Sunday, April 29, 2012

Field Experience Day 18 - April 20th, 2012

            Reflection on Lesson:

            The lesson that was presented to the St. Mary’s 2nd grade class focused on catching and passing in the unit of Lacrosse. A different skill theme was chosen to substitute a lack of transfer of weight in the new unit. Miss. Fredrickson and I felt it was appropriate to continue with the pace of Mr. Mack’s curriculum plan. After assessing the psychomotor domain of the students we now turned our attention to assessing the student’s cognitive and affective skills. The lesson plan was created after observing and assisting Mr. Mack on the introductory lesson of lacrosse. Since we were unfamiliar with the sport of lacrosse, Mr. Mack was extremely helpful guiding us on what should be taught next and where to find information on the unit.

             Prior to the lesson, Miss. Fredrickson and I felt confident and comfortable after a significant amount of preparation. The students were better behaved which I believe was accomplished by better behavior management strategies and the familiarity of myself and Miss. Fredrickson. The lesson itself went extremely well. There was smooth transitioning and an opportunity to establish teaching by invitation. Some students were also given an intra-task variation through observation of seeing certain students struggle with the tasks.

 The students began the lesson with an instant activity of GB (Ground Ball) Frenzy. Students was handed a lacrosse stick and divided into two teams that were positioned at each end line of the gymnasium. Before we went any further with the instant activity we reviewed the safety rules of space awareness and the student’s responsibility of holding their lacrosse sticks. Balls would be scattered in the center of the gymnasium. When the whistle blew the students would have to run to puddle of balls picking up one ball at a time with their lacrosse stick and dropping them at their own ends barrel. The technique for picking up a ground ball with a lacrosse stick was demonstrated in a class prior to this lesson. The team that gathered the most balls in their barrel would win that round. Since Miss. Fredrickson and I were counting the balls in the barrels we made it so that each team won a round regardless of the outcome.

            After the instant activity we established a responsibility task of putting away the balls and sitting in their attendance spots. The lacrosse stick was the first focus because it was more important to for the students to learn how to catch the ball before learning how to pass the ball. Passing the ball with a lacrosse stick before learning how to catch it would waste time with students having to chase the ball around the gymnasium. I had asked all students to place their lacrosse sticks in back of them and pay attention to the cues and the demonstration so that there would be no distractions. I presented the cues stick in front, eyes on the ball and stick head to shoulder while physically demonstrating the procedure in slow motion. I then had Miss. Fredrickson lightly toss a ball to me so the catch could be demonstrated in full speed. Before starting a task I again briefly reviewed the safety rules that were discussed during the instant activity. I partnered up the students and had them spread out across the gymnasium with their partners across from them. The students that were facing the stage of the gymnasium would be tossing the ball to their partner across from them. Students would switch roles after 7 tosses. After the first couple of minutes into this task I realized that students were not tossing the ball accurately to the students with the sticks. I quickly signaled for attention and had the students place their sticks on the ground. I explained to the students that the accuracy of the toss was just as important as catching the ball. I used a check for understanding as to why that statement I had just made was true. I had them continue this task for another 5 minutes before I introduced the focus of the pass. Teaching by invitation was used by giving the students the choice of distancing themselves if the task was too easy for them.

              There was not a whole lot of time left in the period so Miss. Fredrickson introduced passing with a lacrosse stick using the cues pointed toe step, elbows out, over head throw and a follow through while I demonstrated the technique in slow motion. We then integrated the two skills together with a demonstration with Miss. Fredrickson and I having a catch and pass with the lacrosse stick. The same task procedure was used having the students with their partner and catching and passing back and forth. This was performed only for a couple of minutes because we needed to sit the students down and distribute the cognitive and affective assessment. Knowing we may not have time to get into the details of the pass I did not focus that skill on the cognitive assessment. We had the students sit in back of one another in about four lines. The students were about 2 feet away from each other all facing the same wall.
             Reflecting back on this lesson, we realized that we needed to do a better job of time management. We rushed the second part of the lesson due to time constraints. Rushing is not an appropriate strategy especially when a cognitive assessment is being given. Also, the tasks involving the partners when passing was too difficult of a task and a simple task should have been established before going into this task. Student’s accuracy should have been a focus because students passing the ball to their partners had students running around chasing balls all over the gymnasium. Miss. Fredrickson and I came to the conclusion that this was one of our best teaching lessons moving forward as teacher candidates. As beginning teachers we will continue to learn strategies and organizational skills to better improve ourselves and become effective teachers.

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