Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rant and Rave!

I am super nervious for field. I am more nervious that I don't have a field work partner this semester so I just fear that I am going to forget to turn something in and fail. I have come to far to fail now and I fear that so much. I just hope that I can remember everything that I have learned and everything that is due after field. I just feel kind of oberwhelmed with it all, But I just got to remember to breathe and to take one step at a time. Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fulfilling the Promise Pages 120-162

While looking through all of these examples I have chose a selest few that I really like and want to share. The first one that I wan't to talk about is;
Evaluation Checklist:
This one is about students rating themselves on a scale from one to five on how well they did in communicating and intereacting with their peers. By having the students do this it will help them realize and be more aware of their actions and where they need to improve. A lot of time students don't realize how much they are interacting or not and by doing this will help them to strive to participate more and will build a stronger class as a whole.
Interactive Notes:
This one is about the students keeping notes throughout their reading of informational or literary texts. They will take notes before, during, and after the reading. The notes will consist of questions that the students will ash themselves about the reading and help them to understand what the reading is all about. This is good because it helps students to be able to break down the reading and comprehend it better. A lot of times when students read informational or literary text they just rush through it without realizing what it is really about. So it is important to teach children at a young age how to break down reading so that they will learn to love it more.
Learning Contracts:
This is a way for students to learn on a level that is best for them and relate to their over all learning goals. There are many ways to do learning contracts, but they mostly contist of, "Clarification of learning goals for a unit or topic of study; assessment of learner proficiency with those goals to deterime learning needs; A "package" of tasks, activities, meeting times with the teacher, and other components likely to help the student continue to develop essential knowledge, understanding, and skills; Directions for how the student is expected to work during the contract time, a timeline for completing work, instruction on how to get to work approved when it is finished and where to turn it in, and criteria for grading; and The actual tasks a student is excpected to complete as part of the contract." I really like how this one is broken down for me to really understand how to do it. And since it is step by step it makes it easier to apply it to the students and have them make goals and achieve them. I really liked the part where they set meeting times with the teacher because then it gives one on one instruction and help for the students. It also helps to build a strong relationship of trust and respected for teacher and student as well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chapter 7 Fulfilling The Promise

Chapter Seven
~What is important for learners it not alway easy for the teacher to see. As teachers we need to "accept responsiblity for students about whom they genuinely care." I really like the first sentence a lot because I feel that a lot of time teachers can jump to conclusions and think they know all about this student who is struggling when in reality they don't. It is hard to fully know what is best for your students without really getting to know them and then letting them get to know you(the teacher). I have had teachers before really care to get to know that students and then when i started struggling it just seemed like they didn't care. I remember not like that teacher when I was little and being intimdated by her. Students should feel comfortable around you and if they need help they should NOT have to fear to come and ask. It bothers me when students fear their teachers, it makes me so sad.
~"Students consistantly want teachers who respect them, listen to them, and show empathy tooward them, help them work out their problems, and become human by sharing their own lives and ideas with their students." This goes in with my commment from above in many ways. Each of these steps are great ways to show how to build relationship with your students and have a successful classroom. I feel if you have a happy classroom, you have a successful classroom. Children love to be happy and cared about and what better way to show that then in your classroom.
~ Successful teachers are able to match their instruction with the needs of the students to help them reach their goals. I feel that a lot of teachers still do the "one size fits all" lesson plans and those never work. Every child is different and a lot of times I feel that we as teachers forget that because we are so busy trying to get the cirriculum taught. When you do that you leave so many children confused, stressed, and struggling.
~"Effective teachers accept responsibility for students outcomes." I did not realize this until I came into the Elementary Program and saw that all the teachers were willing to bend over backwards just to help you succeed. I have never felt so good and confident about my learning until this program. There are tons of teachers out there that do not have thi gift of showing their students that they are willing to help and it is discouraging to the students.
~ Okay i love this sentence, " As we show each learner how learning has meaning in his or her life and how that life takes on new meaning as it grows in the power of learning." I just love how this is worded. So many people take learning for granted and don't realize the huge positive impact it has on their lives. I think that it is important to teach children while they are young that learning is such a positive experience to have in your life and to treasure it. Learning is a gift and what a wonderful gift it is.
~"The more willing we are to take the risks, the better the lives of our students are likely to become, and the greater the fulfillment we are likely to feel at the end of the day." This chapter has a lot of good quote/phrases in it. I like this one a lot because who out there is scared of taking risks? A lot of people are! We as humans like to stay in out comfort zone and therefore fear risk taking. But it is those who risk a little that gain so many blessings in the outcome. As teachers we need to be willing to take these risks to help each of our students succeed in the classroom and in life.
~ I hope that I can remember all these wonderful thing I have learned because they are the best advice that you can give to have success. and I don't ever want to forget that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chapters 5&6 Fulfilling the Promise

