Professional Semester 1 – George Davison Elementary School, Medicine Hat
In my first professional semester, I taught a grade 3/4 class at George Davison Elementary school in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Despite having a degree in science, I taught many different subjects, including gym, math, science, social studies, and English.
Simple Machine Flipbooks
For the simple machines unit in science, we made simple machine flipbooks. Each page of the flipbooks was dedicated to one type of the simple machines that we had been using. We had different models and versions of simple machines for use to experiment with, and after we did experimenting, the students would talk about what type of simple machine that (for example) scissors might be. Could they be more than one type? I’d also ask them what they think makes a given simple machine work the way that it does. I always made sure to try and have students ask the questions and answer them for themselves or their classmates. The internet is a handy tool in that way.
After we’d discussed the machines, we would go and make a page for them in our flipbooks, summarizing the ideas that the students brought to the table. They could watch me work on mine on the Smartboard, but it was always interesting to me to watch and see what differences arose between their pages and mine!
The edible maps that we made for the Canadian Geography portion of social studies was… interesting to say the least. Students participated as a community by bringing in foods that they thought they could use to depict the different regions of the geography of Alberta. This helped with students from lower-income families because those who could bring in materials to share did. There was lots of glue used.
The students were supposed to choose a certain type of food for each region of Alberta and have a reason for it. Some of the ideas that had come up were chocolate chips for mountains because of their similar shapes, green sprinkles for forests because of the color green, and cereal for prairies because of the grains grown there. There was a lot of creativity in regards to this aspect of the project, however. So because of that, the emphasis on relevance wasn’t stressed too heavily.