PRE-INTERNSHIP DAY 8

Bittersweet

Today was my last day teaching at Arcola until next March! Today came with it’s challenges, but it was also wonderful.

With the morning Kindergarten group, my lesson didn’t happen until after recess which also meant after snack time. Today was also their ice cream celebration, and Chloe and I also brought them rice krispie treats to celebrate our last day. Needless to say, they were hyped up on sugar and had a lot of energy!

My lesson today was using mini whiteboards and flashcards. I taught the students that when we write we always have spaces between words so that what we write makes sense. I started by writing two lines on my own white board. The first line had words together with no spaces, which I read to them very fast and got some giggles out of them. Next I read properly spaced words to them, and I really feel like they understood why spaces between words are important.

Next, I had them copy words from flashcards onto their own white boards and asked them to make sure they put spaces between the words. Although I believe the students all understood what I was talking about, putting that understanding to practice was another task all together! This turned into printing practice for many of the students, and the concept of spaces seemed to be lost. (As you can see from the pictures!) I still believe this lesson proved to be a valuable beginning literacy session, and although I feel like they did not necessarily learn any knew knowledge, they were still learning about written language, which is so important in Kindergarten!

“F” in the red shirt is working so hard to learn English, and was doing a great job copying the letters! This is the first time she has done that!

“A” has a visual impairment and is doing the same activity, using his braille printer!

Photos

These are some photos from the last couple of weeks! I have managed to pick up on some classroom strategies, including having a special chair right beside me for extra-special students! In the following smart board sessions I actually gave each student a chair, which worked exponentially better than having them slowly inch their way closer and closer to the smart board. You may also notice in one of the pictures there is a young student looking at his glue stick and his scissors are dangerously close…shortly after, he chopped the glue up with his scissors. I ended up doing the rest of the cutting and he did the glueing!

Pre-Internship Day 7

Amazing Exhaustion

This week I had the opportunity to go on a field trip with my Kindergarten classes to Agribition. The students have been pre-working with farm animals and getting excited about what they would see for a couple of weeks now.

Let me tell you, 5 year old children can sneak away faster than you can blink! Regardless of the constant scanning of crowds and calling of names, I had an amazing time. It was so inspiring to see young learners exploring and taking in the new sights and experiences. The look of awe on some of their faces made my day. I wish it is possible to take the students each back on their own to let them explore further what they were specifically interested in. Each one of them seemed to be drawn to a different area where they wanted to stay and explore, but unfortunately we had to keep moving. There was one little boy that was absolutely enthralled in the First Nation pow-wow dancing and music, but we barely had the chance to see it! He would have watched it all day, I’m sure.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to witness a field trip first hand in my pre-internship. There are so many details that the teacher needs to take care of, and I have now witnessed those! Getting permission slips (including translating them for some parents), booking a bus, gathering money, getting snacks and water bottles, making sure the students use the bathroom BEFORE getting on the bus, and so much more.

PRE-INTERNSHIP DAY 6

Engaged!

No, I don’t have a ring on my finger. But the students in my class were so engaged in the activity I did and I could tell they were learning! It was a great day.

I was teaching the students how to rhyme, and how we know rhyming words based on what they look like. They were totally engaged with trying to find the matching words and come up with their own rhyming words. They thought it was so fun to say lots of words in a row that rhymed and they kept giggling.

I found it really interesting how the students who I thought would do great at this activity were having some troubles, and then the ones I thought might struggle were doing great. I definitely saw how some students are visual learners and could match up the letters that are the same on word endings and some could only rhyme by using their own words out loud. Seeing this made me learn so much about different types of learners.

There were also some students who were so particular with their perfect cutting that they ran out of time to do the actual rhyming. If I were to do this activity again I would find a way to adapt it for all learners to make sure everybody gets the opportunity to do the content of the activity I planned.

Next week is Agribition and I am so excited to experience a field trip with the students!

Pre-Internship Day 5

The Good and Bad of Technology

This week I decided to incorporate technology into my lesson. There were some problems, but the students were engaged and having fun!

My co-op teacher said she used to have computers for the students to use, but this year she only has a smart board they can book time for, as well as a projector in the classroom that she hooks her laptop up to. She has not had a chance to use the smart board with the students yet this year, so I thought I would try it out.

