Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Blog Entry #9

Now that you have completed this course and the Service Learning component, what have you decided about becoming a professional teacher?  Do you think this is the career path for you?   Has the Service Learning helped influence your decision? What are your next steps? Write a thoughtful, 3-5 paragraph response to express your position.

Now that I have completed this course and the Service Learning assignment, I have chosen to continue my path in becoming a professional teacher. I think this is the career path for me for many reasons. They include my enjoyment from being around young children in the learning in environment. I enjoy facing challenges and creating unique lessons plans each day seems like it could be a challenge. It may be a challenge year to year, day to day depending on any disabilities the children may have, or home environments and even of the students are gifted and talented.

The Service Learning has helped me to see what this career path entails. To be an elementary school teacher, one needs to have a passion for learning, and spending their time to make a great environment. The students in my class learned my name, and were excited when I came. It may just because it was a new face that was a distraction from the everyday mundane activities. However, I enjoyed being needed and learning each of their personalities and likes and dislikes. 

My next steps are to finish my pre-requisites to get into the education program. I am limited in the time I can take these classes due to working full time, but I will apply for the program as soon as I am able. In Spring 2017 semester I am registered for Math 2010. I am nervous because I haven't taken a math class since high school! I was very smart to take my 11th grade pre-calculus class as concurrent enrollment, and when I worked on my first degree, it covered my math. I am going to take a math refresher course and then dive right in!

I am also considering applying for teaching positions in 2017 or 2018 and taking the Alternative Licensure Route. I understand usually teachers are not hired on that route, that is why I have decided to get a second bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. It is exciting for the adventure that lies ahead!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Blog Entry #8

  • ·       Are you making connections between course topics and Service Learning?  
    ·       Have you been able to articulate your own learning and understanding?  
    ·       Is the process of blogging helping you to think and notice things in your Service Learning?  
    ·       In what areas do you see growth or learning from the first blog post to the last?  

    I have been able to make connections between course topics and Service Learning. It has been very helpful to spread my shadowing hours out over the semester, so I can focus on different aspects of teaching and education. If I was to attempt my assignments all at once, I wouldn't be able to pay attention to details and take notes to assist my future career.  I have also been able to articulate my learning and understanding. This can be seen in Blog Entry #3 when I wrote about my learning of the importance of choices. On a field trip, the teacher gave students the option to choose who their walking buddy is. Every student needed a walking buddy, but they had the freedom to choose who it was. 

    The process of blogging has definitely helped me notice details in my Service Learning! In my Blog Entry #5 I discuss diversity in the classroom. I noticed the different ethnicity and how it is an example of Brown v Board.  I saw difference and growth from my beginning to most recent blog. I added more detail, and in the most recent blogs, I referred back to the lesson module more often.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blog Entry #7

I first time I observed the standards being implemented in my Service Learning Placement was my second time at the school. The first grade teacher, Mrs. Holden, pulled out each child individually, into the hallway to test their reading level. Mrs. Holden had a list of each child and their reading level when they left kindergarten. She informed me that by the time 1st grade was over, all the students were expected to be reading at level J. Many of the students were on A, B, or C and reading mostly fluently. However, some students unfortunately were only on pre-k and struggled with simple words.

This particular subject matter was emphasized in the multiple times I observed and worked with the students. I feel this is important to have this basic skill.

It is also a great idea to have the Utah Core Standards online, like the ones that we accessed. This allows the parents to know what is expected to be taught, and the child to master. They parents can help support their children at home in staying caught up and being prepared to learn new educational skills.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Blog Entry #6

An area of diversity that is given to study deeper during the Graphic Organizer, and found in my service-learning classroom is Exceptional Students. There is a child with mild to moderate autism. Anyone on the outside wouldn't know any difference when looking at him, but while I would work one-on-one with him, I could tell that he is an exceptional student. The teacher explains to the other student that sometimes he gets an extra minute to complete tasks. While the students are on the rug during Math or English lecture time, and they are required to face a certain way and look at the teacher, this exceptional student isn't directed which way to face, but just asked to sit on the rug. 

