## Reflection

Teaching this lesson reminded me of the importance of modeling tasks for students. I can explain instructions over and over, but for children, the clearest way to teach the procedure for a task is to show it to them. I am thankful that my students brought their confusion over activity three to my attention, but I cannot rely on always having a student who will tell me when my instructions are confusing. I modeled activity one, and even though the students had never seen dot cards before, because I modeled the procedure in addition to explaining verbally, they knew what to do without hesitation or confusion.

Another take-away for me from this lesson is the importance of scaffolding. When I planned the lesson, I didn’t even notice that I had planned activities that built on each other so directly and sequentially. My Penn Mentor pointed it out to me, though, and I think that the sequence of activities was one of the main reasons my lesson was so strong. Especially thinking of students like Aoife, who need a little extra time and practice, I need to be mindful of what activities I plan and in which order. I would like to be more intentional in my planning to make sure what I plan is based on my students’ prior knowledge and allows enough practice and progression for students to be successful in mastering the content.

Something my Penn Mentor commented on, which I also observed in the other small group lessons I taught, is that I need to work on how I end lessons. I tend to finish the final activity and then send the students back to class rather than saying something to wrap up the lesson. Moving forward, this would be a good way to focus on a specific pedagogical goal that relates to discourse: to learn to use discourse to summarize, conclude, and transition lessons effectively so that students are left with as much “residue” as possible.

Another pedagogical goal that I would like to think about and begin to implement in my practice is incorporating number talks and other strategy-sharing activities in a whole-class environment. In a group of four students, it’s easy to give each student a chance to articulate his strategy for every problem, but in a class of 18 or 24, time becomes a constraining factor. I would like to investigate how different pedagogical techniques (like whip-around and think-pair-share) can create the same supportive environment that encourages independent thinking, confidence-building, and content mastery that I was able to establish in my small group.

Another take-away for me from this lesson is the importance of scaffolding. When I planned the lesson, I didn’t even notice that I had planned activities that built on each other so directly and sequentially. My Penn Mentor pointed it out to me, though, and I think that the sequence of activities was one of the main reasons my lesson was so strong. Especially thinking of students like Aoife, who need a little extra time and practice, I need to be mindful of what activities I plan and in which order. I would like to be more intentional in my planning to make sure what I plan is based on my students’ prior knowledge and allows enough practice and progression for students to be successful in mastering the content.

Something my Penn Mentor commented on, which I also observed in the other small group lessons I taught, is that I need to work on how I end lessons. I tend to finish the final activity and then send the students back to class rather than saying something to wrap up the lesson. Moving forward, this would be a good way to focus on a specific pedagogical goal that relates to discourse: to learn to use discourse to summarize, conclude, and transition lessons effectively so that students are left with as much “residue” as possible.

Another pedagogical goal that I would like to think about and begin to implement in my practice is incorporating number talks and other strategy-sharing activities in a whole-class environment. In a group of four students, it’s easy to give each student a chance to articulate his strategy for every problem, but in a class of 18 or 24, time becomes a constraining factor. I would like to investigate how different pedagogical techniques (like whip-around and think-pair-share) can create the same supportive environment that encourages independent thinking, confidence-building, and content mastery that I was able to establish in my small group.