Tag Archives: Taking the lead

Reading Content Coaching – Second Observation Reflection

It has been a few weeks since I have posted. The week of March 2nd through the 6th was the USF Spring Break; however, I still came to internship on Monday and I was a substitute on Thursday and Friday, all of which were great experiences. The following week was the Hillsborough County Spring Break, and the past week I had my second and final reading content coaching observation.

I was really excited going into my shared reading lesson because I wanted to focus on what I discussed in the previous post-conference, which was making sure to use intonation and emphasis by reading the story with emotion. I had my observation on Tuesday, March 17th. We read the story “Little Rabbit’s Tale” from the Journeys text, which has the same storyline as Chicken Little. The rabbit is outside and when the wind blows, an apple hits his head and he thinks the sky is falling so he warns all of his friends and they tell his mother but she shows him the truth and he apologizes for making his friends miss out on different activities. The focus of my lesson was to analyze the author’s purpose for writing the story to determine what lesson thee author wanted to teach us.

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One thing that I used to struggle with is my presence in front of any group of people. I remember shaking when I gave a book report in the 6th grade even though I had a poster board and was reading off of an index card because I just got so nervous speaking in front of people. Throughout the years, I have taken many steps to remedy this by making myself raise my hand and share my thoughts and present in front of others. I even went so far as to take a Public Speaking course at USF to give myself more practice. During my internship experience, I have had few problems, if any, speaking to students because I am truly passionate about helping them be successful so I focus on them instead of my own worries.

Part of this former fear; however, still lingered when I read texts because I did not read with enough emotion, so this time I made sure that really got into the text. I simply took everything out of my mind except for teaching and giving my students the best experience possible with the book.

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For example, when the apple hits Little Rabbit, the text reads “Thump!” in large, red letters so each time I read that word, I leaned in next to a student and shouted while hitting the desk. The reaction from my students was immediately obvious—they laughed and became instantly engaged, which was great because I drew their attention in on the very first page. I kept reading the story like this, acting it out as well by skipping through the room like the characters as they “dashed” in the story. I also cheered “Hooray!” and jumped up like the characters.

I discussed this experience with both my collaborating teacher and the reading content coach. I was, and of course still am, very excited and I thought that I did a good job and I was pleased to discover that both my CT and the reading coach felt the same way. The reading content coach praised me for working on the skill that we had discussed and making such immediate and apparent improvement with the skill.

This current week is testing for students so I will be unable to teach reading since the testing takes up the entire morning; however, my goal is to take the lead on teaching and planning reading. For the entire last week, I took the lead on teaching the literacy block based on lesson plans that my collaborating teacher and I made together. During this week, I took the lead on planning all of the literacy block (phonics, shared reading, and writing) and I will be taking the lead on teaching it as well. My collaborating teacher will still provide support when necessary but we both agree that by taking the lead, I am gaining valuable experiences that will help me so much in the future when I am a teacher.

During this past week I also took the lead on teaching mathematics and science. The science unit that we have been learning is about living and nonliving things and we will be transitioning into plants and animals next week. In mathematics, my students learned how to tell time on both digital and analog clocks to the hour and half-hour. Although I did not plan these lesson, I taught all of the lessons on time and then gave the assessment on Friday. I am very proud to announce that out of 17 students (1 student was absent) all of my students passed with a 71% or higher on the exam. I then recorded all of this data on an excel spreadsheet that organizes it to show the scores of the students, what percentage of students got the question correct, and how many students missed each question, which allowed me to meet FEAP 4F: “Applies technology to organize and integrate assessment information.” Looking at the results, I noticed that some students still have misconceptions that I will be addressing with them during this week in the time after testing but I am so proud of my students and I am really happy to see the clear results of my teaching.

I will be taking the lead on planning mathematics for the upcoming week and I will be taking the lead on teaching it as well. I will have my mathematics content coaching observation on Wednesday. According to the district calendar, the next unit is 3D shapes but during a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) meeting with all of the first grade teachers at my school, we decided it would be more developmentally appropriate to do 2D shapes next and then 3D shapes.

I was so excited to finally have an opportunity to take the lead on teaching all subject areas. For the remainder of my internship, I hope to take the lead on both planning and teaching all subject areas (with some assistance from my collaborating teacher) to help me improve my teaching skills. I am so thankful for the support from my collaborating teacher, my instructors, and the content coaches for helping me achieve this.

Final Year Internship – Weekly Reflection – 8/25/14 – 9/6/14

These past two weeks have allowed me to take over more responsibilities in the classroom and take the lead on many activities. For example, I have taken the lead on Calendar Math as well as classroom management during Daily Five/Centers and monitoring the students while in line. I have also begun to take the lead on dismissing the students at the end of the day. I have taken the lead on a variety of lessons in the classroom. I hope to start really planning with my collaborating teacher so I can continue to get involved in the classroom.

