Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Playing "Catch Up"

I found a pretty good social network. I think I will use this one because with in the network it has networks specific to levels or subject teaching. Check it out.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I do not know where the time went, I was really far ahead in this class, and not I am behind. I do not like that. I am having a hard time reading the assignments, it is tough having a comprehension learning difference and having to read from the internet. I do not regularly read from the internet, and this is probably why. I am behind, but I will catch up.

An analogy of a learner...I thought a lot about this, and thought about animals, sports, material, building supplies but I came up with this, and I don't think my final analogy is because I am a bit hungry. I believe a learner is like raw ingredients in a cupboard. A cupboard full of boxes, jars and cans of ingredients is nothing more than simple ingredients, maybe good alone, but almost always better when mixed with something else. A learner is like those simple ingredients, may be a good person, with a little to offer, but seldom will a rich, memorable taste come from such a simple ingredient. With every ingredient added, so is new information added; flavor will be improved and knowledge will be made long lasting and valuable. A learner is a simple ingredient until additional ingredients are added to improve the final outcome. Learners these days need to know so much more because, they will most likely have many jobs. The learners of today will not, unlike their grandparents, work for the same company until retirement. I think I am a great example of this, I have worked in accounting for 10 years, then moved to HR for the next 5, now I am in a program to become a teacher. This observation was listed in George Siemens' article, Connectivism, when discussing the new and changing trends in learning.

When I think of connectivism for some readon I think about when I was younger and connecting with other students by way of "pen pals" This was a great way to connect learners with other learners across the world, then came 'Flat Stanley' who travelled the world and returned to the classroom after months of travel and the students would then study the places 'Stanley' visited.

The technology now allows the networking to direct the learning. Students can now have real experiences to learn, where these options were just not possible before. Students can also communicate with students who speak other languages but get the conversation in a language he or she understands.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The little Indians are getting ready...

Does anyone have good lesson plan idea to go along with making totem poles for second grade? I need to have one and I have basic stuff and no real fun ideas except for making the totem poles.

On a totally unrelated note, I have almost fully paid for my 2010 season tickets to the Seawolves. I love the summer, and the boys that go along with summer!

I am feeling overwhelmed with my geography class. There is really too much reading and not enough teaching. I have 'read' about 7 chapters and could not give you an intelligent summary of anything. The words he wants us to know, are very unclear, (not the words, the definitions) and he really doesn't explain them. I hope I can get through the test with my prior knowledge of geography.

Greetings until next time~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another day

Well, I made it through the Praxis 2 exam...just barely, it was much more difficult than I expected. I did prepare for it and took the pretests, thankfully Mercyhurst did a great job preparing me for the exam, but it was still tough. PIPing continues to go well and I taught my first small group lesson on Monday. I had quite an incident on Monday though, I was shocked that it happened, but really impressed with how my co-op teacher handled it. I hope everyone has a great St. Patrick's day! More updates from my next day in the classroom.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

Have you ever been in a situation where you just felt like you were exactly where you were supposed to be? This feeling happened to me yesterday. My cooperating teacher asked me to do an activity with the class. I made a "Me-o-Saurus", a dinosaur with my picture for the face. The dinosaur showed a little about me, and it was fun to draw and color, and I think I did a pretty good job. I got up in front of the class and teh feeling hit me...I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I loved it, it felt very natural. Eventhough I have taught religious education for 16 years, it is not the same. I enjoyed teaching RE, and took that very seriously; I never got the feeling that I had yesterday when I was in front of the second graders at J. Connell School. The children had a great time creating the 'Me-o-Saurus" and we created a great wall display of the creatures.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 2 reflection

I am simply loving being in the classroom. I never had any doubts that I would love it, but now I know for sure, I love it. There is no place I would rather be. I still have not taught a lesson, but my co-op teacher is very structured and organized, I think she trusts me, but seems to like things a certain way (who doesn't?) I don't' blame her, I will probably be the same way. She is expecting me to teach the science lessons which we will start soon, maybe the week before Easter. I am just a little nervous about getting all my lessons done in time. I do have two activities planned, but no lesson plan will accompany these.
We are learning about dinosaurs and tomorrow will be creating a "Me-osaurus" I had fun creating my dinosaur. I had so much fun in fact, I created two. One looked somewhat like a dinosaur, and the other looked like a monster from Where the Wild Things Are, or at least that is what my co-op said. I wasn't going for that look, but after looking at it, I see her point. I can't wait until tomorrow when I get to help the children create their own "Me-osaurus".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday March 6, 2010

Today is a new day, I feel better today than I did yesterday, but I really don't feel like talking. Sandy is being an affection seeking cat today, I will spend time with her.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reflection of day 1

There were no words to describe my first day PIPing. My friend met me in the parking lot with words of sympathy for my dad, which set me into tears. I don't know how people go on so quickly after the loss of someone so close.

My cooperating teacher was terrific, she has been teaching for several years and has such a grip on her classroom, I know I learn a great deal from her. She teaches a spirited bunch of second graders in an honors program. I watched her teach every subject, and never miss a beat with them. Even though some of the children were chatty and appeared to be off task, when she pulled them together, they knew what was going on and actually were following along. This will probably be the most difficult for me. I am afraid, if they are not listening, they are not paying attention. I see now, this is not necessarily the case.

We discussed what lessons I will be teaching, she expressed an interest in having me teach science and math lessons. I am excited about this, I love the idea of teaching math, I think this will be my favorite subject to teach. I was never strong in science and proved through my college years that I am still not strong in science, but I will do my best to help these second graders. My first lesson will be on March 17 and it will be an activity lesson related to the holiday of St. Patrick's Day. I have looked on line for ideas and have not found anything that really strikes me as a terrific lesson, but perseverance will prevail, and help me present a terrific lesson.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

3 ways to utilize BLOGS

I love the idea of the Internet in the classroom. Even though I hope to teach in an under-privileged district, I am hopeful that I will be able to incorporate Internet usage and provide opportunities that may not otherwise be available to students.

I have thought about three ways that blogging would be useful in the classroom; I came up with these ideas: as a communication for book reviews; as a communication for students working on group projects; and as a homework guide.

If students are reading a book they could carry on conversations about the book as they read, so when assessment comes up the children will have thought out questions or possibly answered another student's questions. The teacher will be able to see who is participating and who is not, therefore will know who is doing the reading and who is not.

Students working on group projects could communicate easily with other group members and the teacher could follow who is working and how the project is going.

The teacher could place the homework assignments on the blog, or long term assignments on the blog which will allow students, as well as the parents to have a written record of the assignments and due dates. In addition to this the students could have an after hours homework help, from another student or the teacher if online, and the teacher would have a record of the questions that are being asked. These are just a few of my ideas.

End of Winter Term

The term was heading to a close and I was preparing to take finals and finish papers. Then I was hit with the hardest news of my life. The doctor gave my dad days to live. This set my world into a tailspin. I could not see straight, or hold an intelligent thought in my head, let alone study, or prepare a well thought out essay.

The doctor gave my dad days to live. I got the news on February 4. He has been living with my mom in a skilled nursing facility, mostly for her. My dad and I were very close. He was a large animal veterinarian for 50 years. He then retired and took on a small animal clinic until he was physically unable to handle the required continuing education. He moved in with me and my family, until he got sick and was unable to stay with me anymore. Within six months after he moved out of my home, he made his final move to heaven.

I still cry in the middle of the day for no apparent reason. It has been three weeks since he left, friends say it gets easier, I'm waiting for that to happen. If you have lost a parent, please accept my sincerest sympathy.