Despite the preconceived notions that 7th graders only talk and start disruptions, my kids are excited and ready to learn about social studies. Granted they are a honors class but i have the utmost faith that they will excel in their future years of school.
Learning Experiences Keep things Simple. At one point during my lesson I found myself explaining the difference between Sunnis and Shias to 12 year old kids. It was a moot point and most likely confused them more than they were before. So my new rule of thumb is if a high school student would have trouble grasping it not to bring it up! Even though id love to give my kids the benefit of the doubt.
Reflection This week I had the opportunity to teach a lesson on the War on Terror. I put together a powerpoint in correspondence with standards and my kids study guide. I was overall pleased with how it went. The lesson itself took 25 minutes, I covered many topics an answered any of the questions the kids had(all of which were great!). I felt I had done a good job of covering the section and that the kids were engaged and interested.
Story to Share We had alot of discipline problems this week in class. It creates a tense mood in the classroom especially when more than one fox card is punched in a day. This week I punched my first fox card and I felt awful, hopefully the students dont take it personally because I would get rid of these stupid cards altogether if I could
This week I got to see Mrs. Ecrement handle a lot of discipline issues. It was mostly talking which isnt a far fetched idea for 7th grade kids. She is straight and to the point without being rude. The kids respect her and she uses this respect in the best way possible to create a calm learning environment. She never loses control of her classroom which I know cannot be said for many middle school teachers. This is another great quality from Mrs. Ecrement that I hope to add to my teacher cadet repertoire.
This week I led the class in going over their benchmark examinations. I have taken history benchmark examinations in the past so I was not too surprised with the format or questions. I went through each question individually and told the students the correct answer and my reasoning behind it. Also I addressed any additional questions the class had. I feel that the students now respect me on a personal as well as academic level because I showed them I knew what I was talking about. It is important for every teacher to be respected in this aspect by their students.
I was only in class two days last week because I had my wisdom teeth out on friday(which was great fun). Every week I try to have increased my connection with Mrs. Ecrements classroom. More specifically the students and the material. I feel comfortable enough now that I could walk into the class room and run a whole class smoothly without any huge issues. I am knowledgable about grading, powerschool, standards, the students, and discipline. I am glad I chose the 7th grade it gives me a great opportunity to see inside of what i belive to be one of the most difficult jobs in society. Many of the good qualities I see teachers exhibiting in their classrooms I hope to translate into the boardroom some day.
Stories to Share:
The class sang happy birthday to me on Wednesday and wrote my name all over the board saying “HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. LECY” It made me feel to know the class is interested in me and cares about me now!
This week we skipped field experience on tuesday because the schools had PAST testing which I believe is what I went through when i did PACT testing. It is intresting how strict the schools have become about standardized testing. I believe it to be because the school generated by the students on days such as this affect a schools overall rating which has become very competitive and inturn has become more strict. Instead of going to FE we came back to class in order to share stories about our expereince and go over portfolio ideas. Everyone out of our teacher cadet class has seemed to excel at the position they have been put it, this shows how hard we all worked in preparation to go out into the field.
On thursday I graded papers and entered grades because Mrs. Ecrement had to catch the class up because of past testing. After spending a couple of weeks in and with the class, I have been able to tell how students perform which ones are under performing and who is stepping it up. There is no trend or stereotyping in my class as to who you would expect to make excellent grades. The whole class is capable of making A’s and I am there to help foster that.
The students are really taking to me well, which makes me feel good and gives me confidence that I am doing a decent job. I am planning my lesson on cold war and continue to teach when Mrs. Ecrement needs me
Stories to Share:
This week I came into my class to see the students had written on the board: “Mr. Lecy is the Bomb.com” which was pretty funny. Also, I wore my Clemson tie into class on thursday as a sign of my commitment to the university. Some of the students like it, but the ones who didnt let me know!
This week my class took a test on Tuesday so I was able to observe how Mrs. Ecrement handled the kids in realtionship to seating/placement. She arragned the desks in even rows and placed noisy or distracting(relative terms in the 7th grade) on the outskirts of the grid. Thursday, I was able to see the class in an interactive setting through a powerpoint/discussion on the cold war. Its amazing how much these kids know at such a young age!
