Gesu Visit 4 (Hours 8-10)

For my last visit, I was stoked to have a productive and fun day. The day started off as usual with the announcements on the smart board, then the first class came in. They were the eight grade class I had had first the previous visit. This class was now reviewing for the test. They had a packet, just like the second class from last week. But, this class was on their best behavior. So, the teacher rewarded the students. She did this by putting music on. First she put on classical music, but the students were working well, so she put on disney music. This was fun for the students, but one student was not able to focus with the disney on, so the teacher changed it. This upset many other students because they were enjoying the disney music. The teacher explained how she had to switch it because all of the students worked well with classical, but not all did with disney. The students kept pouting for a few more minutes, and then got over it. The class was then winding down and the kids were getting ready to switch classrooms.

The next class came in. Because they had a test in their previous class, the kids kept asking if their teacher had graded their tests. The teacher informed them no, and they started a new lesson on linear equations. They were learning it on the smart board, and then received a worksheet. This was the first time the kids were learning this information, so they were very confused and the teacher had to take it slow. And by this this time, it was time for me to leave.

This day was a good day to end my observations on, both class periods were very productive, even though the second class took longer to understand the concept being taught. One piece of information that the teacher shared with me was the concept of grading tests. She told me that she grades her tests from back to front. She does this so she doesn’t know whose test she is grading. I really enjoyed this piece of information.

This observation really opened up my eyes, and I am so happy for the opportunity!

Gesu Visit Number 3 (Hours 6-8)

For my third observation visit, I was still observing the same teacher as before, but I was now observing an eighth grade class, compared to the past two observations being seventh grade classes. The day started off as normal, the video on the smart board, and then class started. The class started off with board work and homework check, and then the students learned the lesson for the day. This specific lesson was on the ways of variables and fractions, along with different step equations. After the lesson was taught, trough a powerpoint on the smart board, the class was given a worksheet. This specific worksheet was one from the website mathworksheets4kids.com. The teacher informed me about this website.

This website is a website that gives teacher “fun” worksheets for the kids, along with providing an answer key for the teacher. She told me she uses it often because they have good material, are easy to access, are free, and are all around a good tool for her to utilize.  This specific worksheet given to the kid was a fairly hard one. The teacher was going around the classroom helping, and soon enough there were enough kids with questions, and I asked if I could help answer them, the teacher allowed. All the kids I helped were very well behaved and cooperative with me helping them. The class was wrapping up, and once the class left, a new eighth grade class came in.

This new class, was to say the least, ROWDY. They were so talkative and were bouncing off the walls. This specific class was also reviewing for a test, so the teacher has a lot on her hands. So how was this teacher going to deal with this class? She first used the technique of scaring the children. She did this by telling the kids if they keep acting up they would receive a JUG. This is justice under God. They have rules for the JUGs. For example, three in a class per week make up in a detention. This is just one, but they had manny other guidelines to the JUGS.

The kids settled down, and the class time was dedicated to reviewing for their test. They did this through  a packet on which they worked on the whole class. Many of the kids finished by the end and were ready for their test. Then it was time for me to leave.

All in all, this day was a productive one for the classroom once all the kids were settled down. One will never know when a kid will be crazy, but a teacher will have to learn how to deal with it.

Clinical Teaching

Last thursday, a group of three classmates and I were able to teach the classroom. We had to teach chapter 21 of the book our class was reading, and the only other requirement was that the class had to be 50 minutes long. So from here, the brainstorming and lessons plans starting forming.

As a group, we decided that we would start with an activity, go into a mini-lecture, another activity, then another mini lecture, show a video, and end with discussion. After formulating the different activities and timing it all out, we practiced it and then it was go time on Thursday morning. Personally, I think the class went well.

At first, the class seemed tired, which was expected because it was a a Thursday morning at nine, but once we started the first activity, all were engaged. In my opinion, I think that the participation of the class was better than it had been for the other groups. Also, I hope to think that the class absorbed a lot of knowledge on the topic. One thing I would have changed is that we should have discussed and spent more time on the topic of pedagogy of poverty because the class seemed a little confused when we started to talk about making our own definition for the class. Other from this, I think that the class ran smoothly and from what classmates said after, everyone enjoyed it.

