1st Grade Group Project Reflection
Writing the benchmarks for first grade was a lot different than writing the ones for preschool. I felt that the first grade benchmarks were harder to nail down specifics with. At ages six and seven, the developmental benchmarks felt more fluid and open to interpretation since development is so individual to each student. It was especially tricky because the Bergin textbook hardly specifies between the grades and usually just clumps first grade with middle childhood, ages 6-12, which can leave information up for personal and group interpretation.
I thought that the video observation was very beneficial because the videos were compiled with information that the editor thought would specifically important to viewers. They were able to cut out lulls in the day and incorporate teacher interpretation, so that the viewers know what the objective is. The videos also allowed us to see a variety of different classroom and teaching techniques in the short 45 minutes. On the other hand, I did see a benefits of watching a single classroom for the 45 minutes in one sitting. With that way, you are able to see the class’s dynamics a bit more and get a sense of how the whole day would go. You also get to see multiple activities and transitions within the same class, which is beneficial when you are thinking about your future classroom application. Overall, I think I prefer the online videos because you are able to see the best of the best and have teacher clarification, but I see the benefits of both observations.
The observations helped me see the benchmarks in action by building off of what we already know about child development. If you just tell me to think of a grade, I can vaguely picture children about that age, but until you observe a classroom full of them, it is very difficult to gage which developmental stages they are at. One of our physical benchmarks talked about their gross motor control, and with the dance video especially, it was helpful to see how these first graders are able to have more control with their gross motor skills.
I can implement the information gained from this section by using these PowerPoints and benchmarks to give me a good idea of the age and capabilities of my students. This section was actually perfect because I do plan on working with first grade. Looking through the core curriculum and finding out what these students do throughout the year helped me get a sense of my future role in the classroom. If I am able to get a position with first grade, I plan on using these PowerPoints for parent nights because they are truly valuable resources. I’m excited to share our hard work.
Creating the 1st grade PowerPoint was different than creating the preschool PowerPoint because I felt like we were able to shift from learning to make a PowerPoint to making a PowerPoint to learn. We were able to spend less time on formatting the information and more time putting our thoughts onto the slides. I thought that presenting to another group was helpful and allowed us to flush out our ideas quickly with a lot of great feedback. It was especially helpful to present to a group before we had already set our activity in stone, but honestly, I would have rather skipped presenting altogether, so that we could have more group time. If anything, I think one day for presentations towards the beginning of the unit would be enough for us to discuss both sections of the PowerPoint.
This second go around was much smoother. I felt that we knew what to do and what your expectations of us were. Our biggest problem was time; we just needed more time to finish collaborating on each slide, but since your instructions were clear, we were able to divvy up our unfinished PowerPoint slides and find time to review everyone’s work. There really isn’t anything that I feel needed more clarification, since we had already gone through the first PowerPoint and had the rubric and assignment pulled up the whole time, we felt very confident going forth with this unit and hopefully that shows through our work.