Monday, July 30, 2012


Dear Blog,
I have been anticipating this final entry for weeks!  This is officially my final blog of my Master’s program!  Yes, this calls for a celebration! 
Now on to business…  This practicum experience has been a great way to spend my July!  Chelsea and I were lucky to have a great group of five first graders.  These students were all very eager and motivated to learn reading and math.  They came to “school” each day with smiles on their faces and snacks in their hands.  We taught these students basic first grade mathematics and reading skills, along with social skills.  We focused our instruction on high frequency words and numbers and operations. 
I learned that I love working with younger students.  Previously, I have only worked with second through fifth grades.   First grade was a new experience for me!  I enjoyed working with them and was eager to watch them learn new skills.
I will always remember this experience and am so grateful to have the best co-teacher!

Adios, blogging world,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dear Blog,

Here are the required components for my lesson reflection.

Lesson Summary:  The objective for my lesson today was:  Given a set of 10 two-digit subtraction problems with regrouping, the students will solve these problems with at least 80% accuracy.  I taught my two rising second graders this skill.  Because these students do not need remedial math instruction, I have decided to move forward to second grade content.  I expected this to be a difficult concept for them to grasp.  However, they grasped this new concept very quickly.  To teach this concept, I first taught the students a poem about subtracting with regrouping.  This greatly helped them differentiate between problems that did not require regrouping and problems that did require regrouping.  I modeled this several times, and then the students helped me complete the guided practice portion. 

What Worked:   The poem was very advantageous for these students!  They said the poem aloud for each problem.  This helped them to not only be able to determine if regrouping was needed, but also helped them to complete the steps in order.

What Would I Change:  Next time, I would speed up the lesson.  The students learned this concept so quickly.  It was unexpected and we were left with extra time.

See you next week, blog.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week Two Observation

Hello Blog,

Here is the required information regarding my observation.

My lesson was on the beginning consonant blend [fl-]. This was a continuation of our blend unit. We previously learned about blends (definition) and the beginning blend [sl-]. The two students in this group were already familiar with blending sounds together because of a previous lesson.  Because of this, this lesson was very appropriate for these students. 

Students first reviewed the [sl-] blend by reading words and a short passage.  Next, I introduced the beginning blend [fl-].  Students learned six new words with this consonant blend.  Students were required to read these words and give meanings to them by creating sentences.  Students used the following strategies to practice spelling these words:  skywriting and felt writing.   The students in this group were also required to match words to the corresponding pictures.  This helped student identification of words and required them to fully understand the meaning of each word.  Lastly, students were required to write simple sentences using each of the six newly learned words.

What Worked:

Students of all ability levels need multiple ways in which to learn how to spell newly learned words.  Skywriting and felt writing are easy ways in which this can be accomplished.  The two students most definitely enjoyed using these strategies as opposed to all written work. 

Chunking also proved to be an effective strategy.  These students need ample time to process and learn new material.  Breaking up the lesson into chunks worked well.

What I Would Change:

If time permitted, I would have also added a kinesthetic component to this lesson.  I wanted the students to end the lesson spelling each word using movement exercises.  The lesson ran a little long, so this was not achieved.  I would definitely like to have a clock for the next lesson, so I can better pace the lesson.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Experience #1

Dear Blog,
To be completely honest, I find this whole social media thing very strange.  I don't have twitter.  I don't have a Facebook account.   I still don't really understand plurking.  I had a webpage as a teacher (which I rarely, if ever, updated).  I have a phone and an email. Period. Please forgive my ignorance of social media. 

Practicum Experience #1:  To my surprise, the students in our group were very smart!  They were all able to recognize letters and produce letter sounds, as well as read high frequency words.  My experiences in special education have taught me to "expect the unexpected."  Well, this was definitely unexpected.  These kids can read!  Truthfully, I was expecting students who probably could not hold a pencil or know any letter sounds.  This trend continued in math.  These kids already know how to add and subtract!  I couldn't be more relieved. 

The parents were friendly and the kids were eager...what more could a teacher ask for?

Professionalism is a topic I'd like to address.  Conversations between or among teachers regarding students should (in all professional arenas) be kept confidential and private.  These conversations should always occur behind closed doors---not in front of parents or students.  Students should never be present when these conversations occur.  Personally, I believe conversations about a student in front of other students is tacky and unacceptable. 

Okay, I'm off my soap box.  

See you next week, blog.  


P.S.  Are we getting graded for grammar in these blogs?