I enjoyed this opportunity and am looking forward to more of these opportunities in the future!

Gesu Visit 11/12

So, at my second two hour observation to Gesu, and on top of the head teacher and I, there is a teacher’s aid working in the classroom today. With this being said, the day started off normally, with the projector of the students reading from the bible, announcements, etc. Once this was over the eighth and seventh graders switched classrooms and we were back at learning about two-step equations. For this homework check, the aid was checking while the teacher was talking about the students upcoming test and then placing practice problems on the board. The students completed the problems on the smart board again, discussed, and then the aid handed out two worksheets which were to be completed throughout the class time, resulting in  practice group work for the remainder of class. While the aid went around helping students through the group work, the teacher was explaining to me different technology she uses.

The teacher started talking about how she uses the projector as a double screen with her desktop. She showed me how she worked it, along with explain how handy it was. She then informed me about Jupiter. This is their online grade book. Students, teachers, and parents can access this website. Along with it providing grades, it also provides assignments, special notes, extra work, etc. This was really neat to see how the teacher operates through technology. After she explained this to me, I sat back at my table and she went to go help the aid answer questions.

While observing, I really wanted to interact with the kids, and I thought this would be a good time to do so. So, I asked the teacher if I could help answer questions as well, and she allowed me to.

There were two students who I mainly helped out. Both were doing great, but were making little errors as they were switching variables to different sides of the equation, and switching up their signs. I was able to help these students not only get a hundred percent on their homework, but also was able to help these students achieve more knowledge. For some reason, this is one of the best feelings. Knowing that I can help a student do something so little, like passing their homework, is rewarding in itself, but on top of that knowing that I could have the opportunity to do that is a short few years is the best feeling I think I can could ever have.

All in all, this day taught me about technology, but also reaffirmed my love to teach and my hope to become a teacher in these next few years.

Filed Visit to Gesu 11/10

For the rest of my field hours, I will be observing a seventh and eighth grade math classroom at Gesu Catholic Grade School. This school teaches students from kindergarden through the eighth grade. Gesu also follows a block schedule where classes are for an hour and a half and they alternate every other day. With this being said, the first week I will be at Gesu, I observed a seventh grade class on Monday and will again on Wednesday. Then in the following week, I will observe an eighth grade class.

Anyways, on my first visit, I arrived early. I walked into the classroom and the students were getting ready for their first class. I met the teacher and a fellow science teacher who taught across the hall. Then, around eight o’clock, the teacher of my classroom turned on her projector and up popped a slide show. It was stating the weather, lunch specials, a tweet from the pope, birthdays throughout the school, and other odds and ends that needed to be talked about for that day. Then, students came on the board. Streaming live through every classroom, a student read a bible passage for the day, another student read important announcements, and a group of children said the Pledge of Allegiance. After this, my teacher’s eighth grade homeroom packed up and headed to other classes while the seventh grade came into her classroom for math.

My teacher started class of with another prayer. This was a prayer that started off each line off with a different math term, such as adding God into their life, subtracting evil, etc. The teacher then went into homework check and morning work. She walked around and checked the students homework while she placed practice problems on the board. After this, the teacher had different students walk to the board and solve the warm up problems. After all problems were solved on the board, they went over as a class and then went into the lesson for the day, two step equations. She taught this lesson and then gave the students the rest of the class to do practice problems. This practice problem time added up to about 45 min, resulting to about half of class.

With this being said, I think that this class may have a little to much classwork time given to them. As I was looking around the classroom, many seemed off task, and every few minutes the teacher would tell another student to get back on task. I think that in my classroom, I would try to do more practice through games, rather through partner group work, which could be hard to control all of the off task children.

This was a good first visit, but I am looking forward to my upcoming visits to see how the classroom dynamic can change.

Field Trip to Agnon

This past Thursday, my education class took our last field visit as a class to the Agnon School. Coming into this school, I was not sure what to expect because Agnon is a jewish community day school. With this being said, I have been raised in a Catholic family and have been attending a Catholic school for all my life. So going into this situation, I did not form a question, but was more just ready to take in the scene I was about to enter.

