Wednesday, January 31, 2018

An Afternoon at my Pre-Internship Placement

After recess, the students came in full of energy and needed to be refocused. Once they settled in for their short time of instruction, my CT led through a practice of adding a list of four numbers together (5+4+6+4=). The results of the students Mobymax Math assessment directed my CT toward the idea that the majority of the class were in need of fine tuning this skill and decided that full class instruction would be beneficial; providing the students with strategies they can use to solve these problems. After writing the numbers (she received by rolling four dice) on the whiteboard and having the class do the same on their individual white boards she asked them some questions to assist them with breaking the addition equation into manageable pieces. For example: Are there any combination of numbers that add to 10 (1&9, 2&8, 3&7, etc.). Once the students were completed with the addition problem on their board they showed her their answers. Then as a class they completed the problem together. Those who received a different answer was asked to look at what they did differently. During the second math question, my CT asked again if anyone could pair any numbers to create 10. A student responded no; however, you can combine two numbers to create 5. This making it easier to calculate the entire equation. For this answer, causing the student to use her critical thinking skills; she was able to ring the smarty pants bell. The smarty pants bell is an old cowbell that sits at the front of the room. When a student answers with exceptional responses, they are able to come up to the front of the class and ring the bell.

During the lesson, my CT was in need of stepping out in the hallway (with the classroom door open) with a student who was making poor choices. So, she asked me if I could fill in for her. I graciously accepted the opportunity, bounced up to the front of the classroom, rolled the dice, wrote the numbers on the board, and called them out so the students could write them down, and solve the problem. After giving students sufficient time to complete the problem and seeing that all have finished the problem, full of energy I asked the students to show me their boards. I noticed everyone received the correct answer, so I had them tell me how they combined their numbers to come to a solution. I noticed the more questions I asked with excitement and positive responses the more feedback and engagement I received from the class. I had them wipe off their boards and completed another round of this exercise with the class. I noticed there was no combinations to get to 10 or 5 this time, so before they began solving I gave them an opportunity to come together as a class to figure out how they would solve the problem. Some chose random combinations with no organization; so I provided them with the idea to combine the first two and come to an answer and combine the second two numbers and come to an answer and then solve the equation by finding the sum to the two answers. Since I used the word sum, I asked the class if they knew what that meant. A student responded correctly by saying it was the answer to an addition problem, so I knew that we were on the same page. Once we completed the problem individually, I had them show me their answers, and then we solved the problem once again. I noticed the time, so we did one more question. I had the students in the front row roll the di and call out the number. I wrote the numbers on the board and made sure all the students got them written down. When the students showed me their boards, all of them received the right answer! I told them they did a fantastic job and they needed to get ready for block. Remembering how we did it last week, I told them to wipe their boards, place their cap on their markers, in which at this time my CT came in to finish preparing them to go to block. The students got all of their materials put away and I was able to walk them down to P.E. and Library. Before we walked down the hall, I asked them what they were going to do when we were walking to block. They responded, "chipmunk cheeks and a straight line!" I told them they were awesome and then they needed to show me what that looks like. They did a pretty good job, which made me happy since we paraded right in front of the principal standing outside of the office!


After block and last recess, the students were continuing to learn about compare and contrast as they read about the rainforest. In their Wonders book; they read a section on Tropical Rainforests and were given a post it note so that they can write one fact they learned. This post it note was to be placed on the Venn Diagram up on the board. I observed the students reading intently to find their fact to share on the diagram. As students placed their post it note on the diagram, most of them took a moment to read the other facts from their classmates.


I really liked how this Venn Diagram activity worked this time with them creating it together and how it got them up and moving. Tomorrow, they will be reading about the Temperate Rainforest and adding facts to the other side. Then they will be able to move their facts to the middle if they are the same and leave them in the separate sections if they are different.

Mid Week Spelling Words Assessment - My CT asked the students to stand up and create a giant circle around the room. Many students began sharing that they knew what this was, Around the World. The students were given a word from their spelling list and each student spelled the word one letter at a time, each student could only say one letter. After the word was spelled, the following student would say, " That is how you spell (the word)". Then another word would be given to the class. If the student stated the wrong letter they were asked to sit down and listen to the remainder of the spelling words. My CT reminded students they should be spelling the words in their head to follow along. This activity provided my CT with the knowledge of how students were doing with the words they are learning this week and provided additional (fun) practice for the students.

With 20 minutes left of the class, we began to watch a video entitled, "Volcano: Nature's Inferno" created by National Geographic. The students are reading about Natural Disasters and made a K-W-L Chart for Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis. They are seeking out the answers to what they want to know about Volcanoes. They were each given a post it note to write down the facts they heard to the questions on the chart. While having a technical issue, I shared with the class my experience with the eruption of Mt. St Helens in Washington State when I was three years old. The students and my CT was pretty impressed that I could see the mountain from my backyard growing up. Once they finished watching the video for the day and as they were preparing to get ready to leave school, some students came over to tell me their volcano and mountain stories. I am so glad to be connecting with the students, this will be beneficial as I continue to work with them in the classroom.

I had an incredible time with the students today! I have to admit, I am having a better time than I imagined and am learning A LOT! I was so excited to have another opportunity to teach again. I told my husband tonight, I think I could teach any grade of students. I think I will continue my experience in 2nd grade and then student teaching in middle school with an open mind. Who knows what grade I will end up!

Until next time....


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