Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Clinical Experience (In No Particular Order)

This has been the most stressful school year of my life! I don't sleep and I have no social life but these past two days, I have seen all my hard work pay off. On Sunday, I traveled three hours from home to spend two days in a 2nd grade classroom.  Below, you will find journal entries about my first and second day at school.

Day 1

I got to school around 7:30 and got set up for our day. I met a boy in the hallway who told me he was in my classroom so I introduced myself and talked to him a little bit. 

Kids came in they were super quiet. I invited them to the carpet with me. I introduced my partner and I as their guest teachers for the next two days. I went through rules and expectations. I also talked about our classroom management activities and how we are going to get students attention. We modeled whole body listening, show 5, clapping, and counting down. The kids caught on real quick!

I led morning meeting. We did an adjective greeting, whip share, and for our activity, I had students line up by height without talking. Reagan was the leader on this, she was helping everybody out and all 15 were lined up correctly from shortest to tallest. I taught a lesson on standard and non-standard measurement. I used the book Measuring Penny and as a class, we filled out a T-chart of the standard and non-standard units of measurement that Lisa, the main character of the book used. I had mini booklets and a Penny (dog from the story) ruler for students. I paired the students up and they went around the room measuring items. They measured length, height, width and around. I looked at some of their mini-books and was blown away by how far they got and how well they worked together.

Art took longer than expected so instead of teaching my whole science lesson in 15 minutes, I introduced the Water Cycle vocabulary. Students had a chance to practice saying the words out loud and I defined the words for them. I then taught them the Water cycle song with motions and I so wish I could have recorded it. They did a phenomenal job and I was SO proud of them. I actually ran out of the room to catch a professor and invite her into our classroom.

I had students tell me they enjoyed my lessons. 

One girl came up to me as she was working through her mini book and said my math lesson was fun. 

When I pulled out the penny rulers there was lots of excitement! 

At recess all the teachers were standing around but I had kids ask me to play with them or watch with they were doing. I had kids yelling my name from across the playground and running over to me to show me things they found. 

At the end of the day, I asked for a high five on the way out. I said things like have a good night, see you tomorrow and Adios Amigo. To one girl I said, "See ya later Alligator" she walked a few steps, turned around, smiled and said, "in a while crocodile!"

After sitting for a really long time for my partner's lesson, I needed students to sit and listen to mine so I had them stand up jump around, run in place and then we reached to the sky, moved all our wiggles to our fingers and slid down into criss cross applesauce. Students sat very well after that! 

Day 2

It is April 1st today and I wanted to pull an April Fool's joke on the kids but did not have time to make "Brownies" or brown E's so instead, I wrote today's date as March 32nd. It took students maybe five seconds to yell "No" and "That's not right." They're a smart bunch and there was no fooling them however, I was fooled. One girl come in and first thing she said to me was, "My dog died last night." As a person who put their dog down back in November, my heart sank when I she said that. I wasn't 100% sure I heard her right so I asked, "Last night?" She nodded and I said, "I am so sorry!" and I pulled her closer for a hug then she looks up at me, smiles, and exclaims, "April Fools!" She got me and she got me good!

After Morning Meeting, I taught a reading lesson on sequencing. This went really well. We put events from our school day in order, events from the 3 little pigs in order and then we read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. As a class, we put 8 events from the story in order. On their own, students completed a sequencing worksheet. They chose any four events from the story, wrote a sentence about it and then drew a sketch. They were able to look back at the book and sequence cards but most students recalled the events from memory. They did a fantastic job and everyone was able to recall four events. We also played an Alexander board game. We had one winner in every group and they were crowned King of Australia. One boy asked where his crown was so I took my hands and placed an invisible crown on him. He then made a text to self-connection when he realized Alexander drew a picture of an invisible sandcastle in the book and I just placed an invisible crown on his head.

We read Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs after recess to calm our bodies down and they were super excited about the book and found it hilarious! I had a cute writing prompt to go with this book we did not get around to it.

In social studies, I went more in depth with the environment lesson my partner taught yesterday. I showed students a book I made about ways we can help the environment. After reading that, I explained we were going to make our own class book. Student's worked hard on their page of the book.

In Science, we went more in depth in the Water Cycle because we only had 15 minutes yesterday. We did a full hour of Science today. I had a PowerPoint and one-minute video, then we labeled a Water Cycle poster as a class and after that we reviewed our Water Cycle song. Students were so excited to sing it again. After my science lesson, they reviewed the Water Cycle with my partner and they had to define the words: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation. Those are big words and this is a hard concept, but they were able to tell us all about the stages of the Water Cycle.

At the end of the day, we did a fun dance on Go Noodle. There are characters on the screen and we had to mimic their dance moves. We danced to the hit song, (at least it was back when Madagascar first came out years ago :-)) I Like to Move It!

A girl at recess made me a Rainbow Loom bracelet. I've always wanted one of these so I was very excited.

When I told students today was our last day they booed, sighed, and said, "No, I don't want you to go." It sure made me feel good!

For clinical, we had partners. I felt bad like I should have said sorry because my partner’s lessons were not as clear so the kids were always confused and could not complete the tasks. I was constantly interrupting. Today, I tried to keep my mouth shut during science and I didn't even make it 5 minutes without opening my mouth to say something. I really hope she doesn't feel like I stepped on her toes.

The kids were constantly coming to me with questions, comments, etc which showed me that I had a strong presence in the classroom. I also know I am loud and my voice carries. Maybe it was all my interruptions, or my lessons, or how I presented myself from the second students walked into the school but they knew who was in charge, what I expect, and that I want them to succeed and I am here to help them do that.

Gym started off really well but then one boy had a complete meltdown and started yelling and would not calm down. I raised my voice after I saw a kid slide off the gym floor and said, "Gym is a privilege. I know you are excited to be in here and I know you are full of energy. That is great, but we need to follow the rules and play the games correctly so no one gets hurt." I went on and on and stated expectations again because when my partner did it, it clearly did not stick. I also said, "If we cannot get along or follow the rules we'll go back to the classroom. I have plenty of things for us to do." When I was done talking, students walked silently to where I asked them to be and played the games well the rest of the time.

When we walked back to class I said, "Just like always, in the hallway, our voices are at zero, we are in a straight line and we are keeping our hands and body to ourselves. Let's walk quietly as a mouse back to class." When we got back to class I said I did not hear a peep from them and I was very impressed. A student asked, "Since we walked quietly as a mouse do we get a piece of cheese?"

It has been a great two days and I was sad that we couldn't stay longer!

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