Principle H2 states that teacher candidates should honor student’s access to content material. To me, this means that a good teacher should not only provide materials to help students accomplish goals for the assignments, but they should also teach the students how to use materials correctly. In my classroom, I go through a fairly long process of explaining the classroom and how it functions.
All of my information that is given is a scaffold structure where I slowly remove the support as students gain confidence with the new materials. For example, during the first week of class students don’t even get a chance to construct something until we have covered classroom layout, rules, and materials. After making sure all students understand the general workings of the classroom, I introduce specific projects. The reason I take the time to set up my classroom is because of an article I recently read by Harry and Rosemary Wong. According to this article, “the first two to three weeks are critical in determining the how well students will achieve for the remainder of the year”. I want to set up classroom norms and expectations during these first few weeks so that my students are more likely to perform well throughout the school year. With every project, I have an observation period where students look at projects from previous semesters, a PowerPoint which provides visuals and explanations, a handout of the project instruction for students to refer to, and a rubric which explains what I will be grading on. I do this so that going into a project, students are sure to understand the goals and be able to perform tasks without having to explain everything multiple times.
To further help with their understanding of material and content, I will also perform mini lessons throughout the course of a project. In these, I will demonstrate a specific technique to complete the project accurately. For example, during the tiki project I demonstrated how to begin constructing the base and creating successful coils. This not only gives students a verbal and written explanation through the PowerPoint and handouts, but also a visual demonstration to further their understanding.
The reason that I go through so many different steps to convey information is because I know that my students learn differently. Some prefer reading instructions while others like to have things demonstrated. By offering a wide variety, I am sure that students will relate to at least one form of presentation.
Wong, H. K., & Wong, R. T. How To Be An Effective Teacher THE FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL.