Monday, February 28, 2005

Reformation Unit Lesson 1: Martin Luther

This was my first lesson in a two week unit on the Protestant Reformation. I introduced a project on which the students will be working the entire time, and did a brief introduction to Martin Luther's life and controversy.

Good things:
  • Students didn't complain too much about the project, and by the time I was done explaining it, they understood fully what they needed to do
  • I continually monitored the class to be sure everyone was taking notes and attentive
  • I was relaxed in front of the class, and didn't appear nervous
  • Students were attentive, and engaged in good discussion
  • I responded well to a rude question (What's the point of this project, anyway?) By calmly explaining my objectives of the project. In the future, I would ask the class to share why they thought we were doing the project to affirm its worth to the individual student.
  • When asked a question to which I didn't know the answer (What is purgatory?), I elicited the information from a student. In the future, I would not be afraid to admit not knowing the answer to a question, and look it up, or have a student look it up.

Areas of improvement:

  • Do not leave students unoccupied while I check homework
  • Whenever I give handouts, I need to hole punch them
  • Leave assignment on board until last class has turned it in, so they can't come back and say it wasn't on the board
  • Elicit more information from the students instead of just lecturing at them
  • Consistency in classroom management. I asked students to hold questions until the end, then I answered some questions that were shouted out and denied others.
  • Be aware of students with hands up. At one point I missed a student raising his hand twice because I was looking at my notes.
  • Make clear that notes from lecture are supplementary to reading notes, and that it is not necessary to copy everything down
  • Do not let students use bathroom while someone is talking; be aware of classroom
  • Check dates of other class projects before assigning project due date

Changes I'm making in the future:

  • While I check homework tomorrow, I will have students read an introductory article and write down the main points
  • I will emphasize effective and efficient note taking skills, including not writing down everything
  • I will keep a general watch over the whole class to be sure I am aware of all problems and needs
  • I have changed the due date of the project so that it does not conflict with a reading project

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