A. Grace Martin

Author, Student Teacher, Optimist and Promoter of Self-Empowerment


PSII Wednesday March 11, 2015

Posted by agracemartin on April 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Here are my notes from today's lesson:

• At the end of the day, do not say, “Who is going to go tell the principle why you are late because you were so bad?” • Instead when they are quiet say, “See, you can do it. You are capable of behaving maturely.”

• Consider being planted at the front of the room.

• Jigsaw did not work.

• Cue with an agenda. Tell them what we are going to do today.

• Let them know what to do. Whatever is on the slide, write it down…. De-clutter slides

• Especially for the students who were not here, tell them to write their notes on the handout.

• Differentiate notes… for K and E either make their assignment true/false or matching, or fill in the blank, or multiple choice. Make K&E do less writing. Give them very clear instructions


Today I realized that the lab I did with the Science 14s and 10-4s could have been completed in 45 minutes and it may have been more productive with less down time. I think that the components of the lab were effective, but I was very surprised at the lack of written responses on student lab report sheets. Even when I pointed out exactly what they were to write for observations, some simply chose not to. I am not sure yet how to assess this. I give the lab a 6 out of 10, but if it were quicker I think it would have been an 8 or 9. Students really enjoyed setting toilet paper on fire using petroleum jelly or Crisco lard as a continuous fuel source. They also enjoyed playing with thermometers, holding the ends and asking about the mercury inside. The quick quiz formative assessment was indicative of very low understanding of the concept of friction. Very few students understood that friction was the resisting of two objects being rubbed together.

Today I had the 9As for a forty-five minute class, which I will give a 5 out of 10 for learning and my early mistake of not cuing. I give myself a 9 out of 10 for classroom management to salvage the lesson and not lose my authority. I am considering planting myself at the front of the room, rather than circulating throughout the classroom. In PSI my mentors and university consultant encouraged me to circulate past every student. However, that takes me out of the line of sight of the grade 9s. My PowerPoint slides were cause for confusion with the lower achieving students. The K&E (knowledge and employability designation) students were overwhelmed by too many words. While I thought that I was preparing students for proper note-taking by providing them with bolded words within the slides, apparently they do not understand that while all information is relevant, only key words have to be written down. I started by telling them that I would go over thermocouples for them. I could tell that after two slides I had lost them. So instead I let them return to their groups and circulated with my explanations. I realize that they were tired after two slides because I did not properly cue them and say, “We are not doing groups today. We are taking notes from the PowerPoint slides. I will explain each concept to you and expect that you will copy down notes into your booklet. Everything is laid out for you in your booklet to make taking notes easier.”

The problem that I had was that the class did not work hard, but instead chatted and wasted time. So I brought their attention back to the front to go over the concepts. I said, “I’m sorry to those of you who were actually working hard, but most of you were not. We are going to get through this material and if you don’t pay attention, I will have to keep you back from your next class.” I had to pause frequently in silence to wait for students to stop chatting. Well the bell rang and students began to stand up I said, “Sit down. I did not excuse you. We are not finished yet. Don’t put away your binders, get out your booklets and write down the definition of the piezoelectric effect.” I stood silently at the front and stared at the students. The educational assistant asked a great question about piezoelectric crystals that I answered. Then I dismissed the class. When talking with my teacher associate/mentor afterwards, he was very glad that I followed through on my consequences, but wouldn’t advise holding them back again. I sincerely hope that I will never have to do that again. I want my students to know that I care about them, and while I will continue to hold an unconditional positive regard for every student, I am going to assert that there will be consequences for their actions. Tomorrow I will set my students up for success by giving them an exact agenda and expectations. I will have both the 9As and 9Bs for forty-five minutes. I will welcome them all into the class, ask them to remove their hats, and silently wait until they settle. When they do settle I will wait for another moment and then say “thank you, see I knew that you had it in you, that you are a fantastic class and you are very capable.” Then I will tell them our agenda for the class.

Categories: PSII Reflection Journal/Log

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