After thinking reflectively about the positive feedback and the recommendations you were given in your in-class teaching slice, write a blog (350-400 words approx.) that acknowledges how valuable these are to be taken into account for the second language classroom.

 

Bear in mind that, in order to earn full credit for this blog, your reflection must have been posted by Tuesday, Sept. 29, 11:59pm (if you presented on Thursday, Sept. 24), or by Thursday, Oct. 15, 11:59pm (if your presentation was given on Tuesday, Oct. 13). 

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After teaching my lesson on the past tense in Italian, I found the feedback in which I received from my colleagues to be extremely useful for my future teaching needs. Among all of the feedback, the most useful feedback I received was that about performing some process of assessment. This is important to do frequently throughout the school year in order to determine where each individual student stands. As teachers we need to understand that we will not be able to just simply look at our students and know whether or not our students are effectively and positively learning the language. Formative assessment is useful in that it will prevent the lack of our understanding in where our students excel, and where our students require more attention. It is important to make contact with your students from the beginning to the end of your lessons. Engagement, motivation, flexibility, practice, theory, pace, and presentation (among many more) all play extremely important roles in the second language classroom. One of the recommendations I received included the fact that my teaching slice included a cultural aspect within the activity, but was never mentioned in class. I realize now that I could have stopped the class while they were reading the paragraph, or asked afterwards, if anyone knew who those actors/actresses/singers were in order to address meaning into the work I present to my students. This would my give my students the opportunity to relate and make connections to the cultural content they are exposed to. Lastly, I'd like to add that it is important to speak loudly, clearly, and slowly. This gives students the chance to hear every syllable and sound of every foreign word they are receiving (input). Another recommendation I received after presenting my teaching slice can also have a positive effect for all future teachers in a second language classroom. In order to approach and perform differentiation in our classrooms, we should regularly provide our students with variation and choice when it comes to performing inside the classroom. We can do this, for example, by assigning our students into groups of 3-4, and providing each of the groups with 3-4 different activities and ask them to choose one. By providing choice, we are also creating a positive, accepting and relaxed learning environment for our students. While putting all of these ideas into practice, we can make communicative language teaching happen in our future classrooms. 

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I think that Katherine has a good way of transforming the feedback she received into concrete teaching projects. I like for example the idea to give some space for discussing the cultural knowledge students already have – the know probably Laura Pausini – and maybe go further by showing more cultural aspects. During our EDS classes we heard several times that the new standard demanding cultural content in our foreign language lessons is tricky to achieve. But I feel Katherine and Joseph hold a good project there.

Katherine asked feedback on her way to correct students. She didn't have many opportunities to do so, but in her reflection she mentions the importance of speaking loudly and clearly and to repeat words and sentences in the second language. In my opinion this can be an indirect way of correcting but even more importantly – as she points out in her reflection - it is a good way to show the right prononciation to the students. I liked the way Katherine has done it during her teaching slice and I am sure she will continue in her future as a teacher.

Hi Katherine I thought you did a great job along with your partner. Even though I might have felt lost in the beginning of your lesson by the end of the lesson I understood what you wanted us to accomplish as students. The worksheets that you and Joe gave out were very helpful because not only did it give us the conjugated ending of the verb but as well it gave us an example of what was expected of us to complete and understand. The way you guys implemented culture and used known artists in your reading passages were very helpful because even though I don’t know Italian I understood what the reading passage was talking about. Another thing that I really liked about your presentation was how you came to us individually and ask if we understood and if we didn’t you tried explaining it to us. 

My colleague Katherine and I taught a lesson on the past tense of Italian. Overall, if I were going to critique our own lesson, I would say that Katherine and I did a great job overall. It was a little harder for Katheirne and I to instruct the class in terms of having a barrier in communication, meaning that Katherine and I were the only Italian speakers, with the exception of Claudia of course. The material was intended to be taught in the intermediate low level, so an understanding of Italian, particularly in the present tense, is required. The class was very involved in our lesson and as I am reflecting, I can still say that the class definitely learned something and that they were interested. The word "interested" is important because we are always learning about motivating our students and keeping them interested. This theme is critical in language learning and in the second language classroom. 

