After finding out the results of the students’ survey, I can confirm that my teaching goal is to clarify.
At the beginning of the academic year, I spent a lot of time finding and gathering students’ data in order to provide individual language support or to organize small focused strategy groups on reading fluency and decoding. Therefore, I usually interacted with the same students, which may explain the grey areas in the results of some questions of the survey….
I also gave whole class’ mini lessons to introduce the first sessions of the Reader’s Workshop. I taught the students important reading skills, like making inferences and finding evidence from the texts to prove their thinking. Building a reading community by finding ‘comfortable’ books, using a reading journal and discussing ideas about characters were all new learning habits to most of them. Many must have felt confused as they were often asking me the questions like “Why are we writing during the reading lessons?” or “Why do we always read realistic fictions?”.
Overall, the majority of students said that they learned to correct their mistakes in this class, but only half of the students stated that I explained things clearly and that I made sure they understood.
So, I really need to focus on that area. These are the questions that I will ask myself during lesson planning:
- What questions will students have regarding the content or the difficult concepts of that lesson?
- How will I explain the content in various ways, using different media?
- Have I prepared some examples?
- In how many steps are the tasks broken down?
- Can the students summarize/ synthesize what they are learning?
- Can they explain their reasoning?
- Have I prepared an exit ticket or a plenary activity to check their understanding?
- Have I summarized big ideas at the end of the lesson?
- Have I provide effective, concise and/or descriptive feedback to individual students?
I hope these action steps will enable me to deliver more efficient and structured lessons.