Pre-Internship - Busy Day


Math: Fractions with Legos The students are learning 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and my CT had them show her their understanding and assist with their understanding of these fractions with legos. These are the students that best understood the concept today. I was quite impressed with how they were able to put into their own words why they chose the legos and how they stacked them to have the different fractions.



Prep Discuss with another teacher & CT pre-assessment reading, Math program Bridges tests, Summer school recommendations, and District wide change in Parent Teacher Conferences. Our school district is not allowing teachers to complete open house style conferences due to the new standards based report card. They believe it will best be done as a typical one-on-one conference. 

Response to Intervention Reading about the history of robotics 320 BC-1999 in order to complete the handout they received on Monday. When students finished they show my CT their finished responses. She is checking for right and wrong answers; those who have them correct receive a smiley face and those who have wrong answers are sent back to re-read to get the right answers. After everyone finished the responses correctly, they discussed them as a group. I really like how she keeps students building comprehension skills by having them re-read until they get it right, instead of reading once and guessing or misinterpreting what was read. 

Google Slides/ Language Arts Those students who have not completed their google slides project on Volcanoes, Tornadoes and Tsunamis came to the back table to work with me. While the class completed an activity through the reading Wonders program to work on Action Verbs. This is a change in the lesson plan; as my CT scheduled time for students to complete their Google Slides today both in the morning and the afternoon. Most of the students (more than she expected) completed them this morning. This freed up time in the afternoon to work on the skills they have been learning this week.

Pre-Internship: Blood Orange

Reading After recess, my CT read the second book in the series - The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau. They finished The City of Ember on Friday and they were very sad the book had ended. When they were told that there was a second book, they begged my CT to begin reading it! It makes me very happy they love reading and being read to. It is such a special time for a teacher to read to her students. On Friday, I will be reading my favor Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham for Read Across America Day.. I cannot wait!

2nd Grade Team Meeting While the students were at block, the second grade team met with the principal and the Instructional coach for a meeting. We discussed: the plans for Elementary School Summer Program, Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration on Friday, the Lockdown drill scheduled for this Thursday, and data collection requirements for I-station/ MobyMax in milepost.
This Friday, we have a gentleman dressing up as The Cat in the Hat and visiting the students for a special birthday celebration with brownies! Thursdays lockdown drill will include a fire alarm; which students will prepare by not leaving their classroom while the lockdown role takes first priority. This comes after the shooter in Parkland, pulled the fire alarm so that students would exit the building.

I-station For the remainder of the school year, the second graders will be on I-station during intervention time. This will assist them in getting to know this program better as we await legislation to approve the use of I-station for testing next school year. I really like how the program is set up for students to update their stories based on their achievement on their monthly assessment. Students are given individual practice where they most need it.

MobyMax and other Math programs A large group of students went to Title 1 for math practice toward the end of the day so the rest of the class stayed on their chromebooks and practiced math through various online programs.


Blood Orange  a different kind of orange that I have never had before was shared with the classroom today. Having a few left over, I had the opportunity to take one home for me and my family to try. They are amazing, orange with a hint of raspberry. Not quite appealing to the eye as there flesh appears bloody; however they are a treat to one's taste buds.

Pre-Internship: Monday

Weekly Reader

This week, students learn about Ruby Bridges, who integrated a school in first grade. First, they read the article to themselves, Second, they partner up. Partner A: reads aloud while Partner B: follows along. Then they switch roles. The student hears the article three times before they fill out the questions in the back that asks about the headline, photo caption, quotation marks, How does Ruby feel about kids today, and What is the main idea of the article? I really like how the questions focus on what they read and of the layout/organization of an article.



Response to Intervention (RTI)

New groups for the second graders for the remainder of the year. My CT's group of
students are completing a 2 week unit on Robotics. They will first Read and Learn about Robotics, then learn about Engineering and they will finish the unit with creating robotic legos. Today the students watched a video about the history of robotics. As a group, they answered the questions on the handout that was given to them in reference to the video. When they finished, they discussed the things they learned in the video. I really like how they are using intervention time to read about something new and interesting. Here the students are learning through reading. They have been so busy learning to how to read they begin to reap the benefits of what readers can do!

Research 

Completion of the Chart on Tsunamis, Earthquakes, and Tornados. Final attempt for all students to ask questions to gain enough information for their Google Slides presentation on Natural Disasters.


Pre-Internship: A Chatty Morning

Reading

Bell ringer, while my CT took roll, admin duties, etc. I really liked to see how this actually
works in the morning. With the directions told to the students and they were busy reading, my CT was able to get all of her early morning chores completed. I can see how this is one of the best strategies to complete every morning! The reading they are doing is for a comprehension test they will complete later this morning.