I learned alot about grading this week. I was able to use the teachers lounge to grade 4 sets of scantrons, while I was their I ran into my 7th grade English teacher who was thrilled to see me. When I got back to the room I used power school to create/link the test on the program then I recorded the test grades. I also had to go back and hand grade the students who filled out their scan trons incorrectly, its now evident why teachers are so particular about this.
After getting to know all of the kids and feeling comfortable in the classroom setting I believe I am ready to lead the class in another lesson. On Tuesday I will be teaching the kids the geography of the cold war. Whether I become a teacher or not the experience I get from being a TC will be valuable in any avenue I take in life. Being a TC requires patience, work ethic, and being wise(again, relative for a senior in high school).
Stories to Share:When I came into the class on Thursday the students were about to begin a discussion. But instead of asking questions about the material they began to ask questions of me! I guess they never really got to have any personal connection with me since I am usually there in a solely academic capacity but it was nice to open up to the students.
This week I got to observe the 7th graders response to my teaching on the subject of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The class was very mature and responsive to my lesson. I incorporated personal photographs from my grandad, a read aloud, and a powerpoint covering key events and statistics from the end of WWII. Overall gave me a feel for how the rest of FE will go and I liked that.
Im learning how to grade paper faster i.e. techniques and shortcuts. In comparison to the first day when I graded only 2 class periods tests in 20 minutes. I am now grading 4 or 5 class periods in the same about of time. Also I am getting refresher courses on WWI and the Cold War just from listening to Miss Ecrement. The Class Standards are very easy to follow and I am already planning my next lesson on the Cuban Missile Crisis
I wish I had more inflection in my voice during my presentation. Granted it was my first opportunity teaching but I feel that I can fully engage the class better than i did during my presentation. Also, the kids personalities are starting to come out and I am able to recognize many of the stereotypes seen in the Teacher Cadet Curriculum.
Stories to Share:
My story this week comes in direct response from a statement miss jackson told us before we headed out into the field “you will have a crush or recieve a love letter before you come back”. Well during class change on Wednesday Mrs. Ecrement had to keep a mob of girls out of the class room trying to come in… She later told me that it was because I was here… So to answer your question, Yes. I have become somewhat of a teen sensation at the Middle School
My field experience is with Mrs. Angie Ecrement. A 7th Grade World History Teacher at Dutch Fork Middle School. Mrs. Ecrement ‘s personality lights up the class. She is assertive while being funny, keeps all of her students on task(which in the 7th grade seems like an impossibility), and likes to engage her students in the learning rather than just lecturing which can be difficult not to do in a history class. Her teaching style, I believe, is one of dynamic adherence to the standards, by that I mean she never strays from the standards but she does so in a way that is fun and specific to each one of her students. When explaining examples or problems her class becomes individual people that she addresses as such and I admire that.
This week I learned all of my students names. In doing so I also picked up some on their personalities and attitudes. My first day Mrs. Ecrement told me that her seating chart was very specific in order to limit distractions. Once the class got into the swing of things I could see why. The personalities in the class were spaced out along the perimeter while the quiet more “on-task” students were placed in the middle. It seems that the class works well this way and it is easy to move around and observe the students which I like. I learned how the class routine works. The students come in take a quiz on what they learned last, work on some sort of DBQ or handout, then go through a Powerpoint made by Mrs. Ecrement. It is simple and effective which I also made me understand the fact that with 7th Graders the simpler the routine is the easier it is for them to stay on task.
On Thursday, Mrs. Ecrement told me that I could teach a lesson on the Cold War. She handed me the “7th Grade Support Document” which was essentially the standards the students had to learn. What was interesting is this outline also contained what the students have learned as well as what the students will learn. At the beginning of each section the Blooms Taxonomy it falls under is listed. It outlined what is essential and non-essential for students to know and has assessment guidelines for you. This step by step walk-through of lessons is a great frame for teaching that I can fill in with fun things I want to teach.
