Wow it has been forever since I’ve blogged anything! Been a busy year and I’ve just completed my internship! While I was teaching kindergarten I decided to make an electronic word wall for families to visit that featured the math vocabulary we were learning in class. I found wallwisher.com which allowed me to post videos and links to go along with each word. Thought it was a great tool so I’ve decided to share. Here is my wall!
Came across an interesting blog post about how children are taught to read in a Waldorf school. I have been working in a Waldorf inspired school for the past couple weeks and the children there love stories and reading. The older children (grade 5 and 6) read quite a bit. I’m not sure yet how I feel about this method versus the ‘traditional’ public school methods of teaching, but I do think that there are benefits of letting children develop of love of reading rather than a tolerance of it because they have to. Here is a link to the blog post.
Interesting article on a school in Silicon Valley…that doesn’t use computers!
Today was the first day of my three week block as a pre-intern. It actually was a fantastic day. It was good to be back in the classroom where learning to teach is so much more practical.
It was very interesting to observe my co-op introduce the unit on fractions. I had done a lesson on fractions the previous semester as I had wanted to practice teaching math. It was not one of my more successful lessons. I learned a lot about how I could adapt my lesson for the next time I may teach it from watching him. He kept the concept simple, focusing only on having the students look for equivalent fractions of 1/2. I on the other hand probably jumped in too fast, too soon. It was an aha moment for me.
I got to teach my first lesson today of my unit on the Metis people and for the most part it went as planned. I did find myself changing things and adapting on the spot as the lesson progressed. Also because I taught during the last part of the day I found it became increasingly harder to keep students on task, especially when I had them participate in a talking circle which was a new experience for most of them.
Found this great lecture on unschooling today. Its a concept that I’m mulling over in my brain and wondering about. I wonder how much of it could translate into a classroom, or if the system is completely opposed to it.
Excerpt from my professional portfolio:
There are two moments in my pre-internship experience that I really felt that I had touched or taught a student. There were rewarding moments and I can’t wait to have more of them.
1. One of my lessons was a pre-writing lesson using the book The Mysteries of Harris Burdock by Chris VanAllserburg. Most students enjoyed it and participated well in the lesson. There was one girl however that really took to the activity. At the end of the lesson she showed me her webs and I encouraged her to take them further. Well for the rest of the day it was hard to get her to do anything else. By the end of school she had written two pages of her story. I told her to type it up and share it with me again the next week. She made a copy for both myself and the cooperating teacher.
It wasn’t the most elaborate story in the world, and it certainly was not free of spelling or grammar mistakes, but she was proud of it and so was I. I loved the idea that I had brought something into the classroom that had inspired her.
2. In order to stretch myself outside of my comfort zone I had decided to take on a math lesson. I taught equivalent fractions and although it was a simple lesson and fit right into the curriculum, the students did not seem to catch on. My cooperating teacher thought that maybe some of them had not been taught fractions enough in the previous year to give them a basis. Whatever the reason they were clearly not ready for the lesson.
I continued on however and made sure I was as available as I could be to all the students who were needing help. There was one girl in particular who was having trouble understanding what fractions were, let alone equivalent fractions. I tried to show her as many strategies as I could, but neither of us were getting anywhere.
It was time to move on so I decided to wrap up the lesson by showing them how equivalent fractions in order can create a pattern. Suddenly the light bulb turned on and this girl started giving me the answers before I had them figured out in my head. She was excited and I was excited.
Remember when you were young. Your teachers were these special people who you saw at school and no where else so you automatically assumed they lived a school. Maybe the mysterious teacher’s lounge was filled with bunk beds. Then came that day that you saw your teacher at the grocery store. With shock and fear you tug at your moms shirt and whisper, “What is Mrs. so and so doing here? Why isn’t she at school.” Then you learn that teachers have families and homes and buy groceries just like your parents. Weird.
So I’m doing day camps for the summer and they have a huge educational aspect so the kids often call us teacher instead of by our first name. Its very cute coming from five year olds who haven’t been to school yet. We just finished off a three day camp and today at the dollar store I ran into two of the boys (brothers) there. They looked surprised to see me, but were excited to see a familiar face. One of the brothers then said, “I didn’t think I would see you at this store.” I had to laugh because it sounded like something I would have said at his age. I replied with,”Who would have thought that I would have a life!”