A. Grace Martin

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

Why Make a Growth Plan for PS2?

Related Knowledge, Skills and Attributes Related to Interim Certification: 
KSA #3 Use documents to inform and direct planning, instruction and assessment of student progress; and the subject discipline they teach, and know which strategies are appropriate to help different students. 
KSA #5 All students can learn, albeit at different rates and in different ways. They understand the need to respond to differences by creating multiple paths to learning for individuals and groups of students, including students with special learning needs. 
KSA #9 There are many approaches to teaching and learning. They know a broad range of instructional strategies appropriate to their area of specialization and the subject discipline they teach, and know which strategies are appropriate to help different students achieve different outcomes. 
KSA #10 The functions of traditional and electronic teaching/learning technologies. They know how to use and how to engage students in using these technologies.
KSA #15 The importance of career-long learning. They know how to assess their own teaching and how to work with others responsible for supervising and evaluating teachers. They know how to use the findings of assessments, supervision and evaluations to select, develop and implement their own professional development activities.    
KSA #16 The importance of guiding their actions with a personal, overall vision of the purpose of teaching. They are able to communicate their vision, including how it has changed as a result of new knowledge, understanding and experience.  

PS2 Goal #1

#1

Goal: I want to incorporate multiple student-centered activities into my science lessons.


Rationale: In the traditional educational system, teacher-directed lecturing has been common. I want to differentiate my lesson plans to enable inquiry in science students. I believe that too many students are "turned off" of science because it is not engaging enough. I want to flip that attitude around and help my students make meaningful personal connections to the material.

Strategies

  • Student-directed learning activities
    • Jigsaw peer teaching groups
    • Independent study or research project
    • Collaborative
    • Project-based learning
  • Experiential learning/Hands-on activities
    • Field trips or field observations
    • Experiments conducted by students
    • Manipulatives for students to explore
    • Construct models/dioramas 
    • Role playing
    • Exploratory stations
    • Games
  • Safe demonstrations
    • Sorry kids, no fire or explosions unless I'm in charge of safety
    • Repeat demonstrations multiple times so that students can rotate and see
  • Motion (get students moving around the classroom)
  • Technology integration to appeal to and engage our 21st century learners

Performance Indicators

I will know that I have met my goal if:


  • I have at least one student-directed learning activity used every three lessons to promote collaboration and student involvement
  • Every class I make sure that students are moved out of their seats at least once
  • I have at least one hands-on activity per week
  • I give at least one demonstration per unit
  • I play a game or role play a situation with my students at least once per unit
  • I take students outside of the classroom to make field observations at least once per unit

PS2 Goal #2

#2

Goal: I want to become an effective presenter


Rationale: When engaging in teacher-directed learning, an instructor needs to be able to present effectively. 

Strategies:


  • Make personal connections
  • Add humour
  • Ask effective questions
  • Involve the students in dialogue
  • Use visuals and visual aids wisely/relevantly
  • Cue the students by telling them objectives or a refer to number of characteristics (for example, today we will learn five indicators that a chemical reaction has occurred)
  • Closure: make a meaningful closure that reviews what students learned during the class

Performance Indicators:


At the beginning of lessons, making a personal connection that relevantly hooks student attention without detracting from the content. Students see the teacher as a person, but are not bored by the teacher talking about him/herself for an extended period of time.


I will know that I have achieved this goal from personal confidence levels and performance reviews from my teacher associate and university consultant.


Reflection on My Goals

After a seven-week practicum, I am satisfied with my growth when I look back upon my PS2 goals.


I began practicum with numerous daily student-centered hands-on activities. For the first week I was opposed to any teacher-directed note-taking. However, I soon found an outcry from students to please give PowerPoint presentations so that students could take notes. 


This led me to my next goal: to become an effective presenter. It took a while to figure out the right amount of information to include on slides, as most students wanted to write down every single word.


I have been complimented by other teachers in the school that when they pass by my classroom, they can always hear my clear, loudly projected voice.


When I consider the rationale of my first goal, only part of my agrees with it now. I have learned in this practicum that educational theory is not always realistic. Individual teachers need to treat every group of students differently. Strategies that work well with one group may not work as well with another. I have noticed this difference even between two grade nine classes in the same school. While I entered practicum with a philosophy of activity-based collaborative learning, I feel that direct instruction is the optimal teaching strategy for my current groups of students.