2 min read
To be completely honest, nothing scares me the way this question does. I hate when people ask what I will be up to in 5 or 10 years. Honestly, I don't know. The future is so unpredictable for all of us. Yes, we all have dreams and hopes of what we want to be doing or where we think we will be, but in reality none of us have any idea. The hope that these dreams are what will be our future is really just a security blanket to keep us content.
Thus, I don't know where exactly I will be in the next five or ten years. Yes, I hope to be teaching somewhere in a public school, yes I hope to be happy with people that care about me. Yes, I hope to still have my health. Yes, I hope that I will have advanced in every way possible from where I am now. But do I know? No, not at all. These are all just my goals. Just because these are my goals does not mean I know exactly where I am going next, it's just what I would like to see happening for myself.
As for the question about how willing am I to take detours along the way, thiiiiiis is the question I like. I want to believe that I am prepared to take all the necessary detours that I am sure to encounter on my path to the future. My life thus far has taken a few unexpected corners and twists, but I feel I have adjusted well. And, as a very very anxious person, yes these detours scare me, but I am ready for the ride.
The best advice I can give myself for the future is that it is going to be whatever it is it is going to be, and no matter what if I keep a good head on my shoulders and the right people by my side, everything will turn out to be just fine.
1 min read
Getting the Gum Off
It started off simple,
The pink gum clung to the bottom of my shoe
I tried to wipe it off, but it made a huge mess.
Within that mess stuck twigs, grass, and rocks
It kept me stuck where I was trying to shake it off.
I needed some help
So I asked those who got ahead of me
They turned back around and took off my shoe
They taught me its easier to remove the source first.
With their help I saw that the little things came out
And piece by piece the gum was released.
That gum is almost gone now,
It was a long long process
But as each piece comes out I am learning to inch forward.
The remains may never go away
But that gum has become just a part of my way.
2 min read
After reading the articles about including poetry into the teaching of children's literature we have been prompted to write about how we would use poetry to promote imagination in the classroom. After these readings, I think the best way to use poetry in an elementary classroom to promote the imagination of children is to use poetry as an outlet. There should be a particular unit devoted to poetry within the ELA curriculum of classrooms. Within this unit of poetry, different types of poetry should be explored. The difficulty should obviously be dependent upon the grade level. Then, as students learn each different type of poem, they try their hand at writing their own.
This type of exercise of writing a series of different poems will be able to promote imagination because students will see how a poem is a form of storytelling. The students can then make up characters, problem-solution pairs, settings, and all elements of the story.
As the unit comes to a close, students could then create their own poetry book. I remember doing this when I was in fifth grade, and actually went looking for it when I started working on this module! My poems were done in a "Barebook" which was a blank white book. I got to draw the cover, dedicate it to someone, and provide a
"publishing company" and then write my own poetry. Now readings my poems, I found them quite comical. However, I remember what a big deal this was and how serious we all took it. It involved drafting, conferencing, and finalizing the copy (starting in pencil and tracing in pen of course!) Having students be able to take home and keep their poetry forever is an awesome idea for them.
Poems I would use for a poetry unit would be:
Pretty much any Shel Silverstein poems because I remember having so much fun with them in the elementary school
Dreams by Langston Hughes
This one was a little odd, but it is the school poem for my elementary school, and my brother who is currently in the school and I talk about it alot, and I think it has a good meaning to bring about to kids.
Young and Old by Charles Kingsley
Little Things by Julia A Carney
2 min read
The prompt for this week was to publish the sounds of the "in-betweens" of our day. This short youtube clip that
I was able to create is a montage of sounds that fill my day. They start at 4:30 in the morning with my first alarm of the day going off. Then it moves to a driving sound (which you hear several times throughout the clip). Next is the sound of a door opening and shutting with a picture of the company I work for. This sound is how every morning Monday-Friday starts and the door keeps opening and shutting until all the kids have arrived. Then we go back to driving, and I'm off to school. Once I'm at Southern, chances are my laptop is out. Whether I'm doing homework with it, e-mailing someone, or taking notes, I'll probably typing. Then, we have driving again, this time it's about an hour until I'm back home. Once I'm home you hear the sound of my brother running over to need me for something (yes, this was actually recorded while it was really happening). And lastly, you hear my phone ringtone. Chances are this has gone off several times throughout the day, but it's usually one of the last things I hear too. Then, it's off to bed to repeat it all over again the next day.
