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A. Creating the Environment for Learning Engagements

This learning outcome focuses on materials, classroom organization and affective classroom climate.

A. Creating the Environment for Learning Engagements

Throughout the semester, I had the opportunity to plan, discuss and carry out lessons in order to create an engaging learning enviornment for the students. I ensured that my materials were from credible sources that aligned with the social science curriculum, and discussed these resources with my mentor teacher well in advance before delivering each lesson. At the beginning of learning engagements, I made sure to check in with students' previous knowledge of various topics before introducing a new concept. For example, in the physical geography unit I used a sticky notes approach where I gave prompts to questions related on the topic that would be learned. Students would write their answers on a sticky note which they would post on the board, and have the opportunity to learn and discuss what their classmates thought about on the topic before expanding on it across various lessons. 

To ensure that all students can participate in class activities, I made sure the materials I selected were engaging, relevant and useful resources that can help students understand content in a fun and meaningful way. For example, I used a geography game called "Stop Disasters" in which as a whole class we had to decide what resources can be found and used based on the geographical location to protect different areas of the world from tsunamis. When creating class activities for lessons, I would have a mixture of students working in pairs, small group settings and/or have whole class discussions on various topics. For example, I would have students work in pairs or small group settings to research relevant geographical events such as natural disasters and how that impacts people, wildlife and the environment in different regions across the world. Based on the physical setting of the classroom, I would have students push their desks together to work in small groups and make sure there was enough space to move safely around the classroom. 

Lastly, in order to build an affective classroom climate, I had to foster a positive relationship with the students in the classroom. Over the course of the semester, I had the opportunity to learn about the students' interests, hobbies and ways in which they learned effectively. Being a teacher candidate, I had to re-affirm and re-establish classroom expectations throughout the semester to ensure that students were respectful and mindful towards others in the classroom and myself. I also made sure to check in with each student to support them throughout the learning process as well as ensure that students' who had IEPs were able to be successful in the classroom based on their learning needs. In cases where I was unsure how to support a student more effectively, I would have discussions with my mentor teacher during our prep periods to further improve my knowledge of each student to change my approaches in the future to support the students better.

Below are some images that demonstrates this learning outcome. Please click on the following images for more details.

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