Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Yay! This week is finals week which means that after Friday, I don't have class for two and a half weeks! For our final on Monday we had to turn in all of our assignments from the semester. That was kind of stressful preparing for it, but once we got there we just got to chat while each person conferenced with Dr. Waters. For our bilingual/cultural final we were just finishing up with book report presentations, but I did mine two weeks ago, so I didn't have anything to worry about. On Tuesday, we had our science final. That was kind of annoying to me, because the class was Science METHODS and we took a test on Science CONTENT, so that is a little annoying, but I did pretty good. We also did a children's book presentation thing where we talked about how we could use the book to teach science. Then we had our Classroom Management final. That class was kind of like a party. Pretty much, we ate food and went over some scenarios about behavior problems and discussed possible ways to handle it. Wednesday, was my hard day! That day was our literacy final. We were given information, like a case study, on two students and their literacy and we had to create a plan for instruction. I feel like it went okay, but I don't really know how I did. I just hope I did well enough to keep my scholarship. I definitely feel like I have learned so much this semester. I am satisfied with what I have learned, but I still have to worry about the grades.
Friday, December 12, 2008
This was our last week of regular classes! I am so glad to be almost done with this semester! It has been a long one. On Monday in our foundations class we had a guest speaker. It was kind of nice having a change of pace from all of the facilitations, but that class is kind of stressing me out because I have procrastinated the assignments! Then for our Foundations of Multicultural classroom we continued presenting book reports and I did mine last week so it is just smooth sailing for that class! On Tuesday, we had Science, which is a three hour block so it is always very long. I am writing this on Friday and by now I really can't remember what we did in class other than we did some baseball game review thing for the final. Then we had our classroom management class where we pretty much talked about book reports that we were to turn in that day and how to prepare for the final. On Wednesday we had our Literacy Class. We turned in our Case Studies for that class which is kind of stressful I am not sure how well I did. I tried to do a good job, but I know Dr. Byrd is a hard grader so it still stresses me a bit. On Thursday we had Language Arts Methods. In that class we turned in a bunch of huge projects. It was great to be done with them! It is nice just to know I don't have to think about them anymore other than keeping copies of the ones that are key assignments. I am feeling pretty prepared for finals week, but I feel like I have no clue what grades I am getting in any of my classes. I hope I do well enough to keep my scholarship. One thing that really irritates me is that a lot of my professors are constantly saying not to do homework or projects or reading for, "the grade," we should be doing it to be good teachers. I am really here to learn how to become a great teacher, but how can they say grades don't matter? That really burns me up, because it does matter. If we don't get at least a B- we have to retake that class, and some of us have scholarships and our grades are a matter of thousands of dollars. So far scholarships have saved me from spending over $15,000! I wish they would stop saying not to worry about our grades. Anyway no one really reads this so I am going to just stop ranting now.
Monday, December 1, 2008
It was so great to have a break last week! Today we went back to classes though. In foundations of American Education we discussed small class size. I think it was a pretty interesting discussion, but I felt like it was really repetitive and not that useful since I don't think we as teachers will have a lot of say in what our class sizes will be. After that class we had our Multicultural Education Class. In that class we turned in our Field Reflection and some of us presented book reports. It was really great for me to sign up to get it done the first week! Now I don't have anything to worry about for that class for the rest of the semester! On Tuesday for Science we did some type of review game for the final. In Classroom management we talked about field experience a little bit more and turned in a worksheet. On Wednesday we turned in our Case Study. That was sort of stressful because I unfortunately put it off until the last minute and had to stay up until 1 AM working on it! One fortunate thing though, is that when we got to class Dr. Byrd said we could have another week to work on it. I am glad I have some more time to perfect it before I turn it in especially since it is a key assignment. On Thursday we had Language Arts Methods. Class went okay, but I was kind of frustrated that we were given a bunch of extra assignments that weren't on the syllabus and I thought I had things under wraps for the semester and now I have a bunch of work to do! Oh well, I have to do what I have to do to make it through the semester.
Monday, November 24, 2008
So we went back to classses today. For Foundations of American Education we talked a lot about field and then discussed the reading assignment on Character Education. I feel like I heard a lot of good ideas about what would work in the classroom. It was also really nice to talk to everyone about field and see how everything went. For Foundations of a Bilingual Classroom our teacher was not there because of a family emergency, so we just turned in our Cross Cultural Analysis papers and went home! Now we only have one more day left of classes and then Thanksgiving break!
