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Overall Reection

Brian Ross

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Overall Reection!

The completion of this work sample was likely far more educational for me than it

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was for the students I taught. During the course of this unit, I learned countless lessons about classroom management, student grouping, intrinsic motivation, differentiating instruction, authentic requirements, integrating subjects, providing feedback, assessing learning, modifying existing lesson plans, and building content knowledge to meet the standards. Amongst all of these revelations, four stand out as being the most impactful for my future teaching.! ! The rst major lesson that I learned was the power of embracing authentic

learning and capitalizing on intrinsic motivation. This lesson was provided by the performance task my mentor teacher and I implemented. Through taking students on an exploratory walk around the schools perimeter, we were able to open the door to authentic curiosity and learning. Then, as we transformed that excitement into a community service project, we generated enough intrinsic motivation in our students that they werent only willing to do geometric calculations, write letters, deliver presentations to members of the community, explore science and be active, but were excited about it. I will undoubtedly utilize similar methods for generating intrinsic motivation in my future students as well.! ! The second revelation I had during this work sample had to do with developing

fun relationships with students. Although I maintained the proper level of friendliness with students, I feel I may have progressed to quickly to this level. Ive heard teachers say that their goal is not for students to like them, but to learn from them. I do not share

Overall Reection

Brian Ross

this same sentiment. In fact, I feel as though students are better able to learn from teachers they enjoy being around. However, teacher/student relationships must be built on a high level of respect. I found out the hard way that moving relationships too quickly to my target level of friendliness does not allow time for that respect to develop. Looking to the future, I now plan on building relationships with my students on a foundation of mutual respect. Only after that step has been completed will I begin working towards layering on the levels of fun, coolness, and silliness that I look forward to sharing with my students.! ! The third enduring understanding I will take away from my work sample

experience is the need to build student understanding in order to meet the standards. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for fth grade geometry actually contained very little of what I consider geometry to be. However, in order to make the content prescribed in the standards accessible, I was forced to build considerable amounts of prerequisite knowledge. For example, CCSS 5.G.4 states, Classify two-dimensional gures in a hierarchy based on properties. While I could have dived straight into twodimensional gure classications, it was much more meaningful to build student understanding by beginning with a point, progressing into one-dimensional geometry, and then arriving at two-dimensional geometry and classications. Evidence that this technique worked can be seen in Appendix 18, which is a book that a student created for fun in her spare time.! ! The fourth lesson I learned that had a major impact on the way that I view

teaching is my experience with differentiation. While planning the unit, I created or modied lessons to teach at-grade level students the content necessary for meeting the

Overall Reection

Brian Ross

standards. I then used various techniques to provide additional scaffolds for struggling students and challenge excelling students. After analyzing student learning data, I realized that this was a sound strategy, but that it wasnt executed as well as it could have been.! ! As my teaching continues to develop, I need to explore ways in which I can make

more successful modications and adaptations for the diverse learners in my classroom. Helping every single child that I have the privilege of teaching to make signicant gains in his/her education, condence, and well-being is the essence of why I want to become a teacher. The lessons that I learned during this fourteen day unit have helped me better understand exactly how to do that. Im looking forward to the further exploration and development of these skills, and in turn, the accomplishment of my goals as a teacher.