Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week in Review

Week of September 17th-21st
On Monday, the students had Math testing to access where they were at in relation being ready for the CRCT testing for spring.  The results won’t be back for a few weeks but I must say that I only think a small handful of my students are on track for passing the CRCT.  Many of my students struggle with Reading and Math.  They need a great deal of remedial work before they can begin to study at the level they should be at.  I hope that this semester, I will be able to get more of the students on track for their testing in the Spring.
Since I picked up Grammar/Readng/ELA as my third subject to teach, I hope that I can begin to give them the practice they need. With Social Studies this week, the students were creating a culminating group activity.  They began to create their projects on Monday and continued working on Tuesday.  Most of the groups were very self motivated.  But on Tuesday, I had to take a group off to the side and talk to them because they were refusing to work together.  I tried to remedy the situation by reminding them that everyone must get along and be mindful of their actions as a group because the process of group decision making and collaboration extends into the world outside of school. After we talked through their problems, they changed their intentions and decided to work together.  I had to talk to the students with a firm tone and it seemed to get my point across.  I am realizing, that with these students, it is a must to change my tone in certain situations because most of them only respond when the teacher is yelling at them. (Which is sad, but that is the only time they know they have done something wrong.
            Wednesday began with my Grammar lesson observation.  I am very pleased on how the lesson went smoothly and how it was received well by the students.  I thought my activities were engaging and fun.  After reviewing the comments you left me, I realized that I failed to put very much emphasis on a connection with other disciplines and a connection to the “real” world.  I am usually very good at this but for some reason I neglected to put much thought into those aspects for this lesson.  It has been so easy for me to connect Social Studies and Science to Reading/ELA and the outside world.  But, I suppose I have never really put much thought into connecting Grammar with other disciplines.  I could have talked about the history of prefixes and suffixes more in depth rather than just simply touching on it briefly.  (I mentioned that they were from Latin and Greek but failed to mention how that impacted our world today.)  Next time, I will be more mindful of this.
            I was very excited to see that I received an exceeding on technology for my lesson.  I have been playing around with the Smart Board and their ActivExpressions for a few weeks.  It has taken me a good bit of time to get used to using these in lessons.  In the spring, I tried to use these in my TOSS classroom but I was not very successful at it.  Even though I am young, I seem to have some problems with understanding technology. Therefore, I am thankful I have a Collaborating Teacher who has an affinity for technology and can help guide my need for technological integration in my lessons. 
            On Thursday, most of my lessons were taken away by our specials and CRCT writer’s workshop.  But I was very happy that the students were able to present their Civil War culminating projects.  I had four groups: group #1 made a PowerPoint, group #2 made a newspaper, group #3 created a monument, and group #4 created a play.  All of their presentations were simply wonderful.  I would have liked to invited Ms.Harmon to visit and watch them because they were so creative and fun.  My students went above and beyond.  They added raps, props, and costumes to their projects and they weren’t even required to.  It was one of the best days that I have had so far a Gideons.  I felt like it is one of those days I will remember forever because it stands for all of the reasons why I want to be a teacher. 
          Field trip Friday! All of the students had a lot of fun and were excited to learn about all of the animals at the  aquarium.  They continuously asked questions and were excited to inform me about the new facts they learned about the sea creatures.  I love field trips and I think they are necessary for all students to connect the outside world with their textbooks.  They need to know that the things in their books are real and important.  ~We also had a new student show up on this day.  He was able to go on the field trip and I think this made his first day one to remember.~

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