Well I made it. I was a little bit of a struggle for the last week but I made it through. After school on Thursday my trip to the walk-in clinic confirmed that I had strep throat. Clearly my immune system wasn't prepared for the the 1200 germ ridden students. I am now on antibiotics and recovering nicely.
As a whole palcement was awseome. I have to thank the two grade 11 classes for being kind and allowing me to jump into their class nicely. The studentswere very responsive to me and seemed to be learning a lot. The students really enjoyed my demonstration of sodium thiosulfate crystalization and their solubility labs. They got a taste of how other people live in relation to their accessibility to water treatment. I used to jigsaw method to teach the students about 6 different aspects of water (drinking water, waste water, cost, pollutants, health, environment). Using a video as an intro my students were able to get a better understanding of how lucky they are to live where they do with the access to clean water. It was nice to see students looking at the information and posing questions and really thinking about the information, and not just lookign for a mark.
This had to have been the most striking surprise I came across on block. My students are so focused on marks that it is hindering their ability to learn. They were getting so stressed out about the marks they would get if they did an assigment a certain way they couldn't focus on the actual material. The day we did the jigsaw on water treatment the first question they asked was are we going to get marked on this? Once they found out that this was a learning opportunity and not a marking session, the students fully engaged wth the material and got a lot out of it. I think this was exasperated because I was teaching a grade 11 university prep chemistry class and they know that the marks will affect their future. I hope I can find a way to help my students in the future to decrease this stress and make it easier for them to engage in the material. If anyone has an suggestions on how to do this I would be very open to hearing them.