Paul Grinups


Reflection on “Lite” Lesson

For my Lite lesson, I decided to present my lesson on the rebuilding process of Japan and Europe after World War II.  I presented the lesson in front of my cohort group and it lasted for forty minutes.  For my student teaching assignment in the Spring 2012, I will be teaching and planning for two units.  The first being the Cold War Unit and the second being the Civil Rights unit.  I will be teaching 7th graders at Shawsville Middle School US History.  This lesson plan would fit into the Cold War unit.

Initial Overview

As I address above, the lesson that I taught to my cohort group and it was about the rebuilding process of Japan and Europe after World War II.  In this lesson I went on to give an overview on how Japan and Europe was rebuilt after World War II.  First, I had a matching exercise that reviewed how World War II ended.  This is a good review tool because it sets up the Cold War perfectly.

I started with a Just do it, which addressed the nature of the Cold War overall non-violence aspect.  After I went over their answers and tied it to the Cold War by setting an overview of this event.  I did so by explaining that if the USA and USSR didn’t prevent a fight with each other, then a nuclear war would happen.

After this exercise I showed my cohort what the SWBATs were and what was the Big Question was for the lesson.

I then went into my lesson by explaining what is the difference between a hot war and cold war.  After they had an understanding of that, I started talking about how Japan was rebuilt.  In this part of the lesson, I pointed out what happened to Japan after World War II, during the rebuilding process of Japan, and after the process was complete.

After this, I had a slide addressing if the students understand what they learned.  This is a good tool to make the students realize that the Japan part is over and we are moving on to another topic.

I then moved onto how Europe was rebuilt.  I showed a map illustrating what Europe looked like post World War II and the division between the east and west.   Also I made my students focus on the city of Berlin, and I explained that the city was also divided.

I then focused my students onto the Eastern Bloc or Communist part of Europe.  I explained how they became communist and what their government was like.

I then went on to explain how Western Europe was rebuilt.  I explained the Marshall Plan and the importance of it.  I had a slide of information and a map as well.  The map shows the amount of money what the USA gave to each country.  I also went into explaining what the Berlin Airlift was too.  Both were vital for communism to not spread throughout Europe.

After lecturing about the Berlin Airlift, I went on to show a video about the event.  It was footage of the Berlin Airlift for the 1940s.  After this I concluded with the lecture the students did their exit slip.  On the exit slip the students were asked to: describe the Berlin Airlift and Marshall Plan.   After that was collected, the students worked on a Cold War Map activity.

If they didn’t finish the map, it was for homework.  This concluded my lesson.

My lesson main goals were to have my cohort group understand how Japan and Europe was rebuilt after World War 2.  This is important to understand for the Cold War, World War II, and common knowledge.  It was also on the SOLs for Virginia.

I made this lesson meaningful and relevant in many ways.  The Just Do It focused on the students to think about their lives and apply it to class.  I then bridged the Cold War into their answer.  I used many interesting pictures to show visual images of the rebuilding process.  The video also appeals to students because it is a different source of information and learning.  The map activity focused the students to understand the division of Europe and how the rebuilding process affected it.

My guiding question was: How did the rebuilding of Europe and Japan increase the tensions for the Cold War?, my objectives were: Obj 1-What was the process of the rebuilding of Japan? Obj 2-What events were significant in terms of rebuilding Europe after WWII?  Obj 3-How did the rebuilding of Europe set the stage for the Cold War?  My assessments were: Obj 1 and 2- Notes, Questions, Discussions, Hands of Understanding.  Obj 3-Map, Notes, Questions, Discussions, Hands of Understanding.

Reactions After

Overall I had a good feeling about the lesson after I completed it.  I think my lesson followed my lesson plan perfectly and I didn’t run into any problems with that.  I plan accordingly with time so I finished my lesson by handing out the homework, which was planned.  When looking at my objectives I know I hit everyone of them.  I talked about the rebuilding process of Japan, I discussed how Europe was rebuilt, and I showed maps and video of how the rebuilding of Europe set the stage for the Cold War.  In terms of organization my lesson I think it went well.  My lesson seemed to flow well and was well organized.  I had my PowerPoint, video, and worksheets ready to go in a timely manner.  My objectives were cleared and were listed on my PowerPoint as well as the big question.

The one area where I lacked was saying my SOLs and NCSS themes.  I did not do it in my lesson.  In my actual teaching I have not done it either.  All though, in my actual teaching, I have followed Mr. Rezac’s theme of have an SOL checklist.  At the end of each lesson I have my students check off what we learned today on a SOL checklist that they have throughout the whole year.  This seems to be effective and is done routinely.  I should have done this when I taught my lesson with my cohort.

My lesson encouraged student involvement a lot.  First my Just Do It encouraged my cohort group to share their stories to the class.  Throughout my lessons I asked my classmates questions and called on them randomly.  I asked them about their prior knowledge, about pictures on my PowerPoints, and knowledge covered in this lesson.

I closed my lesson with an exit slip that went back to my big question.  I had my student explain the Berlin Airlift and the Marshall Plan.  This answers the big question and answers objective two and three.  This was a good way to sum up the lesson.

My assessment was done formally in two ways.  First, the Cold War map was homework and would be collected in the next class.  Next, I could collect the notes and make sure they did it correctly.  Informally, my students’ question and discussion could be used as assessments.  My lesson used multiple ways to assess my classmates.

Video Analysis and Reflection

When looking at my video I think the classroom involvement was good.  Everyone talked and everyone had a chance to share his or her insights (look throughout videos).  My thought process was to call on people randomly so everyone had a chance to answer a question (Part 1 2:05). If one person had their hand up, and talked before, I would wait for someone else to raise their hand.  This is not on my video for this lesson, but I have done this in my real classroom setting.