The teacher doesn't differentiate the content for this student, but the Process and Products. The other day, while creating a mini book, the students were asked to cut the 4 squares out, place them in order and then glue them on. The teacher offered for this exceptional student to use glue or tape. He was instructed to do it the same way as the other students, but wasn't required to use the same process.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blog Entry #5 Assignment
The evidence that I have seen in my Service Learning placement includes examples of the following:
The children in the first grade class with whom I work have ample time to work on math problems, with their math books and problems that are specifically designed for first graders. They also have designated time to discuss and learn about science. This is correlated to Sputnik and the implications from the Space Race that began when the Soviet Union was the first country to successfully launch a satellite into space in 1957. The next year, 1958, the US successfully launched their first satellite, named Explorer. The US felt they were behind in technology, math and science. This spurred implementation of more focus of math and science starting young in elementary school.
Another example of Brown v Board, that it is unconstitutional to separate black and white children in a public educational situation,  can be seen in the diversity among children in my Service Learning placement. I spend my time at an elementary school that is very diverse in ethnicity. In my first grade class by itself, there is 1 Hispanic, 1 Hawaiian and 1 Native American. As I walk the halls of the school, I have seen many African American, many Hispanic, and many Asian children. This is a prime example of the results of Brown v. Board.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Blog Entry #4 
In my concept map, I included in the creativity section to allow the students to create scenarios and situations for the learning, addition and subtraction to take place. I have seen my cooperating teacher, Mrs. Holden engage the learners in many meaningful ways. These include:  1. While teaching the first graders simple subtraction, she used the smart board and allowed the children to move around laminated pictures of cookies. Multiple kids were allowed to come to the board to add and "eat" the cookies, then the entire class would count how many cookies were taken away. 
In my concept map, under fun and games, I included to have the students encourage and cheer on other students when they have a success. 2. I saw this in the classroom, when after a small field trip, to say thank you to the volunteers, she asked the class which cheer they would like to give for each parent/volunteer. This gave the students choices and options and taught them to show gratitude and respect.
3. While teaching number order, the teacher created a game that each student worked on with another student. They would roll some dice, and then look at the number chart on their desk. If they saw the number, they would cross it out with a dry erase marker. It appeared more as a fun activity to the students rather than a math exercise.
A non-engaging exercise I witnessed was learning phonetics, while the children were sitting on the rug. The assistant teacher was showing screens on the white board, but lecturing to the students what all the words meant and how to create them. The teacher wasn't asking any questions, and if she did, she answered them herself. Very shortly, the kids were bored, picking on each other and not paying attention.  
To make this phonetics lesson more engaging, I would have laminated words, and letter groups that children can hold and come to the front. All the students can direct where each child can stand to create different words and sounds. Or another idea is to have the children, while sitting at the rug, to raise their hands and answer questions of words and sentences that have those word orders.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blog Entry  #3   
  • Describe a time your cooperative teacher has offered choice to students.  
  • What has your cooperative teacher done to make students feel loved and safe?
  • What clear routines are established in the classroom?  How do they support a productive learning environment?
This week in my service learning with the first grade class, I was able to accompany them on a field trip, walking from the school to the public library. Before we left the school, the teacher Mrs. Holden, gave the students a choice of who was to be their walking buddy. When one boy was left alone, she gave further options of him walking with her in the front or he could walk with another teacher at the back of the line. 

Some clear routines that are established in class are when they are crossing the street. Each child is to raise their hand and touch their lips to remind them to keep quiet. This is connected to our learning of Maslow's Hierarchy and the level of safety. Mrs. Holden wanted to keep the children safe, and have them appear taller and larger by raising their hand so cars can be aware that people are crossing the street. 

Along with helping them feel safe, she made them feel loved by using technology and taking pictures of them along the way. This helps the students to know they are important and she wants to remember these times.

Another routine she has established is when they have returned from recess, after they each get a drink, they immediately return to their desk, allowing them to be productive and ready to learn. They know that they are expected to sit down and pull out their math books.