Teaching Experience

Running Head: TEACHING EXPERIENCE/REFLECTION PAPER Margaret Carter MAT 534 Teaching Experience In order to be a successful educator, it is important to reflect upon one’s teaching. This may include videotaping classes, being observed by a colleague, asking for help with a problem or finding new ways to teach a topic. Being a reflective teacher is something I have tried to be while student teaching and plan to continue working on. The activity that I performed with my group of students is called the Peanut Butter and Jelly dance.

This lesson took about 35-40 minutes to implement. I started off with giving the students some information on what it is that we were going to be doing. I then gave some background information about the lesson. I tried to elicit prior knowledge from the students by creating a KWL chart with the students on where peanut butter and jelly comes from. In conducting this lesson I wanted to make sure that the language used was suitable for the age group and that the information wasn’t too hard or too easy for the children. So I did my research and everything turned out okay.

I think that the students had a lot of fun with the lesson because they interacted very well. The objective of my lesson was to teach the students how to use non verbal body language in the form of a dance in order to make up the sandwich. Nonverbal “channels” of communication (how something is said) are often more important than words alone (what is said). There are many different “channels” of nonverbal communication: facial expressions, hand gestures, body movements (“kinesics”), touch (“haptics”), and personal space (Exploring Nonverbal Communication, 2005).

These are the channels that were explored within our activity. Secondly, to provide students with a little history of where the peanut butter and jelly came from and how it was created. Students will be able to associate peanuts and grapes with the food and will be able to give a brief overview of where the peanuts and grapes come from; for example peanuts grow in the ground on plants and grapes grow on vines. Effective communication is essential to becoming a successful learner. It is primarily hrough dialogue that students become knowledgeable, and self- determined (The Collaborative Classroom, 2005). Teachers have to make sure they are constantly using the correct tone of voice when dealing with the students. I continually tried to give encouraging words when the students did well with answering the questions that I provided to them; and even when they were close to the right answer I would try to use encouraging words to motivate them. I have learned that our language is a tool that helps to build and secure our classroom environment.

It helps in creating a safe and respectful learning environment. It encourages children’s best efforts and empowers them to use their controls. Motivation was the key to this lesson, because if the children are not motivated to participate in the dance then it would not have gone as well. I too had to be enthusiastic about the lesson because that in turn would rub off on the students. To improve my lesson I think that I could have communicated my ideas about how the children were to complete the sandwich better.

At first the students seem to be a little confused as to what it was they were supposed to do, which led to a little bit of disruption in the classroom. When this happens, you loose control of the class and it’s hard to gain that control back. There were some students who just didn’t listen or pay attention which can sometimes throw the class off track. I also think that I need more practice with classroom management, so that I can keep my classroom in control. Overall I think that the students did learn something, they seemed to have fun doing the activity, and I had fun teaching them.

The students did respond to the lesson in a positive way and were able to comprehend what it was I wanted them to do. Below is a copy of the lesson plan used. Title of Lesson: Peanut Butter and Jelly Grade Level: K-2nd Length of Completion: 35 mins Curriculum integration: dance/history National & State Standards: Objectives: The student will be able to find three other people, by non-verbal body language that will complete a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, while the song is playing. Students will be able to give a brief istory of where and how peanut butter & jelly were created. Motivation: Bring out a jar of Peanut Butter and a jar of jelly and then ask them what they think we are going to do today? (make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches) Background information: March is national peanut month. Peanut butter comes from peanuts. Peanuts are planted in April. Peanuts are ground up and salt and sweetener is added for the peanut butter. Peanut butter does not need to be refrigerated. Peanuts grow on plants in the ground. Jelly comes from grapes. The grapes grow on vines.

The juices from the grapes are then added to other ingredients like sugar and mixed up and cooked in kettles until the jelly forms. Vocabulary: Peanut Butter, Jelly, Dance, Bread, Legumes, Food, Song, Body, Language Materials: Tape Player, tape with song “Peanut Butter & Jelly”, Peanut Butter, Jelly Procedures: 1. The students will discuss what makes up a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and then discuss what makes up a dance. 2. The students will line up and then the teacher will tell them (secretly) in their ear if they are a peanut butter, jelly, or a slice of bread. . The teacher then tells the students that if they are a peanut, their whole body must be in the shape of a peanut without moving their arms; they can only move their legs to walk. 4. Students, who are jelly, must be constantly moving their arms around. 5. Students who are pieces of bread must be super still and flat, not moving their hands or heads. 6. The teacher will then show an example of the dance, by playing music and asking four children to move around and figure out who is who by their movements, not by talking. During this whole dance no one can talk. 7.

Then, when the teacher stops the music the students must quickly combine in the following order: Slice, Peanut butter, Jelly, Slice 8. Once the students complete a sandwich they begin all over again, this activity will go on for about fifteen minutes. 9. Any student not in a sandwich, by the time the music stops, will have to sit down for two turns. Assessment: Making of the human peanut butter and jelly sandwich properly, using non-verbal communication. Less variations and extensions: Play the game telephone, while sitting in a triangle shape. Classroom and materials management plan: . Class discussion during motivation 5 minutes. 2. Providing children with the history behind peanut butter and jelly, 10 minutes. 3. Discussion on what makes a dance 5 minutes. 4. Completing the dance 15 minutes. 5. Sample Peanut Butter & Jelly will be kept at teacher’s desk (for show only). References A to Z Teacher Stuff. (2005). Retrieved electronically from www. atozteacherstuff. com. Exploring Nonverbal Communication. (2005). Retrieved electronically from www. nonverbal. ucsc. edu. The Collaborative Classroom. (2005). Retrieved electronically from www. ncrel. org.

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