Classroom Lessons & Interpretations

A Lesson on Shapes

Sample interpretation of the Lesson

Doug’s reflection on the interpretation

First of all, for the context of the interpretation: I had seen the video once before all the way through and had helped prepare the lesson so I was familiar with the pattern blocks and their usage in a geometry lesson. I have also interpreted similar lessons in an actual classroom, so that familiarity was of great benefit for feeling ready. In doing my analysis, I watched it with no audio so that I could focus in on my own work, without the interference from the spoken English.

In thinking about the features that I saw in my own work sample, I have a couple of large overarching items which stand out – one focused on classroom management and interaction between teacher and students. The other focused on the content which is being taught.

In terms of classroom management, as we have been discussing in the course, the IRE structure is very present in this interaction and I was striving to try to make it clear of how. When it started, I felt that I was a little bit stuck in first gear. Working too fast to try to fit everything in. Some of my initial fingerspelling was too rapid (which we’ll talk more about in the next module) mostly based on my trying to manage that interaction and be sure that I was able to get in the teacher’s evaluation. There was some repetition on the teacher’s part, and I wonder, in hind sight, if it would have been better for me to reduce some of the repetition to slow things down at first.

In terms of the content of the discourse, the most significant piece for me was effectively using space to convey the ideas, both in terms of the process of creating patterns and in terms of discussing the geometric shapes. As mentioned before, one advantage I have is my experience interpreting in classrooms where pattern blocks are used, so I was able to quickly visualize both the shapes themselves, and the creative ways that students use them.

I also tried to have a variety of different spatial maps in a variety of orientations. While in class, I would have relied a lot more on the “Vanna White” model of interpreting i.e. pointing at the overhead to show the shape, without that, I felt the need to re-create the shape. It made for a more busy interpretation… (perhaps I was in second gear by then) but I think that the use of space really helped. For example, on the description of the regular hexagon, I think the repetition in the interpretation of the sign “equal” in all the same spots where I had showed “sides” was a relatively effective way to show that concept.

One spatial construct that I wish I would have done differently was at the end, when she gave directions that students could work as partners to create a joint pattern or as individuals to create separate patterns, my interpretation of both options occurred on my non-dominant side in the same spatial set-up. Given that this was a contrast – I think it would have been more effective for the spatial set-up to happen on the left and the right so the students would have seen more clearly that they had two distinct options to choose from.

There is much more in this work to consider, but for the purposes of discourse, I think those two main points are the ones which are most important to reflect upon.

Lecture on the Neuron

Extended Lecture on Neuron

Doug’s Interpretation

Example of Nigel Howard talking about communication through the nervous system

This was filmed for another project, but is an example of a very skilled Certified Deaf interpreter who is an expert in health care talking about similar physiological processes.

Posted in: In Service to Literacy, Mentoring Resources