Today I had the students do a Canadian Food Guide Exploration. We started off by reviewing our ideas about influences by making an idea web. I had them talk about an influence in their life, then they grabbed onto an end from a ball of yarn, and tossed the ball to someone else with an idea. Eventually we had a huge web going around the whole classroom! It was great. Afterwards, I introduced the Canadian Food Guide with a PowerPoint, which took about 20 minutes and then we did a serving size demonstration which also took about 20 minutes. Throughout the PowerPoint and the demonstration, the classroom energy was extremely high. The students were not following instructions and were extremely chatty. It was the last class of the day, and they could not focus on what I was trying to teach them. In addition to the regular end of the day excitement, I had a surprise visit from my faculty advisor at the University. This was an additional distracting component for the students. I felt like my head would explode and my cooperating teacher had to step in four times to help control the class. I was embarrassed that I could not control the class in front of my faculty advisor.
After everything was said and done, I ended my lesson and tiredly made my way over to my things. I looked at my faculty advisor and he said, "well how did you think that went?" I just sighed and lifted my hands, shaking my head. This is when he asked me an important question. "How old are the students?" My class is composed of eight to eleven year old students. This means that for each year they are old, that is their average attention span. I had gone way too long with my PowerPoint, and also with my demonstration, despite the hands on nature and student involvement. Reflecting back on the lesson, I had talked for almost an hour! No wonder the students could not focus! My lesson of the day was to allow the students to formulate some knowledge for themselves, and allow them to be children! They need to share their ideas, explore and have fun. If I would have shut up for a while to allow them to explore, my lesson might have gone a lot differently.