New Beginnings

Once a place where I kept track of my teaching as a Graduate Student, this is now home to my rants and raves as a teacher. I still have a lot to learn about teaching and about myself as a teacher. Here, I will document my journey, both the good and the bad, so I can successfully reflect on others' methods of teaching as well as my own. Enjoy!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week End

Monday, December 13, 2010

The end of last week went really well! The first math lessons of each day were a little off, but I feel that's because I needed to familiarize myself with the language to teach the content. The second and third lessons always went much better. For everything else, transitions went a lot smoother, perhaps a combination of me...but more because the children calmed down. I tried the wait time, and to not show I was getting exasperated, and I'm sure that helped, too.

Today I'll teach math but tomorrow, for my observation at the end of my "leadership week" I will be teaching a hands on science lesson, on weather instruments! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's a Miss E takeover!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Take over week/leadership week is in full swing! Although I was supposed to start on Tuesday, REM was out sick on Monday, so I had to step in...good thing I had already planned on teaching Math that day! So Monday was Greatest Common Factor (GCF). The lesson went well. I could tell the first class was getting bored because they got GCF right away! There was a lot of class work to be done, so I encouraged them to push through. We had quite a bit of issues with talking, and it wasn't just the first class. The entire grade was off, and it even carried over into lunch. I received a few apologies from students, which while I didn't expect them at all, I appreciated because I really thought there was something I was missing to be able to maintain order. I did have to take recess away from the students because I had to remind them 4 times (3 times too many) that they were to be working quietly. SPEM recommended they get a chance to earn back recess, because she felt they need recess. I'm trying to think of ways to get them to stop talking so much and stay on task...and this is becoming a behavior issue for the entire grade...

Tuesday went much better. I talked to SPEM about some strategies and she said to focus on the positive. I'm struggling with saying "I notice so and so is working well" when that child is the ONLY one doing so...and everyone else is talking and laughing and shouting out and not on task. So I'm working on some strategies for myself. Like the last class of the day, they could not stop talking, so I got their attention, and asked if we could try something different. I then had them complete their worksheet with a partner, and they were able to get it done. Sometimes it's proving to be the little things...

Wednesday went well...the kids loved the rubric I introduced and came up with some great words and phrases to describe a "good math problem solver." We then went over how to use the rubric to do an open response. The first two classes I was on my own, being SPEM was out today at a class, so REM rotated. During the third math class of the day, our homeroom (the integrated classroom), REM stepped in after I walked them through how to do the problem, and had kids do it on their own. She explained to me that there is such a wide range of learners in the class that half were done with the problem while I was still going through it. So she wanted to give students time to do the rest on their own while teachers walked around helping those who needed it. We had a second open response ready as a challenge, and many student completed them.

It is definitely a learning process for me!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Leadership Week Begins

Monday, December 6, 2010

My leadership week (traditionally known as a take-over week) begins on Tuesday and will go until the following Tuesday. However, REM was out sick today (Monday), therefor it really began today! No worries, as I had already planned on taking over math today. Last week, I stayed after school until 6pm on Thursday night and planned out Monday-Wednesday for math. Over the weekend, I made rubric posters so the kids could start grading their open responses themselves and determine what they need to work on to score a 4 on state testing open responses. Being I'm interning with the math teacher, all I'm taking over is math, as well as the other homeroom responsibilities, such as reading, writing, and transitions.

The plan is as follows for math: Monday, Greatest Common Factor (GCF), Tuesday - Multiples and Least Common Multiple (LCM), Wednesday - Open Response questions, Thursday - Vocabulary review and Divisibility Game, Friday - Prime Factorization and Factor Trees, Monday - Negative Numbers

I'm really looking forward to this week and feel prepared right now for all except Friday and Monday (and being it's only the first Monday, I'd say I'm in pretty good shape!)

