For my first lesson I did a review of the chapters of The Giver that we had read so far as a class. The review was structured around the fact that I had noticed that the students had a disconnect between the text and questions they were asked. It seemed that the students did not really understand that when a question is asked it is often directly stated in the text especially when it is a content related question. Or the students simply did not want to look to the text. Regardless I designed a review activity to deal with both issues.
The review activity was that students had a set of questions that were on slips of paper in a bag in the middle of a group of four. The students also had a chart that had question numbers and then corresponding page numbers on which the answer would be found in each box on the chart. The students had too choose a question and then find it's number on the chart and then turn to the corresponding page in the book to quote the answer from the text. As the students worked, I traveled around the room to assist in their small groups.
Observations from 7B Video Recording:
I noticed that I smile a lot when I am talking to the students. I also either kneel or sit in a chair at their group so that I am on the same level as them thus giving a sense of working together rather than instructing. The students enjoyed the competition of searching for the answers and demonstrated this by encouraging each other to work faster. The students would say things like OOOHHH I found it, middle of the page! This was encouraging for me. The students demonstrated their engagement in the material by completing almost the entire chart. I noticed that at the end of the lesson I did some sort of weird voice intonation increase that is very unlike me and I need to not do because I believe it would be highly annoying.
Observations from 7A Video Recording:
I noticed that this class was much more against the assignment and showed by dramatic eye rolling and comments such as "But we've already read this." that they were not thrilled about returning to the text. There were several instances in the class where a student called me over to argue a point with them or a wording of a question. I think that my responses to the students were successful because instead of arguing back with them I just asked them more questions and got them to realize the detail they were actually looking for. It was nice when the students saw the "AH HA" moment and realized that they were arguing just to argue. The lower level students required more guidance and I could hear them getting off track until I came around to them on the video tape. This explains why the higher performing groups were able to finish their material and self-focus.
Observation from 8B Warm-Up Recording:
I had begun using the strategy Cold Call with the students. I noticed that I tend to call on the same students and that I call on students whose names are easier to pronounce. So, I ultimately reverted to just calling on the students who raised their hands. I remember feeling nervous about saying the students' names wrong. This was evidenced in the fact that I would gesture somewhat shyly toward the students who raised their hand or make eye contact with them when I was unsure of how to say there names. I did however intentionally state that "I need a volunteer" rather than requesting one. The Cold Call strategy did work in the fact that I was able to call on students randomly and they responded. I need to improve my confidence in pronouncing the students' names.