The biggest feedback or suggestion that impacted me the most of that of Professor Sullivan's. She suggested that we take into account having some sort of assessment in our lesson. As I was leaving the class that day with Katherine, I was telling her how easy it could have been to collect the activity we gave the class. Whether it is announced that the activity would be collected or not, it gives the instructor a direct view on the student's current status and progress. Claudia also suggested to us that we could have have discussed the theory of building the passato prossimo in class. The students would be capable of writing down how the passato prossimo is built, it would actually be very satisfying for them. This suggestion would be great when teaching and going in depth of the passato prossimo. Positive feedback was all very kind and invaluable. James mentioned how everything in the lesson was connected, throughout the presentation, practice, and production aspect. Kim and Joel mentioned how engaged the class and they were in particular, and how they enjoyed being a part of the lesson, and Sarai mentioned how the pace was just right for the class. All of the suggestions and feedback received play a critical role in the second language classroom. 

I am glad that this lesson was so successful and I look forward to continuing this academic journey for you all. Shout out to Katherine for being the best partner ever!!

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Dear colleague once again I liked your presentation, it was well developed and well  presented actually similar to the past presentations you have done in class but this time I felt you were more comfortable and enthusiastic at the time of presenting. I have to mention that you took over the lesson more than Katherine did. The lesson was engaging us which is a point well earned. The handout was explicit and authentic because it was easy to relate to it. It was written in Italian but hiding some tricks to make the students' life easier. you also used gestures to help the students capture the meaning of what you were saying. I have to say that this lesson was a little complicated but I understand it was a lesson for intermediate low level which is understandable. After all, you and Katherine did a great job together. You will be a great teacher if not a professor. Best lucks

Joe, i loved your presentation. You guys did a great job overall and i really liked how you took your time and your pace was perfect. You did not rush it and i felt that you put a lot of work into this presentation much like your previous presentations last semester. I really enjoyed the fact that when i did not understand something you came over and made sure i understood. You used plenty of hand gestures which is something i love to do as well when i am doing my teaching slice. I also liked the fact on the handout that you gave to us, it explained perfectly what we had to do and the instructions were very clear to me. I was very engaged and that is a big part of teaching. Having students involved and engaged makes learning fun and easier. Overall you guys did a great job and i really do not have any suggestions. Keep up the good work!

A positive feedback I received from my peers based on my teaching slice related to how well I organized the lesson, in terms of in-class work spanning from individual to a group task. In my belief, this technique is one of those we all should bear in mind. Not only does having a lesson well planed help facilitate the teacher move through it smoothly, but it also helps her/him keep track of where s/he left off, in case the lesson was not completed for that specific time frame. Another valuable reason is that not all students tend to do well on their own. To that end, differentiated instruction is highly recommended to be put into practice. Having a diverse way of doing things helps the student see that one knows them somewhat more, which may end up leading to a successful outcome.

 

An instrumental –and triggering– recommendation I received was the inclusion of a adjective bank. In other words, I was recommended to have had a short list of adjectives, which could have been used, in order to go more in depth with the students, for them to appropriately understand the lesson. Thus, they would have received more examples with the table I had up as well. Certainly, it is true that we, i.e., teacher candidates, had a limited amount of time, so I tried to keep it relatively short. There will be days where classes will be cut short and one should try to incorporate as much knowledge into the students. The use of visuals might have been useful, in order to have the student associate the word with the image. This was another recommendation I received. It is likely that the students may have comprehended the lesson better even if it had been brief. This helped me realize that it is not a negative aspect to have a little extra on one’s lesson, e.g., as a backup, if plan A does not work, one can move on to plan B –the aforementioned use of images. I believe that it is better to have that extra effort from one’s part.

 

Lastly, I firmly acknowledge that everyone is subjected to make errors, not matter how novice or experienced the teacher may be. However, only when one learns from one’s mistakes and accepts critiques, it will only benefit one in the long run. In my humble opinion, there is no perfect way to teach or even a perfect teacher, but what counts is how one deals with the received recommendations. One can always improve one’s lessons by tweaking them based on students’ needs. One may even add things that will be more helpful or remove those that do not belong there, simply because one has seen no benefit for her/his students.

 

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Dear colleague, you did a good job when teaching the class. Your pace was good and you used a lot of hand gestures at the time of teaching/talking which was good for us especially for Katherine,Joe and Claudia who are not native speakers. I have to mention that your power point presentation was lack of images which in my opinion they are very important because showing images makes it easy for the students plus they will provoke the students to be interest in your lesson. The handout you distributed to the students was interesting but there was a little issue with it, try to make sure that there are not orthographic errors before you print it out because it is important to teach essentially. After all you presentation was great you and your partner shared the lesson but for the next time try to do less writing and use more images that applies to culture. Best lucks

 

