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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lab 1: A "Special" Reflection

My first lab caught me a bit off guard.  For one, none of my fellow group members could make it, so it was just me and our lab assistant Matt.  I was then expecting to work in some way with the kids right away, however, this was not the case.  Matt and I were assigned to the "Special Projects" group of the lab in which we were assigned the task of creating a video, as well as a step by step word document with pictures, on how to properly hook up and disassemble the music equipment.  Usually the special projects group also performs the closing song with all the kids, but it being the first day we were told that that was already being done by someone else.  Instead, took pictures of my fellow classmates working and interacting with the students for the rest of the class.  At first I was kid of bummed I would not be gaining any teacher experience first hand, but I quickly came to the realization that this can be just as important.  

A malfunction in the classroom can go a long way in disrupting and losing your class.  While the class sits and waits for you to figure out what is wrong with the music that is essential to your lesson plan, they become anxious, less obedient, and often quite rambunctious.  This has happened many a time while I have been a student and its not as thought the children are being restless and loud to be deviant, they simply are bursting with energy and want a chance to run around for what is likely the only time throughout the day. So doing things such as having step by step directions or an instructional video ready and available to fellow classmates, or colleagues in the future is a great way to assure things run quickly and smoothly so the fun can begin for your class. 

While taking pictures of my classmates working with the students it gave me a good idea of what works and does not work when trying to instruct students.  Seeing others succeed, or fail at first and adapt to the students was very beneficial and offered me a lot of information on how to be successful when it is my turn to teach.  It was clear to see that the younger the students are, the shorter their attention span is so short, concise instructions are key when explaining games.  It was also clear that pre-K students can not handle a full version of the cotton-eyed-Joe dance, but a simpler version would be very fun for them.

All in all it was a great first experience to lab.

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