Here we go!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quotes and Synonyms

Monday, November 29, 2010

Today I was observed during a writing lesson by my supervisor from my college. I have a major project due in a few weeks for a curriculum class that I should have been working on over the Thanksgiving break, but this lesson plan took up all the free time and energy I had! Phew...who knew putting together two small group mini-lessons could take so much work!

The first small group consisted of above grade level students who have shown through other works and writings that they have a firm grasp on writing and show an individual style. For them, I planned a mini-lesson on the use of quotations. I had seen the use of the quotations in their writing and the biggest pet peeve I have is stand alone quotes. I know that 5th graders haven't learned this skill yet, but I feel they were ready to learn a bit about the proper use of quotes. I found some great rules for using dialogue quotes that I was able to tie into research writing. I have the lesson, so won't talk about it here, but rather reflect on the group. :)

It went well! This group of children are a quiet and controlled bunch. I find that using the thumbs up, down, sideways really works to see where they are with the use of quotes. The groups had some great input about using quotes, and while much of the information was familiar to them, the use in their own writing was new, especially using tags with quotes.

The second mini-lesson was on adjectives and synonyms. Again, I did the thumbs, both in beginning and end, and like with the first group, I got thumbs up all around after the mini-lesson. :) Using adjectives to describe an object, I had this group use a thesaurus and an online thesaurus to find synonyms. This group was a lot more rowdy than the last, but that was more dynamics (three boys one girl in this group, three girls one boy in the first group). but they did the lesson and I feel it was helpful. I even think they had fun finding synonyms because of some of the options given. They found many of the words humorous, and while behavior wise, not the best, I think they will use this skill because they had fun with it!

Once again, my supervisor loved the lesson and thought I did a fabulous job. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Empty Pot

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today in Language Arts we were continuing our inferencing lesson, I taught a lesson on prediction. They've seen it before, but for in their response logs, teachers are looking for deeper connections using prediction. They have to pull quotes from the text to support their predictions.

Using the Smart Board to project a graphic organizer, I was able to model for the class how to use a quote from a book to support a prediction, revise a prediction, and then explain what really happened. The book I used was called The Empty Pot, by Demi. This is a wonderful story about a little Chinese boy, Ping, who loves to grow flowers. One day, the Emperor decides to choose a successor from among the children and gives them all seeds. Whoever grows the best flower will be chosen Emperor. But there's a twist! This book made for a great prediction lesson. Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for choosing the book. It was part of a scripted lesson the school has. REM gave me the scrip and graphic organizer, however, I only used the scrip as a guide, and created the information for the graphic organizer.

I first introduced prediction, and then the graphic organizer up on the Smart Board. I had everything already filled in, but put it in white text, so to revel it to the class, all I had to do was change the font color. :) That's the first time I did that...and I loved the way it worked out! (So did REM.) I then read the book, starting with the cover, modeling how I make predictions. I made a few more using quotes, and then stopped on a page to have the students help me make a prediction and pull a quote. They participated really well!

I was also asked my REM and Sunshine if I would teach the lesson to Sunshine's class, because she didn't have one prepared herself, and they liked mine. ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Being Sunshine

Week of November 8, 2010

This was a good, but tough week. The kids are still wound up, and a bit out of control. They have had bad reports from Music, Library, and Lunch (which is a continuing situation that is not entirely their fault). I took over for Sunshine again this week, as she called in sick on Tuesday. The day went well, but Senora was out as well, and Eagle took over for her (which she was not too happy about). The day went very well, until dismissal. Two of the boys that Senora watches over were joking around and I saw one of them body slam the other into the fall. The second boy looked a bit hurt. I called them both over to me and had them explain to me what was going on. I said to the first that I saw him slam the other into the wall and that he needed to apologize for that. His response was "not until he apologize's for hitting me in the arm"... I tried to defuse the situation, with no help from Eagle (although looking back, it was probably good that I did it alone. But where was she in the first place, being it was her job that day to watch over these boys). I tried repeatedly to have the first apologize to the second, and told him that I hear what he's saying and validate that he feels he needs an apology, but he was adamant. I tried all the defusing tricks I knew, but the kids behind me were getting rowdy and impatient, so I told the boys the conversation would continue tomorrow with Sunshine. I also told the second to think back over the day to see if anything happened that he should be apologizing for. In this case, however, I'm more apt to believe boy #2.

