Example Student Responses for Homework Week 4

Navigation Links

Homework Week 4

Student 1I don't know what I expected when I thought about teaching these third graders about the moon. Well, I was in for a surprise. I would say my teaching side came out and I ended up being extremely excited to get to know the kids. I was all set to get right into things and have them tell me the things I wanted to know. Well, this didn't work according to plan. The kids were all so smart and really loved to talk and share their ideas. This was all great, what I didn't anticipate though was some of their answers. When we asked the question, what side of the moon is lit on a particular day, and we were getting different answers. It was difficult to get them to understand that the moon travels counter clockwise when different sides were lit on the same night, as we were told. I think in the end they understood that the moon travels to the left though, and this was a great accomplishment.
I was also very excited when the kids finally understood what we were doing with the styrafoam balls and the light source. Though it took a while to get, I really feel like they understood what we were doing and really enjoyed it. It was like a light bulb coming on when they discovered a half moon on the ball.
I really liked this whole experience, though I do know that I need more practice with teaching and understanding these children. I am excited for my future teaching, and I feel like this has helped prepare me for what I should expect.
Student 2 The first thing we did was asked all the children to sit in a circle on the carpet; once everyone was seated we asked them to say their name and one thing that they had learned about the moon. This did not go so well, our kids were extremely shy and while they said their name, they refused to state any facts. Next I asked them to show me the first page of their journals and share what this looked like. Next I asked them to flip three pages and show me what they had drawn. I asked them how this picture differed from the one before. They gave me some good explanations, and were spot on when they said it was getting smaller. Though as the teacher explained to us, the kids really struggled with deciphering which side was lit and which was not. After we briefly went over which side should have been lit, we talked about if anyone who could see the moon and the sun at the same time. Only a few children said that they had in fact seen the sun and the moon at the same time. At this point I turned the spotlight over to Emily who then asked if we had noticed any patterns. They noticed a few patterns but not as clearly as we had hoped they would. After this we moved on to the model. First two other physics teacher/students and myself demonstrated what was supposed to happen. Then we picked three volunteers; we had them move through each stage and then let three new kids have a turn. We did this until we worked though all of the kids. While we were doing this we noticed a few children were not participating. So we decided that we would break up in to three small groups and do it again so that way we could be sure that each child actually had a grasp on what was happening. After we finished with this, we still had about 15 minutes of time left, so we had the kids sit down at their desk and we asked them to draw a picture of what they learned and write a sentence about it. This was the most rewarding part of the whole experience because it was solid proof that they were paying attention and they did retain some of the information that we discussed. After we gave then a change to complete their pictures we all sat down in a circle and discussed the pictures.
What would I have done differently? I wish that I myself had had more of a concrete understanding of the concepts that we were explaining. I felt a little shaky on the basics. I also wish that we had planned out how long things were going to take because we rushed through the first two activities thinking that we would run out of time, forcing us to improvise. Which I know is something that teachers are forced to all the time, so it was good practice. All and all I think this was a good experience.

Personal Tools