In Showers & Joyce’s (1996) words, “when two teachers observe each other, the one teaching is the coach and the one observing is the coached” (15). After watching your peer’s teaching slice at CSI, think reflectively about her/his performance and provide her/him with some positive feedback as well as recommendations, which may help her/him refine her/his teaching practice. Your contribution should be approximately 350-400 words long.

 

Bear in mind that, in order to earn full credit for this blog, your reflection must have been posted by Tuesday, October 20, 11:59pm. 

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Peer Coach Teaching Slice at CSI 

Kimberly teaching slice at CSI. My colleague did an excellent job in teaching. She was very acknowledge of what she was teaching. She started by given instructions to students and  explaining to them the objectives. She talked about how to use the verb "to be", the ” articulos definidos” the ” articulos indefinidos" and she also talked about the “ substantivos”.  At the beginning of the class she mention that she is going to be filming and asked students if they agree with that issue. After that I was listening to her she was clear in giving instructions and self-confident. She spoke slowly with the right voice tone. I saw students taking notes as well working in the assignments.   She also brought  to the class many examples of how to connect the words to the lesson. Kimberly most of the time was using the target language with the students. She also used the Blackboard a lot. This  types of classroom activities is something that I would like to incorporate in the future. At the Blackboard we can explain a large part of the assignments, students can participate and teachers can use many examples as in any other electronic device.   After words I asked Kimberly about how did she felt presenting her teaching slice. She told me that she was nervous but I did not notice. I noticed that the students were a little surprise because Kimberly looked so young. Moreover, I would like to ask her why did she said please to the students to participate in class  when she had all the control of the classroom. That little aspect let me think that she was not sure of having the control of the class?. I have another question to her, why did she just had a ponytail on her hair at the time of her teaching slice. Even though when she comes to class she does combs her hair in a nice style. At my observations in High school, I can see the teachers to dress nicely most of them used makeup and their hair combing down. I had not seen yet, some teacher in a ponytailAfter all Kimberly was excellent in presenting her teaching slice.   

 

  

First of all, I want to congratulate Sarai Herreros on her teaching slice: it was great! In my role as the “coached” –as defined by Showers and Joyce (1996) (cited in Sullivan & Glanz, 2013)–, the present reflection attempts to provide Sarai with feedback on aspects concerning culture, clarification, and assessment.

Focusing on “culture”, one of the five C’s based on ACTFL Standards for foreign language learning in the 21st century, she could have incorporated some images of the locations (Madrid, Barcelona) for those students who do not know where it is located and or how it looks. Therefore, as she went through the reading, she could have drawn the student’s attention at the end to show them the places about which the paragraph was talking. Another theme that would have intertwine perfectly with the paragraph and visuals provided would have been to compare the communities and making the connections, for instance, between Chinatown in the US and el barrio chino in Barcelona (Chinatown). Generally, students stereotype it just as they do in the US (e.g., “That is where all the Chinese people live”) and, as we know, this is not the case.

Likewise, it relates with the two areas into which “culture” has been divided for decades: “Big C” and “Little c”. While the former one is related to arts, literature, music, history, the latter one, however, is associated with the daily life culture, i.e., anthropological and sociological aspects, e.g., social behavior, beliefs, housing, food, and transportation (Shrum & Glisan, 2016). That is, we all learned, at least, some "Big C" culture in our language classes: Who are the great writers, artists, and musicians? What are the lasting, famous works of art, music, and literature? What are the great moments in this culture’s history? However, as far as “Little c” knowledge is concerned, things such as the features of daily life, popular culture, and social mores tend to be less evident. To this respect, the “Big C” would be the stereotyping of people, believing Chinatown in Barcelona is like the US where all the Chinese people live. Conversely, the “Little c” represents what few people know about Chinatown in Barcelona: the representation of a different identity in a European country.

Secondly, her pre-assessment when reading the activity was well implemented, since it allowed students to use the verb estar without them relying on a table. Through contextualized grammar, they figured that the verb had to be conjugated according to the person about whom they were talking (Lee & VanPatten, 2003). They seemed to do just fine with that later on; she went forward to presenting the table and explaining the usage of it, which further expanded their knowledge on how to use the verb whether they are expressing an emotion or a location.

Lastly, another way to have this clarified would have been to use gestures, images to relate to what she was trying to express (Thompson, 2013). I noticed she switched back into the L1, which caused her to start using translation: an obsolete teaching technique that, as we have studied, should be avoided when/if possible. When she told them that she was going to do the first fill in the blank with them was a perfect way to clarify as long as she would have kept it in the TL. In other words, paraphrase the direction and or use cognates would cause them to relate and connect words together in order to figure out what she asks them to do.