Native American Photo Albums and Alone for the Day

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Today I was observed for a Social Studies lesson. The class has been researching Native American tribes (5 in total) in groups and now they get to share their research through artistic expression. Each member of the tribe-teams, using their specific research topic (food, climate, clothing...) draws and colors three pictures on large index cards. They then write captions and mount it all on oak board to be bound together with other group members pages, including a collaborative cover.

Sunshine let me teach her class early in the morning during a LA block so I could get some practice with the lesson in before being observed. With a few insertions from her, I was able to get the language needed. She then had a doctors appointment, which went longer than anticipated, so it worked out well that I could teach all the SS lessons that day. I received wonderful feedback during my meeting, and we also went over the PPA draft I wrote. I received help with editing it, and even before that, SPEM helped me write it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Today was parent-teacher conferences with REM and SPEM. I was left in charge of the class, and the 1-to-1 aide was out as well. All in all, it was a great day. I was prepared with the Scientific Notation math lesson, and Eagle taught the first one, so I was able to observe her being I was REM for the day and didn't rotate with our class. However, this time, I was making notes on how I would do things differently, not the same. This was a first so far this year, and I believe an important step. The next class was my own homeroom, and they did a great job. I made sure I was explaining the concept in many different ways, being as clear as I could. It was such a different experience with only one teacher in the room, ie: ME! because certain students on plans really do need those extra bodies in the room! During the third class of the day, the class became so engaged in a math conversation that Sunshine had to pop in and reminded me it was time for lunch. :) What a great experience!

Where I still feel I need improvement is class management. There were times when they would get a bit, too out of control and I found I was loosing my patience. I have to remember that they're just kids!! And sometimes they cannot control themselves!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Around the Magnetic World to Mental Math

October 25 - 29, 2010

This week has been filled with me teaching lessons! It started on Monday with Language Arts. I taught Text-to-World, a difficult connection for a 10-year-old to make. The lesson started off well, I reviewed Self-to-Text and Text-to-Text, and then moved on to begin explaining World-to-Text. I then read Casey at the Bat, and modeled how to write a Text-to-World using a graphic organizer on the overhead. I read a written summary of the poem (written by REM), and then modeled how to make the connection to something in the world. The connection made was to the Red Sox 2004 win over the Yankees, but from the perspective of a Yankee's fan. The kids loved it! REM jumped in to further illustrate how hard this connection was for students to make, and to request a teacher conference if they needed more help.

On Tuesday, I started part one of the two part lesson on Magnets in science. This was sooo fun! Nod was there to chime in when necessary, and didn't have to except to answer a question or two. The other student intern, Eagle from here on out, and I planned the lesson together. We discussed the worksheet that was already made for this lesson, and decided it was a lot of information that wouldn't keep the kids engaged. We reconstructed the class worksheet to make it more kid-friendly. These modifications, which Eagle made, were great accommodations for my class! The first day, we began with a PowerPoint explaining the history of magnets. It then went on to explain the poles of magnets, the Earth's poles, and how magnets attract and repel each other. I then invited the class to participate in some magnet demonstrations. First I showed them how to make a magnet repel and attract (using same poles and opposite poles) and then had a student "chase" a magnet on the overhead, trying to put the two together (using same poles). Together, we filled in a worksheet, and Nod ended the lesson with a challenge/review of the electricity unit so far.

