Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Apologies

Over the next few weeks, the number of posts I will be publishing will be much fewer.  This is because I am prepping for my two week solo and STEAM Unit.  The prepping of materials and lessons plans is becoming intense because of my perfectionist manner, but I am excited still.

Will keep you all posted as much as possible.

Once again thank you for coming to my blog, feel free to share content, +1 or subscribe.


Friday, February 6, 2015

A Little Effort Goes A Long Way!

During my student teaching time, I have made an effort to introduce and greet as many people as I can.  In a school with 80+ staff this may sound time consuming, but in reality all it takes is a handsshake and a "Good Morning!"  My name has already become known through my new school and because of that, it has begun going through the school district more than it had been already.  Schools with openings coming up are asking for me by name, schools I have never even stepped foot in have heard of me and my abilities, particularly around math and science.  These openings are not even public yet and they have asked for my resume and application through SchoolSpring.

My dream was to make a name for myself, to get to know enough people that getting a job interview would be a bit easier, but this is even beyond what I could have imagined.  And all it took was a little effort, even the principal of my new school has asked me my opinion on ideas, as well as requested to observe my unit while I solo teach.

So my best advice to those going through your years of student teaching or even if you just want to become a little more known in your district:  take the time to say good morning and introduce yourself to people everyday, no matter how you may feel internally, outwardly you will appear outgoing and confident.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bruised tailbones and Co-teaching.

Today I had my first Co-teaching experience using the Team teaching method.  I have co-taught before using parallel and accommodation methods, so it was a real pleasure to try out team teaching.  It went really well.  My cooperating teacher and I played really well off of each other and I think it enriched the experience for the students in the room.  Students had two adults to reflect their thoughts and questions on, and had the chance to get two instructions/directions in two different styles to insure that they were getting things right.

My only issue I had, my tailbone was so painful.  I had taken a bad fall down some icy stairs last week, and since then there has been a throbbing pain in my posterior no matter if I am sitting or standing or walking.  It is enhanced when I am standing and walking on concrete (i.e. school floors).  The throbbing pain often took my mind off my work, but I am proud of myself for maintaining through the lesson.  I think I am so sore from the extended time I had standing yesterday teaching extra lessons throughout the day.

It is awkward moaning and grunting every time I stank or kneel while helping students.

My very first 5th Grade ELA lesson

This lesson (explained in another one of my posts about a mascot), went amazingly!  Students were excited throughout the period, they were on task and discussions were very meaningful.  Even though this lesson was directed at beaing pretty silly and fun and creative, the students took it seriously enough to use their time effectively and the stories they came up with was beyond my expectation.  The best part of it all was seeing students so excited to share their stories with the class at the end of the period.

During the first round of this lesson, my college supervisor was there to observed and made several comments on how well the lesson went and how engaged the students were.  Student behaviors were nearly perfect, with only one student having difficulty because he was simply not sure how to get his ideas organized on paper.  I presented this student with a graphic organizer I had premade and the issue seemed to be solved.

During the second round of this lesson, the 5th grade ELA teacher was in to observe.  This time the classroom was louder (26 children were talking and discussing ideas), but all conversations were on task and meaningful.  Toward the end, predictably, students became a little off task, so I pulled the group together sooner than I had anticipated in order to wrangle everyone to focus.  By doing this, it allowed for more students to share their work, and I gave students permission to add to their stories while others were presenting.  I think this enriched their writing further.

It was truly amazing to see the stories and narratives that the students came up with.  So many possibilities, so many personalities, so much creativity.

 I am more than happy to post my lesson plan or even student work if anyone is interested.

And as always, thank you for reading, feel free to share and like this post.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Thank you all!

Today I hit my 300th view in just a few weeks.  What an amazing feeling to know that others are enjoying my work.  Several of my posts have close to ten +1 and I have even gotten some comments.  The best feeling is when others share my posts.

Just in general, thank you all for the support, you make this worth it for me!

If there is anyone who has suggestions to improve my blog or content you would all like to see just message me or comment.  And as always feel free to subscribe or +1 my posts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What an Amazing Feeling!!

Today I was going to observe in another classroom as per a requirement of my Student Teaching (actually not necessary for 6 more weeks, but wanted to get my checklist finished), and my cooperating teacher seemed saddened.  She expressed that she wanted my help in the classroom with the subject matter that was about to begin.  She extended this with that my presence within the classroom has seemed to help many of the students that she has had trouble reaching.  This was amazing.

I was wanted in her classroom.  I was making a difference.

The best part, it was simply because I was being me.  I was doing what I would in any other classroom, from the resource rooms I have worked in as a paraeducator, to the classrooms I have worked in in the same roles.

I felt like I was doing what I am supposed to be doing.

The feeling is truly intoxicating and empowering.  It brought a spring to my step and solidified that the stresses and sacrifices I have made over the last few years has been worth it, and I can make it through this and be a great teacher.

A great teacher!  All it takes some times is making that connection to that one hard to reach student, the chance to change one life, that lets you know that you are doing the right thing.

Monday, February 2, 2015

I have found a way to use a classroom Mascot with 5th Graders

My college supervisor aassigned that I plan and teach a ELA lesson.  Language Arts is not my strong area and I dread having to plan lessons in this subject.  Looking back at my previous posts, it came to me to use my classroom mascot to help motivate students to right.  I thought to help students make a connection to the mascot, named Wage, they could create the backstory for him.  While aligning this with the Common Core State Standards, I found that Narrative Writing was one of the components often looked over.

My next thought: how can I guide these students to write a detailed narrative without given them too much guiding information.  My goal was for students to use their own thoughts and imaginations to write their own background stories for Wage, but in a guided way.  How was I going to do this?

Storu Cubes!  If you have not heard of these, they are a set of 9 dice with 54 different pictures on them.  When the dice are rolled they can be used in various ways, but I thought I would have students choose 6 out of the 9 images to use for their narratives.  The choices are selected by the students rather than guided by me, which gives them a level of freedom, but guided academic choice.  OF COURSE  I would model what I was looking for first, and give students the instruction they need to complete the task, but I think giving the students the CHARACTER and PARTIAL INFORMATION would challenge the students enough to be engaged in the activity, enough choice that they feel free to write their own style, AND enough choice that they can draw on their own strengths.

I would be willing to make the lesson plan public, just ask in the comments.

I will write an update post after I teach the lesson on Wednesday (which I will be teaching twice).