As seen in our previously created video, our lesson for Eshleman was based on the seasons. Our main question that we created our activity around was “Why do the seasons change and how do we adapt?” We then explained a poster board to the students and then had them participate in a Summer verse Winter relay race. The students were asked to put all of their seasons’ clothes on and then race around the table twice. After we conducted this activity, here were our feelings about it:
I believe our activity was a unique experience for each child. Some students were focused on the lesson, while other students just wanted to do the activity. A few students did not want to do the relay race at all, and would rather watch. Overall, students enjoyed dressing up and having to race around to win. Throughout each activity, modifications were applied to each round. The first group was hectic, and many students were confused. We even had a few students not properly wearing the clothing, which resulted in them falling. Many students were bored by the lesson and did not pay attention. Therefore, we had to shorten up the lesson, and spend more time on explaining the directions to the students. After a few groups, we even had demonstrators so the students could physically watch what they had to do. These modifications helped speed things along, while allowing the students to fully understand the activity. By the time we had our last few groups, we all got it down pat and perfected as much as possible. If we would do this again, I would have questions lined up to ask the students, and/or have longer or additional activities, because we ran out of things to do towards the end of the time. Otherwise, I believe it went great. I was proud of the way the students were excited about the activity, and participated to the best of their abilities. The students were also kind to one another, and did not become frustrated at slower students.
Observations: The children seemed engaged in the beginning, and were engaged during the relay race. However, they were not very engaged during the poster presentation.
Reflection: Over all the center went over pretty well, we were able to determine what the students knew about the seasons, and then teach them what they didn’t. At first we just jumped into the poster presentation, but the students weren’t very engaged. WE then decided to add an introduction, with questions, to decipher what they knew and peak their interest. It opened up a discussion for them. No matter what we did with the poster presentation, that was where the students lost interest. Next time we could figure out a more interesting way to present the information. The relay race was a hit with the students, but it did not go well at first. The students were not completely putting on the clothes (which was causing them to fall), and they didn’t understand the relay part. We then started demonstrating the relay, and helped the students put the clothes the whole way on. This helped a lot, and the students were a lot more successful in the relay.
Advice – Make sure to carefully facilitate, athletic activities.
Questions- Does anyone have any ideas of how to present the poster information better?
I believe that our group did a very good job working together to make our time at Eshleman as rewarding and fun for the students as possible. Our topic was fun for us and the kids, as well as the relay race. Our group was adequately prepared for the extra time with coloring pages and stickers to hand out at the end. If I were to to do this again, I believe that making our group smaller would be beneficial. I think five was a little excessive, and caused at least one person to be standing around at one point. Not from the fault of the people, but we were doing the job of two or three people with five. Our activity was also really fun, however we had two students fall and hurt themselves, so if I were to do it again, I would have them run in a straight line or, as we eventually did, have one person on “lookout” so they could catch them around the tight bend. Miranda and I did a demonstration of the race, and that was a highlight watching the kids laugh at us and thenfiguring out how to do the activity themselves. I am proud that during the reflection time with all the students, our lesson on the seasons and our activity were mentioned twice! Our group did a lot of modification from the first round. We added an intro, shortened the “lesson”, added a demonstration of the race, took out some of the pieces of clothing they could choose from, took out the long scarf they kept falling over, had them sit after taking their turn, and so much more. I decided half way through that it was more effective for me to sit with the kids to help them put on certain pieces of clothing, remind them who goes next, and when to sit. Doing this made everything go smoother. Overall, the time at Eshleman was a great reminder of what I’m working toward!
Honestly, I don’t think that much of anything needs to be changed if we would do it again. I mean, the book I chose was too young for them but that was only our back up plan so that didn’t really matter. One thing that I didn’t realize until about halfway through the groups is that my poster was kind of confusing. As the earth orbits around the sun it is also spinning and that’s how the different hemispheres get sun in different seasons. However, the way the poster was created made it seem as though the same hemisphere was getting sun in both winter and summer, which makes no sense. I did orally point out how the hemispheres are different to each group and only one child mentioned that it looked like the sun was in the same hemisphere for both seasons. In order for them to understand this concept more thoroughly I would have had them spin around in a circle each time I explained a season. I think this would have made the lesson more memorable. Overall, I’m extremely proud of our group. All of our group members brought what they were supposed to bring and everybody did their part during the presentation. I really liked that we had a poster as a visual representation of what we were teaching them about. I also really enjoyed the relay race because I liked that the kids could get up and move. I thought that it was really cool that a bunch of the kids mentioned the relay race at the end of the experience when they were asked what they liked. Two main things changed after the first time. The first thing that changed was my explanation of the poster. I talked for too long and went into too many details for their age group. Also, on the first try I didn’t let the kids put the suns up, I did it myself. With every other group I made my explanation a lot shorter and I chose kids to put the suns up as I was talking about each season. The other thing that was different during the first try was the way that they relay race went. We didn’t explain it well the first time and the kids weren’t actually putting the clothes on. They were putting the items either on top of their heads or just carrying them and it just totally ruined the fun of the race. With every other group we had Joanna and Miranda show the kids an example of what they were supposed to do and we explained it better. By the time we got to the last group we had everything running pretty smoothly. The poster and accompanying explanation was going well. The relay race was being run properly and everyone was loving it. We even figured out what questions to ask the students for the last couple of minutes so that we could avoid awkward silences. We would ask them their favorite seasons, what activities we do in each season, what season we’re in now, and if they were going trick or treating. I was really happy with how smoothly things were going by the end. It didn’t feel awkward anymore like it did for most of the groups. It felt like it ended just as soon as we got the hang of it. The only question that kept emerging was, “What does the weather feel like in different seasons?”
Overall, I am extremely proud of my group for the work that they had put in to make our lesson at Eshleman run as smoothly as possible. When we first got there, we moved the table that we were originally given and turned it into a bench. This would be the item that the students ran around during their relay race. We then hung up our poster board for our presentation on the wall. As the first group was with us, we had instantly learned of modifications that we had to make. For instance, the students had began to lose interest during the presentation, we realized that we did not explain the relay race as well as we could have because we had students not putting the clothing on correctly which resulting in them tripping and falling. As each group came and went, we quickly made changes like, shortening our presentation to keep the students engaged, allowing them to manipulate the pieces of our board, modeling how to properly put the clothes on, physically demonstrating the relay race for them. These modifications seemed to help improve each round so that by the time we were on our last group, we had perfected our lesson so that there were no issues. Along with our presentation and the relay race, we also had season themed stickers and all four seasons coloring pages. I thought this activity went very well and I really liked how my group members came together to make the modifications that had to be created in order to make this activity run smoothly.
As a group, I think we can all agree that our idea of using the four seasons and the question “what causes the seasons to change and how do we adapt” was a very unique and engaging subject to teach our students. Before we got to Eshelman, we felt very prepared and excited to work with our students. We all had the items that we were going to bring. Once we got to Eshleman, setting up was very easy and everyone worked together in preparation for the students to get there. Once the students were there and we had had our first run through with the first group, we were able to see the changes that needed to be made, and then we changed them immediately, and as each group came through, our presentation got cleaner. As a group, we all worked very well together to put together, modify, and execute our lesson at Eshelman.