Day two of magnets started with a challenge review. I then invited the entire class to sit up front and watch a BrainPop. This is a great website that explains educational topics in kid-friendly animation. The clip we showed was really cute, and the kids loved it. The even begged to watch it again! I guess normally they do watch them twice, but because I wanted them to experiment, we didn't have time. I then showed the class what they would be doing for their magnet experiments and sent them back to their sheets to make predictions before experimenting. I then went over the predictions on the overhead. Before we handed out the materials, SPEM went over the rules of sharing and I friendly reminded them if I saw any materials in the air not attached to their hands, they had "special work" to do (Dividing and conquering paragraphs about magnets).

The students then worked together at their table teams to see what would be attracted to the magnet. They were given a stick, steal wool, a utensil, paperclip, a colored disk (which turned out to have a wire wrapped around the edge), paper, tin foil, and a nail. We then went over what attracted and what repelled as I recorded it on the overhead. The class really seemed to enjoy this experiment, and they did everything wonderfully! :)

On Thursday, I taught mental math - multiplication and division with zeros. While I did great with the steps and process of solving for the facts and then tacking on zeros or crossing them off "one for one"...but then REM had to step in to explain what they were really doing with place holders and so I basically forgot the biggest part of the lesson...

Friday was our Halloween Parade...I dressed in my show clothes as an Equestrian. We paraded to the other classrooms and then went outside for a whole grade photo (students only) and then went for recess. The only thing academic today was making science flash cards for the Electricity Unit test next week. We also had our Vision Party today, and the class watched Horton Hears a Who. Movies on the Smart Board are awesome! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oh Friday...2 digit divisor Loooooong Division

Friday, October 22, 2010

Around 8:00 a.m. today, while I was defusing a sibling fight and building block castles, the principal announced there were many absences and if teachers had time in their day to help cover, they were encouraged the call the office. I assumed as an intern, I'd be pulled. I was right. I covered for a third grade class...and boy did I have fun!! On Friday mornings, this third grade class has "Reading with Family and Friends". Parents stay to read with their child and sometimes other students read with them. I joined a group of students and we read and I SPY book. The teacher, who was running late, was running even later, so I started morning meeting. Because I wasn't familiar with the class, and earlier I noticed they had a list of meeting rules on the board, I asked if the students could tell me what their meeting rules were. They did a great job! And then, thankfully, the teacher has already posted the morning message on the while board, so I read it to the class. They had been reading the book, UP, and the class was asked a question the day before. We spent 15 minutes or so guessing the word for the definition they gave me (the word was inference), and I had a blast with the kids! (I had been with this class before, and didn't know what to do, so I took them to recess!) :)

I was having such a good time, that REM had to come find me and needed me back to cover for Chorus time. They day progressed from there, until REM received a phone call that her daughter in day care was running a fever and needed to be picked up. This was in the beginning of the integrated class' math lesson. Luckily, the student intern had already seen the fist lesson, so REM went and got her and she and I co-taught the lesson (although I mainly let her take over because it was two digit divisor division and I honestly didn't remember how to do it!). By the next class, I was good to go, which was good, because I was on my own! :) Using graph paper on the Smart Board, I modeled for the class how to do long division. I reminded them over and over how difficult this was and to give themselves time to figure it out. They were so attentive, and a few of the girls even gave me hugs. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Observation #1: Two Birds, One Stone

Monday, October 18, 2020

Today I did a by-the-seat-of-my-pants Language Arts lesson. I thought I was co-teaching Text-to-Text connections with REM, who gave me the materials to preview on Friday, but she must have confidence in me (grin) because she handed me the overhead this morning and asked me to observe Sunshine teach the lesson so I could teach it to our class. That said....I LOVED it! I'm glad she did it this way and I'm happy to be in front of the class more. I had been feeling too much like an observer/teacher's helper, but this week, I was in front of the class a lot. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Observation #1

The last week or so, REM and I have been going over the first day of Division, which we were planning for my first observation lesson. I also used this lesson for my curriculum class (two birds with one stone kind of thing). I was doing well with the lesson until Tuesday after school when I started to doubt everything. SPEM and I went to a professional development for writing and then stayed to prepare the class for the next few days. I had written the lesson plan and REM looked it over and thought it was great! So I was working on what I would say, and started over thinking it. SPEM had me walk her through the part of the lesson I was doubting, and she helped me with the language. I really do have a great team of mentor teachers!!

