The previous week was filled with testing for most grade levels in elementary schools. My students took a standardized test during the week and the instructors and professors of my program decided that we should use that time to do professional development to make the most out of our time.
One day, I watched a video of myself teaching and looked at the questions that I asked. We discussed higher-order thinking (HOT) questions and how to incorporate those into our lessons. I was given some great resources to help me incorporate HOT questions into my lessons that best meet the needs of my students. When I planned my mathematics lesson for my observation for this current week, I used these resources to help me formulate my questions.
On another day, we had to create a fake conference schedule for a week, which was much more taxing than I thought. We had to plan out 25 conferences in a one week period and I was barely able to do it between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm with conference night from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm by giving mostly 15 minute timeslots and using up all of my specials times. I understand that this was an extreme situation but it was designed to help us think about how we will schedule conferences in the future. We also did pretend conferences using the data of real students from our classrooms. Some of my instructors pretended to be various types of parents and we had to perform a conference with them. I was given a parent who was constantly questioning me about everything in the classroom and what I was doing to make sure his student was successful. After the conference I talked to the “parent” who is my reading content coach and he said I did a great job of answering all of his questions and knowing all of my data. I was excited to perform a conference by myself because I have participated in Conference Night at my school before and will be attending Conference Night next week on Wednesday, April 8th. My collaborating teacher has granted me the opportunity to talk during most, if not all, conferences and share my experiences with the students in the subject areas that I teach. I am very excited to help out with conferences again to continue to gain more experience working with parents.
I will be observed on Wednesday for a mathematics lesson on the defining attributes of 2D shapes. I had a preconference on Monday, which went well, and I am excited to perform my lesson. I made sure to formulate some HOT questions and I will have them available to me to use during the lesson to make sure that I do my best to elicit understanding from my students.