ST Blog – Week 9

Some important resources:

  • CIA Factbook
  • IMF Trading Game

Lessons Taught:

  • Debate: Is there a better way to make a t-shirt? Practicing Making Claims
  • Natural Resources

Thoughts I Had During the Week:

  • I subbed on Monday, we had snow days on Tuesday and Wednesday, a two-hour delay on Thursday, and a previously scheduled half day on Friday… what a week!
  • I had my first experience of adding more to my lesson on the fly. One group of students got through the material much faster than the other group, and I was going to be left with a good 20 minutes of class without anything for them to do.  Luckily I was able to foresee that so I could quickly come up with additional material that was both relevant and engaging.
  • I had my first experience of really using classroom management strategies in order to adjust student behavior – I gave out numbers that let students know how close they are to being sent to the office.
  • Had a difficult experience with Dennis (although not too out of the norm for him) – while completing individual work, I could not leave him alone or else he would not do the work at all.  It’s a tough situation because there are other students to attend to.. at this point, I might just have to leave the ball in his court and provide support in other ways.
  • I got to have my first family experiences, as seen through Parent-Teacher Conferences. This was a neat experience, as I got to better understand students as individuals.  I was impressed to watch my cooperating teacher and fellow team member interact in these conferences; they were calm, composed, and did a great job of answering unexpected questions.

 

Teacher Meme of the Week:

Image result for snow day meme teachers

 

 

 

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ST Blog – Week 9

ST Blog – Week 8

Some important resources:

  • Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
  • Pandemic (Virus Outbreak Game)
  • Population Demographic Pyramids – https://populationpyramid.net/world/2015/

Lessons Taught:

  • Sovereign State Challenge #2: Code Red Virus Outbreak
  • Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt Activity
  • Planet Money Group Discussion

Thoughts I had during the week:

  • I got to see some really great examples of student work and creativity in the Planet Money assignment – very cool to see.
  • In one situation my cooperating teacher had to call out a student (Justin) in a pretty public manner – “Is this who you’re gonna be?” “Coming back from break, if you keep this behavior it won’t be good”.  Justin holds a lot of power in the class, so this was necessary to send the message to both Justin and the rest of the class.
  • I switched seats with my cooperating teacher – I now sit in the front of the room and he sits in the back – helping students get used to me being the authority figure.
  • In our Sovereign State Challenge, we had to dial it back a bit because students were going to crazy extremes (burning dead bodies before they even knew if anyone had died from the virus, or executing infected citizens).  Have to reign it in before it becomes a whole class wide thing.
  • Group Discussion format – Individuals come up with “best idea”, then split into groups and come up with “best idea” among the group.  Then, the whole class discusses. A spokesperson is picked for each group, and then each of those spokespeople share their “best idea”. Then, the spokespeople can respond to each other by raising their hands. Other group members aren’t talking to the whole group, but can tell their spokesperson what they want them to say.
  • Interesting pattern with the eighth grade group – one class is really great at small group discussions, but not great at whole class discussions; and the other class is the complete opposite. It’s important to keep this in mind when structuring discussions with this grade.

Teacher Meme of the Week:

 

Image result for teacher memes

 

 

ST Blog – Week 8

ST Blog – Week 6

Some important resources:

  • Naviance (not really sure what it’s all about)
  • No Sir, Not I Sir (fun game)
  • Against All Odds (online game about refugees)

Lessons Taught:

  • Embargo
  • Debriefing the Genosha Sovereign State Challenge

 

Thoughts I had during the Week:

  • One day this week we took an hour at the end of the day to introduce the Career Unit (coming up in a couple of weeks). We sent students with a letter home to their parents and talked with them about what they want to do for job shadowing (required part of the project).  In my opinion, I think instead of holding onto the rubrics, as we did, we should have given them to the students before they do the assignments so they understand what is expected of them and so that their is less confusion.
  • As part of the Career Unit we had a Career Panel made up of 6 parents (most were parents of students on our team, one was not) – a journalist, a guidance counselor, two financial advisers, and an analytical chemist.  We had the panel go on for an hour. For the most part, the parents did a great job of describing their careers and answering questions. At some points, it seemed a bit too long as some students were getting squirrely.
  • April attended the Career Panel, and at first was kind of talking and making noises while the parents were talking. But then she was given a coloring book, and this kept her focused and quiet.
  • We went on a bowling field trip and it was pretty fun! Only had one issue with a student, everything else went really great.
  • The day before break, we did a school-wide activity.  The students were split up into groups of 5th-8th graders, and we had to make a 1 minute video using the props we were given. It was nice to meet some new faces. It was really interesting for me to see the energy level of some of the 5th and 6th graders – it was quite high!

 

Teacher Meme of the Week:

Image result for teacher vacation memes

Vacation next week!!! 🙂

ST Blog – Week 6

ST Blog – Week 5

Some important resources:

  • Chatzy – A group chatroom. Teacher can be editor, can get rid of comments that students make if not appropriate

Lessons Taught:

  • Example of 8th grade district assessment (Constitution video)
  • Example of 7th grade district assessment (Kiribati)
  • Transparency/Corruption

Some thoughts I had during the week:

  • My cooperating teacher assigns seats in each of his classes, but he typically puts friends together at tables.  It’s nice for them to sit with their friends, but it can be very distracting sometimes. Should friends be split up?
  • In one class, there were two girls who were leaving for two weeks for a gymnastics trip. They wanted all the work they were going to be missing ahead of time. It’s hard for a teacher to prep that far in advance…and we wonder if they will even do the work while they’re gone, or do it when they get back.
  • The students took a Bill of Rights quiz this week, and were given plenty of time to review for it the day before and the day of the quiz – that’s important for this group.
  • I had made an example of the district assessment for 8th grade and had it ready to go to show the class. But, when I went to play it, the audio and video didn’t line up. It wasn’t a huge deal, but next time I need to check it beforehand.
  • Also related to the district assessment, the directions weren’t super clear in terms of the purpose of the video – who would watch it? Make that clear so that students would have better understanding of what they’re doing.
  • When my supervisor visited, she gave me some advice as she watched me interact with two classes: show the first group of students the same level of comfortability as I did the second group.
  • Important to make distinctions of when to use outside sources for information and when to use one’s own reasoning and creative thinking skills.
  • “Magical Moment” – student made a great comment related to the topic of discussion, so cooperating teacher not only gave him a fist bump, but also let him have a magical moment by getting to play the chimes in the classroom.
  • Important to set expectations when using a group chat website – one student, Martin, really not getting it and saying inappropriate things (getting people riled up). Had to be banned from the chat for a couple of days (while keeping in mind, he was going through stuff outside of class)
  • “Incident” – I had a student, Dennis, who came up to me during recess and said, ‘I could throw this carton of milk at you.’ I responded by saying that maybe he could, but would that really be the best choice to make.  He kind of shrugged his shoulders and went away. We learned that he ended up throwing that milk carton at the wall of the school, so he was told to clean it up. He later apologized to me for saying what he did, with prompting from a special educator that has been starting to work with him.
  • Dennis is being evaluated for special education services, but many of the team staff aren’t sure if the “adverse affect” condition of special education qualifications will pass for him.

Teacher Meme of the Week:

Image result for teacher memes

ST Blog – Week 5