On Wednesday, I taught all three math classes, and the observation was in the third class, which I was really grateful for! :) REM helped me with parts of the first lesson, and then backed off for the second, but interjected when needed, and then was strictly a "helper" in the third (as was SPEM because I was being observed during my integrated class!) The kids were WONDERFUL! I know they were talked to, but they were soooo attentive and respectful.

This lesson (reminder to self: you have a revised lesson plan stored!) went really well for my observation. First, I introduced division, with a PowerPoint presentation on the Smart Board, by reviewing factors and factor pairs. I then had the class highlight vocabulary sheets as part of my accommodation of the lesson plan. To show me they were ready, I asked them to put their highlighters in the air, and wave them around like they really do care! :) I got a few smiles for that one. I walked them through the vocab on the ppt, asking them to highlight key terms. I then asked them to file the sheet in their math vocabulary section, close their binders, put the highlighters away, and store their binders under their chairs, and keep a pencil.

Next, we did a work sheet to show how division is separating a whole number into equal size groups. First I had them change the dividend so the problem worked out better, however I forgot to explain why I was doing it. One student, who loves to fight the system!, asked me why we changed the number. Clever girl...this showed me that I need to explain the small details sometimes, because they're thinking about them. :) We then drew out circles to represent the divisor, which tells you the number of groups, and then separated out our dividend equally among the groups. The next step was to demonstrate division as repeated subtraction, using the quotient we found with the drawing. Next, the students had to explain in words what they just did. (See filled in example sheet/student's work.) The first I modeled for them, asking them to follow along and do the same I was doing. I then set them to the task of completing the rest of the worksheet.

Part two of the division lesson, I invited the back three tables up to the Smart Board area to sit behind my mapped out spaces. I then modeled with base ten blocks how you divide using repeated subtraction to separate the dividend into equal size groups, using the divisor as your known number of groups. Then I asked for student help with one more problem (I have the problem written on construction paper) and together we further demonstrated division. I then dismissed them back to their seats to a worksheet using images/drawings of base ten blocks. REM and SPEM were also set at two stations in the room to help students, which many took up on the offer! Others went back to their seats, or worked in pairs with base ten blocks. I circulated the room, checking in with independent/pair workers. I then gave them a five minute warning to start the process of finishing up. I then ended the class by asking them to file their worksheets and to have cleaned-up table teams. To further the transition to dismissal, I asked SPEM if she would like to take "visions" for the day. :)

I then went and met with my college advisor to discuss the lesson. She started off by telling me it was a great lesson, and she liked how I have a strong, but inviting, teacher voice. She said I was well organized, and used the time well, giving the class a warning time to finish up. She asked me how I thought the lesson could go better, and said not that it didn't, but as a teacher reflection, was there anything I could improve upon. I told her that this was the third time I was teaching the lesson that day, and from the first to the second, I had already changed the order of worksheets. Before I did the powerpoint, then the base ten demonstration, then the base ten worksheet, and then the drawing and repeated subtraction. I felt it was working backwards a bit, and wanted the class to have to vocabulary and familiarity of repeated subtraction before doing the base ten blocks. It worked out much better this way.

I have a few things to modify in my lesson plan, but other than went REALLY WELL!!! YEA!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

There's a New Deputy in Town!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today I taught a few math classes. I was only supposed to teach our homeroom, integrated class, but REM was out sick, so SPEM and I took over for the class. Today's lesson was two digit by one digit multiplication. The way REM teaches this is by Cowboy Math. So...there's a new deputy in town (the one digit) and he needs to lasso up the bandits out there. So he rounds up the ones column first, and if the product is two digits, then the puts the ones digit in jail (below the equal line), but uses the tens digit to help him find the rest of the bandits, so he goes above the tens of the two digit number with a plus sign in front of him. Then the deputy lassos the tens digit, and then adds his friend before putting him in jail. I wore a cowboy hat and used the lingo. The class loved it! (I was much better the second time, but SPEM helped me with our class, who I taught first.)