Chapter 5
While reading these chapters I pulled out a few things that really stuck out to me and so I will just go through and list what had meaning to me.
-Society holds us to make sure that we are helping our students understand, develop the knowledge and skills required to be "fulfill and productive members of society." When reading this it made me think that, that is a large part of why we teach if not mostly why we teach. At first when I read this it brought stress to me because that is a big deal and everyone is counting on me as a teacher to succeed in this. Then after I thought about it for a minute it made me feel important and showed me that teaching is so much more than what people give us credit for. With big goals comes big achievements.
- "We cannot teach the breadth of the entire world and at the same time achieve any depth of understanding" (p.28) I feel this way on so many occasions. I feel that sometimes as teachers we are so worried to get through our curriculum and don't realize that the students would benefit so much more if they could get a deeper understanding of a lesson before moving to the next. When you take the time to get deeper into a topic it forces the students minds to go deeper and therefore grow.
- When we study and don't make meaning of what we are learning then how do you expect to remember it down the road or even be able to use it. This has happened to me a lot growing up. My husband is able to retain so much information because he was given the time and talent to go deeper into the subjects where I on the other hand forget what I learn hours after I have taken the test. I feel that a lot of times when you give tests that students cram for the test instead of truly understanding the material. So I hope that as a teacher that I can make my lesson unforgettable and fun for the students at the same time.
-Important curriculum will help students to realize these four things; "1. What we study is essential to the structure of the discipline. 2. What we study provides a roadmap toward expertise in a discipline. 3. What we study is essential to building understanding in the discipline. and 3. What we study balances knowledge, understanding, and skills." (p.60)
- As teachers it is our job to plan our lessons towards giving out students a "high level of competence with the knowledge, understanding, and skill we have deemed critical." I feel if we as teachers put this on a high level that students are more likely to achieve it.
- Making our lessons irresistible to the students will help them to love learning and want to push themselves to success.
- "However we conceive it, every lesson plan should be, at its heart, a motivational plan." I love how this is worded. I would have to agree with this completely. What better way to teach then with the heart of motivation.
- Classes that are more demanding for students give the students more respect for that themselves and the class. I would not have though this a few years ago because i was always scared of demanding classes (classes the require your best) but ever since being in the Elementary program I agree. I have so much more respect and confidence in myself and my classmates.
- Making a connection with students interests and dreams by letting them know that they are cared about is a great way of teaching. It is the way of teaching that every child hopes for.

Chapter 6
- A teacher who wants to make connections with their students are called fox-taming teacher. They understand their students as individuals and knows their needs, dreams and potentials. They will go the extra mile for their students and is always thinking about their students and how they can help them to succeed. This sounds to me like a wonderful teacher. I am making a goal right now to be more like this when I am a teacher.
- "Help Students Discover How Ideas and Skills are Useful in the World." Being able to teach a lesson and have the students relate the lesson to real life will help them to retain the information and feel connected with it.
-"Look for Fresh Ways to Present and Explore Ideas." By doing this it will help students to keep attention and not get bored with the curriculum. Making if fun and interesting will also help them become more excited to learn and explore.
- "Share Your Experiences and Invite Students to Do the Same." When doing this it will help the students to get to understand you as the teacher and also help the teacher to get to know the students. By doing this it build a comfortable learning environment.
- "Provide Choices That Ensure Focus." Everyone not only students want to have choices. It gives them the sense of maturity and freedom. Make sure that you give them choices that no matter what will push them to their fullest potential.
- Aim High. There are many of us that underestimate what children/students can truly accomplish. By aiming high gives the students a level at which they can strive for and push to get to their goals.
- "Help Student's Realize Success Is the Result of Effort." A lot of times children just expect things to happen to them with out putting any work into it. I did this exact thing when I was younger. But to teach a child to work hard and earn their success helps them to realize their abilities and strengths. I wish that I was taught this at a younger age or maybe I should say I wish I understood this at a younger age because it helps the student be believe in themselves.
- "Use Think Alouds" To have the student verbalize what they are thinking will not only benefit them but also their peers by helping them come up with ideas or comments.
-When a student want the teacher to invest in them and then the teacher agrees. "the teachers are guided by these three assumptions; 1. Because I see your value, I will connect with you. 2. Because I see your uniqueness, I will come to you on your own terms and in accordance with your own needs. 3. Because teaching is part of connecting, I will honor you by teaching you what matters most in your life."
Reading these chapters helped me see things more clearly and understand more of the kind of teacher I want to be. A lot a quotes from these chapter worded it perfectly for me to help me think deeper.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chapters 3&4 Fulfilling the Promise

