Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week in Review

Week of September 10th:
     At the beginning of the week, the students were very engaged and excited for the review activities I provided.  They were excited to show that they remembered the information and challenged each other to see how much they could recall.  I always have 100% participation when we review our previous lessons.  I also used short video clips as a transition from direct instruction to activities.  One day, my teacher's computer was not available for use.  He showed me a way to connect my iPhone to the Smart Board so I could still share any videos I had.  I am grateful to know alternative ways to show videos in case of my computer or his computer malfunctioning.  The video transition worked for most students, but not all. 
     My students really have trouble with transitions.  They seem to lose their concentration and begin to talk about non-school related things.  This weekend, I will be looking for various ways to transition successfully for my students.  I hope to find at least two ways that will work best for my students and that can be easily implemented.  One instructional classroom management policy I introduced was the "Ask Three Before Me" rule.  If students have a question, they must ask three others before they ask me.  This encouraged students to ask questions and answer questions within their circle of peers.  It has also cut down on the amount of times I had to repeat instruction and it increased the amount of time I had to actually help students with their activities.  Many students enjoyed this new policy because they wanted to show me how well they could work with others.
     This is the first week that I have also tried to use a Flip Chart with ACTIViNSPIRE.  (I had the program downloaded on my computer so that I could create Flip Charts from home.)  I really enjoyed using the interactive Flip Charts and I am beginning to love teaching with technology.  The more that I use this technology, the more comfortable I will become with integrating it into my lesson plans.  There are some really amazing things I could do with this program but I feel that I would not have enough instruction time.  Social Studies instruction is only 45 minutes and my Science lessons are always being interrupted by school programs and testing.  I actually wish the students spent a little more time at school because I really think they need it!

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