Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pull Your Chairs In and Look Smart

Ms. Miller gave the students a spelling list inventory today, which is basically a spelling test but the students progress is tracked throughout the year. The students were all pretty relaxed, slouching on their tables, heads down; Ms. Miller said, "Pull your chairs in and look smart." The students immediately straightened up and looked more presentable and ready to take their test.

The past days have been pretty busy. Last week we completed our landform maps. The students made their own legends and color coordinated their salt dough to make hills, water, mountains, etc. Here is one of the final maps (minus the covering of Mexico, which isn't an ocean, this one came out pretty good):

This week I gave the students an assessment to see how well they remembered the continents and major world oceans. I am grading them currently and almost all students have done well. We began a lesson about seasons the other day, but it was cut short by an assembly. We will be finishing it tomorrow. We discussed the four seasons, their weather characteristics and fun activities you can do outside during that particular season. Tomorrow I will be playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons and having them draw their own interpretations of each season. I think this will be a nice relaxing activity for the students. I made a bulletin board that resembles a window and out of each pane is a new season. I will post their drawings in the corresponding season window pane. We will also begin discussing the upcoming weather unit where the students will be tracking the weather for two weeks. We will discuss the change in weather patterns and how to measure wind speed, temperature, etc.

I have been doing some reading assessments with three students that are below grade level in comprehension. I am required to do one, but I took on all three thinking each of them could use my help and if I'm available I might as well give them the attention they need to progress in reading. I think this will also give me a good scope of students needs. Each student is different, so I will need to adjust my teaching accordingly for each one. This will be a good learning experience for not only the students, but also for me.

Not much else is happening in Millertown. The days go by fast and the grading has become a bit cumbersome, but it is always enjoyable at the Janney School. 

In other news, here is the link to some photographs of our field trip to the NBA Cares, Wizards Take a Time Out to Read. This happened my first week of student teaching. The students won a contest convincing The Wizards to read to their class. The class was picked up in a charter bus and we got a quick tour, a reading by Mike James and some free tickets to a Wizards game, which I attended last week.

On a side note, I am reading Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture. He retold a time in his high school football career when his coach was giving him criticism. He said his coach told him, "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you." I thought this was a pretty interesting quote considering how much truth is behind it. Being a teacher doesn't allow you to give up on any student. It's obvious, the one lagging behind the rest needs the most help and attention. It's a teachers job to keep them up to speed, have faith in them and never give up on them or allow them to give up on themselves. Until next time.

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