Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WebQuest Reflection

I thought that the design of all of our pages worked really well. I think that they were designed to look great. I think the thing that did not work well is that our webquest seemed to be too simple. I think we could have/should have made it more difficult. It was hard to work as a team on the computers since one person was doing most of the navigating. It was nice to do it as a team because it wasn't as much work for each person. It since we could only have the file up on one computer at a time we just had each write things our or find pictures and email it to the person who was working on it. The next time I design a webquest I will probably make it a little more complicated. I will probably want to have the webquest designed to get the students thinking more deeply.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Field Experience Week 3

Well, all of my avid readers, it is the last week of my field experience. I am sad to report this news seeing as it means my upcoming departure from the lovely and hilarious 4th graders and my re-entrace to my classes. Since I last wrote I haven't had too many new experiences. We recently taught a lesson using the book we read in Social Studies Methods, "Molly's Pilgrim" by Barbara Cohen. It went really well. We were talking about showing respect for other cultures. I really enjoyed sharing this with the kids because we do have quite a culturally diverse little classroom. We also had our final observation by our supervisor. Although during the lesson plan I thought that it was total chaos and that we would surely fail, she thought it was fine. I thought it went badly only because we were doing a group research activity where the kids researched another culture and made a poster to present to the class. Groups mean talking, and I see what Professor Ramirez means now about being EXPLICIT. When you are not, there are hundreds of questions. I sometimes try not to be too explicit. I mean you don't want to feed them their homework on a golden spoon right? Also, I try to leave them room for creativity, but when you do that the kids all ask is it okay to do this or that or the other. I am sure it will be a little easier when it is my own classroom because the kids will get to know me and I will tell them I want them to be creative and that they don't need to check everything with me first, but it would help to be more explicit. Other than that I am stressed about all of the homework due dates, and interviewing a technology specialist tomorrow, and an upcoming math test, but I will survive it all somehow. I think this has been a really great learning experience. The end of the field work is proving to be very bittersweet, but leaning to the bitter side. I really don't want to go back to our classes, I just want to stay in the schools and have fun (teach). On the brightside, we do have summer vacation coming up. I hope everyone else's experiences are going well. I have finally learned all of the kids names now that it is time to go. They are all really awesome kids and I can't wait to get to know more when I have my own classroom for a full year :).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Field Experience Week 2!

The field experience is still going well. We started teaching our lessons on Monday. Monday we taught our first lesson which turned out to be nerve-wracking since our supervisor came in to watch us on our first day teaching! The lesson on Monday was about what culture is. My partner and I were extremely nervous for the lesson because we thought that the kids might have no idea what culture was and we were going to be doing a KWL sheet. Fortunately, the kids knew a lot more than we expected and basically everything went well except that, what we had planned for our 45 minute lesson got done in about 30 minutes so we had to just add to it and make stuff up on the fly. All in all it went well, but we underestimated the kids. On Tuesday, our second day we weren't as nervous or stressed, but our lesson took longer than expected. This day we were going to work on studying Utah culture. First we read a book called, "U is for Utah," which we had anticipated taking 15 minutes, but actually took about a half hour and the kids were a little bored with the book. When the book was over we told the kids about the assignment they were going to be doing which was making a page for our own ABC book on Utah Culture. There are 26 kids in the class and each was assigned to a letter to make a page for our class book. Since the book took a lot longer than expected we had to use our time for today's lesson which was cut short anyhow for an assembly to just finish up yesterday's project. A funny thing that happened though, was that after we assigned the students the letters we handed out their Utah History books and told them to look up their letter in the Index for ideas. One boy said, "this sucks!" hahaha so I just said, "thank you," then he said, "Oh... I meant that there isn't anything good in the index for my letter." I thought it was funny, but maybe it's just me. It reminded me of our classroom management teacher showing us how kids were going to respond to us, "you're gay!"...etc. Well I hope the other stuff we have planned doesn't take up too much time otherwise we won't be able to get all of our lesson plans in! So far the kids are great fun and our cooperating teacher is really nice and helpful. I am so glad that we are getting out there in the field a lot earlier than at some other schools' programs. I will be sad to go back to our classes in a week and a half. I wish we could just stay at the elementary schools in a sort of apprentice type training rather than going back to classes. Oh well, that is not how they have decided that we can earn a degree. Hope everyone else is getting to have fun and enjoy their experiences with their students! Good Luck to all.