Did I grow?

During my pre-internship, I found that I did not do as much growing as I had hoped in terms of my lessons. I was given the opportunity to teach something I am particularly passionate about; horror. My cooperating teacher often had very little to say about my lessons, because they all went well. I had an amazing group of students who let me experiment with them and genuinely tried when I gave them work to do. Because my students were so receptive to my teaching, I challenged them to work with a difficult literary theory and move away from comprehension type activities.

My first lesson was a bit of everything. I had a ‘Drop Everything and Write’ acrostic poem making activity. I noted that students were unfamiliar with creative writing and that had me continue with that activity all the way through my pre-internship. After writing, I had a student come up to the board to help me design a vampire concept map. I used this activity, because I worked well with my grade eight class. However, grade tens are more shy and less inclined to stand in front of the room. I made a point of never doing that again. Through my concept mapping, I noted that the class liked to have group talks rather than individual work. I planned activities that incorporated both into their learning. The end of the class was a reader’s theatre style reading of Dracula. My cooperating teacher had told me that the students would enjoy this style of reading. She was helpful in making my initial lessons plans a success, because she gave me an insight into what worked in her class and what did not. Because of this, I did not have target sheets made up, but just the odd verbal feedback provided. My main critique over the three weeks was about sequencing. However, I cannot document this change just yet. I need to take my horror unit and rework it, and teach it once more.

My growth lesson would be my transition into harder content. Deconstruction is a difficult literary theory that requires a careful mind and a close reading of a text. Thanks to my cooperating teacher’s encouragement, I felt that I was ready to tackle this with my students. After a lesson that warmed us up to the idea, we deconstructed movie clips from popular vampire shows. The students watched each clip twice and then tried to decipher what that minute long clip meant in an intended way and an unintended way. The students focused hard during this lesson and the results were great. Overall, my pre-internship was successful and I am excited to try my horror unit once more.

Slam Poetry and Pop Lyrics

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 5: 2:17 PM – 3:20 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: EAL 9

Topic: Using Slam Poetry to Build Confidence

Content: Bacon Slam, What is it?, Roar, Confidence in class, Beasty Boyz, Lyric Slam

Teaching Strategy:

–          I will model

–          Share my own weakness

–          Lead the games

Outcomes:

Students will appear more confident when reading out loud.

Indicators:

–          SWBAT: Allow themselves to get silly

–          SWBAT: Slam lyrics

–          SWBAT: Present to the class

Prerequisite: Attempted to talk in front of a class

Lesson Preparation:

–          Projector

–          Sound

–          Handout

–          Roar Lyrics

Evaluation/Assessment:

Set: Students will understand what slam poetry is and how it can be helpful.

Development: Students will see the positive in reading out loud in class. Students will participate in Beasty Boyz.

Closure: Students will try to slam their lyrics.

Presentation:

Set: (estimated time 10/30 minutes) (10)

–          Open with:

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSVO5VloDlc

–          What is slam poetry?

o   It is competitive performance poetry

o   Performance for the audience

o   The best slam poets:

  • Stage Presence
  • Timing
  • Tone
  • Body Language
  • Emoting
  • Metaphor
  • Insight
  • Wit

–          Why is slam helpful?

o   Gives voice

o   Address controversial topics

o   Promotes confidence

o   Fun

o   Community

–          Ms. Fisher will slam the lyrics to Roar – Kay Perry

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Development: (estimated time 20/30 minutes) (10)

–          How to read confidently in class (wikihow)

1. Always be prepared to read in every class; no matter what the subject area is.

2. Get over any anxiety

– Speak to your best friend

– Time your breathing

– Act like you are doing this for a future job

3. When the teacher calls, take a deep breath and read

4. Think comforting thoughts

– One it is over, it is done

5. Start Reading

– If you don’t feel confident, just pretend you are

6. Increase Reading Ability

– Speak Loudly

– Speak Clearly

– Re-say words you mispronounce

– Look at the audience

– Speak Slowly

– Use Emotion

–          Ask students to find some song lyrics

–          If time permits:

o   Beastie Boys

  • The group begins by chanting a monosyllabic word in unison and a repeatable beat. Initiator says a line that fits within the repeatable beat. The group again recites the monosyllabic chant. The next person in circle says a line that completes a rhyme and ideally is incredibly obvious so that the rest of the group can join in vocally and complete the rhyme. The person who completed the rhyme now becomes the initiator and the process continuesEx:

Group: Na nana na na nanana na

A: I went back home and hung up my hat

Group: Na nana na na nanana na
B: Then I hugged Fluffy my fluffy pet (everyone) CAT

Closure:  (estimated time 30/30 minutes) (10)

–          Have them stand in a circle and practice using their song lyrics

Adaptive Dimensions:

–          Song lyrics

–          Hand out

–          Group

Letter of Introduction for Internship

Dear cooperating teaching,

My name is Carol Fisher, and I am thankful for the opportunity to learn alongside you during my internship semester. I grew up in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and was in the public schooling system in that city. Currently, I am entering my final year of my B.Ed. degree with a major in English and a minor in drama.

Over the past few years, I have been involved with a variety of experiences related to teaching and working with diverse age groups. This past year I was a resident assistant at the University of Regina College West residence. My work for the residence provided me with the opportunity to plan activities for Canadian and international students.

I am interested in working with EAL students inside and outside of the classroom. My long term goal is to become an EAL instructor. I am also interested in helping out with extracurricular drama. One of my areas of specialization is technical theatre. During my high school experience, I was actively involved in the technical crew, especially with properties management and set design. Another extracurricular interest I would love to be involved with is football. I have a strong desire to learn about coaching and team collaboration.

I appreciate you taking the time to have me as an intern this fall. I am looking forward to working with you and growing as a teacher at your school. I will bring an open-minded, positive, and flexible personality to my internship. My largest contributions will be a passion to work with the students at your school and an eagerness to volunteer with extracurricular activities. My hope is to learn more about differentiated instruction.

I will contact you before the end of the school year and work with you to arrange a visit to the school. Once again, thank you for taking me on as an intern this fall. I know that this experience will be very enriching.

Sincerely,

 

Carol Fisher

Group Dramatic Reading of Dracula

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 4: 1:09 PM – 2:12 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: ELA A10

Topic: Dramatic Reading of Act Two and comprehension/interpretation questions

Content: D.E.A.W., Dramatic Reading Explained, Group work, Present, Questions

Teaching Strategy: Choice of movement or still performance

Outcomes: CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.

Indicators:

  • SWBAT: Demonstrate active reading behaviours including
  • SWBAT: Discussing and analysing meanings, ideas, language, and literary and informational quality in a range of contemporary and historical texts
  • SWBAT: Work in groups on their oral reading
  • SWBAT: Perform a dramatic reading or a reader’s theatre format reading

Multiple Intelligences: 

  • Visual-Spatial
  • Bodily-kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal

Prerequisite: Students will have given an oral presentation before (in a different class or grade)

Lesson Preparation:

  • Question Sheet
  • Typed out scenes

Evaluation/Assessment:

Set: Provide direction for writing. These students struggle with creative writing.

Development: Are students working together? Do they have plans for their presentation?

Closure: Do students following along with the question guide?

Presentation:

Set: (estimated time 10/60 minutes) (10)

Development: (estimated time 40/60 minutes) (30)

  • What is dramatic reading?

o   Use dramatic reading to turn an ordinary read aloud into an attention grabbing performance.

o   Dramatic reading refers to reading with flare; bringing the words written on a piece of paper to life to draw in the audience

o   Add some drama to your presentation (use those hands!).

o   Movement and a bit of memorization (in our case we will use the books)

  • Write trait of dramatic reading on the board

o   Use Voices

  • Create voices for the characters in the story you are reading aloud.
  • Use different tones, pitches and accents that you think work best for each character.
  • Speak clearly and audibly

o   Props (if available; welcome to use anything in the room)

  • Use simple props that are easy to alternate between while reading.
  • Simple props can add to the story and make it more life-like.

o   Practice

  • Scan the text to important stage directions
  • Practice reading the piece, or the parts of the piece that you will be reading aloud.
  • Practising will make you more comfortable and familiar with the text, making it easier to perform.
  • Use your book; we haven’t been practising for weeks.
  • Pace yourself
  • Might help to highlight your part
  • Students will be reading Act two orally to their peers

o   Reader’s Theatre or Dramatic Reading Choice

o   Students will use this as a practice stage for their final oral story retelling

o   I will write the groups up on the board

o   Students will gather into their groups

o   One student will come grab their scene for their group

o   Students will have 15 minutes to practice their reading

  • Groups:

o   Group One (Scene 1 and Scene 8):

o   Group Two (Scene 2):

o   Group Three (Scene 3):

o   Group Four (Scene 4):

o   Group Five (Scene 5):

o   Group Six (Scene 6):

o   Group Seven (Scene 7):

  • **missing people? Get inventive! (Ms. Fisher can be the innovation)

Closure:  (estimated time 60/60 minutes) (10)

  • Presentations will start
  • Students will be asked to work on the Act Two Questions to be taken up on Monday

Adaptive Dimensions:

  • Group Work
  • Strong Readers/Confident individuals placed in each group
  • Guiding Questions
  • ELL’s are spread throughout the groups

Cupcakes and Tears

Weeks with presentations are relaxing, sort of. I planned to have my last two days of teaching as presentation days for my grade ten class and work periods for my grade nine class. It has been lovely not having to concoct a lesson plan for each of these days. However, I didn’t plan my marking very well. I’ve been sitting at my desk for hours at a time each night this week trying to grade papers. I’ve had to start wearing my glasses again to combat the hours of reading.

