Pre-Internship Placement & Levy Meeting

Last week, one of our students moved away. Today, we received a new one!

Math Lesson

My CT placed coins on her ten-strip and projected it on to the interactive whiteboard. Having students answer a variety of questions:

  • counting coins
  • finishing the ten
  • addition
  • counting the blanks to find out how many pennies there are (think ten minus the blanks)
Here, my CT is escalating the thinking skills and with student responding out loud she is able to assess how students are doing.

Then she changed her question, "What is your mind thinking when you see... " She places another ten-strip on the board with two pennies on the left hand side. Student responds, " I looked at the blanks and saw 4+4 = 8 knowing there are 2 pennies on the strip. 

My CT is now assessing outside of the recall (learning) and into the process of thinking. Recently, I read Educational Assessment of Students where I found the following quote, "“If you evaluate only whether an answer is correct or incorrect, you are likely to miss the opportunity to evaluate students’ thinking skills in general and problem-solving skills in particular” (p. 248). I believe this to be important, because as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. But in such a way that it is not what the pudding is, it was the process and the ingredients used that makes it pudding. Similarly, the answer is only the reaction to the action that was taken place.

The pennies activity was complete and we discussed homework which is nickels and dimes. A quick overview of nickels is five cents and dimes are ten cents; we count pennies by 1, nickels by 5, and dimes by 10. I am not sure I would have placed a new topic for homework. I personally believe that skills can be strengthened through homework; however, these skills may not be learned. The lesson was completed with a quick practice of counting pennies and nickels together.

Mobymax - Math New Assessment/ Placements & Intervention Plan

While the students were at block, my CT explained to me her new plan for intervention of students in math. She provided me a tutorial of setting up an intervention on Milepost. Later this afternoon, we spoke with another teacher who taught us how to create goals for individual students based on their placement score that Mobymax provides. This motivated my CT to have the entire class complete a placement test this afternoon and arrange for interventions for students not meeting a 2.5 (grade 2 middle of the year) level. At the end of the school day, we had the students take the placement test; students scored at levels in between .5 (half year Kindergarten to 2.5). Most of the scores did not surprise my CT; however, some of them she found to be very beneficial. She is now trying to plan how she will continue using Mobymax in the classroom for the class; as well as provide intervention to those who are in need. 

I found this exercise very beneficial for me to see from start to finish and I look forward to hearing from my CT on how she plans on implementing the plan. She thinks that she can rearrange some time in the late morning for at least 3 times a week. This will provide students with enough time to practice, gain new skills, allow for one on one's with my CT, and provide enough data to see if the interventions are working. We have been reading about this practice in our class this semester, it was nice to see it played out in the classroom. 

Venn Diagram

The students are using a Venn Diagram to prepare for a writing activity later this week. They will be completing a compare & contrast writing on Alaska and Idaho. This morning the students read about the nature of Alaska in their reading program book, Wonders. Then they filled out the Alaska side of the Venn Diagram This afternoon, my CT shared with them a presentation on the interactive board of Idaho. The presentation involved the nature of Idaho. My CT shared several pictures and the students are to list what landscape/ nature they see. Those items missed are pointed out by my CT. Then they place the item on the Idaho side.

In observation, I found this to be an interactive way to learn about what their story and their teacher's presentation provided them. The use of a Venn Diagram is great and will be beneficial to the students when they are completing their compare and contrast writing activity later this week. I also saw where students took a long time each writing down the words on their diagram, spelling and sloppy writing may make this organizational tool not very useful. In addition, as they begin to see the similarities they will need to erase and rewrite the landscapes/ nature that Alaska and Idaho have in common. So what if, one large chart was created on the board or created on google slides. As a class, they were to discuss and assist putting together the Venn Diagram together by using post it notes to place items on each side or have the teacher type the words in the correct location. That way when students see the similarities, they can easily transfer the information to the portion that is overlapped (by moving the post it note or sliding the text box to the middle). This would also be a good exercise to correctly introduce the Venn Diagram and also assist with the organization of their compare & contrast writing activity. 

Candy Game

After students have retrieve their coats, mail and backpacks my CT will lead them through a round of the candy game. She asks questions about things they covered that day. The students are to raise their hand if they know the answer, after she has finished asking the question. If students blurt out the answer, no candy is given. If the student raised their hand after the question is asked in it's entirity and my CT calls on them, they can answer. If they answer correctly they recieve a piece of candy from her candy jar. If they answer incorrectly another student as the opportunity to answer and recieve a piece of candy. I find this a great way to summarize the day. They have been in school since 8:15 a.m and have learned a lot of material. This also provides my CT with an overall assessment of how students are doing with what thye discussed throughout the day. If several students know the answer then she knows that her teaching was effective; however, if many students are getting the answer wrong or none try to answer the question then she knows that she needs to bring back this material in her lessons. The students know the rules and if they are not followed they will not be able to play the game. The students absolutely love the candy game and they do their best to make sure they can play it several times each week.

Superintendent presentation on Plant Facilities Levy

Our school district will be requesting a plant facilities levy this spring of our community. I attended a faculty meeting after school today, led by our Superintendent. My CT asked permission of both our superintendent and principal if it was okay for me to participate in the meeting, they were fine with me in attendance. The presentation was short; however, extremely informative in regards to a renewal to modernize and maintain our facilities. I gained information of: what is a plant facilities levy, what the money will do for our district if accepted by our voters, how the levy will affect our communities taxes, and how this levy is different from the levy presented to our community last year. I was really excited to hear that one of our Superintendent's goal is to make our school district 1:1. I was sent home with material to further my knowledge about this topic so that I can share with others. It will be extremely important for our community to go out and vote YES! I believe we will need 60% of voters to be in favor for this to be approved.

What an eventful day, I am kind of sad that I have class tomorrow and will be missing out on what the students complete while I am gone. Until next time...

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