Reading Groups

A few students went to work with another teacher, the remainder of the class was split into partners. She began by instructing which students would be A and which would be B. She asked A’s to whisper hello to her and then they began reading in this whisper voice. This gave students a chance to show her how they were to complete their partner reading task and set expectations. Partner A: Read with Tracking Finger; Partner B: Followed along. (3x) the 4th time the students were told to read the article backwards, just for fun and read the words.

Writing Practice

My CT wrote a sentence on the board, incorrect spellings, order, incorrect capitalization and punctuation errors. As a group, the students fixed the errors and made a complete, structured sentence . The students learned to work as a team. If I had done this differently, I would have had the students complete the sentence first by themselves on their own paper (for extra practice) and then do it together. Students came to the board and made their corrections, students discussed if this was wrong or right. If they made a mistake on their own they could have fixed them at this time.

Assembly .... Just Kidding

The bulletin states that we had an assembly at 9am so with a few minutes to spare we lined up and prepared to walk down to the multi-purpose room for the informative K-2 meet on the Spell-a-thon fundraiser.  Before we made it there, the principal let us know that they were not yet ready and set up for the assembly and that we would be called down when they were ready for us. So, we turned around and head back to the room.

Reading Test

Since the class was all back together, my CT chose to return to the test that they began this morning in reading. She had them read the second story and reviewed the first story.

Spell-a-thon

Time for the assembly! Students lined up and headed into the multi-purpose room. We heard a presentation about next week's fundraiser for the students; how to participate, how to turn in the forms, and what prizes will students, classrooms and teachers can win! My CT sat in the back of the room, so I stood with our class. I walked around the students when they needed a small refocus to pay  attention (they needed a lot of reminders to be quiet today). This was good practice in taking classroom management skills outside of the classroom. Consistency and practicing procedures often while setting expectations are so very important.

Reading Test

A return to the reading test. My CT took this moment to let them know that it is important to take breaks when doing long tasks. In addition, it is a good idea to review the information you are working on when you return from a break or an interruption. She compared it to an athlete warming up before an event, the brain needs to refocus on what you were doing prior to the break or the interruption.
After the explanation she had the students read stories again and then began the writing portion of the test.

How do you deal with interruptions in the classroom? Please tell me in the comments below!

Pre-Internship: Observe, Learn & Visit

Spelling

In preparation for my Mini-Lesson on Friday morning, my CT completed a spelling lesson
with the students when I arrived this afternoon. They are currently working on words ending in -ck, -dge, -ing, and -ed. During her lesson, I took ample notes to help me put together what I will be doing with the students while I am observed by my professor and CT. This will be a quick run through of the rules and some practice before their spelling test. They have really struggled with these word patterns, I am hoping that I can give them some assistance in the right direction.

Prep Time

Since it is a short week, the second grade team is completing some science lessons to assist the students to meeting some standards this quarter during Response to Intervention (RTI) time. The students will be staying together as a class and will be taught a different science lesson by each one of the teachers. My CT is doing a lesson on the Sun, another teacher is completing the life of a butterfly, and I think the other teacher is doing it on the water cycle. During prep the discussed the final details of how this is going to work. I really like how the team is working together to meet the needs of all of their students. Next week, the students will be in new groups based on their latest assessment.

Recess 

During recess two of the students stayed inside and sat with me at the small group table to visit. We talked about random things: basketball, football, losing a shoe, someone stealing a jacket, basketball practices on Saturdays, and more. The two students did most of the talking, I just sat back and listened.

The Sun

My CT asked the students what they knew about the sun. Before allowing them to answer she gave them 30 seconds to think quietly before responding (I like this strategy). While they were thinking, she placed a chart on the board with the words: Know, 2:15 & Learn. Then when the buzzer went off the students raised their hands and discussed the things they knew about the sun. My CT wrote each item on the chart under the word Know. Then she played the video (start to 2:15) Explore Our Solar System: Planets & Space for Kids



When the video portion was over she wanted to hear what the students learned. They had a small discussion about any questions they may have had. Then she passed out a post it note for them to write something they learned about the sun during conversation or in the video. 

