I found this quote today and thought I would share...

"I never thought teaching would be like Freddy Krueger, I mean it is infecting my dreams!"

I think we all can relate to this one, even as aspiring teachers we find our thoughts being over run with lesson plans, ideas, students, etc. I can only imagine how true this will become when we step foot into our own class.

Well, I used to think I would always want to teach 6th graders until I stepped into a class of 6th graders for my first time! Not completely serious here, but I won't lie, I was a little terrified. At the school where I am fulfilling my practicum requirements I am observing an 8th grade mathematics class and a 6th grade reading class. At this particular school they split English into two parts, reading and writing. Let's just say it is night and day difference between the grade levels. At any rate, the reading class is an EMINTS class, so each child has access to a computer. I went in to the practicum being very optimistic until I noticed that the routine for the children was very repetitive and the lessons a little boring. In fact, some children are caught sleeping on several occasions.

Basically, their classes are set into 40 minute periods. They spend the first 20 minutes reading silently or blogging about their books, depending on which day it is, they alternate between their partners. After this they do a mini lesson for the duration of class. In this classroom talking is extremely discouraged, and classroom discussion is at an all time low. There are no "big questions" being utilized to challenge their minds and the classroom is very predictable. So far they have read 3 articles from the newspaper and scholastic all regarding homelessness and then filled out a flow chart online about the main ideas of the articles. Next, they listened to a book on tape for 20 minutes and drew pictures of what they visualized. Not that there is anything wrong with these mini lessons, but what about classroom engagement? The students are at best bored, and uninterested in what they are learning, they don't see the importance of it and it is like pulling teeth to get them to finish the work. When I teach my lesson I want to utilize many of the methods we have read about for collaborative learning and group discussions and I pray I will be able to re-kindle the fire within them.

Last week my CT did have me evaluate a few of the students during silent reading and take notes for her. I called a student to my desk, talked to them about reading in general as well as their current book. I took notes on their reactions to reading and how well they could summarize their stories with details from the text. After this I asked them to choose a few pages to read out loud to me. At this time, I was watching for fluency, word recognition, etc. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work more closely with the students and was able to tell a considerable amount about their reading abilities and attitude towards reading. We will see if next week is full of surprises....!

 


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