Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last day of sophmore field =(

Today is sadly my last day of my sophomore field experience. My cooperating teacher let me use the computer so i figured I should put my blog to use and write about what I've learned during my 30 hours.

One thing i have learned is that you can't expect students to just "get it". Teachers must be patient and willing to go the extra mile to teach their students so they all fully or somewhat understand what the lesson is about. In the class I have observed countless times when students are truly puzzled by lessons. Past participle and the present participle was a lesson that was taught in class followed by lots of independent practice. At one point it seemed as if students were taking guesses at the answer. My cooperating teacher saw this and took the time to explain what the participle was and then how to find the past and present tense of the participle. After she explained and assigned another independent practice students began to give the right answers.

Another thing I have learned is that students need free time! Some teachers may think free time is unecessary but in reality young students; even older students need time to give their brain a rest and to stretch themselves out. Having a snack time or a time when students get up to stretch and walk around the room are essential to learning. As a college student i know that after maybe 3 or 4 hours of studying i hit a wall where i can't retain anything anymore so i could only imagine how a 7th grade student feels when they've been writing down 20 definitions and then completing a 20 line poem on top of completing 5 independent practice assignments in their workbook! In the classroom my cooperating teacher encourages students to bring snack so they can have a 15 - 20 minute break about an hour before their next class. I can see that the snack time is helpful because all though students are probably having a sugar rush they are awake again and ready to work!

I think that the most important part of teaching is that you have to have a genuine love to teach. My professor and my cooperating teacher have told me in class or face to face that if you don't enjoy decorating bulliten boards or cutting out shapes or just enjoy children, teaching isn't the job for you. I strongly agree with them. I remember back to my elementary school days when my class would go to history and our history classrooms walls were blank, none of our work was put up and the class wasn't a warn fun class. Most of the class, more like all, were happy when the class was over but were saddened again when we realized that we had to go back the next day. When i come into my cooperating teacher's classroom the classroom is always decorated to fit the theme of the month.( ie. november = pilgrim hats, turkey ; october = ghosts, pumpkins ) Even though my cooperating teacher's oldest students are 8th graders you can tell they still enjoy the decorations and the festive themes in the classroom.

Of course i've learned other things but I think those are amongst the top five most important things i've learned.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

final blog

Reflection of Leson Plan

For the podcasting and lesson I didn't have a partner to work with. At first I thought that would be a disadvantage, to work just by myself, but when everything was completed I took pride in my lesson plan and podcast. To prepare for the lesson plan I thought of what kids on the kindergarten level would like to do in class. I came up with coloring and moving. For the most part students all the way up to grade 8 still enjoy coloring somewhat, so I knew that I needed the class to color and to do something with their bodies. With some research I found out that many kindergarten students are visual learners. Because many students at that grade level are visual learners I knew I had to incorporate pictures somewhere in my lesson as well.

The objective of my lesson was to have students fully learn what a verb is. At the end of the lesson students would be able to tell me what a verb is and show me where verbs are in sentences. In my lesson i would be able to measure assessment by giving the students a worksheet. In the worksheet I would be able to measure assessment by giving the students a worksheet. In the worksheet students would define what a verb is and write a short story of 5 sentences with each verb underlined. The worksheet and independent practice would allow me to assess if the students understand what a verb is or not.

At the beginning of my lesson everything was going very well. When I started the lesson I greeted the class and jumped right into my set to keep their attention. I explained the rules of the activity, that was my set, to the students. As the activity started, it ran smoothly then quickly went downhill. Students were supposed to toss the small stuffed animal lightly to a friend so they could say a verb students began to throw the stuffed animal hard at each other. I had to stop the set and reprimand the students before someone got hurt. After the "bad behavior" I jumped right into my lesson. As I taught the lesson everything was falling into place very nicely. There were some mild bad behavior but nothing too serious. When I noticed that my time was almost up I began to speed the lesson up. Instead of having each student read their own short story outloud, I just went around the room and read their stories quickly and told them what they needed to do to make their story even better than it already was. Even though the changes I made to the lesson weren't major it still wasn't what my lesson plan was originally.

