On Feb 27th I taught a lesson in Omnikin Ball for Kindergarten level students to my classmates. The experience proved to be challenging yet worthwhile. There a lot of great moments as well as though-provoking ones.
At the start of this teaching experience, I had to first acquire some general knowledge of the game an it's origins. While developing a lesson for this age group, it was difficult to create activities that were developmentally appropriate. My lesson was constructed around the idea of keeping the off the ground and in the air as children of this age are still developing fundamental catching and throwing skills. While establishing a task progression I was able to create activities that I felt supported the concepts of Omnikin Ball. Furthermore, I wrote a block plan for a Kindergarten program. To expand the our potential we had all to a create developmental-age appropriate scope of tasks that students would be able to execute through each grade level.
I started of the lesson with an instant activity that I thought encompassed this idea and students would enjoy: Limbo. However, as I am still just learning, I failed to consider the possibility that they wouldn't have played Limbo before. This threw me for a loop. I hadn't considered how to explain/teach this activity. However, this taught me a good lesson. You can never assume the developmental level of students rather you need to constantly assess and reassess your students. Additionally, if you're planning to incorprate an activity in your class you best be prepared to explain and teach it. There were also several instances in which
problems arose that I didn't foresee. Specifically, during one activity I had students in groups of four. I was trying to create a basic understanding that everyone needs to touch the ball before serving but students didn't quite grab the idea of spreading out during it. It seemed good in my mind, but unfortunately, if these college student couldn't do it then it's was clearly to advanced to Kindergarten students. Looking back on the difficulties I had during this activity, I probably would have stressed staying in a square formation. This might have helped them visualize the activity better.That being said as I completed my verbal transcript of the lesson, it became painful obviously that I have a tendency to start a thought and change it mid-sentence. Although these students were able to follow instructions and feedback I don't feel that younger students would be able to adapt as well. Therefore, I must make a valid attempt to structure my words to create clear concise meaning and direction. Also, in respect to public speaking there are were a few other areas of concern. I killed the word, "alright". I use this word as a sort of method to segment things in my mind. This is fine, however I can't continue to verbalize it. I need to work on internally creating the division. Also, another phrased that I used in excess was, "You guys". This is inappropriate and needs to limited if not complete removed from my speaking, given the rightful so, sensitivity times. Something else that came to my attention was my lack of congruent feedback. I didn't give feedback that was specific to the instructional cues that I provided them with. In giving congruent feedback you are basically helping students see the progress that they were making while encouraging further growth. In part I contribute my lack of congruent feedback to the knowledge that my classmates skills far supersede the skills I was teaching. Nevertheless, I need to develop my ability to hone on students' skill execution to be better able to provide them with necessary feedback.
As a teacher candidate I felt that I was able to do a better job managing the class and the activities. There were times that everything fell into sync and it felt natural. Of course this was not the entire time but for now I cherish those moments and learn from them. For example, after we started the limbo activity if was a lot of fun and without a doubt even some of my peers enjoyed it. On the flip side there were times that I felt that my lesson lack clear objects. Looking back at the video helps me see the growth even if at the moment I felt overwhelmed. One thing that I did that impressed my (thanks for the lesson plan I created) was my use of creating challenges for my students. I appreciate the importance of this as I reflect back to my elementary school days. I tried to create opportunities for students to challenge themselves and be more successful. Conversely I should have check-in with them more. Even though I provide the challenges I should have let them showcase their accomplishments.
One thing that all of my teaching experiences to-date including this one reveal is that I need to continually check for understanding. There was a few times during this lab experience where I asked students if they understand but I never tested their level of comprehension. It's not enough to just say, "Do you all understand?" Students are less likely to come right out and say no therefore by asking them questions you can help clarify confusion.
After all was said and done I did a breakdown of the effectiveness in creating opportunities for my students to increase their physical health. The time distribution showed that are areas for improvement. Although students were activity engaged for more than half of the time I believe that since the time spent in PE classes is limited as teacher we must constantly strive to create more time effective lessons for students. Additionally because of my lack of foresight, I lost valuable time in the beginning of my lesson. Hence, I stress the importance of lesson construction.