Practicum Reflection: Week #4
This week was one that was full of culminating task work. With all of the snow days and student absences, I was forced to delay my culminating task for my math unit, thus placing it during the same week that the geography culminating task was taking place. In hindsight, this meant that the students were able to focus on the tasks at hand, rather than stressing about learning new material and being exposes to new topics.
At this point in the year, I’ve learned a lot about my students’ abilities, both intellectually and in work ethic such as time management skills. With the number of students in my class that have IEPs, both accommodated and modified, there is a great deal of differentiation that I must consider and implement so that all of my students are capable of achieving success. This poses some difficulty, especially since my grade 7 students range from a grade 2/3 level all the way to grade 8 in math.
For the math culminating task, groups of students designed, conducted, analyzed and reflected on their own survey. In an attempt to achieve grade-appropriate evaluation while still setting my students up for success, I placed students in groups of 3-4 of varying abilities. Each student was graded on the group’s final product, their own individual reflections and conclusions, a peer evaluation, and a self-evaluation. I believe that this produced a fair evaluation of each student’s ability while also adhering to the grade 7 math curriculum that each student is expected to learn.
The geography culminating task had students using Chromebooks and Google Slides to produce a research presentation about their chosen natural resource. The use of technology truly allowed those students who typically struggle with writing to feel liberated through their comfort and ability to use the internet and typing. Additionally, it provided high achieving students with the opportunity to go above and beyond with their information by using photos, stating references, and including links to various internet content. The final products were a great testament to how much of an impact technology can have on the learning of today’s students.
Throughout the week, students rested their eyes from technology and picked up pencil and paper. We are currently studying optical illusion art, especially that of M. C. Escher. Here are some of the final products:
We continued the art into a science lesson, where we created food chain pyramids. The pyramids were a great visual representation of the various types of consumers, as well as the amount of energy that gets transferred from one level to the next. This task was extremely beneficial for my ELD (English Language Development) students because it exposed them to terminology while also providing a visual that they could refer back to throughout the week. Here is some student work: