The class I observed was a third grade and the topic was body parts. This was my first time observing this class. What immediately noticed and called my attention was the excellent classroom management that the teacher has. In spite of students are not in silence the whole lesson, of course; they are children, she is able to catch their attention when explaining, giving instructions and so on.
At the beginning of the lesson, she caught students’ attention through a song that is related to the topic of the class. Also, she asks students to dance, which I think is excellent, because students were coming from the break with lot of energy and when they sang the song and move their bodies, they used that energy but at the same time they were focusing their attention on what the lesson was going to be about. Then, the teacher introduced keywords through flashcards.
When she did it she asked students about what they saw in them and what I liked about it, is that she considers not just answers in English, but also in Spanish, but when they did it in Spanish she immediately said the word in English and asked student to repeat after her. When she was presenting the keywords she was putting them on the board and writing the names of every part of the body next to each flashcard and they were the whole lesson there, on the board, so when students had doubts they could resort to it.
What I like about it was that it gave to students like a kind of confidence, because if they are shy and feel afraid of asking questions, they have the resources to answer the questions they could have by their own. Moreover, it can also provide independence to students when they are working on the tasks they have to do and in that way they can develop autonomy and do not depend all the time on the teacher. An aspect that I could notice and I consider extremely important in a Language class, is students’ participation.
The teacher is always encouraging students to do so. During the lesson she asked students to play a game. The class was divided in groups, each row was a group. The game consisted of changing the order of the flashcards and students have to rearrange them putting the flashcards in the correct place (where the word of the part of the body was) the teacher asks students to say a number and at random (according to the number) a child had to go to the board to match one of the flashcards. If it was good, they row gained a point.
This activity worked out very well, students were very motivated to participate and they could internalize the keywords. In the post activity, the teacher includes numbers, a topic that students had learnt previously. I consider it as something interesting because students put into practice not just the contents that they have learnt during that lesson, but also their previous knowledge. What they had to do was draw a monster. It monster was very meaningful for students because the teacher and them decided how it was going to be.
The teacher asked students to say numbers, she wrote them next to each flashcard and according to that they had draw their monster. For example if next to the flashcard of the head was a four, the monster had to have four heads. Students work very well on this activity but the teacher did not check it in the class and did not close the lesson either. The lesson ended and the students did not have time to think what they had learnt. In general I consider that the class was very good, but there are certain aspects that I would improve.
On one hand, the teacher do not speak the whole class in English, I know it is complicated to speak the whole class in English, when the students does not manage the language, and that sometimes when we are in front of the class and students are not understanding we tend to speak in Spanish, for them to understand and also because of classroom management; if students are not understanding they lose their attention and start doing another things such as speaking, drawing, etc. ut I believe it is important to try and believe in students; the can understands. Maybe, what English teachers could do is acting and be very explicit with their body language in order to make students understand or try to guess what is being explained. On the other hand, I could realize that the teacher did not pay attention to the children with special needs in the classroom. She just ignores their necessities and acts as if all the children were able to understand at the same time and in the same way.
There is no special attention on them, I know it is very difficult to focus your attention on one or two children with disabilities if you have forty more in the classroom, but I believe it is possible to integrate them, maybe adapting the materials or when you are monitoring students work you can go to the position of that student more frequent that the other ones, because with the ones that does not have special needs, you can check easily on the board, in groups, orally in front of the class, etc.
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