November 28, 2014

Student Teaching Observation #3 – Reflection
Science Lesson – Energy Unit (Wind Power)
Lehua Elementary School – 5th Grade SPED
By: Donna Soriano
A few weeks ago, I developed and taught a science unit to my 5th Grade inclusion class. This unit
was centered on the topic of energy. For about a week and a half, students explored its different forms,
the law of conservation of energy, the ways it can be transformed and transferred to objects, and studied
renewable and non-renewable resources of energy. The specific lesson that I was observed teaching was
during Day 4 of my science unit, in which my students were to use what they learned so far about energy
transformation and renewable resources of energy (wind or air) and applying it to a real-world situation
(alternative power to move a car).
I started my lesson with a concept map drawn on the whiteboard, discussing and reinforcing the
topics of Energy that they learned about. I asked them to tell me what they learned about Energy, about
Energy Transformation, and to provide me with definitions as well as examples of renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy. After the discussion, I explained to my students the activity that they will
be doing throughout most of the period—building Air Powered Cars. I split the students up into groups
of three or four, gave them the Activity Sheet, and passed out their materials. I set the timer for 30
minutes and reminded them to use their time wisely. When the timer was up, I had students meet me in
the back of the classroom at a ―racetrack‖ that I built. Each of their groups had creative team names and
one by one we measured the distance each Air Powered Car travelled. To wrap up my lesson, I brought
back the concepts and forms of energy, and discussed with them the energy transformations that took
place in the activity. I asked the students which design features were the most successful, and what were
not successful. To end the lesson, I shared a short video clip of a real-life air-powered vehicle, the
Overall I think that my lesson was very successful in terms of getting my learning objectives
across, having the students remain engaged throughout the lesson, as well as having them thinking about

energy and its real-life applications to making the environment a more sustainable place. I could tell that
the students had a lot of fun with this lesson and they were all very creative in the way that they designed
their air-powered cars. I didn’t want to provide them with too much direction because I wanted to see
how they could think of capturing the ―wind‖ power.
Looking back at what I could improve on, I probably would have established more of a
collaborative learning group in which each person in the group has a role. Someone could be the
materials manager, another person could be the designer, someone else could be the builder, etc. That
way everyone is ensured to contribute in some way, shape, or form, and not rely on one or two people to
do most of the work. However, the students did pretty well in the groups that I placed them in because I
tried to look for friendships and pair people with whom I knew they would work well with.
Going forward I’ll be sure to keep teaching in a way that is challenging yet still captures the
students’ interests. I’ll also try to incorporate more team-building activities such as this one and try to
have everyone be accountable for a task by assigning them roles in their groups.