Well after many technical difficulties with our reflection upload last week, I am choosing to write my reflection.
My lesson this week was an ELA Lesson on Bias and Perception in the Media. I found a terrific resource on the website http://mediasmarts.ca/ which allowed students to experience bias in the media firsthand.
Getting lesson plan ideas off the internet is terrific, but there is often a LOT more to think about than just cutting and pasting an idea in the Development section of your lesson plan. Though I loved the original lesson idea, I quickly realized there were many additional considerations: classroom management, the logistics of selecting groups and scheduling the interviews, and what the students would do with “downtime” since some groups would be finished more quickly than others. I realized that this had the potential for disaster, but knew this idea, if done right, also had the opportunity to make an impact on the students. Since I had already submitted my final lesson plan, I crossed my fingers, read and reread my plan, and hoped for the best.
I had emailed my co-op teacher for some advise about which students would make the best “arguers”. I had a few ideas but felt she would best know her students and that this really would have an impact on the outcome of the lesson. We discussed it in the morning and and she recommended two students that were on my short list. The two students did a fantastic job. They were mature, committed to the “scene” and really sold the conflict to the rest of the class. We changed the story from arguing over a textbook to a “Stolen” Pencil, which is apparently a recurring issue in our classroom. This really added to the impact since the students themselves all had personal bias with this issue in the past.
After the lesson, my co-op said she was very impressed with my classroom management skills at the beginning. Coming into class from recess, the students were already wired from a meeting for the musical and some other extra-curricular chaos going on. So even by starting the class with a big conflict, I managed to get them settled and focused quickly.
I was really proud of the students’ insights, meeting the purpose of the lesson and their engagement. Their interviewing skills were good, and the presentations showed exactly the type of biases that we see in the news. This would be a great lesson to segue into analysis of different media for bias.
It was great to end off the pre-service with a fun, engaging lesson. I also learned that my classroom management skills are better than I thought. Compared to Phys Ed. this was a breeze, and the outcome was totally worth the chaos.