Clinical 1: Round 2

27 Jun

Round 1 was just observations, so there’s nothing to blog about there…Whoopee.

Ready for Round 2? I was slightly nervous. I mean, it wasn’t my first time in a classroom by a long shot. But it was my first teaching experience being observed…for my masters. That was a ton of pressure. Plus, these clinicals are being done in summer school. Suh-Mer Skool. You don’t teach the normal curriculum in summer school. For starters, there’s not nearly enough time. I have difficulty reconciling what I’m supposed to teach with what is actually being taught in the classroom.

My “assignment” for my clinical was to teach a vocab lesson. Well, if I’m going to be observed for an hour, there’s no way I can stretch vocab to fit a whole hour. Students will be sleeping, no doubt. So, using “The Cask of Amontillado” by Poe, I made a ‘window-frame’ graphic organizer and chose four vocab words I wanted them to focus on (these four words would be on a quiz the next day to test their recall). We went over the words in the book and then I modeled the graphic organizer and we put these words on it: precluded, impose, endeavored, & recoiling. Could I have chosen words with greater degrees of difficulty? Sure. But by choosing these words, I show that I know my students and their performance levels. I chose words that they are likely to encounter in other readings and in other classes…even in life. If I chose words that were unique to Poe’s story, then when would they get to use the words again?

I wanted to give them a skill and a few words that they’d be able to use later. Before reading the story I asked if anyone remembered what it was about (summer school! they’ve read this before). Then we read and I tried to include as many students in reading as possible – but only two actually wanted to read. Sadly, I read the bulk of the story. We paused at certain key points so I could explain words or what was going on so that I could continuously paint a visual picture in the students’ minds.

When we were done, we recapped and then watched this awesome clip:


Basically I think this claymation bastardized the literature. But did the students understand it? Like it? Heck, even laugh at it? Check, check, and check. Did I think it was funny? Heck yes. Was it academic? Eh. Oh well. They especially enjoyed the Lego wall and Fortunato’s coughing fit. I wanted to give the class a visual, but I had a hard time finding a youtube clip I actually liked. Then…it was there…claymation. Brilliant.

With this visual, we moved on to the worksheet. I guided the class with questions, often playing devil’s advocate. I wanted the class to determine for themselves whether or not Poe used an unreliable narrator – and to find evidence in the text rather than rely on their own opinion. But time ran out and we only got the first five questions done.

Round 3 is when I finish up the lesson and worksheet and quiz the class on the vocab. Stay tuned.


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