The most important thing I tried to teach the students in my podcast was to learn exactly what a verb is. I wanted students to be able to know the exact definition of what a verb is and I wanted them to be able to find verbs in books and in their own writing. I think that I got the point of "knowing what a verb is" across to the students. At the end of the lesson everyone's verb worksheet was complete and correct. I think that my lesson turned out to be a very good lesson because at the end all of my instructional goals were met.

While teaching the students. the students were in a way teaching me as well. I realized that in an elementary, or any classroom, the teacher MUST be fair. When I was handing out homework passes, sometimes I would overlook really well behaved students. I didn't do it on purpose, but i realized the only reason I didn't acknowledge their behavior is because they were well behaved since the beginning of my lesson. As the lesson progressed I started handing out homework passes to everyone who behaved well for 10 minutes or more. I noticed that if I wasn't fair, not just one, but many students noticed and expressed their feelings to me.

For my podcast lesson I would have incorporated the podcast in my lesson. At the time I couldn't think of any way to use my podcast in my lesson. Now that I think of it I could have played the podcast in the back as students sat at their desk and wrote down what they thought the verb in the sentence was. Another thing I would have done differently is I could have played he podcast in the back and called on students to say outloud what they thought the verb was in the sentence.

To make my podcast lesson more effective I would have tried to make my lesson appeal to all students. I wouldv'e tried to use all of Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences. To be more effective I would have a piece of my lesson geared towards all kinds of learners whether they be visual- spatial or naturalistic learners. In my lesson I would defintley have worksheets for students who finish work quickly. Coloring sheets, word searches with their spelling words, and coloring contests are some activites that I would have on the side for those students.

Reflection of my Podcast

When recording my podcast I had no clue as to how I would use my podcast in my lesson. While I was doing an outline of my lesson plan I kept thinking about how I would use the podcast. I didn't come up with anything so I dropped the podcast out of the lesson plan but used the book a lot in my lesson. After I outlined my lesson I thought again of how I could use the podcast in my lesson, but again I had a blank mind. I really didn't want to use the podcast because I knew that students so young couldn't sit for such a long time and just listen to me read the book on the podcast and listen to me read the book in the classroom. I thought it would bore them so that was another reason why I didn't use the podcast. Since I didn't use the podcast in I didn't know how the students would react. I could only guess that, on a kindergarten and first grade level, they would be excited about the technology at first but after the first couple of minutes their attention would be led astray by something else.

For my first podcast, I think it went well. It wasn't perfect but it was, in my opinion, very good. I went to YouTube and searched for all of the sounds and used them in my podcast. I thought that added something fun to my podcast because the book I podcasted was so simple and repetitive.

I could have infused the podcast in my lesson effectively by finding a video of the book on YouTube and playing my podcast in the back. This would have been a big visual to grab students' attention and keep it. I would use podcasting in the future in a unit to teach grammar. "School House Rocks"videos I believe appeal to any grade level so when teaching parts of speech like conjuctions, vowels and noun I would find a podcast of the songs and play them for the class. I would also play a podcast of me reading a book that has the parts of speech my class is studying. While the podcast is playing students will have a worksheet with the story on it. In the worksheet the students will circle or underline the parts of speech they are studying at that time.
Reflections of other's lesson plans
In class i enjoyed being a student and displaying the behaviors that were on my index card but what I liked most was actually watching my peers teach. I really enjoyed the lesson that taught clouds. That day I had the behavior of crying uncontrollably. I was so intrested in their lesson i didn't get a chance to do my behavior. Unlike some other lessons, the lesson kept my attention. I was fully attentive to what they were teaching and when they were reading. Student's who are young need to touch and feel because that's a way they learn so doing a project that had students making clouds out of cotton balls was great. At the end of the lesson I had knowledge of different types of clouds and a cool project that made me visually learn what a "cumulonimbus" cloud was.
Because we are all beginner teachers many of us had problems with classroom management. Some lessons, I thought, could have had stronger managment techniques. I loved the lesson that had the classroom mangment technique of singing a song to get the students' attention and to remind them of the consequences. I think that they should have sang the somg more so the class could be constantly reminded to behave themselves. I also loved the classroom technique of adding pieces of "pie" to a circle. The bright colors and the constant reminder of the "pies" would be a great way to remind students to behave.
Overall I think that everyone's lesson plans were great. From every lesson plan I took something and added it into my own.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Post Podcasting 3rd day!

