Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Week 14

The week before Thanksgiving is quite the opposite as a teacher vs. a student. I, for once, do not enjoy this week because I am rushing to get everything done and can't just push it back to Monday. The students have also been crazy with behaviors. They are excited for a week off, and to top it all off, they know my time with them is limited. They have all of a sudden taken an interest in everything about me. I am just not being bombarded with questions from my older students, and having them attempt to distract me in every which way. As much as I want to spend that personal time with each student, it is difficult because I have helped them learn so much that I want to keep that going. I am definitely starting to become sad that if I want to see their learning, I have to visit, and not just come in for another day at school. I had one student become sad and full of tears when I said I had two weeks after break left. As much as it hurt me to see the tears, I also felt happiness for seeing that I made such an impact on the student that he was sad to see me go.

The good news is (and they have yet to realize this) I will still be around and I will still be able to see them grow! My group of students and faculty members have become my family these past few weeks. They have been there for me through a family death, happy times, sad times, sleepy times, and many more. I never imagined my semester ending with a bond for people I grew so fond of. The students not only learned from me, but I learned from them. I learned to listen to what they have to say, even if it might be irrelevant because that may spark an idea to motivate a student to master a skill. I actually did this listening technique this week. I listened to my student week after week talk about this game, Minecraft. Well, I took this into effect this week by implementing a coloring exercise and math facts on a numbers chart. The numbers chart will eventually form into a character from the game. I also am using his passion for the game to teach him repeated addition/multiplication skills. When I said the word mine craft, I had him jump into a seat so fast, I wasn't sure how to react. It was so exciting to see that taking the time to listen ended up being successful for both of us. The student was engaged and I was teaching the student a skill that he is slowly beginning to master. It was a great week in the classroom, and I'm becoming more sad as I realize my time is slowly coming to an end with these amazing students.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 13 of Intern Year

The thirteenth week of my Internship has completed, and I have become more sad with the realization that I won't be with these students after a few more short weeks. This past week I had a few "teacher" moments. My one student became sad with tears when he was told that I was leaving soon. I wasn't sure what to do because at the time I didn't know why he was so upset. I had been able to have the student write to me on the board that he was sad that his sister was sick. I thought quick on my feet and had the student make a "get better soon" card for his sister, and I thought for sure that would do the trick.


Still more tears came as the student finished up. Confused, I began having the student open up to me which then made me realize he was sad I was leaving soon. I had to explain to him that I would be back and I am touched that he enjoyed spending as much time as he had learning how to read. I found myself giving him the opportunity to let him eat in the classroom during our lunches. He loved this opportunity, and I think I will do this again before I leave.

In addition to this touching moment, I have finished my Inquiry! I have found that the iPad engages students more than I ever expected, and even if the apps are used only for reinforcement of skills, the iPad is a way to keep the students engaged throughout a lesson at the stations. I am excited to reflect on this with my paper.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 12

Friday afternoon, I had encountered students being dismissed from school, and being welcomed back into the classroom. Those two students were excited to be in the room to learn again, but also wanted to share their stories. On the spot, I thought of a brilliant idea. Writing is something the entire class needs work on, and they are constantly interrupting to tell me something about their days after school. I came up with the idea of allowing the students to write their stories to me in journals, and I would write back.

That being said, I can kill two birds with one stone by assessing their writing mechanics and making sure they are reminded how to write correct sentences. I hope to see this method through Tuesday and hope this helps increase my time of teaching. I look forward to reading and writing back to gain even more of a relationship with my students. I'm excited to see how this idea plays out.

Overall, I am sad to see my semester coming to an end. I love doing hands-on activities with my students, and seeing them learn at such great speeds. The students I met in August are taller plants that will just keep on growing!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Intern week 11

As my inquiry comes to an end, I have found that the iPad is much more than I anticipated. Upon analyzing pieces of my data, I found that while the iPad is a great reinforcer for skills, the engagement level is high thus making the learning more effective. Students enjoy working on the iPad and if they don't receive a chance during stations, I am constantly being asked if they can go next. I feel that having a set of iPads in the school would be great, similar to the computers. Teachers can find apps that correspond to the common core (I have found many free and paid apps). My favorite and most successful app so far is called Screenchomp. I use this app in the second grade to practice spelling. The students are able to choose a color of their choice, and use their fingers to write out the words. The students seem to enjoy this the most, since typically the spelling station is rewriting their words. I noticed one day that the students would even write the word a few times after discovering their mistakes.

Last week, I used a comprehension app. I feel that there could be an App out in the iWorld to use for tests on weekly stories yet, but I haven't found it yet. I like this app for my inquiry because there is different levels and genres of books for a second grader. However, I sometimes feel they are more interested in tapping the answers because it is fun instead of finding the correct answer.

The only negative I have found using this technology is that the teacher must constantly be checking for dead batteries, or app updates. I also had one iPad die completely, i.e. won't even turn on, and that made my four iPads for small group decrease to three. Therefore, I have two students sharing, which is not as effective as individually having iPads. I would recommend using the iPad to any teacher, as it is easy to find an app that enhances the skills being taught, and a majority of the apps are common core aligned!