Final paper for field placement
1) Which management skills did you observe with reference to creating a positive organized learning environment?
The key factor to a healthy learning environment lies in mutual respect of a teacher and students in classroom. The main problem of a teacher is to organize this atmosphere of cooperation and it requires a lot of management skills. In order to build a cooperation there have to be several practices observed that include avoiding stereotype reactions of students; being flexible and adaptable to different situations and basically it includes self-control. If a teacher is able to control himself he’ll be able to cope with the rest of class.
In order to promote healthy learning atmosphere the teacher has to be able to change attitudes of students and be able to get them of his side.
All these strategies require an individual approach to every student. That’s why it’s quite important to develop the strategies to know students better and to be able to show them the interest in work with them. Only in these case there will be an interaction between teacher and class and as a result the learning process based on cooperation and disciple will occur.
Along with discipline management that makes a background fore further learning reinforcement is important part of teaching management. Combining the strategies of positive and negative reinforcement in teaching practice the teacher will develop addition participation stimulus that will result in more productive academic work of a class. That’s why it’s very important to be attentive to the academic progress of every individual in class and encourage him when there is a need in that.
2) Which strategies did you observe that stimulate higher level thinking skills?
As there are different approaches and strategies to teach students to think reasonably and logically the following methods were observed to promote higher level thinking skills:
the students are explained how to identify and analyze a problem that needs a solution as well as ways they need to use to apply the knowledge that they already have for problem solution;
what they need to refer to for gathering new information;
in what way they need to organize and compare the data they’ve got;
how they have to clarify and judge the alternatives of solution;
and finally how to sum everything up and make a logical decision.
Students are explained how to determine and distinguish elements of the problem and how to establish the relations between elements of the problem and problem itself in order to understand the core of it. Students are also taught to reinterpret and restate problem as well as to connect it to their knowledge and look for the application of their past experiences to that existing specific case.
Another essential objectives in developing higher level thinking skills are:
focusing on the development of personal expressions of students rather than on simple and passive acceptance of the studying material;
development of independent thinking and reasoning for making decisions;
making a student a producer of thoughts rather than a customer of thoughts;
encouragement of the student to learn more and deeper.
3) Which organized strategies did you observe including planning, lesson design and timing use?
When planning a lesson it’s important to clearly see its structure, process and activities that will be held as the desired results that have to be achieved. That’s why it’s very important to make a proper plan of the lesson. When planning a lesson its important to keep to the following widely accepted strategies: progression from simple material to a more complex one, progression from the concrete concepts to more formal, and building of students interest towards the new information.
Planning and lesson design require a presence of individual lesson plans that will include the detailed structure of the lesson. First an individual lesson plan requires to have clearly stated aims of the lesson and desired outcomes. The lesson has to be well structured and timed: what follows what, in what order and so on. Each part of the lesson has to be well organized so that the working academic environment will be preserved and that students will be busy all the time during the lesson.
On the hand with effective lesson planning it’s important to foresee and identify the potential problems that can be faced during the lesson and to be ready to solve them. These problems basically include: behavior and discipline issues, organization of activities and availability of resources needed for the lesson.
4) Discuss any of the following instructional strategies you observed including lecture, demonstration, questioning, discussion, guided practice, independent practice, grouping, role-playing and reflective inquiry.
One of the essential components of successful education is self education, because it teaches student to work and reason independently and later it will develop the skills of taking complicated decisions which is very important either in work or in regular daily practice. Communication skills are of the same importance. That’s why development of independent practice and speech skills is an important part of education process.
There are different strategies that promote independence in learning. Giving opportunities to students in choosing the work in classroom will encourage them for active participation because their work will also reflect their interests and preferences. Group work also develops independence in learning because when working in cooperation there appears a feeling of competition that makes additional stimulus for harder work as well as it also encourage students to work independently from teacher’s control. There are also other innovative practices that encourage impendent learning, thinking and practice. The student can for example predict how well they did on test, participate in lesson planning and choosing academic activities for the class as well as set their own academic goals. These methods will promote the atmosphere of cooperation and will stimulate students to achieve their educational goals.
Discussion plays an important role in improving of the education process and in giving an opportunity to achieve a deeper and fuller understanding of the academic material. Because discussion practice makes academic process livelier and promotes the sense of community, students get more interested in the course and it improves their academic performance.
There are several strategies that make discussions really interesting and fruitful:
It’s important to start discussion with inviting questions that are very familiar to the participants and that will more likely make them talk and express their thoughts.
It’s import to first call those who are ready to talk, not those who are puzzled, because it can break the success of the discussion as well as its order.
The person who organizes a discussion should avoid calling the same person because it may result in loss of interest to the discussion for the side of other students.
When an instructor who calls the person who will talk next, he should paraphrase the question to see if the student who will respond had understood it correctly and if he hadn’t, the instructor has to give further explanations and directions fort the question asked.
As soon as healthy discussion climate has been achieved, the instructor may give freedom to students to keep a free healthy conversation without his guidance.
The teacher may use other strategies for building discussions but he has to keep in mind the main rule of any academic activity, that the key to the success is mutual respect.
5) Which student assessment strategies did you observe? Include any formal or informal measures of assessment.
The assessment strategies that were observed are spotlighting and common assessment tasks. These two strategies allow to truly judge the complex picture of student’s academic development and provide the results about his academic achievements as well as information on aspects of his learning.
Spotlighting is used to provide a clear and objective picture about student’s academic performance at the particular moment and for the particular kind of activity or unit. Seeing the participation of the student in class work and evaluating the strategies that student uses to solve particular problem and the results of his approaches a teacher can make an objective judgment about his knowledge and abilities. This can be seen when during a group work student is simply participating in work, when he identifies the problems and chooses a suitable version to solve the problem or uses his own conflict-resolution strategy to solve the problem he is faced with.
The common assessment tasks are used not only by a teacher by students as well and allow them to see the clear information about their academic participation. Such tasks can be used in classes that require group work and give opportunity for students to evaluate one another according to their own observations. Later these assessment papers are used by teachers to compare their judgments to those of the students to make more objective conclusions.
6) Overall, what benefits did you derive from observing other teachers?
Observing the work of other teachers gives an excellent practice for future work. Looking on their manners of teaching and lesson organization you analyze what they do right and what they do wrong from the side of an objective evident. You analyze what strategies and approaches that they use are more fruitful and effective in work with students and what are not so effective and need to be further developed. Also it’s very important that observing other teachers working you are able to see the reaction of students on the actions of the teacher and analyze it. In a word, such practice is a very valuable experience that helps to improve individual teaching skills and develop healthy environment in class with diverse students.