Reflection 4

Lesson Topic:

“Exploring Compare & Contrast” – The purpose of this lesson was to review comparing & contrasting within the context of reading.  Together as a class, we compared and contrasted the two main characters in our read-aloud, Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp.

Goal for Students On-Level:

Given both an explanation and a visual representation of the reading skill, guided practice, a Venn diagram, and two different cookies, STUDENTS will independently complete a two-circle Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting the two cookies, with at least 80% accuracy, within a 45-minute reading lesson.

Goal for Students Needing Small-Group Instruction:

Given both an explanation and a visual representation of the reading skill, guided practice, a Venn diagram, and two different cookies, STUDENTS will complete, with help from the paraprofessional, a two-circle Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting the two cookies, with at least 80% accuracy, within a 45-minute reading lesson.

Date Taught:

 Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What went well?

My students were already pretty familiar with Venn diagrams.  Therefore, I didn’t have to spend too much time frontloading them with its purpose and design.  I also loved how engaged my students were during our interactive read-aloud.  This energy definitely spilled over into our guided practice.  Students were very willing to participate as we generated, together, a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp.  This whole-group activity also allowed me to informally assess their comprehension of the read-aloud because we were constantly referring back to the text.  In addition, using the cookies as manipulatives excited students, but more importantly, gave them time to practice the skill within a real-world context.

What did not go as planned?

 Not all of my students met their goals for this lesson.  I think this is partly a result of limited time and our snack break.  Additionally, some of my students had trouble organizing their notes on the Venn diagram.  I really wanted my students to work alone, with as little guidance as possible, on the cookie assignment.  However, I think that I should have scaffolded them even more during this activity.  For example, I should have highlighted that when completing a Venn diagram, use bullet points instead of complete sentences.

How to change for subsequent lessons:

 Ideally, this lesson would have been one of a series of mini-lessons in my Reader’s Workshop.  Instead of using the cookie Venn diagram as a summative assignment, I would have preferred to use this activity as a pre-assessment prior to introducing the skill.  And for my more summative practice, I would have my guided reading groups work together to generate a poster-sized Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting characters, themes, or settings within their current novels.  Additionally, I would like to use the “Venn Diagram” app by the International Reading Association as a summative, formal assessment for a unit on compare and contrast.  Using this app and only one account, all students can create and publish a Venn diagram for the rest of the class to explore.

Final Thoughts:

 This past month has flown by.  I really enjoyed my time at the Summer Learning Place.  Working with such a small-group of students was very refreshing.  Not to mention, their sweet personalities.  At first, I was skeptical about the differences that just four weeks could make.  But after post-assessing my students, I really can see so much improvement.  Giving just one example, one of my little ones increased her words per minute from fifty-eight to ninety-four.  Her final goal was to reach sixty-four.  She went over by thirty words—and the reading passage was harder!  Talk about a proud teacher.

I established three goals at the start of this experience: 1) Effective, 2) Flexible 3) Teachable.  I think I achieved them all.  By employing a variety of assessments, I was able to tailor my instruction to effectively meet the specific learning needs of my students.  Some of my students had different areas for targeted growth.  I successfully noted those needs and did my best to meet them, through modifications and adjustments.  I learned so much during this experience–about myself, about my students, and about my pedagogy.  I have a better understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses.  I still have many questions, but I am excited about both pursuing and sharing many of the resources that have been introduced to me.

Maddox

Maddox

Isabella

Isabella

Andrew

Andrew

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3 thoughts on “Reflection 4

  1. The lesson went well and the students really liked the story. I like how you encouraged them to read the next story that ties in with the first one. The Venn Diagram was a great tool for them to learn and you did a great job explaining it. I’m glad that this whole experience was a positive experience for you.

    Like

  2. Teresa,
    Your ideas for teaching lessons are so creative, and you are so passionate to make sure that your students reach their goals.

    Like

  3. Teresa ,

    I was very moved by your sweet comment on my blog. I loved your advice and will certainly use it in my future endeavors. I find you to be such an inspiration and a pleasure to be around. I have truly enjoyed reading all your posts and I have walked away with a wealth of ideas. I am so proud of how far you have come and all your success at Furman and in your teaching career.

    Off-topic, I must say your wedding photos were precious. You looked absolutely beautiful and beemed with happiness. I am so happy for Joel’s and yours future. I wish you both all the health, wealth, and happiness one can have in a lifetime. 🙂

    All the very best,
    Jamie

    Like

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