1) What topics did you present? How did you go about making it “stick” with your audience?
The topic we presented was the punctuation mini lesson. We taught the kids how to properly use a comma, period, exclamation mark, and a question mark. To teach them how these work in a more familiar matter we decided to use the comparison of a traffic light. The red light symbolizes the period because at the end of a sentence, we stop. The yellow/amber light symbolizes a comma because at a yellow light you slow down. Finally, at the green light, you would get excited, symbolizing an exclamation mark. For a question mark, we got a little creative and decided that we’d use the example of a pothole in the ground and the shape the car would make as it swerved around it. I believe that by making these a relatable subject for the children, they were able to understand better and the idea “stuck” with them.
2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?
I felt that the mini lesson went quite well. The kids were very interested in learning what we were teaching and it seemed as though they had some fun. Some strengths to our presentation would probably be the use of a few visuals as well as a cute little story/narration. The visuals were easy for the kids to understand, as they weren’t too complex, and with Ben narrating the script with an animated voice, the kids had fun and enjoyed the lesson. Some weaknesses to our mini lesson would be the lack of space in front of the camera. We had seven people in our group, but only four of us were able to appear on the camera. Although everyone contributed with the idea and drawings, not everyone was able to speak to the children other than stating their name.
3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?
Honestly, I learned that these kids are very well behaved. While teaching the mini lesson, we expected the kids to shout out their answer when asked what you do at a red light, etc. I was surprised to see the kids all raising their hands to answer. I also found that there is quite a bit of preparations and thoughts that have to go into making a lesson, even just a mini one! You have to write everything out, make sure that it’s appropriate for what we are doing, plan what’ll happen, and much more.
4) What should we do next?
I think that a cute idea to do next would be a little vocabulary game. We could challenge the other class to a bingo match and find words that are somewhat complex, yet not too difficult and read out the definitions of the words while the bingo boards have the actual words. Another things that would be fun to do is a back and forth storytelling game. What we would do as a class is write a sentence or two to start off a story. You would send those sentences to the kids and they’d add onto the story, writing another few sentences. By the end of the game, we should have a nice book, compiled with all the ideas we and the kids and thought up. It should, by the end, turn out to be a story that should make some sense. To make it a bit of a challenge we could add themes as well.