On top of that, today was the second TEAM TIME for the "all set" students. This week was grammar, and Sunshine asked me to make up a paragraph with grammatical and punctuation errors for them to correct. I took a passage from Harry Potter and the Scorcher's Stone and concentrated on object and subject pronouns as well as capitalization and punctuation. They had a blast correcting! It was so fun to walk around the room and see them concentrating and working well with friends to correct the passage. So today, we went over the mistakes on the overhead, with class participation. So fun!

A week or two...

So much for writing every night. It's like buying a pretty journal and committing yourself to it, only to find it years later with a whole bunch of blank pages.

Here's what's been going on:

In Social Studies, they've been doing longitude and latitude, coloring world maps, and started talking about geography in relationship to climate.

In writing, the students are learning the divide and conquer method, practicing finding the main idea of a paragraph, highlighting, and note taking...all in preparation for their own research project.

The student teacher and I had to come up with a challenging math problem for the students who assessed as "all set". We came up with a bar graph comparing the amount of sugar and protein in a few cereals. (sheet in white binder)

After getting back from the World Equestrian Games, I put together a quick powerpoint to "share" with the class. The morning meeting was about how you listen and act when someone is sharing something with you. They loved the pictures, and I gave them a bit of history about Kentucky, including it's longitude and latitude. :) Two days later, we came back to the topic during morning meeting so the class could practice asking appropriate questions.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What is your Philosophy?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Today was a short Tuesday. It was a good day. In math we went over the "mean" of a data set. The kids were given "mean faces" on popsicle sticks they could hold up if they had a question. Then they had to gather their own data set by recording their reaction time for catching a dropped piece of paper with their forefinger and thumb. They had a lot of fun with that one, and will find the "mean" of their data later.

In grammar today, the lesson was on possessive nouns. The class seemed to struggle with this, all of them, not just the integrated kids. Some it was word order, some it was the placement of the apostrophe. In spelling, they were reprimanded for poor work, and had a lot to correct. Because they spent the whole lesson correcting and individuating speaking with Nod, they have to do their spelling lesson tomorrow in science...not fun, especially because they are into building their light circuits.

After the dismissal, we met a a team and went over the break up of the math groups according to their assessments. Tomorrow, the student teaching and I will have the "challenge" group and will give them challenging data to get their little brains thinking past what's been going on in class.

I also sat down with my teacher mentors to ask them their personal philosophies about teaching, school culture, and the curriculum. They had some really insightful things to say and were very passionate in their beliefs. More than ever I'm grateful to be working with such wonderful teachers.

Until tomorrow!

Monday, September 27, 2010

And They're Off!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

And it's Jill running out the door and rounding the corner, but Miss E is hot on her tails! Jill rounds the second bend and it's going to be a close one, folks!!!.....

Phew! I was asked to spend a few hours in a Kindergarten room today because a new student is having trouble transitioning and bolts from the room. That's all I was told. We started off great and even had a great time playing in the principal's office, which was part of her earned break time. After thirty minutes of being there, I found there was much more to it. She displayed aggressive behavior, was noncompliant, and did a dead-fall onto two other students while they were sitting in the meeting area. It's one thing to bolt and be a threat to yourself, but when one student harms other students, that's where others need to step in. I was overwhelmed by the lack of reaction to this. At the same time, I can't imagine the stress the K teacher is under. I hope it all works out, because this little girl is very bright, from what I saw, has an active imagination, and I hope she gets the proper support she needs.

On another note, I wasn't in the fifth grade room much, but I was there for science! Today they started electricity!! The kids were given light bulbs, wire, and a battery and had to test a sheet full of scenarios to figure out which ones would light up the bulb.