Ladies and gentleman I have finally finished my podcast!! Not only have I finished, I've already outlined my lesson plan and completed my effective questions! So let's get this out of the way first
Here's my PODCAST
Effective Questions:
  1. Who did the little girl learn to walk from? Who did you learn to walk from?
  2. Name three things that you have taught someone.
  3. Tell me three things that you have learned from someone.
  4. Name two things you wish you could do. Explain why you want that wish and who would teach it to you.
  5. Draw a picture of you learning something with a friend and write a short story about it.

I think for my first podcasting experience it went well. I didn't have alot of trouble(except for syncing my sounds with the story) and I actually enjoyed podcasting. Podcasting would definitley be something that I would use in a classroom with students to help them with their listening skills if I taugh on an elementary level.

Pre Podcasting 3rd day =)

Today is sadly the last day of blogging. =( Today my goal is to complete my whole podcast WITH the sounds and to write down my effective questions. I know that recording my podcast with all of the sounds will be EXTRA HARD and FRUSTRATING but we'll try. If it doesn't work out the first 2 times then i'll just select maybe 6 or 7 sounds to record. I've found that with so many youtube videos up at the same time the computer runs extra slow so i guess i'll manage. I know that in the end my podcast will be to a young student's liking... well i hope so anyway. Wish me luck!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Post podcasting => 2nd day

Right now I am highly upset =( because I was so excited to podcast and when i finished podcasting with small mistakes here and there and with ALL OF MY SOUNDS I found out the microphone on this computer doesn't work!! I guess I can't be that mad though, because i did manage to find all of my sounds get them at the exact time where the sound is the best, line them up in according order with the book and i recorded! I guess I made some progress :) I'm really happy that i got all of the sounds. I think that over the weekend ill try to figure out how to get background music and maybe when we have class the next time my microphone will work! =) So maybe this podcasting experience wasn't so bad!

Pre-podcasting => the 2nd day

Today is the second day of podcasting! I am actually really excited about this because I think I've gotten the hang of this podcasting thing. :) Over the weekend i researched some podcasts just to get some simple ideas about how to improve my podcast. I got some helpful hints like to talk clearly and at a normal pace. I also listened to some teacher podcasting and they proved to be helpful as well. When i listened to teachers reading stories i noticed that many of the podcasts had sound effects and nice soft music in the back. While listening I paid full attention because i was always waiting for the next sound like when the teacher would say "the door slammed", and a second later you a hear a door slam or when the teacher would say and "she cried all the way home" and you would hear some weeping. I thought it was pretty cool how they made it seem so real when it was only really a story. Listening to these podcasts makes me want to imporve my podcast so when people won't be bored and fall asleep while listening.

Over the weekend i also thought of effective questions. The book i chose is a fairly easy book so finding effective questions for the pre-k to kindergarten grade level wasn't very challenging. I got some good questions and im excited to share them =)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Post Podcasting

Well to sum up my podcasting experience it went great! I defintley over analyzed everything before. I was right it just is talking into the microphone. Maybe it seems that way because I'm just a beginner. The sound idea worked for the most part. It was a small minute teensy tiny hassle to bring up each window minimize it and then keep recording but i made it work. I'm glad mt book is one of the smaller easier lower grade level books because i got to page 4 or 5 without mistake and i know if i would have had a longer book with a higher grade level i would of been on the first page because i would want it to be PERFECT! I think podcasting is prettttyyy coooooll :)