I believe that students are engaged in my lesson for the whole time.  In the beginning they seemed excited to do the matching and the Jumpstarter.  Matching, although seem trivial, can be viewed as a game and be fun (Part 1 1:45 look at Caitlyn’s passion).  The Just Do It was about sharing a personal story that related to the Cold War.  Most students, including my classmates, want to share personal stories about their lives.  I think it is a good tool for engaging students and for teaching (Part 1 4:35).  The students were engaged throughout my lecture by taking notes.  The notes were not hard and were efficient for my students to take notes quickly (Part 1 8:55 look at Terry).  At the end of my lesson the students did their exit slips with ease.  Why?  Because if they were paying attention and took notes the answer were right there.  This is a good teaching tool because it rewards students who pay attention and paying attention means that you will be successful (Part 2 28:30).  Lastly, I could tell my classmates were engaged when completing my map activity because of two reasons.  First, because they were doing the activity and second they seemed to enjoy it.  Coloring and labeling a map can be viewed as a simple task, but it is a fun way to learn (Part 2 26:30).  Overall all the reasons above showed that my classmates were engaged throughout my lesson.

I asked question in many different ways.  When watching my video I realized I did a great job answering questions in some aspects (Part 2 2:55), but sometimes I did not (Part 2 6:50).  Overall my questions could not be answered in a single word, but occasionally I asked a question that could be answered with yes or no.   My wait time for questions was good, but I could work on that and become better at it.  My biggest problem when asking questions is that I sometimes ask a question that is already framed with the answer that I want.  I have been working hard to fix that when I teach.  I do ask my classmates to defend their answers by explain their thoughts.  This is a good tool because if you defend what you say, then you understand it (Part 2:55).  In this lesson I did not ask my students to compare anything, although I did compare and contrast Western Europe and Eastern Europe.

There were a few moments when I had to opportunity for my students to ask questions.  After I was finished my lecture on Japan I asked them if they understand how Japan was rebuilt (Part 2 6:50).  I paused, waited, and made sure they did not have a question.  I also made sure they understood how to do the homework assignment as well (Part 2 .  I could have asked them if they understood how Europe was rebuilt and if they understood how the rebuilding process of Europe set the stage for the Cold War.

  I think I played two roles in my lesson-the expert and the facilitator.  Both roles were appropriate for this lesson.  I need to be able to know the information so my students and learn and ask questions (Throughout lesson).  At the same time I did to have the proper skills to explain information correctly and in an organized way (Throughout lesson).  Both roles are important to be a successful teacher and to have a successful lesson.

I asked my students to do a series of tasks.  The first being to do a jumpstarter to use their previous knowledge on the last unit on World War II (Part 1 0:10).  It was a matching exercise and only took a few minutes.  Next my classmates had to do a Just Do It about a personal experience.  I used their personal experience to lead into the Cold War (Part 1 4:25).  I then had my students take notes on my lecture.  They are called quick notes and are an organized way to take notes (All of Part 2 till 20:00).  Afterwards, we did an exit slip about concepts we learned about this lesson (Part 28:00).  Lastly my students did a Map of Europe during the Cold War (Part 2 26:00).  Overall my students did different exercises on the Cold War during my lesson and it kept them busy,

It is tough to determine if my classmates were taking risks or not during my lesson.  All my classmates majored in history and plan to be history teachers, so I don’t think they took risks.  When I taught this to my real class and students, I think they took risks throughout my whole lesson.  From the jumpstarter to the exit slip my students are risking answering the wrong answer.  I encouraged my students to take risk my calling on them, giving them clues, and being positive.  You can’t really tell that I did this in my video because my classmates know the answers from their passion, experience, and prior knowledge of history.  But, in my class and my real students I do it all the time.  My environment in my class looks safe because my classmates look relax, calm, and engaged.  They seem not to be worried and seemed at ease.  They don’t look worried when I call on them or scared (Look at Catlyn Part 1 1:40-1:50) .  That is how I know my classroom is safe.

My goals were clear and were achieved.  I didn’t have to adjust my goals because they are simple and easy to achieve.  My lesson was structured towards those goals and my lesson materials were structured to achieve those goals.  My lesson was designed to first explain the rebuilding process of Japan, rebuilding process of Europe, and how it set the stage for the Cold War.  If one understands how Europe was rebuilt then they can understand the divisions of the Cold War.  My jumpstarter and Just Do It focused on prior knowledge and past experiences to introduce the Cold War.  The Exit Slip is to assess the students’ knowledge of the lesson and the Cold War Map was a visual for the students to understand how Europe was divided.

Cohort Comments and Real Lesson

Overall my protocol session went positive.  My cohort liked my lesson, pictures, and my movement.  They liked how I presented the information, the map, and my notes.  Dr. Hicks liked my matching as my introduction and my Just Do It.  Some issues that I needed to fix were not having too many too pictures on one slide, letting the students explain the pictures, and explain the Berlin Wall better.  Overall it was positive learning experience and I appreciate my group giving me a lot of feedback.

For my real lesson I prepared I slide about how Berlin was in East Germany, not on the Iron Curtain, which was an issue I had with my classmates.  I also used my pictures that my cohort liked, but put them on individual slides to emphasis the importance and allowed my students to dissect them.

I do not have any major concerns or goals that I changed for my real lesson.  I think my lesson went well in that aspects.  With the additions that I noted above, I think my lesson will do better and my students will get a good learning experience out of it.

Youtube videos:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDdo5xTGv20&feature=bf_next&list=UUhjtFy_V3ep-maAWzRcSTUw&lf=plcp

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7dnE7nvFao&list=UUhjtFy_V3ep-maAWzRcSTUw&index=1&feature=plcp