Until tomorrow!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Picture Day!!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Today was picture day. :) All the 5th graders went out to the play ground structure to take their whole-grade photo, teachers included. We then took individual photos (ours will be used for new security badges) and began the academic portion of the day with chorus. The class did fabulously today by working quietly. The rest of the day went well, too, considering the schedule was off. I can't wait until they schedule steadies out and remains the same. It amazes me how much these kids rely on the structure of a day.

Monkey in the Middle

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today in math class the lesson was about 'median.' I'm seeing a pattern to REM's method of teaching, and that pattern is FUN! By making her lesson fun and memorable, the students, especially our integrated students, will hopefully retain more of the lessons. This is crucial as well, because the lessons are so short and they only get covered fully in one day (with review days, of course!).

For the lesson on median, REM asked a few children to come up and hold a few large index cards with numbers on them. Her first two groups consisted of 5 children, and one more came up and used the green sparkly pointer (with a pointing finger on the end) to "knock off" the students on the ends. This left one child standing, thus, the MONKEY IN THE MIDDLE! REM and SPEM then proceeded to play the age old game of keep-away. The class loved it! Even Evan got in front of the class and participated. :)

Speaking of Evan, he and I spent some time together today. His aid was called elsewhere (he still doesn't have a one-to-one) and SPEM asked if I would go with him to see if the principal would let him work with a younger classroom. We spent some time playing blocks with a Kindergarten class before going outside for recess. Evan wanted to show a girl in the class the school garden, and so the three of us spent recess there. All in all, it was a great 30 minutes we spent together.

In science, it was the last day to build and test their structures. One group reached 14 dictionaries before theirs was crushed. However, one of the other classes had 35 dictionaries stacked on their structure, blowing everyone out of the water!

Social studies was the same (find the text feature based on this clue), and in language arts, they started talking about journals. We did get to our read aloud today, and I continued with Night of the Twisters, by Ivy Ruckman. Using the microphone with the class gathered around me in the directors chair, we were introduced to Dan on his Black Letter Day...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mode is in Vogue!

So far I've talked about Math class, being it's what REM teaches. But I want to touch upon Science and Social Studies, too. Today in science the class worked on their structures. Using one index card and 6 inches of masking tape, they have to build a structure that will hold at least 6 dictionaries 1.5 inches off of a flat surface. So far, there are some great ideas, but no one has been able to get past 1 dictionary. Without failure, they may not be grand ideas!! ;)

In social studies, Sunshine has the class going over text features of their textbooks and how to use them for different reasons. Today, SPEM offered for me to write the answer to one of the "clues about text features" the class was given on the overhead. I used the "I'm noticing..." again today and I find they really respond well to it.

But back to, Mode came to town! Mode is a celebrity that everyone wants to be because they are the most popular, they go to the most parties, and they have the most friends, and...see the theme here?

REM started out the lesson by reading an article from TeenVogue magazine. She cleverly inserted her own text into the magazine, complete with quick facts for herself on the back cover. She read an "article written by the editor of Vogue" about Mode and how popular she was.

After introducing Mode, REM "rolled out the red carpet" and Mode came to town! She had the students go up in front of the class holding index cards with a data set (see below). She then had the kids tell her what the mode was. When identified, REM pulled out feather boas, sun glasses, and echo microphones and dressed them on the students who were holding the mode cards. As I held up a Vogue poster, REM recorded the mode for the entire class to see. The "mode" students then walked the carpet and made way for a new data set. This was a fun lesson for all, and I don't think they will soon forget how to find the mode of a data set.

Catch Up

Friday, September 17, 2010

Today I taught in all three math classes. REM gave me her files for the math lessons, and the first is on Data and Statistics. REM and I went over the Day 3 power point, about Cartesian Coordinates, the Wednesday before I taught, with me taking down notes. At home, I went over the slides and prepared more notes. The first part of the lesson was a review of line plots and bar graphs. I then read the class A Fly on the Ceiling, by Julie Glass, in the meeting area. Using the microphone, which I find to be extremely helpful, allows for all the children to hear my voice without straining.

