Today was my last day at Barrow this semester, for this class and a math class. I’ve been working with my math buddy for an hour and then coming into a 1st grade class for 2 hours. This experience has been very rewarding and has taught me a lot about the way students’ learn. Today, I observed the teacher reading Tale of Despereaux. Her class will be watching the movie in a few weeks. I then worked in the hall with a student, using flashcards to help her practice sight words. We started with just the sight word and then began adding silly sentences using the sight words. We went back into the class and I observed the teacher review sight words using the projector. She had an image up of the sight word and then filled in the blank at the bottom while the children used white boards to spell. Next, I worked one-on-one in the hall with a student practicing the math that the whole class will be learning next week. I had sheets of paper with equations and we used a white board to solve them. The student picked up on this quickly and learned how to use the less than and greater than signs when comparing numbers. Lastly, I sorted and added to each student’s data reports for the semester. I really liked this idea and I aim to use it in my future classroom. This teacher collects data from every subject, including pre and post tests, to see the continuously improvement of each student. I’m definitely going to miss these kids!
Last week, the students were having a Storybook parade during the time I usually visit, so I did not go to Barrow. At Barrow this week, I observed the teacher as she lead students in a class reading and then assigned students to their “daily 5” groups. These include read-to-self, read to a friend, read on the iPads, word works, or making sight words with play dough. Once all of the students are in their correct groups, I worked one-on-one with a student that in fairly new. I worked with him a few weeks ago to assess his knowledge on counting, but today, I worked with him on some extra math help. He had a work sheet where he had to identity what number can be added onto a number to get 10. For example, 8 + ? = 10. I used a 10 bead bracelet to help him with numbers, separating 8 beads to one side and having him count the remaining beads. We worked on this for quite some time. Next, I pulled out another student to work with me in the hallway. We also practiced math! I wrote out word problems for her to solve, in which she had to decide if she used addition or subtraction based on the action. The numbers in these word problems were all below 10. I would have her draw circles to represent the objects and write a number sentence to go along with the word problem. After about 30 minutes, the class went out to recess and I helped stuff Monday folders.
Today, I observed the teacher as she went over things to report to the teacher and unnecessary things that the teacher doesn’t need to know about. The teacher then read a book to the class on ReadingA-Z.com in level E on country animals and compared/contrast with another book. The students broke out into small groups depending on if they wanted to read to self, read with a partner, word works, or read on the iPad. Next, I worked one-on-one with students as they practiced reading within their reading level. The time period I visit this 1st grade classroom every Thursday falls in their English/Language Arts time, so I am most likely always helping with a reading activity. I enjoy supporting students as they practice sight words and also learn new words. I worked with about 3 students on reading for the majority of time today. After, I pulled out a student and wrote her sight words on flashcards using previous sight word assessments. We practiced these words multiple times and used each word in fun sentences together. This made me very excited to have a future classroom in a few years and be able to evaluate and meet the specific needs of each student. As usual, the students left for recess and I filled Monday folders for the teacher.
This week at Barrow, the children were having early release for parent-teacher conferences. They were very excited! First, I worked with two different students on books within their reading level. We always sit outs in the hallway to read and discuss each book. I mentally kept track of the percent of words that each student could read on their own and the percent they struggled with. This is useful information I provide for the teacher after reading. The 1st grade classroom I work in got a new student this morning, so I worked with him a lot afterwards. I first had him count as high as he could to collect that data for the teacher. Next, I used the site, Reading A-Z.com, to help the teacher determine his reading level. We started at level E because many of her students fell under this level, but I skipped around to test where he felt most comfortable, but also felt challenged. I really loved using this site because each level had a large selection of books with different topics. Lastly, I stuffed Monday folders for the teacher while the class went to recess and lunch.
When I arrived at Barrow, the teacher was reading The Wizard of Oz and they got to wear green for “Green Day.” I went and got a large piece of green paper for the teacher and then worked one-on-one with the students. The class is still working on long and short vowel sounds, this time with the letter i. I pulled students who needed some extra practice on this into the hallway. I had a stack of flashcards and mixed them up for the student. I made two columns for the long and short i and the student would place the flashcard in the right place. They also would say the word out loud and double check their work. With one student, we played an active game where if the answer was a long i, we would jump as tall as we could, and if the answer was a short i, then we would couch into a ball. After about 30 minutes, I went back into the classroom and assisted the teacher while the students made castles from the Wizard of Oz. I saw a lot of creativity and design skills in this group of students! Next, I read one-on-one with a student in the hallway. We read about transformers and I saw improvement just in the 20 minutes I was reading with him. We practiced sight words and new words together. Lastly, I filled Monday folders with the a week’s worth of papers.
This week at Barrow I started off playing a sight word game with a student. We reviewed a few words and then matched the flashcards. Next, I pulled individual students in the hallway to practice their “weather forecast” and record them with an iPad. These 1st graders had to write a beginning, middle, and end report on a weather topic of their choice, such as tornados. In a few weeks, they are going to go into the library and read off their forecast with a green screen behind them. The students are so excited for this! I helped them fix words they couldn’t read and also reviewed presentation skills, like keeping the paper low enough for the camera to see your face. The kids loved to see themselves after I recorded them. It was interesting to me to be able to actually experience how this teacher incorporates technology into the classroom. After about 30 minutes, I then did some busy work in the classroom while the students went out to recess. I taped some of the student’s work into a poster board about verbs, and then cut out numerous mini squares that the teacher is going to use. Many of these were different reading centers, including reading to a partner or listening to an audio book, and some were stations, such as the computer station. I’m happy to say that this is another week of success and I’ve learned many techniques to use in my future classroom!
I went out to Barrow for my independent study and worked with Mrs. Skinner’s first grade class. They were so cute and little! For the first 20 minutes, I observed the teacher as she conducted a vowel game and read a book to the class. I paid close attention to the language she used to speak with the children, her classroom management strategies, and what tools she used. For example, students used a sign with their hands when they had a connection to the story and then they got to share their connections. I loved this idea! Looking specifically at tools, the teacher used technology often in my first visit. Class dojo was the most frequently used tool. This website allowed the teacher to give students digital high fives and praise for good behavior, while also encouraging class values. The teacher also used PowerPoint to aid the discussion questions after the book and to lay out the standards for this specific activity. After the class reading, I worked on about 5 students one-on-one using the same vowel game that the class just did. This was an extra review for students needing it and allowed me to get to know these students. After about 20 minutes, Mrs. Skinner’s class went to the media center to Skype with another class, and I stayed in the classroom and organized Monday folders. As I was doing this, class dojo kept going off. I thought it was great that a teacher can enact points away from the classroom on any device. Last, we all went out to recess. I’m excited for this opportunity and I can’t wait to continue practicing math and reading with this class!