Monday, February 24, 2014

Week of Feb 17

This week was a crazy week. One thing that I felt went really well was my lesson on place value. I used arrow cards that really seemed to help all of the students, regardless of their instructional level, understand. I felt that because I incorporated the manipulative, the students really were able to see the real value of a digit based on their location. Instead of the 1 was in the tens value, they were able to tell me that the 1 was really 1 ten, or valued at 10. I also implemented a math puzzle with the place value concept that was on-grade level, and the students seemed to enjoy working on this as a group.

I also incorporated a strategy that I like to call the students become the teacher. I would have one student go to the board, and explain the process they used to get an answer. The 6th grade class created equivalent fractions using their interactive notebooks for this strategy. I had each student cut out puzzle pieces, and then create an equivalent fraction. Then, I had the students explain how they created the equivalent fractions. The class seemed to enjoy this because they got the chance to go to the chalkboard, and become the teacher essentially.

One thing I would like to begin to incorporate is using the iPad to enhance skills, since technology is limited in my classroom. The students see me take attendance on the iPad everyday, and I feel that they are itching to use it. They seem more motivated to learn when incorporating any technology, so I would be interested to see how this would work when using for a lesson.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week...After the snow storms

This is my first week back with no delays or cancellations (as of today, at least). I decided this week to start my lesson plans I had prepared for way back in January, since all the other work and assessments were finally caught up. The lessons for my fifth grade pull out was long division. My teacher felt that the older middle schoolers could use review for this also, therefore I taught both classes the lesson plan I had prepared. We began class with multiplication review, and discussing their time off. Then, the long division process began. I had the students create interactive notebooks, and one of the students, that is typically unengaged and trying to distract the people around him, was on-task the entire time! This same student told me after the first day how much he enjoyed working with the interactive notebook, and it was much more exciting than the average paper-pencil technique.

My mentor teacher and I decided that it would be exciting for both classes to keep adding on with the work they will begin after their long division assessment.

Update: Once again, the assessment was pushed back due to the weather. Snow, snow, go away...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Week Two-Five

With a few days of teaching, most of the days were snow days. I had planned on beginning teaching my first pull out class of the day, but weather decided otherwise. These past three weeks, I have experienced stress from a two-hour delay schedule, and stress with wondering how the students will retain the information from before the basically three-week vacation. As we begin back in school, even with delays, I wonder how a teacher deals with the stress and how she fixes lesson plans to basically review information students hadn't thought about in many days. In January alone, the students were in school a total of eight days. EIGHT entire days. While weather is out of the hands of any person, I have truly experienced what it feels like to want the snow to be melted away.

The first day back with students on the last day of January was crazy, chaotic, and difficult to keep students on-task. We had long agendas and students just didn't seem in the groove of things. I hope these crazy, snow delay/cancellations begin to fade, because as a teacher, I had a hard time finding ways to encourage students to keep their mind on learning and off of what the weather would bring us that night.

Another piece of my teacher experience with special education was how to complete paperwork on time.While I was talking to my mentor teacher during these cancelations, she emphasized the importance of some paperwork that needed completed for the writing assessment with the deadline quickly approaching.

Finally, during these cold, snowy days, I worried my students were safe, warm and fed. I found myself up late at night during these days hoping they were as warm as possible.

I must say, I am done with these snow days, and I feel as if we are just in the middle of these storms.