When we first entered the school, all the art work and posters on the wall were written in Hebrew. I have never been this exposed to the Hebrew language before so that was neat. I was then placed into a kindergarden classroom. We first walked into the classroom and all the children looked at my two classmates and I like we each had three heads, but that is typical for kindergarden children. The kids then started paying attention to the teacher and from there they started their morning work.

The first item on the agenda was to sing a song to wake the children up. The song reminded me of the classic head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Then, this teacher took attendance on the smart board and then picked different children to go up to the smart board to put up the date, the weather, and to add a day to a chart to show what day of school the children were on. Then, another teacher took over. This specific kindergarden classroom was taught by three different teachers. So, the second teacher came up to the board and they started to integrate hebrew and the english language. They started to do this by saying the days of the week in english, then in hebrew. The kids then counted by tens to a hundred in english, and then in hebrew. From here, the teacher and kids sang a song in hebrew that had them move around their classroom and do different actions, such as standing on one leg, jumping, etc. Finally, the teacher had the kids go wash their hands because it was now going to be snack time. The boys of the classroom went and put their yarmulke on because during snack they were going to be read the Torah. As they were about to read the Torah, it was time for us to leave.

This experience was one that I will never forget. It was a new setting for me and it was a very good one. I was glad to have experienced it. I do not think I will end up in a school based on Jewish tradition, but it was fun to compare it to the Catholic tradition in schools that I am used to.

From Week 1 to Week 10

From week one until now, I have grown through my knowledge in the education field, through classroom experiences, and have grown overall as a person.

I started this blog off with a picture of my mom. From here, the first blog post was one all about me. After I was able to talk a little about myself, I was instructed to do a little experiment. With this being said, my next blog post was one about my friend and I sitting in the atrium of my school. In the atrium, we observed different people and made a T chart. One side was a description of what we observed, and the other was an interpretation of what we thought these observations were related to or what these people were going to do. From this post, I posted about how my classroom could look once I finally become a teacher. From here, I posted my response to a quote and then about the LGBTQ community. Then, I blogged about the PostIt note assignment. I also have done three field visit blogs and my other two blogs have been about bridges and what a good school looks like.

These blogs have been a great way to add to my learning experience. It has made me reflect on the different topics each week and have made me think deeper into different ideas I never would have. For example, thinking about what my classroom could look like in a short four years is a crazy idea to think about, but a very real idea. I can’t wait to see where the rest of my education schooling will take me!

Good Schools

When someone asks me what a good school looks like, so many different ideas come rushing into my mind. Vividly, the image of my grade school and high school comes to me. I think of all the opportunities and knowledge these schools have taught me and think that these are good schools. But, there are some items that these school could improve on to form the school from a good school to a great school.

First off, there are many characteristics of my two previous schools that made them into great schools. The first is the class size, from kindergarten to being a senior in highs school to even now, I have never had a class with over twenty-seven students in it. This is a quality that I think makes a school great. Every child will receive attention and will become more intrigued in a class like this rather than a 300 person lecture. Another part of these schools that made them good was their discipline codes, teacher-student relationships, extracurricular activities, and there are many more. These schools have provided me with a path to become the person I am today, which I hope is a good, loving, hardworking student and person.

On the topic of curriculum, I think a good school should have a range of classes which can allow the student to pick classes that could benefit themselves to the best of their potential. With this being said, going to a smaller high school, one may not receive that kind of variety. Any good school should have a handful of courses all the way from general education to the AP and college credit courses.

These are just a few items that I think good schools should have, but there are also different characteristics I have not mentioned as well that these schools should have.

FieldBlog Three

On my third field visit, I observed an Algebra 2 class at Cleveland Heights High School. Ironically, I didn’t observe the typical teacher of this class, instead I was observing a John Carroll student who was getting his classroom hours in. Along with the normal teacher watching him teach, there was also a faculty member from JCU observing the student teacher.