When they were finished, she placed a chapter from their Science book on the document camera. The students did a choral reading of the section. She used the laser to point to the words so everyone would stay together. Unfortunately, some students decided to make a race out of it and read faster.. which caused much confusion for the entire class. Choral reading is a great strategy for small groups, where I have seen it work. However, it was very difficult to get 21 students to read the same thing at the same time out loud. WHile reading, my CT pointed out the Chapter Title, Heading & Subheadings to assist them in reading expository texts. At the end of their reading (and re-reading) my CT checked for comprehension of the reading with the question: Why is the sun so important? They were instructed to write the answer on their piece of paper and bring it to her when they were finished. My CT stated that most of the responses were really thought out and showed they were engaged with their activity. A few of them were vague in their descriptions and she will have a discussion with those students so she is satisfied with their takeaways from the lesson.

Weekly Counselor Visit

The counselor came in to finish the school day with a lesson on Apologizing. He read the story, Sorry by Trudy Ludwig. He began the lesson by asking the students if they ever did something that they had to say sorry to someone. He then asked how did the apology go? Many students responded with their stories.  After reading the story, the counselor pointed out the character in the book who watch the boy do something wrong and labeled him a bystander. The students talked about what it meant to be a bystander and then discussed what the character should have done instead. In addition, he also discussed what happens when the word sorry is not good enough. They discussed how the person who does wrong should apologize, but also make the wrong situation right again. I really liked the conversation the students had about apologizing, being a bystander, and what to do when you do something wrong to another person. This is a social skill that many students can benefit from. 

What other ways can you teach valuable social skills in the classroom? Please let me know in the comments!

Pre-Internship: Inservice Day


I woke up early this Tuesday to prepare for a full day in the second grade, with no students. I attended my first Inservice Day!


A teacher's' work day today, began with a 2nd grade team meeting to discuss their Math program Bridges for the 4th quarter. My CT then worked on entering grades in milepost; while I read through my Charlotte Danielson Book. After awhile of individual work, we discussed my plans for the rest of the semester in her classroom. Scheduling my two remaining Mini Lessons to be completed for observation and my Unit Plan. We decided that I will be working on Social Studies, Idaho Content Standard 4: Civics & Government. If you know me at all, you will know that I find this topic to be very exciting! I cannot wait to create this unit for the second graders. 


I was now better prepared to work alongside my CT. Let the planning begin!


I found unused social studies curriculum books in her resources and I have found some direction and inspiration for my unit; I will complete on Citizenship, Communities & Rules. I am required to write a 6 day "unit" plan for my second grade class; complete with pre & post assessments and a final project. I am to teach at least two of the six days. At my request, I will be teaching the entire unit!


After lunch, the 2nd grade team met again to discuss their reading program Wonders, Response to Intervention in the 4th quarter, and parent-teacher conferences. When the meeting was over, my CT received another file cabinet from the school janitor and began organizing and cleaning up the room.

Reflection

The day started slow; however, I was prepared as it was a teacher workday and there was much to do by the team. Although, listening in on their meeting made me more aware of what being apart of a teacher grade team meant. It provided me with insight on how lesson planning and pacing was divided up between the team and how the administration held them accountable to what was taught in the classroom.

Another takeaway, I had today is that keeping your room clean/organized is like running/ managing another household! During the day it is so easy to sit piles down, put something in one place, or lay a stack of books in another place. But, over time it is so easy to forget where everything was temporarily placed. Just like what I have taught my children at home and what I try to do most days; when you get something out or create something new, when you are finished with it, put it where it belongs. Easier said than done, I know. But if I super clean my house once every three/four months, I can maintain it during the school semester. I think, (I hope) that I can do this in the classroom as well. I think, (I hope) that I can teach my students to clean up as they go and stay organized to maintain the classroom too.

What do you do to keep your classroom from looking like a tornado went through it? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Observe, Assist & Play

Desk Clean Up

The afternoon began with a cleaning of their desks. My CT helps and instructs them to dump all of the contents from their desk onto the floor in order to get a deep clean of the contents inside.


As I watched the students clean, I began to wonder about how to teach organizational skills so that better management of desks can occur during the week to avoid this disaster. Are tables better with drawers to place their individual supplies? Or maybe chair pockets that can have a folder to place stuff to keep and complete on one side and then stuff to take home on the other? Where would crayons, markers, scissors, and other necessary supplies go? Would they have individual boxes to store them, because most schools will not allow community supplies. Maybe a routine to instruct the students where to place items neatly when we put them away, taking the extra moments to put the items where they belong after it is complete instead of taking many moments every two weeks to do a deep cleaning.

Heads Up - Seven Up

The students did a wonderful job cleaning their desks. We had a few minutes before going to block. My CT called out students names to go to the front of the classroom and then said, "heads up- seven up!" I sprung from my seat and sat down at one of the empty desks, placed my head down on the desk, and stuck my thumb out! I was not going to miss out on this opportunity. I heard giggles from the students as they seen me join into their game. I was selected in each of the three rounds that we played and I missed at guessing the correct student who selected me. I am kind of happy I chose incorrectly, it would have been difficult to select a student. The students kept on giggling at me and smiling throughout the game. It was a fun experience we had together. After a week like this one, it was nice to laugh and play with them.



