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Chelsey Sharpe

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. -Confucius

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Preinternship

The Pre-Service Experience

Well now that pre-internship is over I can truly say I love teaching. I belong in the classroom full of children teaching them about the world around them. I know that some of my classmates did not feel this way but I am so happy that I have made this choice.  Lately, a lot of people have been asking me how do I go to school full time, work two part time jobs and have a family at home. I’m not going to lie, I am very tired and I feel guilt all the time because I am not around for my young son. But when I was in the classroom, it made me feel confident in the decision that I made to go back to school.

I found that during my pre-internship I had more time for the other things in my life other then doing university work. I was able to plan the classes I would be teaching the night before without having to do a lot of research. Lately my university life has been writing paper and doing projects, which is fine. My strength does not lay in writing papers, I thrive in the relationships I make with my students. When they are able to come to me with their problems, not only in school work but also in life. I feel that I am actually making a difference in this person’s life. I felt truly blessed.

I found it funny how some students put of a blockade that does not allow anyone to cross the line but when you do as a teacher it feels amazing. I had a few boys in my class that tried to put these walls up with my partner and I but by the time we finished our three week block, the walls were down and they were sad to see us go. I laugh when I think of these boy’s half the time they would not do there work because “Why do I need to learn this”, however when it came to me teaching them science they were excited and engaged. They even reminded me of the video I showed on my first day of teaching. I take this as a win, at least they remembered something from me. Even if it is just the Pop-eye video I showed on the first day.

I am thankful for the students that I had for three weeks. I learned so much from them, I hope that they learned something from me, even if it is that pulleys are difficult to thread. I now feel that I am ready for my internship next semester. As my co-op said to me, Chelsey, you are a great teacher. Have confidence in yourself and everything else will come together. She is right, I am a great teacher and I will make the most of my university experience before I am once again out in the world, working.

IMG_1817 A student working on the hard to manage pulleys.

 

The video I showed my first day teaching Forces and Simple Machines. It left an impression on my students.

 

 

 

 

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Craziness of Science

Well this week has gone by fast, the start of pre-internship has come and gone. My students are so wonderful and I am learning so much.  I have been teaching my grade 5/6 class all about force and simple machines.

When I wrote up my unit plan for simple machines, I had my students learning something new everyday. However, since the start of pre-internship I have revised my plans. I have decided that I rather my students learn one or two simple machines really well, then going over all of the simple machines and the students not remembering what they have learned.

I have found some excellent resources online with Teachers Pay Teachers. This is a great resource that all teachers should have in there back pocket. You can sell or buy different lesson plans. I found a lesson plan on first class levers that I adapted, and it worked like a charm. Did I mention that it was free!

The relationships that I have already formed with the kids in beyond great. Everyday they come in and smile and I remember why I love being in the classroom as much as I do. I have been able to form a relationship with the most difficult of students, and he now puts in the effort that I ask of him. I just can not wait of the upcoming two weeks. It will go by extremely fast.

But as I leave you for another week I want to pose this question: Why is it that you teach, is it because you like to form the relationships that you do? or is it because you get to pass on your knowledge to the next generation? I think for me it is a little of both.  I did read this quote the other day; Teaching is tough but so are you! everyday that we have a bad day, we need to remember this but it takes special people to do what we do.

 

 

 

 

New Found Respect…

No one told me that teaching would be easy, god knows that I have seen the amount of work that goes in to teaching our youth. However, over the past week I have been working on a couple of unit plans for my pre-internship three week block and I now realize how much work it takes to just plan. I have been a student for a long time now, and I thought the work that I had to do was a lot. Now I realize that my work is just getting started as a teacher.

I have been finding that when it comes to planning I am taking one step forward and three steps back. I think this is because I want to create the best unit for my students that I possibly can. I get an idea of how I want to present the information to my students, then I find something else online and I go back and change it. I have now been working on this unit for a month. Being realistic, I know that I will not have a month to write a unit plan when I’m teaching. The planning doesn’t just stop with units from the units I you create the lesson plan. But before the units you all have to have a year plan for every subject you teach. I have not done this much planning in my life.  I really commend my teacher friends that not only do this work everyday but they have families at home that they have to look after. Then on top of all this planning, they have mark too.

I leave you with this clip about marking from Mr. D. I feel that all teachers and hey lets face it students do this.

My hat goes off to you teachers out there, this is my question to you: how do you balance everything that expected of you, with your home life?

 

 

Pre-Internship Day 7 Our Last Day For This Block

Well what a bittersweet day, our last day of pre-internship for this semester. I will miss my students, even the ones that like to cause problems. Megan and I finished our time with them with a drama lesson. I think it went very well, we used pechaflickr which is a fun tool to use for improv. Pictures come up and the participates have to come up with a story that my go along with the picture. Just a note of caution if you decide to use this website, you have to be as specific as you can possibly be since the generator just pulls pictures off of google that are tagged with that title.  We used Christmas vacation and it was fine.

