During our last class, we had the opportunity to do a few different methods of teaching the content in a short period of time. One of those methods was a carousel activity. This activity is a great way to have students learn the content you want them to, without having to actually teach the students. Rather, you can observe and help explain different content to the students in smaller groups. The learning, however, is then in the place of the students and whether they are willing to commit to each of the stations or not. I thought this was an excellent idea, so I tried the carousel activity in the classroom. Originally, I had divided each of the children up into four different groups. Each group got their own questions and information they were to answer as a group. After each group finished their questions, I had planned on splitting the expert groups into their teaching groups. That way, the students would be teaching their classmates, and they would be learning at the same time. For this activity, I allotted 15 minutes for the expert groups to answer their questions, and 15 minutes to allow for the sharing of information. This activity turned out to be super effective, and the students were not only engaged the entire time, but they were learning and having fun while doing it. Where I went wrong, however, using this method, is that I assumed it would only take grade 9 health students 30 minutes tops, but instead, it took them two full classes to complete the carousel activity. I had planned a few other activities that day, and because the students took longer than I thought they would, I ended up having to disregard the other days planned to make everything work. I think the next time I do this activity, I will only have a few questions for each group to work on, rather than having the amount of questions I did. The other thing I might have done differently is try to push the students to work at a quicker pace, rather than allowing them to continue to extend their time.
The other thing I came to realize during my three weeks was marking assignments is harder to do than I thought it would be. I loved the marking art of my three weeks, and it might have been one of my favorite things to do. However, through my marking, I started to develop my own philosophy of teaching and marking. After having a bit of experience, I now believe that I will never take late marks for an assignment, and I will never give a student a 0 for not handing something in. I also grew to understand that I will always allow for students to re-do assignments as many times as possible so that they can succeed in my classes. I provided lots of constructive feedback in all my assignments, and then for each students, I always allowed them the opportunity to fix anything and re-submit it. If the student still did not get the assignment, I would go talk to them, and make sure they know what they are doing. I would go out of my way to make sure that the student would be able to show me the content and their understanding, even if that means they tell me verbally, or draw a picture instead.
The last thing I learned is that rubrics are important. If you are just marking based off of whether or not you think it was good, it becomes subjective and biased. Rather, if you are using a rubric, it seems to limit the amount of bias, and becomes more constructive. It also helps the students visualize where they are sitting with their work, and where they might be lacking. During the three weeks, I would mark everything, and provide constructive feedback, but I would not attach an marks to the assignments at first. I told them they needed to look through everything first, and then I would give them their marks after a minute or so. This seemed to stress some of the students out, so I explained to them why I did that the way I did. After the students knew that, it seemed to help encourage them to re-submit their things and it also seemed to increase their understanding of the content.
Overall, I can see how assessment can be a difficult thing, and I know I have a lot more to work on and develop going forward. I cannot wait for that next experience, and hopefully, I will not stop learning and improving.