Reading content coaching began this week and I was introduced to the expectations for this content coaching cycle. The coach would like to meet with all of us multiple times and focus on the observation and post-conference for each observation. This seems like a good model because it opens up more time for all of the residents all my school to meet with and be observed by the content coach. I will also continue to pursue my goal from the science content coaching, but the wording will be shifted slightly. I really want to focus on eliciting student understanding through higher-order thinking questions. I hope to continue to meet this goal throughout the year. I have set up an observation date for February 24. [The ELA block for the following week will consist of a Close Read for the Shared reading portion of ELA so I will not be observed during this time.] I hope to learn a lot from my content coach and continue to improve my instruction.
In order to meet the planning portion of content coaching, I took the lead a bit on co-planning reading for this past week. I have not fully taken the reins yet but my collaborating teacher has granted me the opportunity to move at my own pace with planning. We co-planned this past week and next week together, as we always do, making sure to incorporate read alouds, shared reading, phonics, high-frequency words, and a writing block during the entire week. We have also begun to practice test-taking strategies for the upcoming assessment in March, so we practice reading passages and answering questions for morning work and we will slowly incorporate this into our reading block as we get closer to the assessment.
I recently took over another guided reading group; I am currently working with the advanced group and now will be providing extra support to the struggling learners. I am excited for this opportunity because I have some experience (from my internship in Kindergarten last year) of working with struggling readers on letter names and sounds as well as sight words, but I have not had a chance to work with a group on these skills yet. I will be meeting with this group every day during the week and I will meet with my advanced group two or three times a week. My advanced group will begin reading a chapter book in the near future, which both myself and my students are excited for.
Last week, for Science, my class and the neighboring class took a trip to MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry to visit their Disasterville exhibit. This connects to a variety of areas in our science curriculum. For example, our current Long Term Investigation is observing the temperature and weather at our school for a month long period. The current standards of our unit are “SC.1.E.6.1: Recognize that water, rocks, soil, and living organisms are found on Earth’s surface,” “SC.1.E.6.2: “Describe the need for water and how to be safe around water,” and “SC.1.E.6.3: “Recognize that some things in the world around us happen fast and some happen slowly.” I met FEAP 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor” because the standard that our MOSI trip most aligned with is SC.1.E.6.3; we observed various fast and slow land changes such as flooding, volcano eruptions, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. I think this was a fantastic way to engage and interest the students about the content before we learn about it from the Nat Geo text because it helps them gain necessary background knowledge of the content and get them exciting about what might otherwise be considered boring topics. [FEAP 3A: “Delivers engaging and challenging lessons,” FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge,” and FEAP 3E: “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.”] This trip allowed students to gain a better understanding and almost experience these fast and slow events. For example, there are three rooms that allow the viewer to get a glimpse of what it is like to experience a tornado, hurricane, and a wild fire. These are experiences that my students will hopefully never have, but by watching the videos and hearing the sound effects, they gained some insight into what these events are like. This MOSI trip allowed me to meet a variety of FEAPs including: FEAP 2G: “integrates current information and communication technologies,” FEAP 3C: “Identify gaps in students’ subject matter knowledge,” and FEAP 3E: “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.”
Another exciting part of last week occurred when my collaborating teacher and I checked our school mailbox. We received an award from the District STEM Fair that I mentioned in a previous blog post where I volunteered as a judge. My class won the “Outstanding Primary Award” for our project “Ants and Sugar.” I am so proud of my students because they really put a lot of hard work and effort into this project. They were very excited and eager to see the results after performing the different trials. [Please note that I removed my collaborating teacher’s name in order to protect her rights and privacy.]
I cannot wait for everything that is to come in the following weeks! I will be continuing to take the lead as much as possible in order to gain experience to improve my teaching. I will have another conference with my collaborating teacher and PRT in order to look at my growth and see if there are any areas that I need to improve.