Chapter 3
* "The way we "do school" often makes it easy to forget why teaching once seemed the best job in the world and makes it easy to lose sight of what we once hoped for." This is one of my biggest fears about teaching is that so many teachers start off being a good teacher and giving it their all and then as time goes on it feels like they don't care as much. (not all teachers are like this of course) But I want to learn more ways to make sure this never happens to me. I want to make each school year just as exciting as the next. Working with out loving your job is never the way to go. I feel like teachers should have a passion for what they are doing and love every minute of it.
*I am a strong believer in teachers living in what they believe. If you believe something then why wouldn't you live that way? I believe in succeeding as a teacher and giving it my all and I plan to live that way and do what ever I can to help each and every one of my students succeed.
*Looking at the positive things instead of the negative things about your class will help you (the teacher) see the potential of your students and strengthen them where they are weak.
*Teacher says to Students " I want to be a leader in creating a place where each of you becomes more keenly aware of the possibilities in yourself, the people around you, and the power of knowledge. In this place, I want us to find together a good way to live" Okay so this quote really stuck out to me. The reason that this has such a great impact on me is because I didn't learn this as a child, I learned it as an adult. I struggled with learning growing up and I only wish that I had a teacher who could have made me see my possibilities at a younger age. I hope with all of my heart that I can give this gift to my students. For a child to have self confidence in the learning it the strongest gift of all. Self confidence is so important. I want all my students to feel smart and contribute to the class.
*It is important to show your students that you care and that you are there to help them no matter what. Children need as many "cheerleaders" in life as possible.
*The "trouble basket" I like that idea of having the students put their troubles in the basket and leaving them there so that they can focus on school for that day. It also can help the teacher see the types of struggles that students are dealing with and how it might be affecting their learning.
*"We don't just keep them busy. We're giving them an opportunity." This chapter has so many good quotes. I am writing them down so that I can remember all of them. I never thought of it this way but it is so true. And it is important to remember this as a teacher so when you give them things to do that it is something that will really help them grow
*As a teacher it is good to make sure your students feel like you are investing in them succeeding and learning. By doing this you ( the teacher) show interest in their questions. And by engaging in "what they have ask the students to do."
*I like how it talks about "if the student fails the teacher fails" and I would have to agree. The whole purpose of teacher is making sure your students excel and grow. So once they fail you fail. You fail by not finding another way to help them, or by giving up.
Chapter 4
* The Classroom environment should be a contestant line of communication all year long. From " Teacher to student, student to teacher, and student to student." Communication is one of the keys to a happy classroom.
* CELEBRATE SUCCESS!!! When you in life accomplish something that took time and effort you want to share your happiness with everyone. Well the same goes with students of all ages. When you do this the student wants to continue to do well and succeed in life.
*"Morning Meets" is a one of the many great ways to help the students get to know one another. The students should build a strong trusting friendship with one another. They shouldn't feel like they are being judged when they are answering a question. They should feel supported and Morning meeting give them that opportunity to build that friendship or community.
*Using Dialogue Journals is an idea I really like. I am the kind of person that can express their true feelings through writing and so I think this is a great idea for the students who are like me. It also can get them excited about writing.
*Rules to a growing classroom
"1. We will show respect for people, their ideas, and their property
2.We will work hard to ensure our own growth and to assist the growth of others
3. We will persist, even when things are difficult and uncertain,
4. We will accept responsibilities for the quality of our work and for our behaviors and actions."
I think that this might even be a good idea to display rules like these in the classroom to be a reminder for you(the teacher) and for the students.
*Classroom Routines I feel the routines are nice to have but they also need to be flexible. You never know when a student is struggling on a topic and might need a little more time then the others. Some of the routines that help a class to grow are; use visual cues, pre-establish groups, Use goal cards regularly, and teach for smooth transitions.
*Shared responsibility in the classroom. There are many ways to do this, some are; Use evaluation checklists, involve students in scheduling decisions, engage students in assessing their own progress, and help students learn to set their own academic goals.
Being a teacher is not an easy job and I feel like a lot of them try to take it on all by themselves. When they can actually share some of the responsibilities. By doing this you aren't just giving the your dirty work you are making them more independent and self reliant. Which is a skill they need to learn in the "real world".
These two chapters have been really good to read because they give so much information. It was hard for me to cut it down and blog about it because there is just so much to learn about in these chapters. I can't wait to put my goals into teaching my own class one day. I am so excited!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fulfilling and Promise, Assessing (blackboard)

