Saturday, May 12, 2007

Outdoor teaching

Since I am not teaching in a classroom setting, I have been volunteering to teach science outdoors or away from the classroom. I have learned several things that I could take with me when I start my student teaching again. For instance, a few weeks ago, I taught geology out in the woods to 4th graders. I learned that it is important that I keep my talking to a small amount and allow the students to be actively engaged with the activity. During a 20-minute session, I probably only talked for a total of 7 minutes. I quickly introduced the topic and lesson along with some boundaries because we were out in the field and I did not want to lose the students. At the end of the lesson, I wanted the students to discuss on what they saw while they handed back my equipment. Students would rather enjoy the activity than hear a teacher talk all of the time. In terms of rules, it is important to have relatively few than many. A good number of classroom rules is 3 to 5. If there is too few than the classroom can be chaotic or the students do not know what the expectations are. Whereas, if there is too many, then the students would not have fun or feel safe in the classroom.