I chose to use a lesson for a first grade class about punctuation and personification to demonstrate several RIPTS standards in my teaching video. The first two minutes of the video concentrates on reviewing how students should transition from their tables to the rug for the read-aloud. I asked for students to give some expectations for the transition, such as pushing in their chair, walking over quietly, walking feet, and sitting in their colored squares. Having students review the expectations demonstrates RIPTS 6, specifically 6.1 which states, “teachers use principles of effective classroom management to establish classrooms in which clear rules and standards of behavior are maintained.”
The next ten minutes of the video begins with questioning of the students to assess quickly what they already know about punctuation. This quick informal formative assessment lets me know what the students already understand about the topic of punctuation so that I may modify instruction accordingly while reading the story, Exclamation Mark, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Performing a quick informal formative assessment before instruction follows RIPTS 9, specifically 9.7 which states, “teachers use information from their assessment of students to reflect on their own teaching, to modify their instruction and to help establish professional development goals.”
Following the assessment, I read a small portion of a Junie B. Jones book to demonstrate how reading a passage following punctuation rules compares to not following punctuation rules. This helped to establish the importance of the punctuation topic we were covering in the lesson, while at the same time building on their previous knowledge because their classroom teacher reads Junie B. Jones often for their read-alouds in class. Building on students’ previous knowledge follows RIPTS 4.2, which states “teachers use their understanding of students (e.g., individual interests, prior learning, cultural background, native language, and experiences) to create connections between the subject matter and student experiences.” In addition to building on students’ previous knowledge through the Junie B. Jones reading, I also introduced the term personification with an example from another book the students love, The Day the Crayons Quit. This example also demonstrates RIPTS 2.4, which states, “teachers engage students in a variety of explanations and multiple representations of concepts, including analogies, metaphors, experiments, demonstrations, and illustrations, that help all students develop conceptual understanding.”
About half-way through my reading of Exclamation Mark, the fire alarm sounded. Students were well trained and knew exactly where to go, how to behave, and came back to the library quietly and ready to resume. The next ten minutes of the teaching video consists of an interactive read-aloud of the rest of the story. Students were asked questions, given opportunities to ask questions of their own, and given multiple opportunities to participate to make the read-aloud interactive and engaging. Creating this engaging experience for students follows RIPTS 6.2 and 8.1 which states, “teachers establish a safe, secure and nurturing learning environment that supports the active engagement of all students” and “teachers use a variety of communication strategies (e.g., listening, restating ideas, questioning, offering, counter examples) to engage students in learning”, respectively.
After reading aloud the book, Exclamation Mark, students completed a worksheet to communicate how they stand out or how they are unique. In the following class, students showed what they learned with a punctuation worksheet and booklet.
This lesson also demonstrates meeting RIPTS 2 because through this lesson students meet RI state standards in learning how to read with expression, based on ending punctuation. In addition, students learn what punctuation to use for different types of sentences to meet their writing standards. Students were fully engaged throughout this lesson by sharing ideas verbally and in drawing during the lesson. Students were also given many analogies to help them fully understand concepts throughout the lesson – punctuation, personification, and celebrating differences.
In assessing my teaching abilities, I am happy with the methods I used to interact with the students to create a warm and positive environment. I am proud of the engaging lesson and information taught. The place I found for most improvement would be after the lesson when students are finished with their work and looking for books. I haven't found the best method for helping students find a book while also checking other students out with their selected book. I will be working on ideas in the future to keep all students thoughtfully busy; therefore, providing less time for misbehavior or boredom while waiting.