Friday, February 17, 2012

Lab B: The Grapevine

On Friday February 10th I taught a lesson in Jump Roping to me peers. The activity was the grapevine. I sure most of us have heard or seen the Electric Slide dance. Well this dance has the vine footwork similar to that which is in the Grapevine activity that I taught. The footwork alone can be difficult but incorporating a jump rope is even more challenging. So, it seemed that my best bet in teaching the skill was to stress the importance of the footwork. Therefore my lesson plan and delivery was structured around this thought. This lesson was video taped, so let's take a peek at how it went. But before we do that there are few things that I want to bring up. However they are not critical elements of teaching rather more related to public speaking. I did find that this lesson was a bit easier to teach in the respect that I was more able to think on my feet and let the nerves subside. Also I felt that my "students" walk away with something even if it was small.

Once I completed my lesson I'm immediately began to reflect on the lesson and there were several things that I failed to do or should have done differently. I didn't give my "students" a signal for attention. This is an important element in teacher children as it provides structure for the class and students alike. On two out of the four demonstration I made mistakes with the footwork. Also I should given them a more specific safety statement because the the nature of this activity required them to move a substantial distance in space, increasing the likelihood that someone would get hit with a jump rope. Additionally I didn't feel that they had an adequate amount of time to practice and achieve the full activity. Basically, all that we accomplished was learning the footwork involved.

I'm finding that the video and the verbal transcript are helpful tools to get a good look at my strengths and weakness. While watching the video I'm was able to see a certain amount of confidence that I had. Conversely you can at times I was not as confident. Most of the time my voice was clear and loud enough for everyone to hear. The transcript brought a few different things to my attention. In the beginning of my lesson I was calling everyone in and it almost had a negative undertone, although I'm not sure that it wasn't just my spiking nerves. I said, "obviously" a few times which I think was a poor choose in words. Things might be obviously to me (because I'm the teacher) however I should never assume that it's obvious to someone else. I should have been more specific about the task as I asked for volunteers. On a number of occasions I said okay, alright, um and uh. I need to work on omitting these fillers and focus on what it is that I'm trying to say.

There is a checklist of all the critical teaching elements that should have been included in the my teaching.  Mostly I fulfilled the check list but every with the exception of signal for attention, a statement about the expectations, demonstration with common faults, all areas are still in need of vast improvements. As part of our self assessment we had to complete a time coding form in order to see how structured and spent our/students time. After doing the breakdown of time it seems that I really missed the bus. I spent way too much give instructions and students had little time being actively engaged. This is something that I will have to considered as I'm preparing my next lesson. I need to manage time so that students can get the most from the class.

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