Ahhh, exhale! My first day is over. It was a very busy day and my focus was introducing the students to my topic, nutrition and physical activity. The junior 3, 4, and 5's started off by exploring influences in their lives that impacted their ideas or decisions about healthy living. The initial discussion and activity were a success. To expand on their ideas, I wanted the students to do a "speed interview" of one another (similar to speed dating) where they compared ideas about their influences. There were four steps: 1) Make two standing circles, 2) One circle of students stands around the first circle of students, 3) The inside circle and the outside circle face each other, 4) The outside circle stays in one spot while the inside circle takes (x) number of steps to the left or right to get a new partner every few minutes. However, what I thought was simple did not work for the students. After many puzzled looks, "I don't get this" comments, and numerous failed attempts, I said, "OK, everyone just sit down!" Afterwards, the students sat down, we had a group discussion and it was great!
I had to make the decision today to be flexible enough to abandon my planned activity and do something that was meaningful for the students. Instead of wasting time, trying to force learning, I had to step back and let the learning take place in a way that made sense to the them. It took me outside of my comfort zone, but it worked for my student and helped me in the long run.