Creating the learning cycle for actual application in a first grade classroom was one of the most exciting and challenging parts of my field experience this year. This was the first time I had ever worked so directly with elementary students and had the chance to actually take part in an entire unit of study. Some of the work I did throughout the unit is included below including, the original unit matrix template, my first lesson plan, a reflection over it’s initial revisions and then the final revised lesson plan I completed after my last day of teaching.
To complete this learning cycle, I worked with a group of five other pre-service teachers who were placed in my first grade classroom. We worked together to discuss the topic of plants, look at the standards and discuss what we thought was important to include and emphasize. Our initial unit matrix template demonstrates our first attempt at this effort. From here were created individual lesson plans that we would conduct in class as the lead teacher. Because at this point we had yet to work with first grade students on science, we conferenced and revised these with our Professor and then reflected on our changes.
Some of our lessons did not go as planned while others did and we noticed many things that we needed to modify and emphasize. This led many of my peers and myself to alter our lesson plans so that they would be as beneficial as possible for our students. I thought this was really good practice because as a teacher you must adapt content to suit the students you have in your classroom. Even after teaching I noticed that there were things I could have improved upon and ways I could have done a better job emphasizing the nature of science. In the future I’m sure I can teach this learning cycle confidently and continue to teach it better with each new experience.