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Katherine Fitzgerald 3/22/14 Social Studies Lesson Reflection For my social studies lesson, I taught about the Bill of Rights

. The other material the students had been covering prior to my lesson was the articles of confederation, various founding fathers, the U.S. Constitution, and the branches of the government. My lesson built onto the previous material the class covered as they did their unit on our country’s declaration of independence from England. The main idea I was trying to get across to the students in my lesson was that our country’s system of government simply was not working in the beginning. The founding fathers knew this and so they began making amendments to the constitution. These amendments protected the basic freedoms of our country and made the constitution stronger. The lesson was structured in a way so as to allow plenty of room for discussion. I began the lesson by starting a discussion of the previous material covered in the class and then explaining the definition of an amendment. After that, we read pages 201-205 as a class, having the students take turns reading. When there was a section that I thought the students might be a little confused about, I stopped whoever was reading so that we could discuss that section. Once the students finished reading the text, I started another discussion about what they had read.

I was a little surprised by how interested the students were in the lesson. When I first told them we were going to be reading from their usual text, they all groaned a little, but once the lesson started they were all engaged in the discussion and sharing their thoughts. Most of the students were excited to read a passage of the text, so I think that helped with keeping them interested and engaged. They also enjoyed the worksheet because they could refer back to the text to find the information they needed.

The students were a little confused about the idea of amendments at first, but once I engaged them in the discussion and was able to find and target what they were confused about, they started to grasp the concept a little better. Some of them had a little trouble with the worksheet because some of the pictures were a little vague and did not match up exactly with the amendment they were representing, but I was usually able to address this confusion with some questioning to help lead the students in the right direction to find the answer. Through examining the student work, I found that most of the students mastered the information, based on the criteria. By discussing the material as a class, it made it a little difficult for the students to not be able to answer the questions correctly if they just knew where to look in the book. All the answers were there, they just had to be able to find them.

I began the lesson by asking the students questions about their previous material like, “Who can tell me about the articles of confederation? Why didn’t they work? What happened at the constitutional convention? Can you name some of the founding fathers who were there? What are the 3 branches of government? Why do we have those branches? Etc.” The students responded well to those questions and once I jogged their memory a little it made it a lot easier to move into the new material. Once I began the lesson, I then asked them questions like, “Why do you think we would need to make amendments to the constitution?” and just other questions that pertained to the material. Most of the students’ questions were about the worksheet and I usually just answered them by telling them to read the section again if they were having trouble remembering the information.

Throughout the whole two weeks, this class was generally well-behaved. There were very few behavior issues, and if an issue did arise, it was usually easily handled by the teachers

threatening to call the student’s parents. The students knew that when I was teaching, they were expected to be on their best behavior. The only real problems I had were with a few students joking around with their friends, in which case I just had to separate them. After that, there were no behavior issues.

Overall, I think this lesson went well. It was not the most exciting lesson, but the students did enjoy it and learned some new material. The only real surprise was that they actually enjoyed it. I was a little afraid they would be so bored that they would not participate or learn anything, but these students all worked so well together and were excited to have a student teacher, so they all actively participated. Some of the students even completed more of the worksheet than was necessary for this particular lesson. If I could change anything about this lesson, I would probably just try to make it a little more exciting, less reading from a book and more exploration of the topic.

If I were to teach this lesson to younger students, I would definitely have to find some other text or source of information and adjust the amount of reading by the students. I would probably do more of the reading and just stop and discuss more to make sure they understood. For older students, I would probably have the students do more research of their own to find information on the Bill of Rights, rather than setting it all right in front of them.

I definitely want to improve my confidence and self-assurance. There were times when I felt a little awkward giving orders or instructions because I did not know if the students would really respect me because I am not their normal teacher, even though this was never a problem. I also would like to become a little more creative and learn to take more initiative as a teacher. I think this might become a little easier when I have a classroom of my own, because when I was

in another teacher’s classroom, I did not want to step on any toes or do things differently, just in case the students did not respond well. Overall though, I had an extremely positive experience and enjoyed my time with this particular class.