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Archive for April, 2010

Practicum-Week 4

1. What have you seen in language arts/reading instruction?

This week, I did not observe any language arts or reading instruction.

2. What have you taught in your internship?

Instead of observing a language arts or reading lesson, I taught a reading lesson to small groups who were on different reading levels. During the small groups, we choral read the books that were assigned to the different groups. There are all levels of reading within this one class so the teacher has divided the class us into small groups which include reading levels which are similar. I also helped lead a Fundations lesson on reviewing the letters and their sound. During this activity, I pointed to each letter helping the children as a class to identify the letter by looking at the letter, then saying the sound as a class. Finally, I taught half of another Fundations lesson. During this lesson, the children used their personal magnetic boards with the magnetic alphabet. I called out the sounds the letters make and the children had to choose the letters from the alphabet and combine them in the word. From this point, the children had to tell me what the word was and how to spell it.

3. Comment on any interesting things that you have noticed about your school, the teachers, the students, or the curriculum.

Something that I have noticed about my class in particular is that the teacher and the teacher’s assistant work incredibly well with each other. They both also welcomed Olivia and myself with open arms and have truly guided me in learning what a Kindergarten classroom is like. Both of the teachers in my classroom whole-heartedly¬† believed in allowing we two interns to get as much experience interacting with the children as well as teaching mini-lessons with guidance throughout our time in Practicum.

4. Post any questions that you have about teaching/learning.

Why can’t we be in practicum for a long period of time in Block I? ….I miss my kids already!!

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Practicum-Week 3

1. What have you seen in language arts/reading instruction?

I have seen my teacher read to the class as a group when she taught a text talk lesson with various books to help the children with comprehension of the text. It has been interesting to see that students truly interact well when the teacher asks them questions throughout the text about pictures, the text, and certain language used throughout the book. I have also seen my teacher do partner reading with a small group of students so she can tailor the book to the level of reading that the small group has. I find it incredibly important for students to get special attention to help them with their particular difficulties because each student is different when it comes to what issues they have with reading. I have seen multiple Fundations lessons taught where the teacher and students talk about consonants, vowels, and the phonetics of words. It has made a huge difference to the student and their reading ability from the time this program was started to now.

2. What have you taught in your internship?

I have only worked with small groups during games that teach sight words  in a way that the children enjoy and have a little bit of friendly competition. For the most part, this week was not a week where I had an opportunity to teach anything to the students.

3. Comment on any interesting things that you have noticed about your school, the teachers, the students, or the curriculum.

I think it is interesting how the whole school is like a big family. The teachers, administration, and other employees work incredibly well with each other in all sorts of ways. This has been the first time I have ever seen a school work so well together, I think it is impressive.

4. Post any questions that you have about teaching/learning.

Why are students tested in such a way that focuses on speed instead of the information each child knows?

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Practicum-Week 2

1. What have you seen in language arts/reading instruction?

On a daily basis, the teacher with which I am working reads the whole class a story and she engages the children in text talk lessons and DRTA lessons. With each of these, the teacher makes sure that the students pay attention to the content in the book. She also does an incredible job at working with small groups where she works on the children’s sight words which is helping them increase their vocabulary. The students also participate in games where they use their sight words to progress through the game. The game idea is a great way to get children having fun with the words they have learned.

What have you taught in your internship?

There are a few things that I have reinforced after the teacher has taught them previous to us coming into the classroom. These things are simple punctuation marks like periods and exclamation points. We have also helped the children review capitalizations and where they should and should not be in a sentence. These children have learned the proper place in which to use capitalized letters as well as simple punctuation marks, even in Kindergarten. Another thing that I have helped review is noticing that just because there are four lines taken up by words, does not mean that there are four sentences in the story. This has been a hard concept to learn for a select few.

Comment on any interesting things that you have noticed about your school, the teachers, the students, or the curriculum.

At this point, I still find it hard to believe that children as young as Kindergarten have to be tested so strictly. The Universal Screening is the Tuesday after their Spring break so we will be able to experience the stress that is put on these children at such a young age. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been helping the children prepare for this screening because it is a big deal for the students to do well, not only for the student’s sake, but for the teacher’s sake as well.

Post any questions that you have about teaching/learning.

Why is it that some children reverse their letters or number and other children do not? How do you correct this problem?

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