Prep- Time

My CT made some basic dough with flour, salt, and water in a large bowl. Then divided it into about 17 balls. She handed me one and instructed me to create an imprint with a seashell. We were creating fossils in Response to Intervention (RTI) to wrap up our unit on Dinosaurs. I carefully placed my seashell into the dough and then painted the imprint with watercolor. I think mine turned out very nice. We placed ours underneath the document camera and projected it onto the interactive board, so that the students could see what they were going to complete.



Response to Intervention (RTI)

The students came in for intervention and we showed them what we were going to complete today, they were ecstatic! We took them outside so they could locate one or two items to use as their fossil. They selected: branches, leaves, pinecones, and rocks. We passed out the dough, paper plates, water cups, watercolors, and brushes. The students went straight to work. They talked about their creations as they made them. They talked about why they chose the items outside and what those objects reminded them of what they learned this week. They were very excited about their creations and called out my name to see what they had done at each step. When all of the students were finished, we completed a gallery walk so they could see what their classmates created. We cleaned up the room and completed the activity. The students were going to be able to take theirs home tonight to share with their family. This was a great activity to wrap up their readings and discussions on dinosaurs and the process in which we learn about them today.

Learning looked a little bit different today, what did learning look like in your classroom?

Understanding by Design, Developing Assessment Tasks

In my reading on creating assessment tasks that reveal student understanding in the book Understanding by Design: Creating High Quality Units. My quote that I took away from the reading was simple,
“My goal as your teacher is to make myself eventually unneeded” (p. 96). 
This made me think of Nanny McPhee and her purpose of her work. She says

“There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's rather sad, really, but there it is.” 


Just like Nanny McPhee and the children; a student, ultimately must become independent from their teachers. The student eventually should be able to use what they are taught on their own, without the assistance of their teachers.

I just love making connections to movies and literature. What things have you connected to in your world of teaching?

Pre-Internship: Good to be Back


After a long week in bed, it was so nice to be back in the classroom again with the second graders. Today started off with a Calendar lesson, something new for me to see. My CT had the students focus on the back of the room to see the calendar. Each day of the month is a flag from around the world.


 As my CT flipped over the 10th, 11th & 12th, she had the students describe the flags and explain any patterns they may see. After noticing that all of the flags had red in them, she asked them how they looked like fractions. Students began to see that Poland, Uganda, Canada, and Romania had fraction qualities. My CT led them through a number of questions so that they would come up with numbers like: one-half, one third, two-fifths, etc. This was a great lesson to find math in our everyday world and tie in a quick discussion about the Olympics. I like how quick and easy it was and still be an incredible learning experience for the entire class. The questions and the mini-stories my CT shared engaged the students and allowed them to actively learn something new; as well as apply something already known. I think it's great when a teacher can teach without the students really knowing that they are being taught. While observing this mini-lesson, I couldn't help but think of The Big Bang Theory, Fun with Flag video series Amy Farrah Fowler & Sheldon completed on the show.



After the mini lesson, my CT had a few extra moments before taking the students to block. She used this time wisely to read from the chapter book The City of Ember. During block, my CT used this time for grading papers and restoring her energy. She is under the weather the last few days. In addition, it was snowing today so the students were a bit antsy having to stay inside as they watched the snowfall. I can imagine it was difficult to compete with on a Monday. I believe, sometimes you cannot compete, maybe you need to give in a little and be flexible on the days plan. How can you incorporate what is happening outside to what you are doing inside, so that it not too much of a distraction?

During Response to Intervention (RTI), students read a lesson on Dinosaurs from their Science book and my CT asked them questions individually as they finished. If completed their questions correctly they were given a handout to extend the knowledge they just read, if they did not they were instructed to go back and read so they can come back and answer correctly. This was a good way to assess students comprehension; using various levels of DOK questioning. I really like how she uses different subjects integrated in RTI, reading, math, and writing. There is so much that needs to be covered and learned, it is important to add in additional learning moments as you can.

During the last teaching moments of the day, students worked on their Google Slides presentation on Volcanoes, Tsunamis, and Earthquakes. As the students worked individually, I walked around and assisted the students with their questions about creating slides. Sizing pictures, adding text, searching for pictures, etc. As the spelling questions came up, I turned to write them on the whiteboard so students could find the common ones needed to complete their slides. The students were very excited to show me what they did last week, while I was gone. They worked really hard on using the knowledge they learned in readings, discussions, and videos. One student even found a picture of Mount St. Helens from the story I told them two weeks ago!