Friday, November 21, 2008
This week was our last week in field! Today was so sad leaving the kids. I felt bad because they didn't really understand why we couldn't just keep coming back! I can't wait until I start teaching my own class so I don't have to abandon them after a couple of weeks! This week went well. Everything was just kind of winding down. We were done with everything we needed to do for homework, but our teacher was having us teach science again (to three different classes), continue doing our guided reading groups, and do read alouds every day. I feel like everything went well other than the fact that our science lesson on snow was too easy, but it is kind of hard to do any pre assessment when we only work with them for a half hour on science once a week. I'm sure I will have a much better understanding of what the kids already know and don't know yet, when I am with the kids everyday. I can't really think of much to say about this week in field now that it's over other than; I don't want to go back to class at UVU! I just want to stay in the schools. Today on our last day the kids gave us each a book called, "First Day Jitters." It is a really cute little book about a teacher's first day of school. One thing I am worried about is that our cooperating teacher did not give us a copy of our evaluation. I told her we needed a copy because we are supposed to turn one in to our classroom management teacher and she was really weird about it. She went to BYU so things are run a little differently there. It makes me nervous that she was so funny about giving us a copy. I feel like maybe she didn't rate us very well! Which is odd, because I feel like she liked us and I feel like we did a really good job. I will just have to tell our Professor that she needs to get our evaluation from our college supervisor. I definitely think I did a lot better this semester than last semester, especially on classroom management. I feel like a learned a lot about trying to manage behavior, but still being able to be myself in the classroom. Our cooperating teacher was great at management, but I feel like I definitely have a different management style. Well I guess that's all there is. I feel like I am on the right track for getting all of my homework done and finishing out the semester!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This week in field was a lot better than last week! On Monday we started out just working with our reading groups like normal in the morning. That day our cooperating teacher was being observed by her principal because she is still a newer teacher. After our cooperating teacher was observed she had to leave to conference with her principal. At this point Annie and I were left in charge for about an hour to an hour and a half. We were going to be doing, "Today's Number," with the kids, doing a read aloud, and working with the kids on word sorts (from Words Their Way). It actually went really well. We were so glad we were able to keep the kids on task and behaving appropriately. On Tuesday I did a read aloud in the morning (reading comprehension study). I read a picture book about a rainy day. I feel like I did a good job with this and the cooperating teacher gave me some feedback on what I did well or could improve on. Tuesday was also the first day we taught our science lesson and we were being observed by our supervisor from the college! I think the lesson went pretty well, but not perfect. What was really nice is we also taught the lesson again to other classes on Wednesday and Thursday. I feel like the lesson got progressively better each day. It was also really nice to get feedback and suggestions from our supervisor and cooperating teacher to help us improve each day. The first day I think went okay, but it was the first time so we did make some adjustments for the next day. The second day it felt like we knew more about what to expect, but we still weren't on top of the management part. Thursday was awesome! I feel like since we knew what to expect and more about how to handle it and what to do it was great. It's too bad we couldn't do it as well the first time, but what can you do? I am really grateful that our teacher allows us to work with guided reading groups everyday. I feel like if we were only doing the one guided reading lesson required by our Literacy class I wouldn't be learning nearly as much as I am. Thursday we also taught a craft lesson on writing a title. I think it went okay, but I think the concept might have been a little bit over their head. It would probably just be a lot better if we could be more explicit and explore the concept more. Overall it went well, but I don't think it's something every student has a good grasp on. Friday was pretty good. I did some running records during reading time because we don't do guided reading groups on Friday. We also taught a lesson on sensory detail and had the kids write poems using the five senses. I think it went well, but timing is so hard. There were a lot of kids who I felt needed more time, but many also who got done so fast! We found out today that we will be going to do science lessons for all of the classes next week again so we need to get planning for that. Also Annie and I will be doing all of the teacher read alouds next week too so I need to take a trip to the library to find some good books. I am really glad that our cooperating teacher is giving us so many opportunities to teach! Getting so much more experience is making me feel a lot more ready to become a teacher! I am so excited and can't wait to be in a classroom of my own!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So this was our first week in the field! It is very exciting I love field! So far on Monday, our first day, I got there really early because I was nervous to be on time, but hey at least I was on time. I was kind of nervous the first day because I hadn't gotten a chance to meet our cooperating teacher yet. My first impression of the teacher was that she was very in control, and a little intimidating. I really think there is a lot I can learn from her, especially as far as classroom management is concerned. We mostly observed her the first two days. We were just trying to get a feel of how things are run in her classroom. We go there from 8:00 AM until 11:30 PM (ish, we usually stay a little longer). At 8:00 AM that is when the, "early birds" get there. About ten students come first thing in the morning and the teacher does a reading comprehension study. This is when she basically does a Read Aloud with a picture book and asks them a lot of questions for comprehension. Then after that the kids do silent reading as the teacher calls back groups of students one group at a time to work with guided reading books. After this the teacher does a shared reading with the students. At this time it is about 9:00 AM and it is time for the, "lator gators" to arrive. Once the lator gators get there the class gets started working on math. They usually work together on story problems, then have some time to work on the problems alone. At 11:00 on Tues, Wed, and Thurs they have science rotations. After science the kids go to lunch and we go home. Today (Friday) we, Annie and I, each took over one of the guided reading groups and we will be working with them everyday for the rest of field. That is kind of nice because we are only required to do one guided reading lesson, but we will get to practice it about ten times. Wednesday was a really hard day because our cooperating teacher was actually gone that day and we had a substitute there with us. It was hard because the kids were being a little wild, with the sub, but we knew from watching the teacher what she would have said when. It was really hard for me, since I am a natural leader not to step in and tell the kids to settle down, but I didn't want to overstep the sub. All in all it went okay with the sub. The week so far has been good. I feel like I have learned a lot from the cooperating teacher. At the beginning of the week I thought that running a classroom with kids from the younger grades would be really overwhelming, but it seems a lot more manageable after watching it in action. I am really excited for next week when we can do more teaching!