Receiving feedback is the only way to know the areas where you can fix your mistakes. I appreciate all feedback because I know that it is isn’t meant to hurt or intimidate me but instead to help me improve at something. The constructive criticism that I received for the in-class teaching slice will help me get better for future presentations that are to come. I really like that the simplicity of my presentation was acknowledged because in order for a class to be functional, everything must be clear and precise. Something that should be taken into account is the pace of how we carry out our presentations to our students. If we speed through the streets of New York without stopping at a red light, we could easily hurt a pedestrian. The same can happen if we speed through a lesson and instruction given to our students. Students will miss out on the good information given and will become disengaged. Especially when teaching a second language classroom, it is only right to have extra patience and enthusiasm to help someone learn a new language. Teachers demonstrate that they are zealous in what they do by giving their all to help increase the knowledge of the students. In “How to differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms” by Carol Ann Thomson, it mentions that engagement is nonnegotiable for teaching and learning. It also mentions that students who are offered engaging ways to learn, perform better and have better overall and successful results. Feedback is crucial for in-class presentations and will also affect how I unravel a lesson and activities to a future class. Teaching is filled with lots of surprises on how to help all children acquire a second language. As a future teacher I want to be molded into the role model that students will look up to and thank for helping them learn something new. By receiving all of this valuable feedback and works relating to how to plan lessons based on differentiated instruction, it will be easier to understand how to efficiently engage students. Learning culture is highly important, especially living in such a diverse city. Integrative motivation is one of my ultimate goals. My goal is to engage students and welcome their ideas, thoughts and interests to the table to make many years of adventures of learning and growing. Receiving feedback will allow me to grow and help others grow as well.

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James and Sarai teaching slide made me reflect that a task should be partial for all the students according with the necessities of each one. This process let me understood how important is to accommodate students. As a Spanish teacher of a second language we have to use many different tools to help students learn better. The teaching slide you both had was instructional and meet the educational standers that we are learning. Given students the opportunity to participate in class motivated students, I was able to notice this because students become part of the learning process. Therefore I believe that committing every student to take part in the discussion will empower them to be motivated in learning a second language. Basically motivating the students is the main road to achieve the language. For example, Sarai mentioned that assessing different instruction for different students will be easy to understanding and engaging the students. By giving students the option to express their feeling about particular opinion on how students perceive the world. Certainly this will let L2 learners think and express their interest and we as teachers can take part by implementing the right tools. The main point is to create a comfortable atmosphere where everybody can learn.

 

The feedback and the recommendations that I received from my colleagues helped me recognize new ways of teaching. One of the suggestions that I received from my colleagues was that the last activity performed was fun but too easy to complete. My colleague’s comments made me realize that the activities should be a bit more challenging for students and should be according to their language level. Other recommendations that I received from Professor Sullivan is to assess L2 students. I will follow her recommendation because I believe that by assessing L2 students I could be more aware if L2 students have actually acquired and processed the information presented during the lesson. Assessing students’ needs prior to implementing my lesson is also a suggestion that I received. I believe this strategy will work perfectly in my next lesson because by pre-assessing the needs of students I would have a clear idea of their language levels and the topics that need to be emphasized and how to approach them.  My colleagues also recommended the use of more differentiation instructions. I acknowledge using more differentiation instructions during the lesson provides all students with the same opportunity to retain the information even if it is presented in different approaches. The more Differentiation Instructions I use in a classroom the more opportunities students will have to acquire information and also to present what they have learned.

From my colleagues feedback I recognize that having an engaging activity helps the students process the information they have obtained during the lesson. The colleagues comments made me acknowledge that activities during the lesson should be engaging and also should help students practice what they have learned during the lesson and prior to the lesson. The feedback also helps me acknowledge that students learn from a teacher that does not speak fast. This time I spoke clearly and a slower pace and my colleagues seemed to understand me better and acquired more information than when I speak fast. Another thing that I learned from the feedback was that a teacher needs to connect with the students so things can flow smoothly in the classroom so that students feel comfortable when asking questions and participating.

Hi Janeth, i really loved the fact that you were very enthusiastic about your teaching slice. You guys were so engaging and made the lesson really fun. I really liked that you guys had plenty of activities and you guys were going back and forth making sure we understood the lesson. I may sound redundant but i had bad experiences in high school and it is why i always say i love when teachers or our colleagues make sure we understand the lesson. You also did a great job when you were speaking. You took your time and as i mentioned in class, last semester you would just run through the whole lesson. This time around you took your time and it is great for second language learners. I also liked how you were very organized and you pointed out every single important detail from the lesson. Overall, good job i really enjoyed your lesson.

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