1 min read
The mundane sound that I hear every is the somewhat glorious sound of my coffee brewing in the morning.
Typically, when I hear this it's accompanied with the sound of my feet shuffling around, cabinet doors slamming, and my backpack being zipped up. Once this sound starts I know it's just about time to head out the door for work. Once it's freshly brewed and paired with the fixings, I'm off to work at (hopefully) just about 6:30 in the morning. Then it's a few hours of before school care spent playing Life, Leggos, or organized gym games, and then off the school for myself!
Every morning starts with this sound, and if I had the time to hear it, then I'm on track and it will be a good day! If I did that thing where I overslept and the coffee doesn't have time to come with me, then it's probably already off to a bad start, so I better get going!
2 min read
In honor of Read Across America Day this week we were promted to use a Dr. Seuss book and come up with some sort of lesson for it.
The lesson that I came up with can probably be used with any number of Dr. Seuss books, but here I am focusing on Green Eggs and Ham.
The teacher will read the book aloud to the students the first time.
After reading the students will be told to pay special attention to sight words within the story. The teacher will then decide on a specific list of sight words, for example; I, am, do, not. Next, the teacher will make a column on the board for each sight word. A student will be assigned to each word and they will be told that it is their responsibility to make sure they stay on track. Once sight word that is displayed on the board has been assigned to the student the teacher will give the instructions:
The story will be read aloud from the teacher again. This time however, instead of just listening students must pay attention for the listed sight words. Each time they see and hear one of the sight words that is on the board they must tell the person that is in charge of that sight word. The student that has been designated to the sight word must make a tally mark in their column. After the whole book has been read and all the sight words have been "found" the students that are in charge of the sight words will switch. Now the new student in charge of each sight word is responsible for the next part.
The class will count the tally marks together and see how many times each sight word was said in the story. After the number is displayed in the column the class will repeat the sight word that many times.
This lesson will allow students to hear a book read aloud from the teacher once, and then again through "active reading and listening." Finally, it will provide students with tally mark practice, counting practice, and most prominently; sight word practice through repitition.
2 min read
The readings for this week in module five were pretty interesting to read. Even though we have probably all read them a hundred times by now, I still made sure to read the CCSS. Making sure to read these and connect them to what we are learning in our current EDU courses will only help to make us better teachers, which is why we are all here. Why the heck would we want to leave college being only a (maybe) mediocre teacher?!
The article written by http://
All in all, I definitely took a ton away from this weeks readings and am glad that I had the opportunity to use them as a source in my education and I'm sure I will be referring back to them in the future!
5 min read
The first video in the playlist that we were required to watch for module four was Rick's Reading Workshop: Mini Lesson. In this video he talked to students about how active reading requires us to create theories about the characters and how they can change throughout the story. He reads the class a story about a girl and her grandmother. He uses the dialouge in the book to create (with students) a theory about the relationship between the girl and her grandmother.
As the video he has created has a purpose of not teaching elementary students but rather informing and teaching future educators/ informing others of the teachin process, he approaches it in an interesting way. He explains how he explicitly says what it is he wants the students to be able to do and how it should be done. He also models the tasks for the students which gives them a guide to work off of.
I think this is a great approach to use with students, especially in literacy. I think giving them instruction on the objective or purpose of the lesson helps them to understand why they are doing something and how it is going to help them. Providing an example is important because it shows them what understanding of the skill or concept looks like and this helps them to form an idea of how they should start thinking about the topic.
The next video I found myself not as engaged in, but it still held my interest. I thought the teacher had a good approach to teaching her students about the difference between informational texts and texts that tell a story. What stuck out most to me about her lesson was that it was not all her talking or students doing work. Rather, when they were on the carpet the teacher would start telling the students new information and then have them answer questions as she was teaching. She used their answers as part of the instruction. Also, she made the lesson personable and talked about all of the different books that they were reading independently. Having the personal connections was probably beneficial in understanding the difference between "books that tell a story and books that give us information."
