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Molly Edwards

Dr. McAllister
ED327
April 25, 2019
Video Reflection
Mrs. Weilenman asked me to teach the students about comparative and superlative
adjectives. Whenever Mrs. Weilenman teaches new grammatical concepts, she generally uses
a power point or writing on the board, so I planned to use a power point with the students .
The students began class with a warm up where they had to list the similarities and differences
of the popular cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. This helped to segway right into the lesson
after their ten minutes of silent reading time, which is where the video begins. I began the
lesson by reviewing what an adjective was. Since this class has received so many new students
over the past few weeks, it is very hard to tell what they know and what they don’t, there are
thirty students on about seven different grade levels. Throughout my presentation, I wanted to
use examples, like the super heroes, that would keep the students’ attention and maintain their
interest so that I could have participation. All of the kids know who spider man and the hulk
are, so they are more comfortable to be vocal when prompted during the class . After I
demonstrated how to create the comparative and superlative adjectives, I gave the students
whiteboards and markers. They worked with an elbow partner to write down the correct
answer for the various questions and prompts that I gave them. This was a good way for me to
check their understanding of what I was teaching, while I was teaching it . This class is much
quieter with me since they just met me last week due to a scheduling change . They also really
enjoy using the whiteboards, so I thought that this would be a better way to encourage
students’ participation without them having to be vocal throughout my teaching .
After we finished the power point, I found a fun YouTube video that I felt ended my
“lecture” in a positive way. Simply trying to make sure the ideas that you add -er and -est to
the ends of the adjectives were really engrained in the students’ heads . Then I had some of the
students help me collect the whiteboards and pass out the work sheets and we got to work .
Throughout the duration of the video, I am walking around assisting the students with their
worksheets. Many of the students are looking for validation that their work is correct since
they are often unsure. They also had to translate the adjectives into their native language and
so I would assist them with that by acting out the adjectives and using large hand motions.
While I am walking around and interacting with the students, I feel this is offering them their
first developmental need “Positive social interaction with peers and adults.” They are working
with the other students around them and interacting with the three adults in the room when
they have questions.
Something that has always been very important to me when working with those that
are younger than me, is speaking to them while maintaining a normal tone of voice. Students,
especially middle schoolers, can lose a lot of respect for adults when they speak to them in the
typical higher pitch. It can come across as talking down to the students. I tried to maintain a
normal and casual tone of voice while I was teaching. I found this especially important with this
class, since they do not know me as well as the other classes. I wanted to establish a mutual
respect right at the beginning of my power point and I feel I continued to gain their respect
throughout the lesson. I was also trying to keep with the students’ interests through my
sample sentences in the power point. This would try to meet their needs of Self-definition,
using the super heroes and sports that they enjoy like the hulk and spider man, as well as
soccer and basketball.
I feel that I did a fine job of engaging the students within their learning. Naturally, I do
not think that my lesson was perfect and there are still so many things that I have to learn and
improve upon, but for one of my first lessons I think that I did alright. I wanted to make sure
that the students were following me while explaining how to form the comparative and
superlative adjectives, which is why I did all of the little checks after I would explain a new
topic. The students enjoy using the white boards and so I knew that they would be more likely
to pay attention throughout the lesson knowing that they were going to use those . I kept them
engaged by using different examples that involved people and things that they are familiar with
and enjoy. I also required their participation when I would ask the follow up questions after
teaching each topic. The students were instructed to work in pairs to meet their needs of
positive social interactions with their peers. This need was also met while the students were
working on their worksheets for the rest of class. Mrs. Weilenman and I both feel that it is
beneficial for the students to collaborate with one another and their seating in the room is
strategically set up to pair students ELL levels in a way that makes it conducive for their
learning.
In regard to deepening the students learning, it is very difficult to do that in this ELL
classroom. Due to the circumstances of this year, Mrs. Weilenman has had several new
students coming into the classroom since January. This causes the thirty students in the
classroom to be spread across about seven different grade levels which can make it difficult to
go much deeper within any topic. The week before I taught my lesson, we were focused on
reestablishing classroom rules and norms since there were so many new students. The classes
schedules also switched during spring break, so the class that is seen in the video had only met
me one other time, causing them to be a little shyer and more nervous while I was teaching. I
feel that I did encourage some students to dive in deeper while I was walking around assisting
students on their worksheets. There are some students that I know would be able to do the
worksheets easier than others, and so I would encourage them to determine the answers on
their own and would sometimes ask follow up questions. In the video, after I finish my lesson at
around eighteen minutes, me, Mrs. Weilenman, and the bilingual assistant were circling the
room assisting students with the worksheet. I was pleased that many of them seemed to
understand what I had taught, but they tended struggle with the English language that is on the
worksheet. In most cases, we urge the students to look up words that they do not know in the
English translation dictionaries that are in the classroom.
Overall, I feel that this lesson turned out fairly well for one of my first lessons to have
taught by myself. However, Sherri gave me some really great suggestions on what I could do in
the future to improve my lesson. I need to work on how to differentiate my lessons more in
order to reach more of the learners in the classroom. If I had differentiated my lesson, it is
possible that I could’ve avoided some of the help that I had to provide to the students while I
was circulating the classroom assisting with worksheets. I also feel that it would have been
more beneficial for me to be consistent throughout my presentation. There were times where I
caused some confusion because the questions that I asked throughout the presentation were a
little bit different each time. If I had been more conscious and made each of the questions
worded the same, I feel that this would have been more beneficial for the students. This would
have helped to satisfy the students’ need of structure by being consistent within my teaching.
At the first of the lesson, I was still a little nervous but throughout the lesson as I gained more
confidence, I began to really use larger hand motions. I feel that this really helped the students
to understand what I was talking about even if they were unfamiliar with the words that I was
using. I do feel that I could have moved around more while I was teaching the students about
the content rather than simply standing next to the smart board. This would have created
more of a learning community rather than having the learning be more teacher focused with
me lecturing from the front of the room.
Overall, I am happy with how my lesson went due to the random circumstances that
happened within Newcomer’s class schedule and the unexpected number of new students that
came throughout the semester. I still have a lot of room for improvement within my teaching,
but this was a strong first step. I have grown in my knowledge of ELL students and how it is
best to help them within the use of their native language. After teaching my lesson, it is not
seen on the camera that I was walking around and working one on one with students . Most of
the conversations were validating the students that they were doing their work correctly or
that their translations were correct. Since the majority of the students are brand new with
learning their English, I speak in Spanish with many of the students when I feel that it is
necessary for their completion of the assignments and understanding of the new grammar
concept. It has been a learning curve to find the balance of using Spanish and English within
the classroom. I still have a lot of growing to do for teaching my students in the classroom but
working one on one with the students is one of, I feel, my greatest strengths.