 

References:

Lee, J., and B. VanPatten. (2003). Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen (2nd Edition). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Shrum, J. L., and E. Glisan. (2016). Teacher’s Handbook: Contextualized Language Instruction (4th Edition). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.

Sullivan, S., and J. Glanz. (2013). Supervision that Improves Teaching and Learning (4th Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Thompson, J. G. (2013). The First-Year Teacher’s Survival Guide (3rd Edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Reflection on Peer’s Performance: James Lopez

   Peer coaching is when two teachers observe each other critically and each give each other feedback on where to improve and areas to gratify. Based on James's performance in a CSI classroom, for a first timer he did a great job. Nerves are very natural but the way that he unraveled himself and took control of the class was fantastic. James showed confidence with what he presented an as a personal opinion, I believe that it is very important to be comfortable with what you’re saying, especially to a class. Pace is something to keep into account because we don't want to lose our students' focus.

   This is all a huge process of learning and throughout the course every assignment will significantly improve. As far as time management, as a suggestion, I would be more aware of the time. Sure, it isn’t bad to distribute all of the time to the students but in order to keep track of your activities and lesson, it is important to make sure your timing is taken into account. As previously learned throughout the course, time is one of the major aspects to manage. You don’t want to go over time as well as not spend enough time. With due practice you will learn to find ways to time manage yourself.

   As far as class management and how you conducted the class, I think it went well. However, I would suggest using English for clarification in order to make sure that students are completely sure of what they’re hearing. Sometimes students agree without knowing and won’t admit to something not being clear. Although I must add, using the target language is an efficient way to get your students used to the language. You incorporated the target language and aimed for the students to get used to the language. None the less, you don’t want to lose your students or frustrate them by not clearing something up for them. As mentioned in chapter 5 in the reading by Sullivan and Glanz, improving school culture is important. I would recommend for future references that you include something cultural, perhaps incorporate a topic to something related to another country and so forth.

   I definitely did see lots of interaction which is very obvious throughout your video. I really liked that you went to the students when they were unsure of something to help them. Something that would have definitely helped is if you used more clarification in English. The class participated throughout the entire presentation. You had the students engage by having them help you read what you presented from the start. This keeps the students aware and they all focused on the material that you were presenting to them Overall you did a great job and I’m looking forward to see your future presentations in middle school and high school.

Janet Puma, my college for this teaching slice project, asked me to watch her video and to focus in how fast she spoke during the presentation as well as how could she incorporate culture in her lesson. I will start by saying that I was able to hear Janet loud and clear. This is great because there were times when she was helping some students, and she spoke in a way that if anyone around her was having the same problem they would be able to solve it without even asking her for help. There were time during the presentation in which she spoke too fast. She has to be careful, because in order for the students to do well in the practice and production of the lesson. I also felt that the video she showed was a great idea, but I felt that voice in the video spoke really fast, and not just that, he also had a different accent, that could make the understanding a little bit harder for the students if they are not used to hear different accent or pronunciations.
I am not totally against the video she used because I believe that the video was an indirect way to introduce culture. What she did was to expose or to introduce the students into the linguistic diversity that exists in the Spanish language. By doing these we will be strengthening the linguistic competence of our students, which will help them to improve their interaction with the Hispanic community that surrounds them. Since Janet use "vámonos de compras" as the class' hook, I think that another great way that she could have introduced culture in this lesson is by showing the students outfits or clothes that Hispanic people usually wear. She could have added an activity in which the student would have to compare and contrast the cloths there were wearing using the demonstrative adjective with the one people in Ecuador or Puerto Rico wear. By doing this, I have the feeling that the students will be able to learn how much influence the Hispanic culture have in the way the dress and that they are not too much different as the probably think they are.

Peer Coach – Joel Peña Teaching Slice Feedback

            I thought Joel did an amazing job throughout his teaching slice. Joel had asked me to focus on his pace within the lesson, was it clear when understanding the lesson and were the instructions straight forward. While watching Joel’s video I did notice his timing was at a good pace. I think his lesson was pretty straight forward and he took enough time to go over the student’s answers. What I really liked about Joel’s lesson was that after every response he received from the students he asked why they chose that answer. I believe asking students why they chose those answers can help a teacher verify if the student is understanding the lesson. Another thing that I believe Joel did great was when he asked the class to raise their hands when answering. Everyone had shouted out an answer but he emphasized on them raising their hands which should that he took control of the classroom. I like how he was stopping every now and then and asking if the students understood. When he assigned the group work I like how he was interacting with the students and helped each one individually.