The students then continued the story with their own dramas that they made up.  It was perfect, the students really engaged in the storytelling process of drama.  The students that did not work, where put on the spot and had to improv their story.  All in all, I think the kids had a lot good time learning about improv and dramatic context.

The rest of the day was pretty good, the fire drill through the kids for a loop.  I think many students learned that they need to wear their shoes inside. They were very lucky we are having the mildest winter in Saskatchewan in a very long time.  I do think when it comes to fire drills, students need to be debriefed afterwards in the classroom. The screaming and crying was very unacceptable and I would have addressed that behaviour with my grade 5 and 6’s before they were able to go to recess. Other then that it was good practice for myself, it has been awhile since I have been involved in a fire drill.

During the last period of the day the students were trying to hide their card that they made for us.  It was quite funny when they would try to pull our attentions away, so the student we where working with could sign the card. It is a lovely piece of artwork, that I will probably keep for a long time.  I can not wait to go back in March for my three week block, it will be awesome!

treaty workshop_2

Pre-internship Day 6

Well today was another great day in grade 5/6. My students are just so happy to see my partner and I when they walk in. It was quite funny when they asked me if we were doing another science experiment today. I think they learned something from me last week (haha I tricked them into learning).

This week the children were worked up and very loud. Megan and I both tried to get them to come down when we were teaching. I notice they are a little crazy when it is snowing outside. This maybe because most of them have not seen snow before.

Because it was November 25 on Wednesday I decided that we needed to do a Christmas activity since there was only one month left until Christmas. I decided that we should make ugly christmas sweater ornaments. The students loved this idea even the students that do not celebrate Christmas.  I differentiated the lesson by allowing the these students just to make the ugliest sweat ornament that they ever did see. We talked a bit about 2D design and why Ugly Christmas Sweaters are part of pop culture now. Since all students were engaged in the activity the classroom became quiet and work got done.

What a wonderful experience this week was.

Pre-internship Day 5

Today was an awesome day. I am truly starting to feel like teaching is my calling. The students were really excited to see my partner and I since we were not there last week due to Remembrance Day. In the morning, Miss Rilling and I participated in our students Physical Education class. We had a blast.

This was my week to teach a science lesson. My lesson was called (quite simply may I add) Silly Putty. Since the grade 5 saskatchewan curriculum discusses states of matter.  I led the lesson with questioning the students on what they already knew about the different states. Since my students are pretty smart they knew all the different states, however I did not change my plan that much because I figured that review is always a good thing.  I followed up my questions with a short video about the different states of matter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wclY8F-UoTE . This video is a really good video at explaining the different states of matter but beware when showing this video that it may have a advertisement at the beginning. Although it did not when I viewed it at home, it did when I showed it. My coop had some very good advice for this. She said that she keeps the projector off until the advertisement are done. That way if it is something that is inappropriate, it is not shown.

After the video, we were finally able to complete our experiment. The children were really engaged and excited the whole entire time. One thing I would change for next time I teach this lesson is that I would have to groups pre-selected. I numbered the students off in class today, not thinking that would be a hard thing to do. But I didn’t count of almost every child “forgetting” their number when they were not put with their friends.  I would also write this different duties on the board or have it in my powerpoint so the kids not only have my telling them orally but they also have a visual of what they need to do.

Despite the few little things I would change, I had a great time teaching this lesson. I just want to mention that having the “problem” student help out during the demo really saved my lesson. Since I got him engaged right away he was not a problem, until after clean up.  I also closed my lesson with a Bill Nye video https://www.youtube.com/watchv=45YNZjYfHb4 . This got this students to settle down before the end of class and it also reviewed what they just learned in a fun way.

Once again I learned so much, one thing I learned is kids love hands on science experiments. This is were a pose a question to you, if you teach science do you use hands on engaging experiments to get your students excited or do you, for whatever reason, have your students just read the textbook and answer questions? If you do, I want to know why you do. Is it because supplies are expensive or not enough time in the year? This experiment was extremely fun to teach that I would not mind having my students in my classroom exploring science hands on.

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-internship Day 4

Well I can not believe we are half way through pre-internship already. This week the kids were wired on sugar, I think every teachers nightmare is the week after Halloween. One student was literally bouncing up and down because of all the sugar he had consumed. That been said I learned a lot this week.  My professional target was making formative assignments of my students. This was achieved by writing my observation down on a clipboard.

This week I got this pleasure of teaching a health class. Since my class is a class of mix cultures I thought it was important to teach that gender, culture, and language do not make up the qualities in a friend. There has also been a few tiffs between the students because of this factors in our room.  Everything went well, we had a great conversion on what we look for in friends. However, when I broke my students into groups to write down their thoughts; I had one group fight they whole time. I thought this was ironic since this was a class on friendship. I ended splitting the group up and addressing their behaviour to the whole class.  Was this a okay thing to do? I thought it was important that all the groups know that every group member is important in a group.