What a fantastic Monday, until next time...

What I Wore: Week Before Last

I was sick last week, so I was unable to participate in my pre-internship placement. I went to one class on Thursday, fortunately that was the only class that was scheduled for me. I am feeling much better today; however, a cough still lingers. Here is what I wore, the week before last week.


Head to Toe: Hair Pin from Target, Rose scarf from Target Dollar Spot,
Black & White Stripe Shirt from Wish App, Denim Shirt from Banana Republic,
Black Slacks from Gig Harbor Goodwill & Black Shoes from ShopKo
Tuesday:  Pre-Internship

Head to Toe: Harry Potter Always Necklace from Target,
Grey & Green Stripe Sweater from Local Thrift Shop, Grey Merona Tee from Target,
Brown Corduroys from Friend & Brown Clogs from Twin Falls Gig Harbor
Bengal Wednesday: Class & Pre-Internship 
Head to Toe: Rose HairPin from Target,
Black Turtleneck Sweater from Gig Harbor Goodwill,
Rose Necklace from Hope Ave,
Black/Orange Stripe Merona Skirt from Target & Black Shoes from ShopKo


Thursday:  Middle School ELA Observation & Class

Head to Toe: Black Rose HairPin from Target, Scarfland Leopard Print Scarf from Amazon,
Camel Boyfriend Cardigan from Old Navy, Black & White Stripe Merona Tee from Target,
Brown Belt from Gift, Black Skirt from Banana Republic & Black Shoes from ShopKo
 Friday: Pre-Internship

Head to Toe: Grey Rose HairPin from Target, Pearl HairPin from Target,
Flower Pin from Target, Grey/ White Polka Dot Scarf from Target Dollar Spot,
Cream Sweater from Gift, Grey/White Striped Merona Shirt from Friend,
Grey Pants from Macy's & Brown Clogs from Twin Falls Goodwill

I really enjoyed this weeks selection of clothes, I hope you did too! Please let me know what you think in the comments, I would love to hear your opinion. I wonder what I am going to wear this week? 

Unit Lesson Plan Starting Points

This week, we are reading about the starting points in developing a unit plan, in the book
The Understanding by Design: Creating High Quality UnitsI found a notable quote on page 34:
“Readers can see and follow the recipe easily because the cook has made sure to clarify the chronology of the work to be done. But this logical approach to offering a recipe as the product of work almost always hides the messy, back and forth process by which the recipe was developed, tested, refined, and completed."
I think it is important to remember that in creating a lesson - the end result is a fine polished (still a piece of work in progress, fine tuned to specific taste) masterpiece that will give instruction and guidance to the teacher to complete the unit with his or her students. It does not mean that it was created from beginning to end. We should not try to sit down and complete a unit plan template from start to finish in chronological order. I really wish I had known this while struggling through the lesson plans I created in the beginning of the education program as a freshman at CSI. It was all about plugging in information in the spaces on the template.

What do you think about this quote and the unit lesson planning process?

Teaching English Methods Reflective Journal Entry #10



One of the best parts (I think) of teaching a language arts class is choosing texts. However, when selecting materials it is important to consider the following: literary value; student level; variety of textual forms; variety of authorship; and appropriateness. Often, these considerations can be in opposition to each other. So what two or three considerations do you believe to be most important and why?

     I agree, that one of the best parts to teaching a language class is choosing the texts in which the students to read. This gives us an opportunity to teach the required skill sets they are required to learn based on the common core.
     When selecting the materials for the classroom, I believe that student level and variety of textual forms are to be the most important. Student level is by far the most crucial portion of text selection for your classroom. If the text you are selecting is too easy, a student will be left unchallenged; however, if it is too difficult, a student will be left frustrated and unmotivated to read the material. So what text or text(s) do we choose for ALL of the class? There is no Goldilocks type of book too choose for the entire class; there is no just right text. Therefore, I believe in selecting several texts per unit for students to read based on ability and throughout the school year, this text grows in complexity to meet the needs of growth. Why not develop a unit where students read a variety of texts to learn the required material. I believe a student will grow leaps and bounds in a room with choice books based on student level. In addition to a variety of texts to meet the needs of reading levels within the room, there should also be a variety of textual forms taught in the classroom: poetry, short story, different genres, non-fiction, expository, reference, etc. Providing students with multiple textual forms gives them the ability to learn a variety of reading strategies to meet the purpose of their reading.

rwcsignature