This week, students began participating in band. I have come to realize that there are plenty of distractions in a day – not just for the teacher, but for the students. Students in band end up missing important lessons (especially in Math) where it is difficult for them to catch up later. Not only does this add to teacher duties (preparing mini lessons to catch up students) but also for students because they come in confused or lost. I am not saying that band is a negative thing – I think it is absolutely great for the students and helps build skills that are lacking in other areas of a typical school day.
We had a guest speaker from Regina Public Outdoor Ed. come to discuss the upcoming field trip called “Finding Your Way” at Crooked Valley. The students had a lesson on how to use a compass and why it is important to know for the field trip. Outdoor Education can be such a positive experience for students – some may not have that opportunity in their lives to visit places and explore land in Saskatchewan. Students who struggle in a traditional classroom may find the experience for conducive to their style of learning. It also helps build classroom relationships between students and teachers.
For my lessons this week, I focused on Health and Career Ed. and Phys. Ed. After continuing with defining specific terminology for the Health/Career unit, we discussed a recent current event regarding a Muslim student in Texas, USA. Ahmed Mohamed was arrested (14 years old) for creating a homemade clock that some teachers assumed could be a bomb. We discussed prejudice, bias, stereotypes, and discrimination based on factors such as skin colour or religion. The students were very much involved in the class conversation. There are many EAL and Muslim students at Gladys McDonald so the discussion was rich and insightful. Again, a reason why I do enjoy teaching students at this grade level; you can really have intellectual conversations with these students and begin that critical thinking skill that will help them succeed in the future.