            In the beginning of his lesson Joel starts to introduce what is difference between la regla and las reglas, one student mentions that it’s because it’s feminine which can be one possible answer. However, if you see the pictures of the slide show you can see how it’s differentiating if it’s singular and plural. This could have been something that my peer Joel should have mention to the students so they wouldn’t get confused. Also one of the students mentions his going a little too fast when explaining what was on the smart board. I believe Joel’s pace throughout the activity was good. However, I think in the beginning of teaching our lessons we all tend to get nervous and rush things quickly. Also when explaining the reason why las ciudades was feminine and plural it had become a little confusing to understand. Overall I think Joel did an amazing job when teaching his lesson. He seemed to have control of the class and asked them frequently if they were understanding by using hand gestures. 

CSI Teaching Slice Peer Coaching
​Reflecting and giving feedback on my colleague's teaching slice helps me and her see errors as well as good aspects of her presentation for later as future instructors. Eulalia García is the coach in this case because she was the one teaching and I am the coached because I was the one observing her. García's lesson was about culture, she had to teach what was in the textbook and use the activities from it but she couldn't do it all. She did not teach about culture instead she asked the class if they knew any famous writer so that they can compare it to a writer from her country. The students were a little lost because she was talking in the target language too fast. She got stuck to one activity for a long time but the students were participating even though they were guiding themselves from the book. Her pace of speaking in the target language was a little fast. She used a variety of activities which is good for the students to perceive the point of the lesson that was culture. At some point she said something wrong but she corrected it right away which is error correction. She taught the class for thirty minutes that were effective. The explanations were not so clarify but she used examples as a hook for the students to understand what she was talking about. Two out of the 5Cs were part of García's lesson, Communication; standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. Cultures; standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied.

Jose, after seining your CSI video a couple of time I could tell you that overall the entire lesson went pretty well and it had coherence. The time management and the oral communication were well presented. One of the things that I will suggest to you is to work on your feedback.

            The time management was great, you made sure that everyone had enough time to work on the activities and also that you had time to work with the students one on one. Student had enough time to work on the activity and ask question or doubts that they had. The pace of your oral communication was good you did not speak too fast and or too slow. Although the pace of your communication was good, I think that by articulating the information in a simple way it could have helped clarify the students concerns.

            One of the things that I think you could work more on is the way you give your feedback. Most of the time that you provided feedback you did it by using clarification and I think that was great. But at some point the feedback wasn’t really a feedback it was shown more as translation. One of the ways that I think you could fix this is by using synonyms to simplify the information instead of translating. Another way you could explain the use of the word and when and how to use it either in English or Spanish. For example, instead of translating “Quién” to English you could explain that the word is used when asking a question about a person so that the student knows when and how to use it.

            I enjoyed watching your lesson and as I said before overall the lesson was great just next time, work on the way you give feedback. I had learned a lot of things during your video and I will use them in my next lesson. 

Sindy, after watching your CSI teaching slice video several times I can say that overall you did a good job. Your lesson made sense and you did good trying to explain the lesson to the students when they had difficulty understanding. There was one thing that concerned me just a bit. I believe if you work on communicating and interacting with students a bit more, they would be more engaged in the lesson.
​On the other hand, you actually projected yourself really good which was impressive. I think you were loud enough, the students seemed like they were listening and did not have any type of trouble in that aspect. The pace of your lesson was really good as well; you did not rush into anything, which is very important. When a student had a question or had trouble you would explain to them what you were trying to convey. Your oral communication was good as I mentioned before and everything seemed smooth. I also liked how you used the blackboard and that is a good technique when you’re going over activities with the class.
​In contrast, what I will suggest for next time is to maybe have the students work in pairs. Maybe move a round a bit more as well and walk around the classroom to make sure that the students are interacting with each other when pairing them up. At times I saw that students were a bit lost and I think that if you were to ask them questions or walk around to work with them, they might have understood beyond. I believe that if you work with the students and pair them up, they’ll feed off each other and they’ll focus a lot more. That is what I would really suggest to you, just walk around more and ask questions so you can realize if they truly understand or if they have any sort of trouble with the lesson being taught. But as I mentioned before, overall I believe that your lesson was good and you projected yourself pretty well.

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