I learned that the students have “Fox Cards” now which is the middle schools form of discipline. If a student violates a rule/code their card gets punched. They only have so many punches before they are required to serve some sort of detention. On Tuesday Mrs. Ecrement suggested that one day I will have the power of the puncher. Hopefully this will not change my kids view of me!
I feel my students learned that they can be comfortable around me. Every time I addressed one of them on Thursday I used their name and they are beginning to use mine as well.
The last lesson we learned in Teacher Cadet can be seen in real world teaching all of the time. In the two days I have been at my school I have dealt with disciple, types of students, Blooms Taxonomy, Standards, and teaching styles. I think that every teaching cadet wont be able to “go by the book”. That lesson was just suggestions on how to handle certain situations but it is the real test of the TC when they have to dynamically apply it to their situations. For instance, I’m teaching Honors 7th Grade World History, many of the styles and techniques we learned will not apply at this level simply because the kids are too old and it would be silly for me to try to apply it this way. So I must make a judgement call on how I can apply my knowledge in the best way possible that will benefit my students.
Stories to Share:
This week the students had to do a project on the laptops in class. The project concerned the Nuremberg laws as well as Roosevelt’s address to America during our emergence into WWII. While they were working, Mrs. Ecrement had me go around and assist the students who had questions. One of the students, Kayla, is a personality. In my opinion, every class needs a bit of spice and attitude in order to keep things interesting and Kayla brings this. Kayla raised her hand and I went to go help her. When I arrived at her desk I ask “Whats going on Kayla?” to which she replied “Oh shoot you know my name!”(this was accompanied with a big smile). This response meant a great deal to me. It showed her that I was not just in the class to aid the teacher and leave every other day. I am there to get to know every single of of the students personally and help them find what they love about history.
Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by Colin McNaughton (ISBN-13: 978-0374356347).
This book was about a ordanary boy who is bored with school and lives a monotonous life. One day a teacher arrives at the school named Mr. Gee. He has planned a creative lesson allow the children to listen to music and shape their thoughts into creative writing specific to him. The young ordinary man becomes enthralled with how interesting the teacher was able to make school. As we move into our field experience it is important for us to remember that we need to make learning interesting and fun! I hope that I may hold the attention of my students like Mr. Gee did as well as Akwami Dawes did in his poetry lecture.
Not doing you blog for 3 weeks results in a decrease in your grade.
Also, I got to apply one of our teaching techniques we learned during our last unit of study during my lesson. Proximity is using you body position as a teacher to inhibit students from causing distractions during the lesson as well as prevent the students from becoming bored out of their minds. During my lesson when my classmates began to talk I moved directly behind them, since most of the class followed me with their eyes the talking students realized what the purpose of this was and proceeded to quit talking. Applying a skill I have learned and seeing it work was pretty cool.
Quote of the Week:
If you see the world in black and white, you’re missing important grey matter. ~Jack Fyock
I chose this quote not because of its double entendre but because it its important that during our field experience that not all of the questions we will as or be asked may have definite answers and to assume so would be a great disservice to ourselves and our students. I want to make sure I have an encompassing perspective no matter the circumstances and that before I make any decisions I fully evaluate each decision for its full “color scheme”.
What ‘Star Wars’ Can Teach Educators About Parent Engagement
Teachers need to take some notes from the star wars movies this article discusses some of the approaches in executing effective parent teacher meetings.
This is called the LEIA approach apply named for the Princess in the Star Wars movies. All of these qualities establish a positive relationship with the parents which will make them want to give you more input and take your suggestions more seriously.
Observations: In getting to see my TC Class’s lesson presentations I have observed how much every single one of us has grown as a person as well as a group. Everyone was poised and confident in presenting their subject to the class. Interruptions were handled well and you could really see our knowledge of teaching principles being applied. I am fully confident that every single teacher cadet in my class will succeed in the field.
Reflections: Teacher Cadet has taught me a lot mainly about how to deal with a variety of different situations classroom and non classroom. I apply these lessons to my daily life in hopes that I will gain some sort of wisdom out of my experiences. I hope that they have prepared me to be the best teacher I can be for my 7th Grade Honors History Class.