The fifth grade students in my classroom recently learned how to plot points on a coordinate plane. They have been working on plotting both positive and negative plots. Originally as an enrichment activity, I found several coordinate graph pictures on an educational website for the students to complete. The class enjoyed this activity so much that I now have a tub full of graph paper for them to plot points and create! Every picture that is completed correctly is hung on my door. Currently, the front and back sides of my door are completely covered! I have included a slideshow to show just how talented my students are!
I am almost three weeks into my experience at Meadows Elementary as an Intervention Teacher and I am proud to be a Meadowlark! I enjoy working with the wonderful students and the enthusiastic staff everyday. I have had the opportunity to volunteer during after school clubs and will be at the upcoming Vigo County School Corporation Literacy Fair on Saturday. Also, I have completed a classroom makeover and provided several interventionists, including myself, a fun and inviting place to work with small groups. This week was ISTEP+ assessments and I helped administer the test to a group of fifth grade students. The experiences and lessons that I have learned at Meadows Elementary so far have helped me become a better educator!
As an Intervention Teacher, I work with small groups of students ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are devoted to reading and writing activities while mathematics is the main focus on Thursdays and Fridays. I am currently working with kindergarten students on beginning reading skills using the Wonders series. Also, I focus on counting and cardinality skills with the kindergarteners. For first grade, I plan lessons in parts of speech and telling time. I currently do not have a mathematics group for second grade students. Instead, I work with four students using the Read Naturally Live program to enhance their fluency and comprehension. Third grade students work with me on reading comprehension and computation problems. I will soon have a fourth and fifth grade group, but I have been pushing into the classrooms to teach writing while the head teachers meet with individual students to work through last year's ISTEP questions.
As I mentioned earlier, I have decorated and organized a classroom to meet the needs of the intervention teachers at Meadows Elementary School. In the slideshow below, you will be able to view photographs of several bulletin boards and educational materials. There will be more to come after ISTEP week is over!
Since I graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in December, I have spent my time in multiple elementary and middle schools substitute teaching. Several schools that I had the privilege of visiting include: West Vigo Middle School (6-8 Special Education Functional Classroom), Otter Creek Middle School (6-8 Language Arts), Crestwood Elementary and Jr. High (Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 6-8 Language Arts, and 6-8 Mathematics), Wenz Elementary (3-5 general education, reading interventions), Farrington Grove (Media Specialist, 3rd grade), Davis Park (1st grade), Meadows (2nd grade), Fayette (4th grade), and Dixie Bee (kindergarten, mild intervention. All of these placements provided me with great learning experiences that will be helpful in any classroom. When I substitute taught, I carried a small index card binder with me to note any teaching strategies or posters reminders.
Yesterday morning, I officially accepted a long term substitute position at Meadows Elementary as an intervention teacher. I am very excited to have been given this opportunity to continue my career in education. I look forward to making a difference in the lives of others through teaching and meeting a new group of students! I will begin my journey on Friday morning and will b
I have had the opportunity to participate in the Because Kids Count Conference, sponsored by the Indiana Youth Institute, for the past 3 years. Every year, I leave with an abundance of resources and ideas to integrate in the classroom.
This morning began with a Morning Energizer and an Opening Keynote Speech by Brad Meltzer. Meltzer is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Inner Circle and The Book of Fate. He also wrote the nonfiction books, Heroes for My Daughter and Heroes for My Son. These books were inspired by Meltzer's want for his children to become better people and leave a legacy. He included many influential people in these books such as, Rosa Parks and Abraham Lincoln. Meltzer's speech began with a question: "What is your legacy?" He discussed that your legacy is shaped by your family, friends, co-workers, the community, and strangers. If you impact just one person, you have made a difference. I purchased his newest book titled History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time. Also, I had the opportunity to meet Meltzer and have my book signed. His speech was inspiring to me as an educator and an individual.
I participated in three different workshops today. The first workshop was titled "Communicate, Lead, and Succeed!" The speaker focused on ways that we can easily change our speech and words to be more successful in the classroom. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Train other people how to treat us." It is important as educators that we act as role models and model effective communication by maintaining a positive attitude and avoiding 'toxic' people.
The second workshop that I attended was called "Cooling Down Your Classroom." The founder of Mindful Practices is an educator from Chicago that realized that students need social and emotional learning along with the academic curriculum. Throughout her discussion, she introduced ways to integrate yoga and breathing exercises into the classroom. Her ideas may be found in her book titled Cooling Down Your Classroom. I also have a PDF version of the handout that outlines several ideas that I would be more than happy to share.
