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Journal Sixth Field Day My First Teaching Practice

On our sixth field day, the north group visited Swaha Hindu College in my hometown of
Sangre Grande. I got an idea of what it would be like to work 5 minutes away from my home
and I must say, it was quite a nice feeling. Salma Hosein joined us from the south group.
Vicky Ramnath and I were the other two teachers on the day. This was the first teaching
practice for both Salma and myself and the second for Vicky. The theme for this week was
programming. Both Salma and I taught Pascal programming to the same Form 4 class and
Vicky taught HTML to a Form 6 class.
Salma taught first and did an introduction to Pascal programming to a class of 8 students. She
had to divert from the lesson plan as during the first 5 minutes of the class, the students
seemed not to fully understand the concept of the IPO table, which was supposed to be
previous knowledge. She was able to go through the concept of the IPO table as well as
incorporated her lesson into the time allotted. Her lesson was student-centred as she was able
to get the students to work in groups to write a simple program given the problem. Due to the
diversion made at the beginning of the lesson, she was not able to complete the final activity.
However, the students seemed to understand what was taught as Salmas lesson was used as
the previous knowledge for my lesson.
My lesson followed Salmas. I also used the same Form 4 class and also did Pascal
programming. Salma did write and read statements and I followed with performing simple
calculations. When I teach in class, I would usually write the program on the board. However,
I thought that by using a PowerPoint presentation and having the skeleton of the program
projected that I would have more time to reinforce the programming rules. In the post
evaluation, I was told that I should have written the program on the board instead of
projecting it. Lesson learnt go with my gut instinct and use the teaching methods that I am
accustomed with. I thought that the students were very much engaged in the lesson. Even
though only one activity was given, I thought that the students were able to understand how
to program using simple calculations. I showed the students how to run a program and they
were able to see the results of the program written. This, for me, was the main objective of
my lesson: to show the students what the output would be. During the post evaluation, one
member mentioned that when I use screenshots, I should enlarge them so everyone can see.
This was a bit confusing to me as I did not use any screenshots in my lesson, but ran
executable files to show the output of programs. It seemed as though the concept of using
screenshots as opposed to running executable files was a tad confusing to others. My lesson
ran about 5 minutes more than the allotted time and I know that I must try harder to finish all
aspects during the given time.
Vickys lesson followed mine. She taught HTML to the Form 6 class of three students. Vicky
used many different strategies in her lesson. I personally thought there were too many things
used in the 40 minute session. The theme was programming but the HTML programming did
not begin until halfway into the lesson due to the many videos that were shown. Also,
because of the small size of the class, a couple of the strategies that were used were not
necessary as these are used for large classes to gauge the level of understanding. To me, in
programming, the end result in a class should be for the students to see how the programming
code evolves into the output seen by users. In Vickys class, although the students were able
to use keyword cut-outs to create a simple HTML document, they were not asked to type up
the HTML and see the results. Vickys lesson, like mine and Salmas, ran longer than the
allotted time.

In my view, last weeks theme, Algorithm Design, and this weeks theme, Programming, must
be taught using simple methods. I notice that students have the hardest time learning these
two topics and by teaching them in the simplest ways, without using too much technology, is
the most effective way.
My first teaching field day is over and the nerves that were associated with it are gone. I am
glad I was able to show everyone my methods of teaching as I was privileged to see so many
of the other teachers methods in the previous field days. I look forward to the last four field
days to be continued next calendar year where we all get to continue seeing many different
techniques in use.