Student Teaching

Student teaching has been a blast so far. I am working closely with my mentor teacher as well as the students. I have been placed into 2nd grade this semester and I just love it. The kids are so adorable and so cute. I have not gotten the chance to write a weekly blog of my student teaching yet since I started. So here are just little snippets of the past few weeks:

Meeting The Teachers

The 2nd grade teachers….actually I should state that the whole school works like a community with each other. But each of the grades works as a team when they are planning and teaching their lessons. There are five 2nd grade teachers at GES and four of the five have student teachers. The other three student teachers are also Arcadia students like me but they are undergraduates. The teachers are really nice. My mentor teacher is very experienced and has had student teachers before. I plan to learn a lot from her this semester. She believes a lot in positive psychology and how it helps students, not to mention humans as a whole, to learn and grow. Needless to say, there are a lot of positive energy in our classroom.

1st Day of School

1st day of school was bothe exciting and nerve-wracking. I met and introduced myself to the students. They are just so adorable. This day was mostly just observation for me.

Read-Aloud

I read aloud a few books to them such as Arthur and D.W. The Picky Eater. I just started reading The BFG to them. They’re really interested in it and is always asking me when I’m going to read it next.

Lesson Plan Observation

I was observed teaching a lesson two weeks ago. It went better than I thought it would. I get so nervous when I’m teaching a lesson but this time I did pretty well according to my supervisor. I just hope I can keep it up when I get observed again in October.

Back To School Night

BTSN was great. I got to meet almost all of the parents.i did not get nervous at all. Some of the parents were like, ” Are you the student teacher? My child always talks about you.” 😊

Science Lesson: Sorting Solids

My first full lesson on science. I made a few mistakes and I’m struggling with class management. Also I keep on forgetting that I’m working with 2nd graders. There is a lot of stuff they do not know and I have to construct my language in a way that it is easier for them to understand. Otherwise all I get are just blank stares.

Some things I need to improve on:

  1. Intros
  2. Giving easier directions
  3. Grouping
  4. Reinforcing vocabulary
  5. Classroom management (I’m struggling with this so much right now 😔)
  6. Closing

Basically I need to work on delivering my lessons better because I’m all over the place when I’m teaching.

 

 

Aside

I actually did better than I thought I would on yesterday’s presentation for my Learning and Assessment in Elementary Math Class. After how I felt on getting observed on Monday, I was not quite sure I would do any better for this one. And after hearing other people’s interesting topics, I was wondering if my topic was just as interesting. Well…my topic is discussing how educators can utilize students’ various Multiple Intelligence (MI) in math content. Surprisingly, I did a good job. I did get nervous and got stuck on a few words. But this time I was more casual about the fact that I couldn’t say the words and laughed it off. I really like how some of the words were just rolling off my tongue like psychological, emotional, environmental, social, and physiological. I liked the confidence I felt at the time I was saying it. The only time I got stuck on words was during sentence breaks and as Mrs. Agnew said, I have to learn how to break the silence. In this case, my professor helped me out by saying the words I was having a hard time with, which was “math podcasts”. As soon as she said, I was able to say it. It’s weird how I’m able to say something once I hear it from someone. It just automatically happens as if I’m a record player that has become stuck on a loop and someone comes and gets me going again. Even though it’s embarrassing  and frustrating, it helps.

Anyways, everyone’s presentation was awesome. I really like the integration of various subjects like art, literature, social studies, STEM,etc. into math content. Some of the activities looks like fun and something that can be done within and outside of a school setting.

math-art-pi-city-1

Pi in the Sky

 

Pi in the sky: Each building represents a number in pi. Color in the number of squares on the graph paper that correspond to each digit of pi. Kids can fill in columns of squares for as many digits as they wish.In the end, the bar graph takes the form of a skyline. Pretty cool.

March 14, 2016

This Monday was more of a normal school day. Mondays happen to be introductory days when the new unit gets introduced so Mrs. Smith was feeling a little bad for me because most of the activities where you get to do something with the students happen to start from Tuesdays. So we have to figure that out.

