Weekly Reflection 12/2/13 – 12/6/13

               I had an amazing vacation last week. My Thanksgiving holiday was spent with my family and we had a really great time together. I also spent my break working on homework that has been due this past week. All of the work that was due totaled out to about 30,000 words, which does not include all of the assignments I have done throughout the semester. Although I have done a lot of work, I have really enjoyed being a member of this program.

This week, my teacher brought in a 3’ Christmas tree to class. I was curious as to how this tree would relate to the classroom. My collaborating teacher asked me to set up the tree, but she told me it was not a Christmas tree but a “Christ-MATH” tree.

 SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The tree was decorated with various math manipulative such as ones blocks, hundreds blocks, and thousands blocks. My teacher showed the tree to the students and the entire class sang a song about the Christ-MATH tree to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree.” I thought it was a clever decoration because it incorporates the holidays into the classroom but in a manner that relates to class work.

 Christmath tree

So far the Christ-MATH tree is the only mention of upcoming holidays in my classroom. My collaborating teacher has put up some winter and holiday related items in the classroom but the items are not necessarily related towards a specific holiday. For example, there are two snowmen in the classroom and a reindeer with a chalkboard that says “Seasons greetings.”

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My students have also been working on “publishing” their Creepy Cupcake papers. I mentioned the Creepy Cupcakes that the students made in a previous post.  When the students finish publishing their Creepy Cupcake writings, my class will put together a book with all of the papers and pictures of each student holding their cupcake and pictures of the students eating the cupcakes.

My collaborating teacher has asked me to take on the project of putting the book together. I happily volunteered. I am really interested in creative projects and I think this is a great project for the students. I have already started making a few pages. I will post pictures of the pages below, but in order to protect the rights and privacy of my students, I will remove their names and their pictures from the images.

 Creepy Cupcake Book

I used three different colors for the pages: brown, orange and black. I also decided to add an extra layer of colored paper to the page to make the images and text stand out. Each page has two sides to it: on the front side is the beginning and first middle of the students’ stories and a picture of each student holding his or her creepy cupcake and on the back side, there is the second middle and ending of the story along with a picture of the students eating a cupcake. I decorated the pages with some stickers. I may include some drawings on the some pages but I am unsure if I will have the time to do this.

Unfortunately, three of the students do not have pictures of themselves eating the cupcakes. Two of the students did not eat their cupcakes in class, which is why there are no pictures of these students. I spoke with my collaborating teacher about this and since the students already have another picture of themselves with their cupcakes, the students can draw a picture to accompany their story.

I am really excited to see how the Creepy Cupcake book turns out for my class. I really enjoyed this assignment and I definitely want to use it in my future classroom. I think this assignment is very engaging for students, especially with the incorporation of realia. I think that the book is another great idea because it allows students to see their progress and their accomplishments.

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As the semester winds down, I will be submitting some of the assignments for my classes to my blog posts in order to show my accomplishments. These assignments are also very useful for the future. For example, I created a list of over 30 strategies and resources that will help accommodate ESOL students. These strategies work really well in the classroom for ESOL students and native English speakers.

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