 

One activity that I took the lead on was performing a read aloud of the short story Charles Tiger. During this activity I modeled good reading skills (what to do before, during, and after reading as I did last week with the Chrysanthemum read aloud. I also worked with the students to create a chart about the Characters, Setting, Problem, and Solution of the story. I did this later on in the week for a read aloud of Here Comes Trouble. My students have watched my collaborating teacher and I create these story charts many times and now they can use this tool when they write about reading during Daily Five/Centers. My students really like using the chart and have few problems filling out the chart. I did notice; however, that my students have some difficulty determining the exact setting of the story Charles Tiger  because they want to list out every place that the story took place in but this shows me that they do understand the concept of “setting” and simply need to work on condensing their ideas and discovering the main setting. My collaborating teacher suggested that I ask them where the Problem/Solution occurred and to use that as the setting. I tried this during my read aloud of Here Comes Trouble and I noticed that the students had a better understanding of the setting.

 

Another area that I have taken the lead on is Social Studies. In the past, I only taught a few Social Studies lessons but my collaborating teacher and I agree that this would be a great area for me to start practicing designing and implementing lessons in the classroom. I used the first grade textbook and taught the students about rules, laws, and responsibilities, which aligns with the Social Studies standards SS.1.C.1.1 Explain the purpose of rules and laws in the school and community, SS.1.C.2.1 Explain the rights and responsibilities students have in the school community, and SS.1.C.2.2 Describe the characteristics of responsible citizenship in the school community.

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I honestly struggled with this lesson. My students were not engaged and they did not seem to grasp what I was trying to teach them because the struggled to answer the questions that I asked them. I was upset at myself afterwards but I knew I had to move forward in order to be successful in the future. My collaborating teacher suggested that I move around the classroom more so I could manage student behavior better and keep the students more engaged. I agreed and decided to try again a few days later.

For my next lesson, I used the textbook again and this time I talked about people with authority. This lesson connected to the Social Studies standard: SS.1.C.1.2 Give examples of people who have the power and authority to make and enforce rules and laws in the school and community. During this lesson, I moved around the classroom at regular intervals. I took pauses in between paragraphs that I read and continued to ask questions to make sure the students understood what I read. I immediately noticed a misconception among my students when I asked them what “power” meant. My students understood the concept of “power” to mean “electricity” as one student told me power was “the thing that makes your car and house work.” Although this seems comical, the question helped me make sure the students understood the concept of authority/power by providing a better definition: having control over something. I had my students provide examples of people with authority in the community (police officers), school (teachers and principal), and government (the President). Then my students and I worked together to fill out a worksheet about authority in the school.

 

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My students were easily able to determine that the Principal had the most authority in the school but they were unable to come up with the term for the Assistant Principal. I tried my best to give the students struggle time to see if they could come up with the answer themselves. My collaborating teacher noticed that I needed some help and joined in with some amazing co-teaching. She was able to elicit the answer from our students and help me move along with the lesson. She also helped me ask great questions at the end to wrap up the lesson. She asked the students who has the most authority in the school (principal), who has the most authority in the country (president), and who has the most authority in their homes (parents). I really appreciated my CT’s help with the lesson and I felt very confident when I finished. My collaborating teacher told me that she noticed a definite improvement in student engagement and linked that to my movement in the classroom.

 

My collaborating teacher also helped me with taking the lead on Social Studies by providing me with a great lesson tool: Second Steps. This is a tool that provides Social Studies lessons that focus on developing empathy and social-emotional skills in students. I believe it is important to develop these skills in children to help decrease bullying and increase awareness about emotions and how to help others in need. I did a lesson about recognizing the emotions of others in pictures and how we can help others feel better when they are sad or angry. My students analyzed the following three photographs and had to point out what emotion the children felt and what clues they found on the children’s faces to support their answer.

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“Happy”

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“Sad”

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“Angry”

 

I was really happy that my students were able to quickly and easily identify the emotions that the children felt. I think it is important to teach these skills to children so they can help out their peers when they are in need. I had my students roleplay where one student was upset/sad/angry and the other student had to comfort him or her. The students really liked this activity and used phrases such as “Are you okay?” and “What would make you feel better?” in order to empathize and help others.

I am excited to continue to use the Second Steps resource in my classroom. I plan to teach these lessons once or twice a week to go along with other Social Studies content.

 

I cannot wait to get back into the classroom to work with the students again.