Fulfilling the Promise (p.100-103)
How would I use this information in differentiating?
This little activities would help in a lot of ways with differentiation. First of all it gets the students to open up and tell you (the teacher) a little about themselves. It gets them to share their likes, dislikes, struggles, strengths, hobbies, and, etc... As a teacher these will help a lot in teacher on each child's level because you are starting to understand who they are. How can a teacher really truly teach affectively is she/he doesn't know their students. This will also push the students to be their because because they feel like the teacher actually cares about them and wants them to succeed. It builds trust, respect, a community, friendships (helps the students to get to know each other too). It gives great ideas of what to teach that will have their interests and will help them to learn to love learning.
What would I add or remove?
I would add a page where they could ask questions about the teacher, like her/his likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc... I feel that students love learning about their teacher because then they have some one to relate to. It also helps to let the students know that you (the teacher) are just a regular person just like them.

"File of Inventories/Pre-Assessment"
I am not sure whether or not the teacher that I student teach for does any of these yet, because she hasn't really gone over what she is doing with assessment for this year, with me. Once I get into the her classroom in November I really do want to ask her how she does assessment though, because this is one area I really want to work on. The examples that were on blackboard are such great ideas! I love the idea of letting the students express themselves by circling a picture, by drawing, by writing, etc... To me that makes the student feel like you as the teacher care about what they feel towards different subjects in school. It is nice to find out where your students struggle so that you can help them to love that area subject in school towards the end of the year. For example; if they don't like reading and then they circle a topic that they are interested in you ( the teacher) so go do research and find books that the student will love and relate with. Read is hard for children but if you can get them to love it as soon as possible the more benificial it is to them in life. I also like that they can express their feelings with drawing. So students are the best writers so it maybe more comfortable to them to express it through their art work. I really am considering using some of these ideas this year when I student teach. There are so many ways to assess and they don't have to all be boring. They can be fun like the ones that are shown on blackboard. When I was first learning about assessing students I though it was just like quizzes and showing their work. But this has really opened up my eyes to many different ways of assessing, It makes it more fun for everyone, i feel.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fulfilling the Promise Chapter 1 & 2

Some areas in the first chapter that i really liked and would like to bring into my classroom is "Teachers must take into account who they are teaching as well as what they are teaching" (p.2) There are so many times where a see teachers teach the same way to all the students and it doesn't work. Every student is different therefore they need to be taught at their own level. This is really important to me because I have expreinced it as a child and I was felt like I was the one left out in understanding everything. I hated that feeling and so I am going to go to great lengths to make sure I teach to every level and be aware of who I am teaching as well as what I am teaching.  Students have traits that show that they are ready to address learning and those traits are "Readiness, interest, learning profile and affect" (p.3) The one that I think sticks out to me the most out of those is the Interest part. I feel that if the student doesn't have interest they are not learning to their fullest. I feel like it is the teachers job to make everything fun and interesting to the students. Anything can become interesting if you (the teacher) just take time to make the lesson interesting and intriguing to the students. There are also classroom elements that help the students responses to the learning and those are "Content, process, product, and learning environment." (p.4) I feel that all of these play a huge role in a students learning as well. It is so interesting to learn all about all these little details that make a big difference in the students learning process. The last thing that really hit me in chapter one was on p. 9 when it talks about the student not being able to do anything until you (the teacher) believe in them, and them believing in you. That is such a great way of wording it in my mind because when you have someone believing in you it makes you want to push yourself to your fullest and to never give up because you don't want to let anyone down and most of all you don't want to let yourself down. 
In chapter 2 It talks about what student's needs and this chapter was really fun for me to read  and to see all the things that help students succeed. One area of this was to feel safe. Feeling safe in the classroom impacts the students learning enormously. I know for a fact that I could never learn in a place that I didn't feel safe in because I would have to many other worries on my mind. So as a teacher that is one goal I will have in my classroom. Another one is a sense of belonging. I feel that every child should feel just as important as the next. When students feel like they belong and are important it make them feel like they can over come any challenge because they know that they have such a great support network to help them along the way. One thing that came to my mind that I feel is so so so important is building not only a community in my classroom but friendships Being in this program I have made so many friends in my class and I feel so comfortable in school now. I feel like I have a voice and that everyone is so respectful. Building a classroom that is strong like this will seriously make the students love coming to school. I have gained so much knowledge and over come so many challenges since being in this program that it has really made such a positive impact on my life. An impact that I will never forget and will always cherish. I hope with all of my heart that I can create a great community as well as friendships in my classroom. If I can do that then I know I am a successful teacher.