In the morning befor math started, the students were working on “The Best Part of Me” where they have to choose a favorite body part and write about why they chose it. During Math, they were being introduced to tenths and decimals and hundredths and decimals by Mrs. Reifsnyder. They were learning how to use models and number lines which are part of the common core practices. They were also learning about fractions (Which hundredths is it?), problem solving (Write 4  60/100 as a decimal —> 4.60), and word problems.

The rest of the class went like this:

Reading/writing- How can words lead to change?

What is a biography?
– a life story about a famous person which includes a lot of facts
– Thomas Hopkins Galedet- how was sign language brought to America?
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Fight against inequality)
– Nelson Mandela (fight inequality and discrimination)

Vocab- overview of Vocab words — “tension” was a confusing word

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
– Argued that women should be able to vote and have the same right as men (“Declaration of Rights and Sentiments”)
– Author’s Point of View- an author’s position or attitude about a topic of selection

At the end, Mrs. Smith and I decided that instead of her doing the whole Language Arts lesson, I would introduce the first half of it and then she will carry on from there. Eventually, I should be able to do a whole lesson and be observed doing it.

 

March 7, 2016

I started my first day as student teacher at Ancillae Assumpta Academy today. This is a Catholic school that serves grades kindergarten to 8th grade. It is about a five minute walk from Arcadia University. I will be under Mrs. Jennifer Smith for the duration of my stay, which will be from today to May 16th, 2016. I will also be working with Mrs. Lindsay Reifsnyder who co-teaches with Mrs. Smith.  Someone from Arcadia will come and observe me teach a lesson sometime during my stay.

So the class is a 4th grade class with 28 students. Class starts around 8 o’clock but of course students come in before that. There are students with special needs in the classroom but there are no IEP’s. As Mrs. smith informed me, the students are tested but they are not necessarily diagnosed. This was interesting to know because I always made the assumption that all schools had some sort of an IEP for special needs students. However, this school does have “action plans” where the assessments are structured for specific individual students. Also as I was talking with Mrs. Smith about how she plans her lessons, she said that she doesn’t really make up a formal lesson plan. She just comes up with weekly plans thst includes the Objective, Process, Assessment, etc. Also, another thing I found interesting was that they do not take the PSSA’s. What do they take instead? The Terra Novas which test the common core standards.

So today was actually not a typical Monday for either the students nor the teachers. The class was getting introduced to a new STEM project (Riley Rover Base Project) where the students will use coding and programming to build and maneuver a robot. Today bieng my first day, I was observing a lot and jotting down a lot of notes of what the students were doing and what the teachers were doing. The classroom was packed with students and teachers. There were five of us in the classroom. Two teachers introducing the STEM project, two teachers observing,jotting down notes about the project, and managing the classroom, and one student teacher (me) observing it all. Mrs. Smith kept on commenting how funny this looked because she has never had so many professionals in her classroom before. Because there was so many things going on at one time and because this was a new concept, we did not finish until it was time for lunch. But the students learned to program Riley Rover using the Bluetooth and an iPad. They played around with the axis and practiced going forwards and backwards.

The rest of the day was pretty laid back. I got to connect with the girls of the class as they pulled me into one of their games. It was pretty fun. I was a little nervous because I had never played the game before but they were really patient and taught me how to play. Towards the middle of the day, they had religion class where they read from the religion book. They read about the Holy Spirit guiding us and then they were thinking about the beginning of the unit and specific example from that unit. After that they moved on to Social Studies where they were learning about William Penn and the native Americans. Before they headed out for gym, Mrs. Smith was reading the book, Drizzle, out loud to them. The author is going to be coming to the school in May so they have to finish the book by then.

Changing The Way We Teach

I was in my Learning and Assessment in Elementary Mathematics class yesterday and we were talking about how to make our students better problem solvers. Out professor showed us this video of a high school teacher who completely changes the way how students learn math. I love the way he restructures how we present a math problem to students.It not only intrigues them to explore and have fun; but it also provides them a better opportunity to apply their thinking process to the real world.