This week was my big unit for my EAL classroom. On Monday I worked on building confidence when you have to read out loud in a classroom. We worked on slamming some lyrics to popular songs and playing a few vocal drama games. The kids really opened up during this lesson and comfortably talked in front of each other. I had one boy slam the lyrics to ‘Let it Go’ from the Frozen soundtrack and got the class incredibly energetic. I asked them if they would all like to sing that sound. My slam poetry successfully ended with seven boys and five girls belting out ‘Let it Go’ together. Honestly, I left class that evening with an ear-to-ear grin. It was amazing to see the confidence flowing around the room.

My presentations didn’t work out very well. I wanted to get through fifteen on my first day, but we only did eleven. In a class of thirty-two, that cannot happen. Because my time management was so poor, I’m going to have to come in on Monday between my own classes to finish off the presentations. I should have spent more time going through my expectations of a three to four minutes storytelling and using one sheet of notes. Most of my kids just read right from the papers. However, one of my EAL students told us her story in a campfire style. I was proud of her. She displayed great confidence and copious amounts of enthusiasm.

In the future, I will take ten minutes out of my class time to go through expectations that I have for assignments. I have learned that even if you give a rubric, students will not read it. My rubrics were specific, but the students didn’t even spend a minute on it. Another thing I will change is just getting started right away. We were all sitting in a circle for our presentations and the students took a long time to get settled.

I have had an amazing three weeks at my school. It is going to be difficult to leave my kids. There is a part of me that just wants to rip them away from my co-op and hoard them all to myself. I can already feel myself getting emotional this morning and I am trying to think of ways to keep myself together. I’ve baked up a storm for my young ones, so hopefully they will remember the horror of Ms. Fisher.

The Hunger Games

I found this week very lonely without my partner. I was getting very used to having a person to chat to in the morning on the drive to school and also talk through plans for our ELA A10 classes. Such is life though, I won’t be partnered in my internship so I might as well get used to it. My cooperating teacher has been a great support for someone to talk to and express my fears with. I’ve also made friends with another pre-intern this week. We meet every afternoon in my classroom and talk through everything on our minds. It has been nice to have that extra person to get close with and talk about successes and failures. I remember her giving out her first 100% and not be sure about how to feel.

I found that this week was a bit of a let down from last week. My lessons were not planned as well and were sequenced a bit strange. In reality, I think my unit is great, but I need to take it apart and put it in a more logical order. The two highlights of my week involved lecturing on my two favorite topics: horror and cannibalism. I made a PowerPoint (check it out here), and actually sounded knowledgeable about what I was talking about. The students really enjoyed my movie clips from It, Silence of the Lambs, and Sherlock. They didn’t even want early release. However, I didn’t get to my exit slip that day, which was a disappointment. I tried it out in the morning, but the responses were not as good as they could have been. My chat on cannibalism had the kids squirming in their chairs. However, some ventured forward and even put up their hands to ask questions. I can happily say that I’m giving my first cannibalism pop quiz on Monday. Today, we will be playing “The Hunger Games” in period four, and I hope it goes well. Ms. Fisher even bought prizes.

I also had two lessons that really did not go well this week. The reason they didn’t go well, wasn’t because of the kids, it was my own fault. I tried to add some treaty content into my lesson before we started working with the Windigo story. My oral re-telling went fabulously, but I ended up reading my treaty stuff word for word from my page because I wasn’t confident that I knew it. This also happened with my lesson yesterday. I was doing a class deconstruction of the story “The Cannibal Woman’. The kids tried hard to answer the questions, but I just did not know my stuff well enough. I hadn’t planned on touching these stories until after we finished Dracula, but I really ran out of time. Had I been given one more week, this would have all worked out nicely.

