All posts tagged: Co-teaching

Student Teaching

When I decided to take on a student teacher, I never expected to face the kinds challenges that I am currently faced with. I guess I never considered the human side of teaching when volunteering to host another human in my room. Today was a hard day for her. Hell, today was a hard day for many of us. For some reason the students were loud, fidgety, and oblivious to adults in the room. This is where I learned the most. For starters, I should definitely do a better job of planning with my student teacher. We walked in without much of a plan today. Okay, let me take that a step back. We definitely had a plan. However, that plan was neither practiced or rehearsed in any way. Therefore, I declare the plan to be half-assed. That’s on me. This seems to be the trap that us teachers fall into when planning with each other. We think that we can just tell someone to do something or take something over without realizing the consequences of such an …

Teamwork Tuesday

Today was a great day. In fact, it was one of those where I really wasn’t sure where the day was going to end up when I first arrived at work. Things were a bit hectic this morning as I am still overcoming illness and catching up from being gone for two days while at training. In Econ I jumped right in. I think this helped quite a bit for my self esteem and generally getting the day started on the right foot. It also helped that prior to this, my student teacher and I worked at some lessons for not only today but also for the coming weeks. This made me feel very productive. Lesson to be learned here: collaboration is key. We are far more effective as teachers and human beings in general when we work together. In the sheltered math course we spent a great deal of time working one on one with students to help them through identifying the slope and y-intercept to writing the equation of a line. This has been very difficult …

Student Transfers

I think one of the things that is often neglected when teaching as a profession is described is the total amount of tasks that you will be expected to complete on a daily basis. Today I really thought about this as my schedule was completely changed due to a new student arrival. I was supposed to check in with 3 students during my case managment time. Yet, here I am marking notes and shifting the schedule down a day because of student testing. This morning I had to check in with one of the SpED teachers about accommodations for testing in early spring. I still have 3 more teachers to connect with. Sure, this may not sound like much, but when I started actually thinking about my day, I wondered what a list would look like if I wrote down everything that I do in a day. I know that there are some articles online that have compiled all the tasks expected of teachers, but I’m pretty sure that these lists are not comprehensive to …

Cherish The Funny Moments

Today was another great day on all counts. I can’t complain about a single thing today. Co-teaching is definitely going smoother now that my colleague and I are planning regularly and working together. Math went fairly smooth once the students were engaged in an activity. Motivation is a huge factor in that class and must always remain a part of how we plan our lessons. In EL 200, many students still struggled to summarize text. I can see some progress, but we will clearly need to keep working at the strategies. Also, during my prep, an interesting idea was brought to my attention. We have been pushing the workshop model for all teaching. I realized that perhaps there isn’t enough evidence out there for this model to be used in more than reading and writing. It took me a little bit of searching, but I was able to find some sites that gave more explicit instructions in the model. However, I still have yet to see solid evidence for its use. I really don’t have time to …

Fired Up

I’m pretty fired up right now and honestly, I’m not sure why. I mean, I do understand what is running through my head that is making me run arguments in circles, but these things are not necessary at all. It’s all just a part of the OCD and trying to get out of the loop. Today went well on all counts. I think I have found my pacing with my classes and can continue to safely navigate the path forward. In economics, we are seeing a lot of growth and hard work. Tomorrow will tell for sure if what we have set up is working, but I have a few more tricks up my sleeve to ensure that our small discussion will run smoothly. I created a talking card for each student that gives the students examples of how to begin when addressing other students. Many students struggle with having an academic conversation. Last quarter, out of 33 students, only 2 used evidence from their articles to support their claims. Therefore, I have added that to …

104

Well, I still haven’t thought of a good title for my posts, but I also realized that I am probably not even at the number 104. This was a simple miscalculation between the posts that I have written and the posts that I have posted. In the past, I have tended toward having ideas an not really following through with posting them. I think I will keep the numbers the way they are, even if it’s not entirely accurate. It’s not like I didn’t write those other posts. I just didn’t publish them. Yet. Today was the last day of the quarter for the students. It was my first true block scheduling experience. I did student teach while on the block, but I don’t count that. At that time, I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. I had no training in lesson planning that is specific to block scheduling, nor did I have a clue about actual teaching. It’s amazing that when you think back to all the things you …

100th Blog

It’s funny. You never truly realize how hard it is to be objective until you are grading papers and tests. I started to pay attention to my own thoughts and feelings as I was grading a quiz today. Not only is it surprising, it’s a bit demoralizing. Just for background information, it’s a multiple page test. I graded this test not by person but by page. So after checking the front page of the test, I no longer had a name to go with the paper. I realized very quickly that I was paying attention to handwriting styles. Preconceived notions of student behavior then slowly crept in and made it difficult to make an objective decision on the papers. I even had to grab one and bring it back to mark something incorrect that I naturally waived as okay because of my perception that this student is a great student. It makes me think, if I am doing this and catching it in paper, what am I doing when I am giving students direct feedback? …

Genre Analysis for Writing

Have you ever been in a grad school program reading about communicative competency and various pedagogies to employ when you realized you forgot an important part of this when giving out a massive writing project? No? Well, I just did. This last chapter I was reading from a course on language and culture was focusing on communicative competency (in contrast to Chomsky’s idea of Linguistic Competency) and one of the pedagogical approaches discussed was Halliday’s Genre approach. As I was reading I had a huge “oh shit” moment. I have been telling my students to write these massive analytical journals for the stock market only to realize that I completely forgot the most important part of reading and writing in a new genre: analysis. No wonder so many students keep asking me the same questions over and over again. Basically, this means that Monday (aka tomorrow) will need to be dedicated to finding a blog for the students to read through and analyze. To be fair, I did tell the students that this assignment is …

First tests are in. . .

It’s difficult to decide whether student performance is a reflection of their study habits or your teaching. Sometimes, it’s both. I am really struggling this year to figure out which of the two it may be. For some students, I can tell that I must do a better job of teaching students not only what to study but how to study. It’s one of those things that needs to be practiced in order to be understood. At the elementary level, grading isn’t really an ELL job. This is all very new to me as I am writing my own curriculum. One solution I have is that I am going back into some of my pedagogical texts and seeing what can be done differently or if I missed something. This is a massive undertaking considering that each function in language holds its own research and tools. For now I will try to stick with vocabulary. I am still unsure about how to treat the student’s scores. If I make a value judgement on whether they are …

Weekly Wrap-up

This week was unusually long for some reason. There were a lot of meetings and stressors that seemed to build on top of one another. Yet, at the end of it all, I feel like a lot was accomplished both at work and in myself. In the classroom, I finally had the chance to develop some procedures that seem to be helping the lowest level students achieve academically. While they aren’t perfect, they do seem to give teachers enough of a boost to ensure that their students are learning something. By having the mainstream teachers focus on one language goal per class, and having that goal focus on the state standards instead of the curriculum, they are ensuring that their students are successful. My plan for the students who are on monitor only status is working well. I was able to check in with each student and discuss their successes and challenges in the classroom. We discussed strategies for getting back on track with missing work, self-advocacy, and how to build on their accomplishments. The schedule …