The third video that took place in a middle school really interested me. This video brought many new things to my attention. Never before have I seen a middle school lesson done in a "carpet style" seating arrangement. Middle school both in my prior exposures and my own experience was done strictly by group work or lecturing at desks. I found this so interesting to see. Next, the teacher had the students write the learning objective in their notebooks. A lot of people are opposed to this, but I do think it's a great idea, especially at the middle school level. Having the students write the purpose of the lesson right in front of them in their notes gives them the opportunity to look back and reflect on it. If they know exactly what skill they should have mastered by the end of the lesson the can assess themselves again and again if they think they are meeting it or not. This allows them to take initiative for their own learning for some degree which is an imperative skill and strategy they will need in high school.
The fourth video in the playlist was a little bit different than the others. I'm actually not entirely sure why, but it just seemed to have a different feel to it. The video started with a clear explanation of what the teacher was going to do, why she was doing it, and what was going to happen. This made it easier understand exactly what was going on, but also made me less focused on it. The teacher starts the lesson with telling the students what it is they will be talking about. Then they have a whole-group discussion of the topic. For this one they discussed why readers re-read books. Then the students went off and did it themselves and shared with the whole group. I thought the independent reading after the discussion and then back to the group was a good idea. It allowed students to get the information, process it, practice it, and reflect on it. I'm almost positive that was beneficial to at least a majority of the students.
The last video in the playlist was an interesting topic to watch a mini lesson on. The teacher focused on the skill of leaving spaces between words in a sentence. She used mostly direct instruction and little student engagement. It was beyond clear that the students were not at all paying attention. Very few if any were actually engaged and following along. Perhaps she could have made the lesson a bit more student-involved or shorter at least with the lecturing. The students could be a group of kinesthetic learners which they were not getting throughout this lesson. Perhaps her teaching style could have worked better with a group of maybe second or even first graders instead of kindergarten students.
3 min read
As the assignment was to create a mini lesson for reader's workshop here is my idea:
The teacher will begin the designated reader's workshop time by telling students that today they will be reading the BEST story ever. The teacher will have the story pre-selected. The story should be a non-fiction informational text. The teacher will either read the story to the students themselves, students will read alone, or the teacher can project a digital copy of the story in the front of the room accompanied by a voice recording.
After the story is done being read or listened to the teacher will again tell them how great this story was and how it was the best thing they have ever read. The teacher will look to the students and ask for their approval that "don't you agree with me, this story is awesome." If all is going well within the minilesson there will be at least some oposition from the students. They will probably begin naming titles of stories or books that they find to be better off the top of their heads.
To respond to this critique by the students the teacher will ask how anyone can say anything other than this story is by far the best of the best. A student will tell the teacher that they disagree and why they disagree. When this happens, the teacher will use it as a segway to the next part of the assignment. The teacher should ask students that when he/she told them this was the best story every was this a fact or was it an opinion?
Students will then catch on to the lesson that fact and opinion are not the same, and one person's certainly does not make it a fact. The students will see the connection between the two and understand the difference. This will then lead itself into a class discussion about what is a fact and what is an opinion. This discussion can probably be best recorded by the teacher keeping an anchor chart going while students define the terms and respond to one another's answers.
After the class discussion of fact versus opinion is over, students will be given a book to read independently. They will also be given a pre-designed anchor chart displaying which parts of the facts and which are opinions. If the students were paying attention to the direct lesson/instruction from before than they should have no problem corrrectly completing the assignment.
Content differentiation for two students can be as follows:
Students who may struggle reading the book can be provided with a partner to read aloud to them or a CD version of the book on recording. The student can then hear the content of the story which is essential in helping them to differentiate between fact and opinion.
Another way the content can be diferrentiated for a student is a pre-created notes guide. If a student struggles with whole-group instruction or is unable to follow along in large anchor charts as a part of class discussion, they can be provided with guided notes; an outline of the material with blanks that they will fill in as the teacher and discussion moves along.