The teaching exercise targeted three first grade learners. The lesson aimed to describe the major features of a sunflower. The learners were informed about the nature of the sunflower plant, its growth factors, petals, and colors. I empowered and encouraged the students to stay focused throughout the learning process (Levy 161). The experience also equipped me with appropriate teaching competencies. This reflective essay describes my experiences and insights gained from the teaching exercise.
I began the lesson by asking simple questions. I asked my learners about the season we were in. They indicated that we were in spring. The next thing was to learn more about sunflowers. In the beginning, students 2 and 3 were less involved in the lesson. Each learner was supplied with a sunflower. The plant was introduced before undertaking anything else. The next thing was for the learners to do some mathematics exercises. The learners counted and added up the number of petals. They also described the color and texture of the plant. The learners were responsive and answered every question (Levy 164). I also observed that student 2 took a long to count the petals. Student 3 answered most of the questions accurately. I gave the students different worksheets to record the number of petals.
This teaching process made it easier for me to understand that learners tend to have diverse abilities. Teachers should therefore offer adequate support to the students depending on their competencies. At some point, the students’ level of concentration diminished because they focused mostly on the sunflowers. We then examined the scientific aspects of the sunflower. I described the major parts of the plant to the learners. I also used a PowerPoint Presentation (Ahmad 69). The presentation made it easier for the learners to answer different questions.
The three learners were supportive and interactive throughout the lesson. They were taught about the lifecycle of the plant using PowerPoint Presentations. Sometimes the learners focused on the camera and played thus affecting the lesson. However, I guided and encouraged them to focus on the targeted outcomes. This experience equipped me with powerful skills such as effective communication, collaboration, and commitment (Lenchuk and Ahmed 87).
A short video was played to help the learners understand the growth process of the pant. The learners were keen to learn how the sunflower plant grows. Student 1 stated that the plant requires soil to grow. Student 2 explained how the stem plays the role of a straw to transport minerals. The learners were then guided to play different computer games (Akpan and Beard 221). Such games helped them understand how the plant germinates.
A test was also provided to gauge the success rate of the lesson. The learners performed well. This teaching exercise made it easier for me to appreciate the role of assistive technologies (Netherton and Deal 14). The use of videos and PowerPoint presentations supported the needs of the learners. The use of visual aids such as games made the learning process successful
Teachers should be involved throughout the learning process. I guided my students and supported their diverse needs. I also observed that student 2 had less developed abilities compared to the other two. This fact explains why teachers should understand that students tend to have varying abilities. They should pinpoint the differences and offer personalized instructions. The approach can support the needs of more learners (Nguyet and Ha 17). I will undertake similar exercises to develop a powerful teaching philosophy.
Ahmad, Fouzia. “Use of Assistive Technology in Inclusive Education: Making Room for Diverse Learning Needs.” Transcience 6.2 (2015): 62-77. Print.
Akpan, Joseph and Lawrence Beard. “Assistive Technology and Mathematics Education.” Universal Journal of Educational Research 2.3 (2014): 219-222. Print.
Lenchuk, Iryna and Amer Ahmed. “In the Classroom: Teaching Pragmatic Competence: A Journey from Teaching Cultural Facts to Teaching Cultural Awareness.” TESL Canada Journal 30.7 (2013): 82-97. Print.
Levy, Holli. “Meeting the Needs of All Students through Differentiated Instruction: Helping Every Child Reach and Exceed Standards.” The Clearing House 1.1 (2008): 161-166. Print.
Netherton, David and Walter Deal. “Assistive Technology in the Classroom.” The Technology Teacher 1.1 (2006): 11-17. Print.
Nguyet, Dinh and Le Ha. How-To Guide: Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Education. New York, NY: Catholic Relief Services, 2010. Print.