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Bluff Lesson Teacher Reflection

This lesson had pros and cons, but unfortunately I feel there were more cons.
I was encouraged by the student response to the bell work. It seemed all students
were comfortable with the material, and that they were all willing to answer the
questions. I think that allowing students to either write or draw their answers made
it easier for them to express their knowledge in different ways, while I was still able
to evaluate their knowledge. The entire lesson did give me a feel for students
comprehension of the material, and showed me that I need to review the material
with the class as a whole again. Based on student knowledge assessed during the
review I pushed back the test by two days to work with students more on the
portions they were struggling on. More precisely, I will be working closer with my
students in regards to the different types of RNA, and their uses, as well as
mutations and how they affect protein synthesis. These standards (B4.2D and
B4.4C) were not met and require more time to build student understanding.
I feel that overall the review game was not successful in engaging students,
which was the main problem with the lesson. Since the teams were large students
could coast through the lesson without answering any questions, or even think
about them. I thought the competition built in the game would get the students
excited to participate, because they had a chance to beat the other half of the class.
Strangely, this did not actually work. When the same students answered a lot of
questions I made it so they could no longer talk, but other students would still not
step up to the plate. I often had to choose different students to stand up and answer
questions, which defeated the purpose of the entire game.
I am not planning on using this lesson again, because I think that it gave
students an easy way to disengage from the material. If I did do the lesson again,
however, I would split the class into smaller groups so they would be held
accountable. I would also structure it more, adding a timer to keep the game
moving. It is very easy for this game to get out of control, because students can just
stall instead of answering the question. Differentiation of student roles may help
too, designating captains, score keepers, and reporters may engage students more.
I would also put the questions on the smart board so students would not have to ask
multiple times what the question was. Again, I did not think this lesson was helpful
to the students, because they students who knew the information answered the
questions, but the students who didnt know the answers just relied on the students
who did to answer.
The responses to the bell work showed me the students do know the general
steps of protein synthesis, but the review game painted an entirely different picture.
For many questions asked in the review game only one student would know the
answers. Even the students who typically know all of the topics by the test were
struggling with the answers. I feel that one of the reasons why students would not
stand up was because they were extremely uncomfortable with the material.
Usually student will at least hazard a guess during a game, but for this one no one
was willing to answer.
Using the observations I saw from this review game I have decided to push
the test out for two days so I can work with my students more. In the future I will try
to spend more time on each topic as well. For most of this unit I tried to allow
students to take more control over their learning, using stations and group work. I
feel in the future I need to add a bit more structure to the lessons, and have
students work together with me as a full class more.