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Jazmin Roe

February 29 2016

High School Site Visitation Reflection
One part of the site visitation that I found very different from my
elementary practicum classroom was the level and type of participation in an
English 30-2 classroom. The grade 12 students sometimes did not want to
participate and in elementary the children argue over who gets to help the
teacher. In a high school classroom it is also easier for the teacher to
facilitate a discussion and have the children work independently. Some
strategies the teacher had to get students to participate were asking the
students individually if they would volunteer and then she used “the cards of
fate” with student’s names on them to pick who would read.
I noticed that the teacher had the objectives listed on the board of
what she wanted the students to be able to do after the lesson today. The
objectives for the lesson were to argue our point, identify and correct writing
errors, and explore literature for literary device and theme. I liked that she
had written the objectives like a checklist for the students. I really would like
to do this in my own classroom because my students can be checking if they
can do the objectives and as a teacher I can check that they are
understanding the objectives. The classroom also had rubrics for each type
of assignment at the back, so students could clearly see what outcomes they
needed to reach for their assignment and how the teacher would be
evaluating their writing. Another part of classroom organization was having a
homework file for each day of the week for absent students, literary device
flashcards in bags as extra work or to practice terms, and file folders for each
of her students.
The discussion part of the lesson was also geared towards helping the
grade 12’s decide a position and argue it for their diploma exam. The
teacher began the activity/discussion by posing a question to the grade 12’s
that stated, “You need war to create peace. Agree or disagree?” How the
question is worded clearly and effectively asks the grade 12’s to take a
position on the question. However the question should have specifically
asked to back up their argument with evidence from other disciplines such as
history or their novel study. Immediately the teacher set a timer for the
activity to help students practice time management, to have transitions and
eventually come back together to discuss. While the students were working
the teacher walked around the room to answer individual questions and
asked students to provide specific examples. When the class came back
together she emphasized the importance of thinking critically about what the
question is specifically asking and how each student’s definition of words in
the question would help them decide their position. I noticed that providing
solutions or different ways to approach an assignment is very important and

Jazmin Roe
February 29 2016

helps students understand the concept better. I liked how during the
discussion she gave positive feedback and affirmation about their
arguments.
In order to have an activity like mentioned above, I believe it is really
important to create an open and comfortable environment for students from
day one. During the post-conference, the teacher mentioned how from day
one she had the students individually sharing with the class and if they were
nervous she stood up with them, so that they knew what the expectation
would be in her class. I want to create an environment in my own classroom
where my students feel comfortable sharing their opinions and answers.
Another way the teacher made her classroom focussed and ready for a
discussion was through chocolate meditation. The students got excited about
this brain break and had time to relax. During this activity I could really see
the teacher’s own personality and teaching style. One of the take aways that
the teacher stated during the post-conference that really stuck with me is
that as a teacher teach from who you are and know where your boundaries
are, especially as a high school teacher.