After dismissing the class back to their seats, I went on with the power point. Looking to REM for direction, she explained to the class that we would be co-teaching the lesson, and then proceeded to explain what she hoped they would get out of the book. We then had the class gather around the SMART Board and pulled out a large graph I made on paper with masking tape. This was used for the class to "dress" the graph so it didn't "come to school naked," and then gave them a chance to practice plotting Cartesian Coordinates. Shoes off! Walk OVER the X axis 2, then walk UP the Y axis 4! They were really into it. :) The glass then went back to their seats with a worksheet and I directed them to measure their height and arm span, with the promise that if they worked quickly enough, they would be able to each write their data on the SMART Board.

The second math class I taught went even better than the first. I was more comfortable with the lesson and really got into it. When going over how to plot their Cartesian Coordinates, I borrowed from Sunshines method of repetition when something is important and told them they MUST, MUST, MUST go over first and then up.

After this class, REM gave me some quick feedback. She really liked the repetition of must, but told me that every time I give a direction, I have to make sure I have the entire class' attention. She also liked how right after I finished reading the book, I turned to the white board behind me and went over the concept the book illustrated.

The third class were my integrated kids. The lesson went well, and they loved the book. It was here that I noticed the attention span difference between the classes and also made some on-the-spot modifications as I went, based off the kids answers, and really, the look on their faces. ;)

On housekeeping: 303 had to practice lining up to go to PE during recess. We’ve spent a lot of extra time on lining up and being quite in the hallway. It seems to be a whole grade issue and I was informed that in 4th grade, they were not required to travel to specials in a specific line. It’s important for them to get in the habit now of being quite and organized in the hallway now because it will be expected in Middle School. Right now we're doing a lot of the modeling and practicing for middle school.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I set up “graph paper” on the SMART board for Maura to use as ‘set up’ example rather than using over head sheets and the every archaic overhead projector. :)

Morning math group: did a multiplication problem (16x3) and played Battle Ship to simulate Cartesian Coordinates

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Early release Tuesday! Good behavior day! Brooke was participating, raising her hand; Evan joined us in morning meeting.

Today the lesson was about stem graphs. REM had a giant laminated image of a tulip where she demonstrated how the tens digit went on the left of the "stem" and the ones digits went on the "leaves." REM had leaves she could write on and attached to the tulip image. (Image to come soon!)

The morning meeting was quick (Knock, knock! Who's there? Jane. Jane who? Jane Smith. Good morning Jane Smith. Knock, knock...). Math group played Battle Ship again. :)

The first line up of the day was disaster – not listening, took too long to be quiet, I didn’t like how I was saying things, I felt too harsh. SPEM said “Be quiet now, not when you feel like it!” and I thought she wanted me to say that, so I did…they reacted quickly! But when I got in the room, oops...SPEM said I wasn’t supposed to say it…! I wasn't reprimanded...but she then gave suggestions, I tried next time (counting down, noticing front of line is good, ect) worked great!! And quick!!

Curriculum night (introduction, manned the pp slides), which I lated discovered was Back to School Night, as it was called when I was in elementary school.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here we go!

In thinking about how I would start logging information for my portfolio, I reveled in a student teacher's idea of creating a blog (thanks ED!!). it goes! I hope to blog every school night, and this is the area I will be keeping info needed for my graduate program. Therefore, I will record everything I need to construct a successful compilation of my year as a Graduate Intern in a 5th grade integrated classroom.

The key players during my journey to becoming a teacher are my teacher-mentors. For the sake of being anonymous, the regular education mentor will be referred to as REM in this blog while the Special Education Mentor will be SPEM. The other two teachers in this program, who the class rotates to for science and social studies, will be referred to as Nod and Sunshine, respectively. No real names of children or adults will be used here either.

We're in the third week of school, so I have a bit of catching up to do!