Most of the lessons were fine and I managed to complete the tasks, meet the goals, and fulfill all the planned activities. However, there were several cases, when I had to change the plan as a result of a student’s request, which did not allow me to continue the lesson according to the set plan and I had to restructure the lesson. The first case occurred at the science lesson, when I offered children to define the shape of the blocks. Being sure that students are aware of this particular information, I offered them to pick up round blocks. Most of the students took necessary blocks (balls), while one student took two pieces in a form of arch, pulled them together and said that these two blocks create round shape.
At that moment, I understood that children’s imagination is more developed than I could think. Therefore, instead of continuing offering students distinguish other shapes of blocks, I decided to ask them to create round shape of whatever they saw. First, some students were frustrated, but then they began to build round objects out of triangles, rectangles, and other things they saw around them. Some students were so involved in the game that they used scarf and other toys to show me round shapes.
Explaining the reasons of modifications I did during the lesson, I suppose the search for round shapes was more interesting for students than just naming the shapes of the already existing objects. Moreover, some students could take balls only because others did it, but when students had to find a round shape themselves, they were involved in the process and they could not repeat the actions of others as the main requirement for each student was to find a round shape no one had. I understood that exactly this modification in the lesson was necessary as I knew that students remember more when they do it. Listening to the information is less remembered than its repetition.
However, being involved in a particular activity leaves a better imprint in students’ heads. Being aware of this particular fact, I began to think that if students invented a round shape out of unusual forms, which do not have even a hint of being round, they will remember this particular shape for a long period of time. The very fact that one boy created a round shape out of non-round forms reminded me that such modification can be really useful.
Therefore, when I understood that another strategy is necessary, I predicted that the lesson should be changed. I immediately accessed the activities this change was going to affect and considered the time changes. First of all, I understood that the time necessary for finding the shapes in the room was greater than the time we could spend on defining the shapes. So, some of the activities had to be restructured as well. Remembering that my students were very active, I could not reduce the time on free playing. This time was really important for them as I understood that students expressed their emotions through running and jumping.
Children of their age are very active and I could not forbid them to play in such a way. So, I had to consider the activities which I could limit in time. Drawing was also one of the best activities for students, so I could not eliminate it. I thought about removing the activity of building a house as it did not fit the situation as we did not repeat all the shapes. Therefore, this activity appeared a useless one. Then I thought that music lesson could be reduced in time a little to give students more time for searching the shapes. It should be noted that students did not notice the changes in activities. While playing during free time, they continued finding round shapes and showed them to me.
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As for the second change in the lesson plan, it happened when we studied touch sense. It was the second week of the lessons, and on Wednesday we started playing textiles. Students had to close their eyes and name what they felt by touching, for example smooth, rough, scratchy, etc. Having explained the task, stating that students have to name the quality or characteristic feature of the fabric, I did not show them which textile was smooth, which one was rough, which one was scratchy, etc. Therefore, when students closed their eyes, most of them could not name the characteristic of the fabric trying to explain what they feel. I should say that most their associations were related to animals and other natural objects. I saw that I could not continue the lesson in the way I planned.
Some students could not characterize what they felt, so I had to reconsider my plan. I immediately stopped the activity saying that we were going to play in associations. I knew that the activity was not going to take too much time, and after it we will be able to return to our game. I believed that the book activity during the afternoon circle or the dramatic play in a doctor’s room could be reduced a little. The change was necessary as the game was impossible without students’ awareness of the simplest notions necessary for this class.
Having understood that students know what the characteristic features were, I thought that I should just help them remember the definitions of those characteristics. When listening to students’ explanations, it was obvious that they noticed that fur was scratchy, that another piece was smooth, and the last one was rough. However, little vocabulary prevented them from using an appropriate word. This was the situation how I determined that modifications were necessary. As for the nature of modifications, it was also obvious from the situation.
First of all, I tried to see the nature of this misunderstanding during the activity, and I understood my mistake. I did not explain the activity in detail and did not make sure that students were aware of all the components of the activity. I had to change the lesson a little. I saw the change in explaining students the main characteristics of the fabrics and in giving them these definitions. The further activity had to strengthen their understanding of the words and to help students remember them better. Thus, I took a scratchy fur and asked what it reminded them. Most of them, of course, pointed to a hedgehog. I said that this quality is called ‘scratchy’. Then, we enumerated such examples as rose thorns and a needle.
Speaking of a smooth piece of fabric, students remembered the rocks in the sea, the surface of the tables and chairs, apples, and many other fruits. Students defined a piece of rough fabric very similar to kiwi, ground, and trunk. After these definitions were considered, I gave them pieces of textile and I asked students to close their eyes and imagine one of the objects we have just mentioned. Such activity helped them remember definitions related to particular objects.