This week was a really great week. I was actually a little surprised, in a good way, at my student’s behavior because they behaved well even though we have the entire next week off for Thanksgiving vacation. I was proud that they were able to behave and stay on task.
This week, the student continued the Book Box AR Challenge that I introduced last week. If you do not remember, I have it posted below. You can find more information on my previous blog post.
My students read most of the books in this challenge. I was happy after I read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, this became the most read book. I decided to do a little “experiment” and I picked up the book Yoko by Rosemary Well.
After I put the book down, a student went over and picked the book up and began reading. This is another popular book among the students. I really enjoy this activity because the students are very excited. They are also performing very well on their AR tests. Most, if not all, of the students have been receiving 100% on their AR tests. I know this because the students are allowed to ring a bell whenever they get 100% on their AR test. I am unsure when my collaborating teacher and I will end this contest and see who wins, but for now, I am simply enjoying all of the reading and learning that is taking place in my classroom.
Somewhat related to this contest, at my school, the students have a school-wide book reading contest that will be coming up shortly. In order to protect the rights of my students and my collaborating teacher, I will not mention the name of the contest because it may reveal personal information about the students (specifically their grade level). For this contest, there are about 20 books that the students will read and they have to answer questions about the book. My classroom will have three students compete against three students from each of the other classrooms in this grade level. This competition will take place sometime in the spring.
My students seemed very excited when they learned the rules for this new contest. I cannot wait to introduce this to my students. I already started setting up the check-out charts for each of the books (as I did with the books for the Book Box AR Test contest). In order to be chose for the contest, the students will take a quiz about the books. The students who get the most answers correct in the shortest amount of time will be chosen to compete in the contest for our class.
I am excited for this contest but I will be working with another collaborating teacher during that time. For the Teacher Residency Partnership Program (TRPP), I need to have experience in the upper grades of elementary school (3rd grade through 5th grade) and primary (kindergarten through 2nd grade). In order to protect the privacy and rights of my students, I will not say what grade level (or what group of grade levels) I am currently in; however, what I can say is that I will be switching into the other section of grade levels during the spring semester. If I did not switch this next semester, then I would have to go into the other grade level during my entire senior year. I would like to experience as many classrooms as possible so I can see a variety of teaching skills and management strategies; therefore, I will be changing to another class. However, I would really like to see the progress of my students, so I may return to the classroom and possibly attend the new book reading contest to see how they do.
I have five students in my class that are gifted students. There is one girl who my collaborating teacher and I believed should be placed in the gifted program and we have been working to try to get her screened for gifted. She was screened yesterday and she passed. My collaborating teacher and I are very excited for her. There are still other steps that need to be taken before she is placed in the gifted program but this is a great start.
On Thursday, my school celebrated the Great American Teach-In. My collaborating teacher had her husband come in and talk to the students. In order to protect the privacy of my teacher and her husband, I will not discuss his career, but he had a great presentation and the children really enjoyed it. I took a lot of video because he showed a bunch of photos of himself and his career. He worked really well with the students and he answered all of their questions. Many of the students asked question after question after question. My collaborating teacher kept tying back the information he talked about to assignments from our class, which I though was a great way to engage and educate the students.
I talked to my collaborating teacher about my Number the Stars reading group. I was afraid that we would be unable to finish the book because my last day of the semester is the 13th of December, which would only leave me with two weeks left. I brought up the idea of having the students read the book over the Thanksgiving break. My collaborating teacher brought up some great points about why this idea would not work. The students need help reading the book and they would be unable to receive the help without me and so they would definitely need help from a parent or an older sibling, which would be unfair for that person. So my collaborating teacher decided that when my time at the school ended, she would either take over the project or move on to another book.
This past week has been a great week. Unfortunately, my time with my students is coming to an end but I have really enjoyed all of my experiences with these students as well as my collaborating teacher and I cannot wait to see them again after the break.