I am currently teaching most everyday, all day. I begin my fulltime student teaching next week (whcih is when I will be able to teach all day, every day) It is a challenge I am looking forward to, but something I know will be stressful and time consuming. Also, a lot of fun!
We are finishing up our Fractions unit in the Everyday Math program. Wow, it has been a whirlwind. I never liked math growing up and still didn't like it much last semester, but look at me now! Teaching it to second graders. I am surprised fractions is even part of the curriculum to be honest. They are only 7 and 8, but they are being blasted with skills that I would never dream of knowing when I was that young. They are loving every second of it. I give the students lots of different ways to approach fractions, which I think opens the doors for them to experience fractions in a way that suits them. We use paper fraction bars, math manipulatives, fraction cards, fraction circles, various objects in the classroom and discuss where we see fractions in our every day lives. I was feeling like this would be one of the most difficult tasks I would have to attempt as a student teacher and while it has forced me to be a lot more creative, I have had a lot of fun teaching this unit and I really think the students have also. They now know what a numerator and denomintor are, although I often hear numENAtor in the class. They now know what equivalent fractions are and how we can compare fractions on a scale of smallest to largest. Tomorrow is our Unit 8 assessment which I am excited to see how they do. It not only tells me if they are "getting it" but also if I am doing a proper job teaching them.
In Science, we just finished observing weather and are now growing our very own plants. Yesterday we planted Brassica and the students loved it. They were so cooperative and were just excited to learn everything they could about the planting process. We put the Brassica under a flourescent light in the classroom and will be waterign them as needed. I made a bulletin board, so the students can record their findings and observations. Then the students are required twice a week to observe their plants in a journal format. They are asked to draw their findings, as well as explain in words. Today when the students came into the classroom they ran right over to the plants to see if anything had happened. Sadly, nothing had grown, but they sat for a good 15 minutes discussing the previous lesson and talking with others in the class about the plants. It was really heartwarming to see their interest. Tomorrow we will be planting our own grass and will then be transplanting it into our very own terrariums, with worms! I ordered the worms yesterday, so they should be arriving soon.
Today I sat down with Ms. Miller to discuss my full week next week and I asked her about the possibilities of a field trip to relate to our science unit. The botanical gardens are out because they apparently don't accomodate groups of 15 or more? Ms. Miller and I are looking The National Aboretum, which should be quite interesting for the students to look at. I will have to probably go myself and see what it has to offer in order to gear some kind of scavenger hunt or worksheet for the students to complete on their trip.
We finished our Unit on Weather and I introduced the water cycle before we began learning about plants. We sang the following song and I am hoping I can get a recording of the students doing it to post on here. It was so catchy, they had it stuck in their head for days and were constantly covering their ears if I even began humming it!
The Water Cycle
(sing to the tune of She'll be Comin' 'Round the Mountain)
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does
water travels in a cycle, yes it does
It goes up as evaporation
Forms clouds as condenstation
Then comes down as precipitation, yes it does
Not much else is happening at the current moment. I am throwing myself in as much as I possibly can and am loving every second of it. I get asked one billion questions a day and there is a constant hum of Ms. Cifelli? in my ear as students come up to me, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!