I was working with groups of 6 students and had chosen a few literacy games for them to take turns with. I had the first group sit on the ground and quickly found out that was not going to work. The students inched closer and closer and made it very difficult to keep all of their little fingers off of the smart board. When the next group came out we used chairs lined up in front of the board and that proved much more successful!

Another challenge I had was technical difficulties. One of my more energetic students, “E”, was getting frustrated at one of the tasks and she started frantically touching the board with all of her fingers, which prompted another student or two to do the same thing and the system froze. I had to restart the smart board and get set up again, which took away from instructional time.

As well as that difficulty, in one group there is student named “Y” who has a tough time not being distracted during group work. He does so well when I work with him one-on-one, but unfortunately that is just not reality in a full kindergarten class. While it was not his turn on the smart board, although I had placed him in the chair beside me, he managed to unplug the smart board cords from the computer which caused some more instructional time to be lost. I even made sure he had a fidget to keep his hands busy, but he got away on me!

There is another little guy named “J” who is usually not engaged in the class activities, and usually refuses to participate. During my lesson he was so excited to participate and although he was unsuccessful choosing the correct letters, when he did choose the last option left and the computer say “Hooray! You did it!”, he had the cutest little proud grin on his face. Using the smart board was fun and exciting for the students, and they were totally engaged. Despite the few glitches, I would still use the smart board again due to the reaction of the students and how much they were engaged in the lesson.

Pre-Internship Day 4

Such a mess!

My lesson this week involved Kinders using bingo dabbers for the first time. That means that they made a mess! Despite the instructions and constant reminders of how to use them properly, there were still students who ended up making a big soggy, inky mess. By the end of the day my hands were stained blue and red from helping them out! However, I wouldn’t do anything differently. At the time I was thinking that I should not have done it, but in reality I know that they won’t learn unless they try new things. Part of being a kindergarten teacher is allowing messes to happen, which might be hard for me! So much of me wants to do controlled, clean activities, but I know there is also a time and a place for messy fun.

This week I really felt the relationship building with the students. I am finally getting the students’ names down, and the students are remembering my name! I’m beginning to get a sense of each student’s abilities and interests, and am able to give them one-on-one attention during my lessons specific to their learning needs. I love being able to teach small groups so that I can learn how to do this on a smaller level first, and then move up to bigger groups later.

This week Chloe and I also taught a Phys. Ed. lesson. In Kindergarten that means playing games and constantly reminding and rounding up small children. It made this day especially exhausting!

Although I’m so exhausted at the end of Wednesdays, I still LOVE IT! It’s nothing that a nap can’t fix.

Pre-Internship Day 3

Busy Busy Busy

Yesterday was a great day! I am still getting used to how busy Kinders are and how tired I am by the time the last bell rings and we are taking students out to their parents, bus, or daycare workers. I need to start working out or something to increase my energy levels! (like that’s ever going to happen…)

I did another  math lesson this week because my co-op asked Chloe and I to focus on math and literacy. I found an activity called Build a Pizza. The kids loved it, and I loved the idea of it, however there are some things I would change up for next time. First thing, I would not use an activity that has 200 little pieces to cut out and put magnets on the back. I got in some quality Netflix time while preparing, but there were some issues with the craft of the work. When the students were using the ingredient pieces the little magnets kept falling off and caused some pieces to stick to each other and create a mini-shmozzle. There were also two particular little ones who were peeling the sticky magnets off the back of the pieces on purpose. Overall I think this was a successful lesson. The students loved it and were connecting numbers to objects, which was the goal!

My PD goal was communication (because I accidentally switched it up last week) and I feel I did pretty well. Apparently I say “Ok” and “you guys” a lot. So that is something to be aware of. I’m excited to get to a week where I can focus on classroom management and engaging students who are off task. There are a few students in these Kinder classes that get distracted and don’t have any interest in doing what everybody else is doing. Sometimes they don’t have any interest in listening to me, looking at me, or even acknowledging that I am trying to talk to them at all! I’m learning how to encourage students to participate (Don’t ask, just tell) and how to communicate with students who are in their own world. Oh the challenges….!