Lesson reflection

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Lesson plan

Teaching foreign students is one of the most exciting yet challenging tasks that a teacher or a mentor has to undertake. My first group of students comprised of an English Class in AlAndalus primary Girl’s school in the Kingdom of Bahrain 28 in number. I decided to form working groups for them therefore I came up with four groups each constituted of 7 members. I could see the excitement in their eyes since I was about to introduce to them English as their second language. My assumption was that a majority of the PG school students at AlAndalus, since grade one have been studying English as a basic subject since they learnt how to converse, they talked about part of the body,timing,clothes among others. The biggest challenge I had during preparation was finding suitable and attractive activities or pictures for the 4th grade students. I wanted pictures that had flashy and colorful contents.

My cooperative teacher also commended the use of “turn and talks” since this could act as a way of giving the students more room to think about the materials and therefore they will be better placed to demonstrate what they know.

Nonetheless, the reason why I chose this lesson was because I realized that students will be in a better position to learn more vocabularies and know how to use the different materials related to a given type of question. I am hopeful that this lesson will equip the students with knowledge and skills from written and oral activities. I also intend to listen and observe carefully how the students work in groups and pairs. My learning goals included that: students would be able to identify seasons, days of the week and weather conditions and students would be in a position to use vocabularies such as what is/was the weather like today/yesterday or days of the week. These goals assisted students in recognizing and appreciating the weather patterns and how weather changes.

In order to facilitate this investigation of seasons, weather conditions and the days of the week, I engaged students in three different activities. The first hours of the lesson was a great challenge since I struggled to keep their minds focused on the theme of the lesson rather than socializing. I decided to warm up the environment by simply greeting and displaying to the students flash cards. I think it was effective since it caught the attention of many students and this prepared them in advance to have a glimpse of what I was supposed to teach them. During this activity, I asked the learners questions about the seasons and how they felt about it. This helped them understand what the lesson was all about thus using their prior knowledge when they answer. In the second session I divided the groups in pairs and gave them white boards to write questions. This activity helped the students learn how to use “what” in a question and the required vocabularies of weather conditions and days of the week. The third activity included group work activity involving charts, colors, markers and white boards. Students discussed with their peers what they observed thus get a chance to talk about one day of the week. At the end of these activities students were able to connect real weather experience while they observed the charts, and white boards. Modeling and demonstrations done by various students also helped them get a glimpse of what is expected of them during a given season or change of weather in terms of the clothes to wear, the games to play and the places to go.

Initially it was a challenge to help the students recognize the different weather patterns. Communication was a hindrance for the students bearing the fact that it was their first time to learn English. Some students became frustrated with some of the activities since their concentration span was limited. They were easily distracted and overly excited. It may be crucial to design restriction rules which would assist the students in maintaining orderliness during class activities. I realized that most of the time I might loose concentration and this affected the students since they were looking up to me. It was really difficult to hold a conversation with the learners since they had never known how to speak fluent English. I needed to exercise a lot of patience and self-control. In a group that big there were sharp learners and slow learners therefore to avoid biasness I had to randomly choose groups so that they can have a chance to share ideas and opinions from one another.

Overall, from this teaching experience I have realized that learning comes from students other than the teachers. Students use their initial knowledge to marry on whatever knowledge the teachers might give to them. I have also learned that learning happens through various opportunities which vary in terms of the delivery mechanisms. Nonetheless, the students seemed to communicate and participate aggressively in their understanding both verbally and visually. I also learned that students tend to understand one another since they relate and interact easily. However the concerns I have about this lesson are that some activities will need more time for the students to fully comprehend what is intended of them and that for some learners speaking fluent English might take them a long time. I have learned a few strategies during my reflection that I hope I can incorporate into my lessons in the future.

 

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