Day 19 – “What do you call someone from Texas? Texonian?”

In today’s practicum:

Observation of my peer teaching a lesson
Boys, you can talk about sports when we are finished our work
So, what is Manifest Destiny?
Encouraging students to think critically
Rotating around the classroom to check in
Very composed, confident
Answering questions with a partner
Texas – fight for independence, war with Mexico
Interesting primary sources to read from
Opinion-based question: were the Texans justified in wanting independence?
Nice job facilitating discussion with the whole class

Today’s big takeaway: Giving students a break during a long block.  This point was made by my professor, and I could see how this could directly apply to the lesson I observed.  These students were in this class for an hour and a half.  To begin with, they were very focused and on-task.  As the lesson went on, and as time passed, the students became a bit more antsy – some were “wriggling” around, others were getting more chatty, and some were neglecting to complete the assignment in order to talk with their friends.  These distractions weren’t too overwhelming, and I believe the overall learning targets were still met, but the latter part of the lesson may have been smoother had the teacher given the students a mental break.  This could have been directly in the middle of the class or lesson, or at any “natural” point that the teacher saw.  Even if it’s just for a few minutes,  letting  students unwind, stretch, and relax may have given them just what they needed in order to re-focus themselves to finish the remainder of class on a strong note.  I know that I myself have a short attention span, and as a student always appreciate when teachers give me even just a couple of minutes to step away from the mental work and re-energize myself.  This is definitely a component of teaching that I had never consciously nor reflectively considered, but certainly will now.


Day 19 – “What do you call someone from Texas? Texonian?”

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