I have always like editing. It’s something that I find comfort in, the fact that I can make mistakes, that nothing is ever perfect, and so I can always go back, make adjustments, tweak a few problems here and there and something can be improved. I like editing in the writing sense, in the video sense, in the everything sense. Looking something over and trying to make it better. When I was in High School, we had a teacher who let us rewrite assignments to correct grammatical errors, and so I used to spend my English classes with a stack of fifteen or so papers from fellow classmates, just marking up their pages with a red pen and a song in my heart and I was happy, because I could see improvement happening, magic occurring, right before my eyes.
The only problem is, it is still work, and as such, I have no motivation to do any real work when I could be going to watch the 30th anniversary showing of The Breakfast Club instead.
But I have put away some time now to look at my first lesson plan, look at what I did originally and how it was received. I have had the opportunity to do some more editing of my own, and I have revised my first lesson into LESSON 2.0, so much better, so much improvement, so much wow.
I have made changes that I think, have greatly streamlined the lesson and made it easier to adapt. And I added assessment, which is a pretty big deal, cough. Originally, I had the students writing out notes that they copied from the board. Through notes from my co-op teacher, I have decided to adapt the idea of the notes a little bit, and turn them in to a graphic organizer for the students to fill out. The reason for this choice is that it gives students more guidance and more of an idea of what the lesson is going to cover without giving away the information I want the students to come up with on their own. The original idea of the lesson, leading the students to discovery, is still intact, but is more structured and more linear to work with.
I also added a section on Treaty Ed, which was actually quite easy to incorporate. I was already talking about the history and honouring of one culture, so it was simple to connect the African American’s honouring their ancestors during Apartheid through gumboot/step dancing with the Aboriginal peoples using dances to honour their religion and their culture. In a later lesson, I did go into more detail with that concept, but it was still useful to bring in the concept earlier, because it makes the lesson more applicable to the students, because the students know and understand more about the Aboriginal people of Canada than they do about the people of Africa and Apartheid.
Another section added was assessment, which is really important, and it is kind of terrible to have missed it the first time around. The assessment is in the form of an exit slip, although I allowed for differentiation and the students can also give me responses orally if they prefer, an idea that I decided on due to the particular learners I have in my field placement, and the adaptations that are made for them. The exit slip allows for a more complex level of learning, hitting on a higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and having the students make connections. The students are now analyzing the data they are given, and asking themselves why it is significant that different religions and cultures dance.
I believe that the lesson is improved. Does it still need work? Yes, I think that anyone could take what I’ve created and add many improvements based on their own knowledge and abilities. But using my abilities and knowledge? I think that I have made changes that make sense to me, and have made the lesson better. Without destroying the integrity of the original lesson, because I was honestly quite proud of the overarching theme of my lesson and I’m happy that the lesson now reflects what I was trying to teach better.