Lastly, I attended a workshop that introduced a variety of games and activities for all ages. He shared many ideas for grouping students, teambuilding, and grabbing the students' attention. All of the activities that we completed during the session required little to no equipment and could easily be modified to meet the needs of all grade levels.
I look forward to participating in a few more workshops tomorrow and listening to Keynote Speaker F
After school today, I had a wonderful group of fourth graders stay to participate in a reading and science activity. We had a lot of fun reading Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew and the Oobleck and making the gooey substance. This activity was interactive and it was great to see the students enjoy learning and working together! Oobleck is easy to make and is safe for all ages. The following directions were used to make oobleck:
Ingredients and Materials:
2. Then, pour the 16 oz. of cornstarch in the bowl with the water.
3. Mix the water and cornstarch. (You may use a spoon, but it is much easier and more fun to use your hands!)
4. Gradually add water until the mixture is sticky. The oobleck should feel like a solid then become liquid upon touch. (The ratio of water to cornstarch should be approximately 1 to 10.)
5. Add drops of food coloring to the oobleck until reaching a desired color.
Again, this activity is so simple and inexpensive. Making oobleck would be a good introduction or conclusion to a series of lessons on matter. I highly recommend this project to any teacher, group leader, or parent!
The fourth grade students learned about area and perimeter on Friday afternoon. The lesson was very interactive as Mrs. Schmitt gave the students Cheez-Its to make arrays on their desks. The class had so much fun and also enjoyed listening to the Perimeter & Area Song that was found on YouTube. I have shared the song below. It is actually quite catchy and really helps students remember the difference between area and perimeter.
We also used an educational game to practice area and perimeter. The link to the game is: www.funbrain.com/poly/index.html. The goal of the game is to correctly provide the area or perimeter, based on the instructions, to reveal a photograph. I personally liked this game as it could be easily differentiated for different
The science unit that I am currently teaching in a 4th grade classroom is titled Exploring the Oceans. The following link is a great interactive resource for students and teachers to use. Videos and facts are available for different animals or exploration equipment. I look forward to introducing the students to this website tomorrow during class!
Visit my blog later this week to view my Oceans WebQuest, which the students will use in the computer lab.
Technology is gradually taking over classrooms all across America. The newest idea, that was shared with me is taking presentations and making them interactive and engaging. Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that allows people to see, understand, and remember ideas.
Mrs. Schmitt used Prezi to review the weekly Language Arts vocabulary words. Since I am beginning a science unit on Monday, I decided to experiment with Prezi. I was able to create a vocabulary Prezi within 20 minutes. It is a quick and easy tool that can be used in the classroom in a vareity of ways.
I have attached the link to my Prezi called Exploring the Oceans. Enjoy!
As many of you know, I have spent the past eight weeks at Dixie Bee Elementary School working with students with mild disabilities. I had the opportunity to help change the lives of children ranging from kindergarten through third grade. Today was my last day at Dixie Bee and the feelings were bittersweet. I am anxious to begin my second student teaching placement at Carolyn Wenz Elementary School, which is in my hometown of Paris. However, it was definitely hard to say goodbye to so many friends.
I have been a part of 11 young lives for the past two months...and they have been a part of mine. We shared treats this morning and I presented them with a small gift before leaving. Even though we all knew this day was coming, it was still hard to part with the students. I was received many hugs throughout the day and even witnessed several tears. I reminded the students that I would also think of them and promised to visit in December.
Not only was it hard to say goodbye to the students, but to my cooperating teacher as well. Mrs. Kraly was an outstanding role model to me as a prospective teacher. She allowed me to step out of my comfort zone to try new ideas and plans while offering support and help at all times. Mrs. Kraly shared her resource room with me for eight weeks, which is sometimes difficult for teachers. She quickly became more than a cooperating teacher, but a friend that I will stay in touch with for many years. We were able to share experiences and stories on both personal and professional levels. Before leaving Dixie Bee, Mrs. Kraly gave me a gift to use in my future classroom - a Flash Master! (If you are not familiar with this teaching tool, check out my Wish List for a description.) I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented educator.
The staff at Dixie Bee Elementary was also so welcoming and supportive. As a resource room teacher, Mrs. Kraly and I pushed into several classrooms during the day. These teachers were kind enough to share their resources with me for future use. I receive many emails with attachments of lesson plans, classroom posters, and ideas which is extremely helpful! Three teachers allowed me to do observations in their classrooms so that I could note different methods of teaching and get more ideas. I could not have asked for a better support system during my first placement!
Tomorrow, I will be meeting with my supervisors and advisors at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College to prepare for my second placement. I am extremely excited to start my next student teaching experience with Mrs. Schmitt and her
The overall purpose of this blog is to share all my wonderful experiences during my student teaching semester and first year of full time teaching.