Thursday, December 1, 2016

Final Reflection

     Creating this unit has been a great experience for me.  I feel like I have really expanded my teaching techniques in creating a fun, engaging, and inclusive classroom for the students.  I learned a lot about both the South America Rainforest and myself as a future teacher.  When first creating this unit and trying to think of a topic, I just remembered when I visited South America's rainforest and how amazing they were and I wanted to share the knowledge I learned about it with my future students.  When creating this lesson as a whole, I learned a lot more about South America and its rainforest than I initially knew.  I learned a lot about the culture, the land, and the whole ecosystem.  I also learned and noticed a lot about myself while creating this unit.  I
     In the beginning, creating this unit was particularly difficult for me.  When entering this class, I have never made a lesson plan before, so that was the first challenge that I had to take down.  I was a little overwhelmed creating my first lesson, however, once it was finished, the rest were pretty easy to create.  I found it to be a lot of fun to create different kinds of activities for the different lessons and topics.  The other part of this unit that was the biggest challenge and the most difficult was trying to create this blog to upload all of my documents to.  I am not the best when it comes to using technology, so it was a challenge the whole time while using blogger.
     When the challenges came up of not knowing what to do on blogger, the questions were answered and the problems were solved in a few different ways.  The first way was when Professor Silverman had a former student come in and show us on the big screen what to do.  This helped in the beginning, however, maybe a second trip into the classroom to review once more would have been helpful. The second way was when I consulted either Professor Silverman or talked to other classmates and we worked to together to help each other.
     I believe that I learned a lot while creating this unit and did a fairly good job considering I never made a lesson plan before starting this class.  I believe I had a few strengths during this project, one of them being able to cooperate and plan with my peers during group work.  I am a hard worker, friendly, and get along with almost anyone so doing group work and trying to work together with another person and put our ideas together is my strong point.  Another strength I have is time management.  I prefer to get everything done ahead of time so that I prevent a lot of stress from building up, so I was able to get my lesson plans and unit done a few days in advance.  However, I also had some set backs where I could have improved some of my work.  For example, when creating my initial Unit Overview, I did not know that the sources had to be annotated bibliographies, therefore, I had a lot more work to do than I should have had when creating this blog and the bibliography section.  Therefore, I could have improved my Unit Overview to make this process a little easier in the end.
     Overall, I am taking away quite a few things.  First, I am taking away my lesson plan skills.  I learned a lot about what a lesson plan is and what it consists of.  This will be helpful for all of my future teaching years.  Second, I am taking away how to integrate arts into all types of lessons and activities.  After hearing from other lessons from classmates and observing at the Integrated Arts Academy, I have learned numerous ways to create fun, engaging, and hands-on activities for the students to learn in ways they never have before.  Finally, I will also take away how to work within a group and how to combine two lessons ideas into one.  This will be extremely helpful for in the future when I have to collaborate with my colleagues on teaching particular lessons in a real school setting. 

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