When I first walked into the classroom, with two other kids from my Education 100 class, the normal teacher welcomed us into the classroom, gave us some background on the class and what they were learning, then instructed us to sit in the back of the room to observe the JCU student teacher. The student teacher did a fantastic job. The students were given a worksheet on the material that they learned that day. After, the student teacher instructed the students to do a set a problems from the worksheet, and then he picked a student and had them show how they did one problem on the smart board, and so on with other students. Once the student was done, the student teacher went over parts of the problem that could have come across as confusing, then double checked with the class to make sure that they understood the material. He had all the students engaged and intrigued in the information. The class grasped the topic so well, that they were able to move on to the material they were to learn the next day. The class was really cooperative and were loving the student teacher.

Different ways that the student teacher presented himself, had not only me, but the class intrigued. Many things that my fellow classmates and I pointed out included that he was always moving. He was never standing and lecturing in the classroom at one point of the classroom. This makes the students have to focus on him and pay attention, rather than zoning off. Another way the student teacher kept the students engaged was by double checking that they all understood. This gave all them opportunities to ask questions they had. From all the student teachers that I have had throughout high school and grade school, he was the best one that I had seen. This could be because I was observing and not learning from him, but I was intrigued.

Another opportunity I had while observing, was talking to the JCU professor who was looking over and observing the student teacher. He was asking and looking to my classmates and I on what we thought of the student teacher, asked what we saw good and bad, and other questions like this. A question he asked us was “How are we as teachers going to keep the non-engaged students engaged?” As a group of my two classmates, the JCU professor, and I, we talked about how the teacher had to be enthusiastic, how the teacher has to move around the classroom, and how the teacher has to make sure that the students were understanding. This was neat, because all of these things that we came up with, the student teacher had been and was doing.

Through observing the JCU student and talking to the JCU faculty, it made me more excited to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher.

FieldBlog2

On Friday, October 17, 2014, I was able to fulfill three hours of my independent observation hours. I was lucky enough to observe in the grade school that I attended from kindergarden to the eighth grade. Not only was this an phenomenal experience, but I also was given the chance to observe two different teachers, a fifth grade science teacher and a fourth grade social studies teacher. To make these hours even better, the fifth grade science teacher I observed, was the teacher who has inspired me into wanting to become a teacher and has been a role model to me through out my life thus far. So this observation meant a great deal to me. I ended up being in the school for four class periods, but observed for three class periods.

In the first class period, I was able to observe a fifth grade science class. I was later informed that the fifth grade had been split up into two sections, the advanced students and then the rest of the students were grouped together. So, the first class was the other group of the grade. This certain class period was all about digging into basic chemistry. The teacher help took notes with the kids using the smart board, and as I was scanning through the class, I did not find one student not engaged in the material. After they took notes, the teacher handed out a packet and the class started reading the packet out loud and for homework they were to finish the reading. One thing I noticed throughout the class is the teacher utilized the whole room. The reason that the kids were so engaged, I think, is because each point emphasized by the teacher also had a prop. For example, she used a poster in the back of the room, then passed around different items that pertained to the lesson, and then called on the kids from different sides of the room. Every kid seemed welcomed, involved, and intrigued.

The next class was the advanced science group, taught by the same teacher.  They did mostly the same activities and lessons as the first class did, but they finished their packet in class and were told to look over the activities. These students were also engages and well behaved.

I then brought this class to their art class and talked to other teachers who had an off period. They all were very inviting to come observe their class, and were all offering their help and assistance to me as I go though my college classes and further on into this major.

I ended the day with observing a fourth grade social studies class. This was a new teacher to the school, and I had never met her before. Her teaching style was a little different. She used more technology through her teaching. The main topic of the class for the next few weeks was going to be a tour of the northeast part of the United States. The teacher found this program online that toured the class from different places within the northeast, starting with Maine. She had a packet to go along with the tour. I had never seen anything like it before, it was very interesting. Most of the kids were engaged in the classroom, but it seemed like the kids were more talkative in this classroom than the students in the other fifth grade classrooms were.

All in all, this day was a great day. The teachers were more than helpful, I received great tips from all teachers of different grade levels, and I got to observe the teacher that motivated me to be in the education class today, along with a great, young, and motivated social studies teacher.