My students were most successful with learning goal six in which they had to identify and distinguish between a habitat and niche. This was determined from the averages of the learning goals from the pre and post assessments. A possible explanation for this occurrence is that the lesson included a lot of visual cues in which the information within the lesson builds from the smallest piece into bigger pieces. It also pulled from the students’ schema of animals, habitats and niches from their own environment, so they were able to relate to the information more effectively. Another possible explanation for their success was the assessment task itself. The formative assessment and task had ...view middle of the document...
It may have been easier for the students to have this goal broken into two goals- one for predation/competition and one for symbiosis.
During my instruction, I did include visuals of organisms in different interactions but did not go over each interaction on the visuals so that the students could see how predation is not competition, for example. I also could have given the students more real world examples from the area, rather than places and animals that they have only seen on TV or books. The formative assessment had a good foundation in categorizing by breaking down the relationships on a brace thinking map. However, the assessment/task needed a way to apply their knowledge so that they could see the relationships themselves. In the future, I may have students role play as predator/prey, competition/competitors and symbiotic partners during the guided practice as it would have been more effective and engaging after the initial lesson. It would have been a lasting visual as well as personalized it for the students. For future lessons, I need to improve on relating and relaying the information to my students, instead of thinking that they have background knowledge similar to mine or even my own children’s knowledge. I also need to try to make my lessons reach all of the three types of learners-audio, kinesthetic and visual; not just one or two. By connecting to students in the way that they learn best and making it personal, I can enhance my students’ performance in the future.
The school ran on a block schedule in which provided for 95 minutes of instructional time in the period that I taught. The following table is the daily schedule for the class:
Warm-up 7-10 minutes
Lesson 20-30 minutes
Guided practice 10 minutes
Independent Practice 40 minutes
Closing 5 minutes
The first step in maximizing instructional time in class was to have everything for the day’s lesson posted on the board. The first day in the class, students would come in and ask the host teacher what they were doing for that day’s lesson. He must have told 10 different students the day’s lesson topic. As I took over that day, I told the students that this is the way the class would flow for the time that I would be in the class and it would always be listed on the board. On the second day, a few came in asking the same question and I directed them to the board. This maximized instructional time because they didn’t waste time asking. They came in and started the warm-up without asking. This also allowed a few extra minutes to take roll and make sure that everything for the day’s lesson was ready. The new schedule proved to be highly efficient in keeping transitions...