Today was another good day. For some reason this week seems to be going better than last week. I don’t feel nearly as tired or stressed. I feel like I’m in a better mood overall. I hope that this continues because, in reality, I am really freaking out about finishing my thesis in time and I don’t want my Student Teaching experience to be negative because of it. I’m just glad that I’m enjoying my time more. Hopefully this keeps up.
Today was another positive day because my cooperating teacher didn’t have lunch duty, giving us an extended lunch period. She doesn’t have lunch duty all week, which is really nice because it gives us a Conference period during the day, something my cooperating teacher doesn’t normally get. During today’s extended lunch period, my cooperating teacher and I were able to lesson plan for next week. I enjoy lesson planning with my cooperating teacher because she’s so organized and on top of things. She has a year-long curriculum already laid out so we can follow along and make changes as necessary. This feels like a much better way to lesson plan than creating lessons on the fly, as I’ve seen in previous placements. My cooperating teacher also already has her objectives and TEKS already printed and ready to be hung on the “Objectives” wall.
I absolutely love her “Objectives” wall and would like to use it in my own classroom because it’s so organized and easy to use. On the wall, my cooperating teacher has placed colored pieces of paper labeled by grades with the title, “Objectives” above them. On the colored pieces of paper, she’s attached plastic sheet protectors so that she can print out her lesson’s objectives and TEKS and slide the paper into the sheet protector. The end result looks clean, polished, and professional and creates an easy-to-read resource for the students. I’ve been struggling to think of a way to effectively relay my objectives and TEKS to my students and keep them posted in the room like it is recommended, and this is an awesome solution!
I’m really glad that my cooperating teacher shares my level of organization. Her room is spotless and completely organized with everything color-coded and labeled, and she knows where everything is. Today, I decided to sort the crayon buckets to make sure all of the buckets had the same crayons (2 reds, 3 yellows, in every bucket, etc.) something I’ve seen my teacher do when she has the time. When she noticed what I was doing she exclaimed, “Oh, yes, organization! Thank you!”
It really shows that you can have an organized art room.
After lesson planning with my cooperating teacher, I decided to use the rest of the extended lunch period to begin a teacher-made example for the next 1st Grade lesson. We decided to do Dinosaur Drawings, a lesson in which the students will draw a dinosaur from reference and color it with crayons, focusing on color blending and using multiple colors. The students will also place the dinosaur in an environment. I began by drawing my favorite dinosaur, the parasaurolophus. I was only able to complete the sketch for today, but I love the way it turned out so far. I’ll have to add the environment tomorrow, something I’m nervous about because I rarely draw scenery.
Today, I taught the 1st and 3rd Grade classes and I feel that I was competent, again. For the 3rd Grade class, I decided to give the students a quick, 2-minute demonstration on how to properly use watercolors. My cooperating teacher and I have been having issues with students trying to dig out the watercolor paint from the tiny trays or using way too much paint with barely any water. Their watercolor paintings have been coming out really dark and over-saturated as a result. I took a moment to explain that watercolor should use a lot of water and barely any paint. I then showed how the students could blend colors when the paper was wet and keep colors separate when the paper was dry. The students seemed impressed and amazed. When I felt like they understood how to use the paints, I set them off to work.
I was incredibly pleased to find that this group of 3rd Graders were doing much better than the previous groups. This time, I didn’t see any students trying to dig the paint out of the trays. There were few students using way too much paint and not enough water and I saw several students experimenting and mixing colors! Many students were adding several colors to their flowers and wetting the paper to allow the colors to bleed and blend. My cooperating teacher and I were so excited by this success.
This goes to show that demonstrations can do wonders for the students, even if it’s just 2 minutes!
I’m excited to see what else the students can accomplish with the help of demonstrations.