Lesson 5: Guided Practicum Preparation

  1. Introduce the format for the practicum.
    • Decide in advance how many people will be in each group based on how many people are in attendance and how many groups you need. Ideally there will not be more than four participants in a group. Grouping could be done by subject matter or by mixing skill levels or needs of that region or group. Take into consideration time, length of lessons, and individual personalities that have emerged in the group.
    • When the groups have gathered, let them know that they will now be using the lessons they brought with them more deeply. Ask them to take them out and have them ready to work. The groups are to talk about the lessons they brought and decide which one they will present. They should decide on one that they want to improve upon. 
  2. Give directions for the practicums.
    • The directions are given the first time as “whole to parts.” Explain that you are going reveal the whole process and then break it down again at each step.
    • Let participants know that they will be presenting to the whole group. Those who are not presenting at any given time will be model students. Emphasize the word “MODEL” as opposed to typical. The goal really is to learn the lesson and strategies— not to be funny, put the presenters on the spot, or work on extreme cases of need for classroom discipline.
    • Tell participants that while normally in the classroom they would be teaching solo, for this activity the group will represent one teacher, but each one must be up front and teaching for some portion of the practicum. Each individual is not expected to demonstrate all instructional strategies.
    • Each group will have 45 minutes to present. Each lesson must contain an icebreaker and all four stages of the lesson plan, including some type of processing and reflection to see that the goals of the lesson have been accomplished. They will have the remainder of today and a little time tomorrow morning to prepare.
    • The groups are welcome to use all the resources in the room. They can use the chart paper and the markers as well as the PPT if they need to create slides. Only recommend the PPT if this is something they would have access to in their classrooms.
    • Remind the groups that they will need to designate group roles, especially a timekeeper, a leader, and a collector (or collectors). They will all functioning as recorders and reporters. Give them time now to assign group roles.
    • Ask them to review all they have learned up to now. Suggest that they review all the handouts in the folder to see which ones they can incorporate into their lesson. Ask them to pay special attention to the Instructional Strategies. Let them know that you will be reviewing the ones that have already been discussed and introducing the final one at the beginning of the day on Day Three.
    • Explain that they will make their presentations, which will be followed by a feedback session. Most of the feedback will be based on the Instructional Strategies Self-Assessment. Explain that after the practicum presentation and applause, you, the Master Trainer, will ask the group who just presented the following:
      • What do you think went well, either in the lesson, or working with your colleagues?
      • What will you do differently when you are in your classrooms as a result of this practicum?
    • Point out that you will not be asking what went wrong, because you cannot do something wrong if you are learning. You are experiencing the lesson and getting better at it, practicing in a safe learning environment where you can learn by trial and error.
    • After each presenting group has finished giving their feedback, you will invite the rest of the participants to share their feedback using the Sandwich Model. Those who were acting as model students will now be asked the same questions:
      • What did the group do that went well?
      • Now that you have experienced the lesson, what will you do in your own classroom to change or enhance the lesson? Not what went wrong, but constructive learning and feedback.
    • Let them know that when all are finished giving feedback, you will add your own comments. Remind them of the Sandwich Model components and model the technique with one example.
  3. Check for understanding and let them begin to plan.
  4. Reflection and Connection
  5. At all times, be present for questions and suggestions. Monitor which groups are stuck or are in conflict. Decide when to intervene and then let them work on their own. This is a participant-led activity with you serving as a guide, a supporter, and a cheerleader. At this point they are responsible for the major part of the activity.