Today was another day in which it was difficult to wake up in the morning. Because I had a Student Teaching Seminar meeting yesterday, as soon as I finished my Student Teaching for the day, I ate dinner, picked up some prescription medication, cashed a check, wrote my Student Teaching Reflection for the day, and attended the meeting. The meeting let out around 8:00pm or so and I didn’t get home until about 9:00pm because I live out of town and stopped for gas and food. (I hate having to eat every four hours because of my blood sugar.) As soon as I got home, I ate and went to bed. This morning as I was walking into the school, I felt as if I hadn’t gone home yet.
It felt like I was just at the school!
Today was another fairly easy day because of the S.T.A.A.R. Testing. Because it was a testing day, my cooperating teacher and I did not have lunch duty which gave us an extended lunch period. My cooperating teacher also still had the room set up in the modified arrangement to remind students that it was a testing day and that they needed to be more quiet than usual. Our schedule was also slightly altered, as Kindergarten and 5th Grade were switched, so we had Kindergarten in the morning and 5th Grade in the afternoon after they had finished testing. Another result of the testing was the fact that we had more students in our Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade classes. Because the librarian was hosting tests, the classes that were supposed to have Library as their Specials Day were split up into thirds, one third going to Gym, one third going to Music, and another third coming to Art. This meant that we had several students from another class mixed in with our classes. My cooperating teacher quickly found out that we didn’t have enough seats for all of the students, so she asked the excess students to sit on the carpet. She decided to give them an alternate assignment today, since they weren’t really supposed to have Art today and they would have it another day this week anyway. She didn’t want a select group of students to get ahead of schedule and since we didn’t have seats for them anyway, it all worked out all right. These students were given coloring sheets, or grids to create patterns on. S.T.A.A.R.
Testing can really alter a teacher’s schedule, and ours wasn’t even changed that much!
Today, our kindergarten students were more successful with their sunset images. I tried to help the students on a more one-on-one basis by showing them how they could blend colors to create the sunset and how they needed to color a majority of the page, not just a sliver at the very top. I feel that after seeing a demonstration, they were more successful. This keeps reinforcing my idea that the students would benefit from seeing demonstrations in class before or while they are working. My cooperating teacher normally spends about 5-10 minutes at the beginning of every class showing the historical reference and possibly showing a teacher-made example and then lets the students work the rest of the class period. Because the students work so quickly and my teacher and I spend a lot of time trying to explain concepts to the students or fix their errors, I feel that another 5-10 minutes of demonstration could really help them be more successful.
Because we had an extended lunch period today, I was able to create a teacher-made example for the 1st Grade project. My cooperating teacher had an image that was almost the same project as the one they were working on and was almost finished, so I thought that it would benefit the students to see a completed example of the actual assignment. The students are making landscapes with a single tree using torn tissue paper. My teacher’s example showed an apple tree in a lush, green field with a setting sun, so I decided to create a cherry blossom tree in front of a rising sun to give the students variety. I was also interested in creating an uncommon tree as I’ve become bored with all of the green apple trees I’ve been seeing while Student Teaching. I really think that my piece came together quite well, especially with the unified color scheme. I’ll have to see how it aids the students tomorrow.