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Sophia Palajac
Dr. Brondyk
EDUC 310-311
25 November 2019
Individual Lesson Reflection

Over the Fall 2019 semester, I was placed at Black River Elementary school in a first to

the third-grade classroom. During the semester I taught both a small and large group lesson. One

of which was a science lesson and the other was a math lesson. For both of these lessons I came

ready and prepared to teach. When it came time to create the lessons, I kept in mind the needs of

my students and what they knew before teaching my lesson. Now that I have taught both of my

lessons, I know some specific elements went well. For example, by deciding to wait and teach

my lessons until the middle of the semester, I gave the students the opportunity to get to know

me. They understood what my role in the classroom was and that I had the same expectations

that my mentor teacher had. With this said, I did not encounter any behavior issues and I was

able to stay within the time frame I was given to teach my lesson.

Also, by taking into account my students' needs I was able to keep the students engaged

and interested in both of the lessons. Additionally, as their teacher, I knew that my attitude

played a major role in how my lesson turned out and in how my students respond. Therefore,

during both of my lessons, I remained positive and upbeat. This showed the students that I was

interested in the topic and thus they should be too. Lastly, in both lessons, I made sure I included

both hands-on and interactive activities. For example, in my science lesson, I had the students

moving around in the classroom and had them taste test an assortment of seeds. In the math

lesson, I introduced the topic of the lesson with a game, this game was called “Finger Cards”. In

this game, the students were able to have a friendly competition with one another as well as
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practice their number recognition skills. Overall, all of these elements and outcomes contributed

to the success of my two lessons.

If I were allowed to teach these lessons over there would be specific areas in each that I

would do differently. For example, after teaching my science lesson I would have the students

take a field trip outside. While they were outside, I would ask them to be detectives and explore

the outdoors. I would ask the students to look for seeds and to bring those seeds back with them

to the classroom. I would ask the students to share what they found with the entire class and then

have them research where their seeds had come from. Due to time restraints and the weather I

was not able to take the students outside when I taught my lesson. Additionally, in the science

lesson, I would give the students a plastic knife so they could analyze the seeds before they taste

tested them. Lastly, now that I know the importance of science journals, I would also provide

opportunities for the students to self-reflect, ask questions, and write down important information

from the lesson. I would provide a little guidance as to what they should include in their journals,

but I would also allow them to express their thoughts in a way that best suits the learning style.

Now that I have taught my math lesson the first element, I would change would be the

way that I had presented the “Finger Card” game. I would make sure to remind the students

before beginning the game, that this is only a “game”. Therefore, it does not matter if you end

with more or fewer cards than your peers. The purpose of the game, however, is to work on and

practice their number recognition skills. For the students to understand that I am serious, I would

tell them that if any of them start to brag about the number of cards they have then they will have

to turn their cards in, and they will be excused from playing.

In my first lesson, the students learned all about seeds. More specifically, they learned

about how they travel and their purpose. Towards the end of the lesson, the students were able to
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discover which types of seeds they can eat and which types of seeds we cannot. The formative

assessments I used were their responses and reflections completed on their first sticky notes.

Also, I used the student's responses throughout the lessons to help guide me. After analyzing this

data, I gathered that the students had met the objective of my lessons. The students were able to

tell me what seeds were and were able to tell me about the four ways distant ways seeds travel.

The summative assessment I used in this lesson was the student's responses and reflections

written on their second sticky notes. These sticky notes were handed out near the end of the

lesson and showcased how their knowledge of seeds had expanded. The second summative

assessment I chose to use was based on the students' responses during their partner's discussion.

During this time, I walked around the room and took notes on what the students were saying to

one another. After analyzing the notes and data that I have collected, I concluded that the

students had met my lesson objective.

In my second lesson, the students were able to see and identify the connection between

numerals and quantities. Students learned this math concept with the help of the math

manipulative, the abacus. For this lesson, the first formative assessment I chose to use was the

“Finger Card” game. This game showed me each of the student's capability to associate the

written numbers shown on the cards to their correct names. The second formative assessment I

used was the students' ability to properly build a staircase like a figure using both the strips of

paper and their abacus boards. After analyzing this data, I concluded that the students did not

have a great understanding of the relationships between the numbers they showed and the

qualities they had counted. The summative assessment I choose was the math exercise I had the

students complete on their own at the end of the lesson. While they each worked through this

exercise, I took down notes regarding the progress that the students were making. After
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analyzing my notes and my data I concluded that the students had a better understanding of

numbers and qualities and how they connected.

From both of these lessons, I have learned some crucial information. As a future teacher,

these lessons allowed me to build my confidence in not only planning lessons but in teaching

them. In my science lesson, I used a children’s book to connect all of the key points my mentor

teacher wanted to get across. In class, we learned about how children’s books do not only help

teachers teach literacy lessons, but they can also be used to help teach other subjects matters, like

science. Knowing that my mentor teacher wanted me to get across a lot of ideas within a short

amount of time I thought I could complete this task through the use of a children's book. After

looking through Hope’s library I found one book that fits perfectly. By integrating this book into

my lesson, I was able to get all my points across and met my lesson objective.

While I was planning and creating my math lesson, I saw first-hand what some of the

advantages and disadvantages were with scripted lessons. In class, we talked about some of these

pros and cons and how scripted lessons come in and out of style in the field of education. At this

particular moment, scripted lessons are in. After this class discussion, I thought I would benefit

greatly from scripted lessons because they would provide me with an appropriate amount of

teacher guidance. However, when looking over the scripted math lesson that my mentor teacher

wanted me to give, I had a hard time connecting all of the pieces. For example, the lesson

objective did not match the task the students were asked to complete. With this said, instead of

providing me with guidance it instead I was more confused than ever.

Both of the planning of these lessons together taught me a lot. For example, while I was

creating my science lesson it never really occurred to me how complex and broad Michigan’s

education Science standards truly are. With this said, I learned that whatever standard I chose for
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my lesson I had to keep in mind that I will not be able to cover all areas of the standard. It would

take more than just my lesson on seeds to meet all the criteria asked by the following standard:

“Use materials to design a solution to human problems by mimicking how plants and/or animals

use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs”. As a future teacher,

this lesson was a good reminder that education standards take more than a day to teach. For

some, standards can take weeks for students to fully master on their own.

Also, with these two lessons, I was presented with a challenge that I was able to learn

from. This challenge was to try to anticipate the questions your students might ask throughout

your lesson. For my future lesson plans that I create, I should write these possible questions out

and include the responses I would give back to them. By doing this, I will not be surprised or

thrown off by what my students might ask. Through this preparation I will also be able to remain

confident in the content that I am teaching. Also, it will help me make sure I am staying on

schedule timewise and feel that I am using the student's time efficiently. With both of my

lessons, I thought about what kinds of questions the students might ask and came up with a

response. By doing this I felt well prepared and ready to teach my lessons.

In only a few short weeks, I will begin my student teaching. With this said, I have created

the following two goals for myself. My first goal is to try and find a connection between my

lessons and real-world problems. By doing this my students will understand and see that what

they are learning has meaning and therefore, there is a reason they should take the time to learn

about it. Also, by making these connections, my students will be aware of what is going on in

our world and will be able to think about ways they could solve them. My second goal for

student teaching is to create opportunities for self-discovery learning. In my class, I want my

students to be presented with a challenging task. I want to emphasize the idea that failure is
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acceptable and at times even appreciated because from these failures’ students see what they did

wrong and learn how to do them differently. I also would like to help my students by providing

them with strategies that they can use to help them tackle problems. With this goal, I hope to

make my students into twenty-first century learners and thinkers.