One thing I learned from those two lessons is that I need to put it into my own words when it goes into my lesson plan. I could understand what I was reading, but it came out all wrong and very robotic when I tried to teach it. Number one change in those lessons would be to reword everything in simple, everyday talking language. I also really need to find a talking stick. I ended up using an oversized cat glove, and called it the talking paw. Again, the biggest change it going to have to be the order. I sincerely hope I can have an ELA A10 class in my internship to try this unit out again. I also want to finish one thing before starting the next. Dracula would be finished and thought through, then a bridge to the Windigo with the Conqueror Worm, and finally exploring that First Nations cannibal monster.

I really learned that even though I have some serious short comings in my content knowledge in the classroom, I can connect very well with the students. I have one boy that comes up to me every other day and mockingly says “Ms. Fisher, why do you always pick on me in class” and I also sarcastically respond back, “I’m a bully, and that is why I became a teacher.” He is such a sweet kid and a real pleasure to have in the classroom. Another student connection I made was with one of the girls in my EAL classroom. She felt comfortable enough to come up to me after class yesterday and tell me that some of the boys were actually picking on her in their L1. We had a very meaningful chat and I felt so privileged that she chose to talk to me about it over the teacher in the room.

Dramatic Reading of Dracula

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 4: 1:09 PM – 2:12 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: ELA A10

Topic: Dramatic Reading of Act Two and comprehension/interpretation questions

Content: D.E.A.W., Dramatic Reading Explained, Group work, Present, Questions

Teaching Strategy: Choice of movement or still performance

Outcomes: CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.

Indicators:

  • SWBAT: Demonstrate active reading behaviours including
  • SWBAT: Discussing and analysing meanings, ideas, language, and literary and informational quality in a range of contemporary and historical texts
  • SWBAT: Work in groups on their oral reading
  • SWBAT: Perform a dramatic reading or a reader’s theatre format reading

Multiple Intelligences: 

  • Visual-Spatial
  • Bodily-kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal

Prerequisite: Students will have given an oral presentation before (in a different class or grade)

Lesson Preparation:

  • Question Sheet
  • Typed out scenes

Evaluation/Assessment:

Set: Provide direction for writing. These students struggle with creative writing.

Development: Are students working together? Do they have plans for their presentation?

Closure: Do students following along with the question guide?

Presentation:

Set: (estimated time 10/60 minutes) (10)

Development: (estimated time 40/60 minutes) (30)

  • What is dramatic reading?
    • Use dramatic reading to turn an ordinary read aloud into an attention grabbing performance. 
    • Dramatic reading refers to reading with flare; bringing the words written on a piece of paper to life to draw in the audience
    • Add some drama to your presentation (use those hands!).
    • Movement and a bit of memorization (in our case we will use the books)
    • Write trait of dramatic reading on the board
      • Use Voices
        • Create voices for the characters in the story you are reading aloud.
        • Use different tones, pitches and accents that you think work best for each character.
        • Speak clearly and audibly
  • Props (if available; welcome to use anything in the room)
    • Use simple props that are easy to alternate between while reading.
    • Simple props can add to the story and make it more life-like.
  • Practice
    • Scan the text to important stage directions
    • Practice reading the piece, or the parts of the piece that you will be reading aloud.
    • Practising will make you more comfortable and familiar with the text, making it easier to perform.
    • Use your book; we haven’t been practicing for weeks.
    • Pace yourself
    • Might help to highlight your part
    • Students will be reading Act two orally to their peers
      • Reader’s Theatre or Dramatic Reading Choice
      • Students will use this as a practice stage for their final oral story retelling
      • I will write the groups up on the board
      • Students will gather into their groups
      • One student will come grab their scene for their group
      • Students will have 15 minutes to practice their reading
      • Groups:
        • Group One (Scene 1 and Scene 8):
          • (Five Members)
  • Group Two (Scene 2):
    • (Five Members)
  • Group Three (Scene 3):
    • (Four Members)
  • Group Four (Scene 4):
    • (Four Members)
  • Group Five (Scene 5):
    • (Six Members)
  • Group Six (Scene 6):
    • (Four Members)
  • Group Seven (Scene 7):
    • (Four Members)
    • **missing people? Get inventive!

Closure:  (estimated time 60/60 minutes) (10)

  • Presentations will start
  • Students will be asked to work on the Act Two Questions to be taken up on Monday

Adaptive Dimensions:

  • Group Work
  • Strong Readers/Confident individuals placed in each group
  • Guiding Questions
  • ELL’s are spread throughout the groups

Deconstructing Film

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 4: 1:09 PM – 2:12 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: ELA A10

Topic: Deconstructing Vampire Films and Television Shows

Content: D.E.A.W., Film Deconstruction, Exit Slip

Teaching Strategy: Write alongside the students, using media

Outcomes: CR A10.2

View, interpret, summarize, and draw conclusions about the ideas and information presented in a variety of illustrations, charts, graphs, and television, film, and video presentations including a documentary or current affairs program.