This lesson plan was the greatest but after the fighting and the group presentations were done, we did a warm and fuzzy exercise. I had the students go around the room and write down one nice thing about everyone in the classroom. This worked really well, we were able to talk about how positive compliments make you feel. I also reinforced that one negative comments needs ten positive comments to erase it. The kids sucked that up like a sponge. How are some way you give your students positive feedback? Do you feel this is important in your classes.

Since my professional target was on formative feedback, my coop and I discussed that the group that fought would have got a score of 1 when it came to working in a group on their report card.  I then asked how does that effect the students that were trying to make it work, she replied that “over the year they will get their mark back up.” Do you agree with this assessment, should the whole group suffer because of one or two students? I don’t know my feelings about this, since teamwork is very important in the “real” world.

I have learned so much from my time in this wonderful classroom. I am sad that I will not be going there this week due to Remembrance Day. I can not wait to see everyone next week.

Pre-internship Day 3

So what a great day, I forgot my lesson at home on the counter. However it all worked out because I use google docs which allowed me to pull up and print my lesson plan and information package out at the school. I highly recommend using google drive as a teacher and for your students.

Anyways my lesson went really well for having to teach while to about forty students. The grade sevens joined our class due to the grade six students going curling.  So since the school I am at has a 5/6 split and 6/7 split, this left the grade sevens to join. I was not prepared for them, so I taught to the grade five students. We continued our lesson on the Canadian Federal Government. We reviewed and then we looked at how to make poster for the information we found last wednesday. As a class we came up with some criteria that the poster will be assessed on. I found most students were engaged in what they wanted on the poster, however a few got hung up with the amount of words I allowed them to use. I really wanted them to learn that a poster should not be covered in sentences. That only a few many verbs are all that you need. Although it seemed to be a hard concept to get we came up with good criteria for the posters. These included: uniqueness/individuality, pictures, colour, neatness, word limit not included the title (I bended my criteria there). Although I will marking for the criteria, I’m also marking on “stuff” that the outcome does not cover.  So this is my question to you, do you think teacher’s should only mark on the outcome they are trying to reach with their student? or should a teacher mark to stuff like neatness and uniqueness?

Through this process I have learned a few things about myself as a teacher.  First I have a high tolerance for background noise in my classroom.  As a EA, I absolutely hated background noise when I was working with students in a classroom. But as teacher, I found that a little noise does not make me feel as nervous to stand in front of the class.  I have also learned that teachers have to be one step ahead of everyone else. For example, when I planning a lesson plan, I think of all the possible questions that I will be asked. The amount I come up with changes but I find that when I do this hit almost all the question that the kids come up with.  I have also learned that my past experiences with autism and other abilities have given me a head up for what to look for while I’m teaching.

Pre-internship Day 2

Well day two went a lot better for me.  I felt more confident in the classroom and the students seems to react to this. My co-op teacher was only in the classroom in the morning and in the afternoon we had a guest teacher. As a soon to be teacher you always hear things like students acting out when there is a guest teacher. My students were little angels for all of the adults in the room. It was also nice to see how you teach a class when you are a guest teacher in the room.

Today I had the privilege to teach my 5/6 about the Federal Government of Canada. My lesson plan did not go how I planned it. However, There were a lot of that went well and things not so well. The first thing that went well what that the students seemed very interested in politics.  They knew about political parties and about voting, so learning about the duties and responsibilities of key government roles was the next step. I had set up stations were the students read about the position and wrote down three important facts. This was almost too hard for the students, however I feel that this is good practice for them when they move up in school. So I would not change this, but I would make it easier by not doing all the positions on one day.  The next time I teach this lesson I will only do two or three positions a class. Next thing I would do better is starting my power point when I started talking. I did have one prepared but I think out of nervousness, I forgot to project it until I was half way through the lesson.  I showed a video called Parliament 1,2,3  found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnwkGTtHHM8&feature=youtu.be. This is a good video but it was hard for some of my students since they were E.A.L. but I figured that they other students would benefit from watching this video.  So this posses a question,  how do you teach to a certain grade when your students are struggling at the basics?

By cooperating teacher did point out some things I need to work on and I agree. First I need to hand out their notebook and not have a mad rush of students to get their own, I also have to think of way that they will return their notebooks to me.. I never though of this, but it is a good target for me to work on. Next when having the kids work in groups, I need to say move your chairs to be with your group. I never thought of that, I assumed that they you just do it.   She did say that it was a good idea to pass they stations (information packages) to the next group and not have the students move.

Although I have a lot of critiques about my lesson, I feel that since this was my second time writing and teaching a lesson I did pretty good. If you have any comments on how I could teach this lesson better, please leave a comment.

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