Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Student Teaching Day 2

Day Two

The day started in a similar way as yesterday, but a bit less hectic.  The students filtered in, stowed their gear, and began their morning routine.  After performing our patriotic duty, the work began.

Math was interesting this morning.  The teacher gave the students several problems (3x4, 6x4, 8x4) and asked them to explain how they found their answer.  The main point of the lesson was to show that order of operation didn't matter; the most efficient way was the usually the best way {the state standardized tests are fast approaching).  The teacher did make good use of the IWB, but once again the students did not get to use it.  One boy did leave his seat during the discussion to point ad items on the board, but he never got the chance to interact with the technology.

After math was a visit from the guidance councilor.  Her lesson was on giving and following directions (tests prep again).  Her lesson did not go well.  At one point she selected a student to be the 'writer' and stood her at the board with electronic pen in hand.  The girl stood there at the ready for five minutes, but never got the chance to write.  The guidance councilor apologized to the student and promised that she could be the 'writer' next time.  The children were split into groups of two to work on an exercise in giving directions.  Time expired before the students were able to get a sentence or two written on their papers.  I'm not sure why things didn't go well.  Perhaps my presence in the room upsets the normal flow.  I know I do better with a group of students when I am the only adult in the room.  I should find a way to correct this by tomorrow...I'm being observed by my professor in the morning

We worked on 'simple six' writing attack prompts after lunch.  I was able to go around the room and assist the students while they brainstormed their stories. 

Writing was followed by reading.  A reading teacher from the Title One room came into the classroom to help with reading.  The class was split into three groups, and the students rotated between me, the reading teacher, and 'seat work' as Mrs. J monitored the classroom.  The small groups worked well, but I see the need for additional teachers/aids/ or parents to make the groups run smoothly.  Small groups could be hard to manage with only one adult in the room.

Overall today went well.  Some of the newness has worn off and the kids are more at ease with my presence in the room.  I expect this to improve a little each day. 


Karin said...

I love reading your reflections of the day! Don't blame your presence for the counselor's lesson not going well. Test prep fever is nasty this time of year. I wish teachers could just teach the curriculum and not worry about state tests. Working with a small group works very well if the teacher has trained the class well on what to do while she/he is working with a small group. I've seen 1st graders handle this well! Keep up the great work!

Daisy said...

It's a bit scary realizing how much teaching time is spent in test prep. It happens here, too, even though I wish it didn't.

Adina Sullivan said...

Great observation on how challenging it can be to manage multiple groups/rotations on your own. I don't know how it usually works in your area, but I run it solo each day for Language Arts and often for Math as well. Mathew Needleman has blogged about some great tips for setting up your class to make this happen effectively. Good luck with the rest of your student teaching experience!