This week we were instructed to come to school with a lesson prepared for our class. The subject I picked was Art, thinking it was my “safe subject” for the first week. I was wrong. So much of the art’s curriculum for grade 6 expects dancing and drama, something I was not prepared for with my new middle school class. I ended up finding an outcome that intrigued me, however, outcome CR6.3:
Examine arts expressions and artists of various times and places.
This outcome interested me because I immediately had the idea that we could do an art critique of art from around the world and then recreate the art in our own classroom! The art pieces I chose were:
Top row left to right – American Gothic by Grant Wood, Hostel Life by Gurdish Pannu
Middle row left to right – Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Great Still life on pedestal by Pablo Picasso
Bottom row left to right – London Street Map by David Harper, Polish Girl by Marten Jansen
These pieces actually enticed the children, and they loved learning where they came from in our discussion at the end of class. The square picture above, with the buildings and shoes is actually a map of London from the perspective of David Harper! The students loved this, and they all wanted to critique the Mona Lisa because they were familiar with it.
The students recorded their critiques on a provided worksheet, drew a picture of their artwork, and then did an exit slip for me to formatively evaluate their knowledge. The exit slips were really sweet and I got messages like:
It made me feel really happy that the students were engaged enough to write such deep messages about the lesson. The vocabulary they learnt about critiquing was also very affective, and I saw them use it on the assignments they submitted. I was excited to learn about how my partner and my co-op felt about my lesson.
I knew already that there were points that I should have slowed down, and some points I could have sped up. The most important oversight I had was that I didn’t adapt enough for students who needed diverse teaching methods. One student in particular hardly did anything the whole lesson… this is something, despite my minor success, I will always watch for in the future. This might also be my hardest challenge.
My partner noted that something I could work on would be not using the word “guys”. This is definitely something I need to work on, and it opened a good conversation between the three of us about words that are appropriate and not so much in the school and classroom, and which words we want to quit using. Both my co-op and my partner enjoyed the videos that I chose to show for my hook, and the game of “Hot Seat” that I set up for art vocabulary.
I really appreciated my co-op and partner commenting on my mannerism and voice. They both commented that I have a calm and quiet voice that works to my advantage. I appreciated them saying this because I actually thought that I was louder than I should have been. Lastly, Mr. X went over the five types of instruction to finish up our post-conference:
1. Direct instruction
2. Indirect Instruction/student instructed
3. Interactive Instruction
4. Experimental (student teaching)
I’m excited to take what I’ve learnt and do better. Next week I will engage better and slow my lesson down. This will allow for a calm classroom, calm kids, and more learning! Next week, I’m teaching physical education and I’m ready for the challenge!