Indicators:

–          SWBAT: Demonstrate active viewing behaviours

–          SWBAT: Prepare and present a critical response to what was viewed

–          SWBAT: View and discuss the meaning and characterization implicit in the action of a scene from a play, film, television production

–          SWBAT: Write using a song as an inspiration point

Multiple Intelligences:

–          Visual-spatial

–          Musical

–          Intrapersonal

Prerequisite: Knowledge of various vampire based shows and films.

Lesson Preparation:

–          Film Sheet

–          Computer

–          Projector

–          Sound

–          Video Links

Evaluation/Assessment:

Set: Students will be able to write for at least five minutes. They will be able to use the song for inspiration and write whatever it draws from their mind.

Development: Students will actively view the clips and deconstruct the content. Students will volunteer or provide answers during the discussion. I will take in the viewing sheets to see what each student got out of their deconstruction.

Closure: I will use the answers to the exit slip to get a grasp of what students are taking from my lessons. Are they starting to see that fantasy/horror genre works can teach us things?

Presentation:

Set: (estimated time 10/60 minutes) (10)

–          Song Writing Prompt:

  • o   Spiritual – Katy Perry (From The Vampire Academy Soundtrack)
  • o   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5TBqaMkBpQ
  • o   Students will be asked to write underneath their last writing. They may write in any form: point form, journal, poem, story, or picture if they cannot formulate any words while listening.
  • o   Students can write while the song is playing or write after it is done.
  • o   The writing topic is up to them.
  • o   They must date and sign it and hand it in when they finish.

–          Take up deconstruction Sheet

Development: (estimated time **50/60 minutes) (40)

–          Hand out film viewing sheets

–          Discussion of findings:

  • I will cold call or have volunteers share their answers for each clip.
  • I will be looking for meaning statements and the differences between them.

–          Hand in film viewing sheet

Closure:  (estimated time 60/60 minutes) (10)

–          Exit slip:

  • o   How has film altered the vampire tradition?
  • o   Do vampire/horror stories teach us lessons?
  • o   What is your favorite vampire story/film/TV show? Why?

–          If there is time left:

  • o   Student will get a choice; we can start reading Act 2 out loud or they can work on their independent novel studies.

Adaptive Dimension:

–          Film

–          View things twice

–          Take up in class

The Serial Killer Intern?

The first week is complete and I have no idea how I made through. Everything is starting to blur together and my mind is constantly working towards the future. “What am I doing to do with this class tomorrow?” Although things have been stressful, I love every minute of it! I’ve somehow developed a nickname “The Serial Killer Intern.” I haven’t even started talking about cannibalism yet!

The first three days of this week were phenomenal. It was awesome to see my lesson plans come together and even start to mesh. I took on the challenge of doing Dracula the three act play with my ELA A10 class. I know that this would be a great topic, because I have a love for dark and gory literature. My largest accomplishment this week was having everyone’s names by day two. I was really making a point of calling on students for answers and familiarizing myself with their faces. My first day, I introduced Reader’s Theatre into the classroom. We ended up having enough volunteers to read out loud. Everyone was engaged because I gave them an anticipation guide to fill out. This sort of comprehension organizers have been a helpful tool.

Today was a bit like pulling teeth. I chose to teach a rather difficult and dry concept to my grade tens (Deconstruction). They did understand it very well, but trying to get answers without cold-calling was a task. We were talking up my Vampire film viewing sheet today. I should have just selected a few to take up together and got them to hand it in. The students found it a bit boring when they were unfamiliar with the entire movie.

My lessons were changing all the time. My cooperating teacher provided excellent feedback on them and really helped me get a strong direction for the week. I was definitely over planned for every day. However, that meant that my lesson would splash into the next day and things started to seem connected. My film viewing day was one I might change up a bit. I might use longer clips and fewer movies. At this time, I would probably give the students a better idea of what to look for and write it up on the board. When I asked for it in discussion they had it, but they did not have it written down beforehand.

I learned that teaching is about connecting. These lesson plans we are making should not just be isolated events. Everything needs a purpose and an end point. Another thing I realized was that I need to make time for myself. This week, I didn’t go jogging at all and spent most nights answering journal entries and marking small assignments. It is starting to drive me crazy. Honestly, I am going to spend my night playing video games and not even look at a journal entry. Time really speeds up when you are in a school. I don’t even feel like I spent a week teaching.