’s power and authority and the power and authority of others.
We inquired about guiding questions such as: What are the different forms of power? (Force, Influence and Authority) What are the characteristics of effective leaders? How do leaders lead? Why does conflict happen? What are my own roles and responsibilities as a student?

The grade 7’s worked on the outcome PA7.1 Compare the sources of power for individuals, nations, and regions in a selection of Pacific Rim and circumpolar countries.
We inquired about guiding questions such as: What is democracy? How can democracy be improved? What are the different sources of power? How were treaties formed?

Planning and Instructional Strategies:
This week I have recognized that I need to work on my lesson plan timing. I almost always over plan my lessons and I am learning quickly that there is not possibly enough time to teach everything I want to in such a short amount of time. I need to prioritize the learning tasks that will best help students reach the intended learning outcomes of the Saskatchewan Curriculum. As I am beginning to develop relationships with my students and recognizing their learning needs, I am developing an understanding on how much time they need to work on and finish a learning task. I was hoping that we would finish PA6.1 and PA7.1 during my first week in the classroom, but unfortunately the learning tasks will be carrying over to next week. I am hoping that we will be able to finalize their learning of this outcome by Monday.

I have had the opportunities to implement a variety of Instructional Strategies in my classroom. So far I have used technological videos, read-alouds, computer research, mind-maps, textbooks, venn-diagrams, Frayer Model organizer, group and individual work, and talk-pair shares. All of which I believe will be beneficial to use in my future classroom!

PDP (Professional Development Plans)
This week I have worked on communication skills, classroom management skills and waiting it out. If you know me, you know that I do not have an over-bearing voice that students will easily respond to. Therefor, it is a necessity for me to use differential classroom management strategies that will help me keep the classroom under control. The classroom I am pre-interning in has a bad case of the blurts. They all have incredible ideas and inquiries, but it is simply impossible to get to them all without a structure set in place.  I chose to implement a sticky note blurt prevention strategy, where each student is given three sticky notes at the beginning of each class. I encourage the students to write their ideas and thoughts down before they raise their hands. Although I have only used this for a few days now, I have found that it has substantially decreased the amount of blurts. Plus, students regularly catch themselves blurting because they know that they should have written something down before raising their hands and speaking. I am definitely going to continue using this strategy for as long as it continues to work.

The second biggest professional development strategy I need to continue working on is waiting it out. I need to make sure I have all eyes on me prior to giving instruction to ensure all students are engaged and are listening. I find that I am good at doing this at the beginning of the lesson, but by the end of the day I tend to lose control of the class. This is definitely something I need to continue to practice during my 3-week block.

Next Week Goals:
1.  Continue to work on my professional development plans. I want to introduce and practice a variety of classroom management ideas to discover what works best for me as a future teacher. I have brought my rain stick with me everyday but I continuously forget to use it. My goal is to take it out during my lesson and let the rain fall if the classroom noise gets out of control.

2. I need to prioritize the most beneficial learning tasks for my students next week. This includes choosing what I am going to use as a summative assessment for each of the Power and Authority outcomes. Thus far my goal is to have a final project where students answer questions from each of the Power and Authority Unit outcomes, but I am nervous there wont be enough time for this.

3. I have organized a special guest to come into our classroom next Friday. Shailynn Taylor, a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Dystrophy (SMA) as a young child. She is going to share with me and my class the ways that Power and Authority has influenced her life. She is going to talk about her life and how she became a social justice advocate and speaker for the SMA community. Most importantly, she is going to share her story about her journey of receiving a life saving drug called Spinraza. A few weeks ago, the Canadian government came to a conclusion that only individuals who meet a specific criteria will be able to receive funding for this drug. Shailynn does not meet the requirements. That is why she wants to share with us the roles the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and how they influence her quality of life.  I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to bring someone like Shailynn in my pre-internship classroom.

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