Looking forward to the weekend…

(First of all, I apologize for commending you to have Rebecca Black’s “Friday” stuck in your head for the rest of the day.   I can’t help it, I’m just really looking forward to the weekend!)

I had a crazy-busy day at school today!  Usually, a large portion of my time is spent just “helping out” in the class by answering questions and correcting handwriting books, math worksheets, and writing pages (which I still did a lot of!) but today, I got even more out of my day than usual.

When students were just coming in, I read with a struggling reader at her desk, just for some extra practice and to motivate her with my undying enthusiasm for reading.

Then, I was lucky enough to sit in on the one-on-one Reading Support program.  This helps give extra support English Language Learners with their reading and writing.  Here’s the basic breakdown of a 30-minute session:

  • Child reads a book they are familiar with out loud

As the child read, the teacher scores on the running record.  After they have finished, they go back through the text to review their mistakes.

  • Write two sentences about whatever the student likes!

They go write it together, though giving the student as much independent as possible.  The teacher will stops them as they make mistakes, though.

  • Pre-Read a new book

It is good to use classic tales like “Little Red Riding Hood” because if the story if familiar, repetitious, and predictable, it helps with their comprehension.  But even if the story is familiar, they preread the book to bring any background knowledge to the surface.  Also, they might scan for new words (such as “acorn”) that the child may want to work out first to save time while reading.

  • Child reads it aloud!

While reading, the teacher would not interrupt to make corrections until the end of the page.  However, she would insist the child reread a sentence or paragraph correctly before moving on!  Also at the end of each page, they would talk about the story to continually work towards comprehension.

The support teacher also highlighted some fascinating language barriers (many of the students are English Lanugage Learners).

  • Unfamiliar with what “once upon a time” means.
  • No plurals, past tenses, or pronouns (the English language is littered them!)
  • Confuse the end of a line with the end of a sentence, so they will often put periods full-stops at the end of each line.
  • Reading aloud is beneficial because it helps reinforce their speaking skills as well!

I liked how, in general, whenever the child would make a mistake, the teacher explained exactly why it is wrong and THEN explains what it should be. This helps them to truly understand the correct way, which helps them not to make the same mistakes in the future.

One of the most important parts of the program is that they must take the book home and practice!

I also interviewed my mentor teacher about her classroom management techniques for a paper I am writing.  She has a very whimsical approach geared toward love, flexibility, and positivity.

Class Treaty

I usually only work with one reading group (using my mentor’s plans), but this week I worked with TWO!!!  First I introduce the book and retrieve some background knowledge on the topic.  Then, we chorally read it together.  Right after, we do some comprehension questions/chatting.  Next, we do some “word work” for the new words by going over definitions or spelling.  Then, we do an activity, usually involving writing a response sentence and drawing a picture.  The plans were too easy for both of my groups, so I kept adapting it to make it more challenging.  I hope my teacher doesn’t mind. 😉

I got to read aloud to the children more than usual today (which I love to do, and they seem to love even more!)  In the morning, I read them two new Shel Silverstein poems:

One about how anything is possible, the other about what life would be like if you were one inch tall (culture fail: I forgot that they wouldn’t know what one inch was!  It was fun to teach them that it’s “half your thumb!”).   My class has been doing dance during PE for the past few weeks, so I read them Shel Silverstein’s “Dancing Pants” last week.  They decided that they wanted to perform it at assembly in a few weeks!  So, I copied it onto a big poster and we practiced reading through it.  I did call and response with them, line-by-line, and the funny thing is, they were repeating lines in American accents!  The funnier thing is, I didn’t even notice!  We also discussed as a class how we will visually present the poem.  Maybe decorating their own pairs of pants….

After lunch, I read Skippyjon Jones: In the Dog-House, during which they laughed like maniacs.

For UVM, I have a project where I need to interview two students to learn how they solve problems in math.  First I asked to do some counting, then I ask them two addition/subtraction word problems (about lollies, duh!)

After they got the answer, I would ask them how they worked out the answer.  I wanted to get the perspective from one developing student and one accelerated student (to compare/contrast), but the both seemed pretty accelerated to me!  I got to see some excellent “counting on” and “counting by twos to save time”.  I also saw some interesting addition by rounding down to the nearest five, then adding the leftovers.  Seemed pretty complicated to me!

When a group of students was finished with their math worksheet, their math teacher asked me to introduce 3D geometry to them with a worksheet.  I was struggling to explain it without props!  They did catch on though, but I wished I had something to work with other than just my words.

This weekend, I am headed to Waitomo Caves!  Here are some of the things I’m so excited for.

  • Sleep at my first hostel
  • Watch farmers shear Angora rabbits
  • Take many hikes and walks to lookouts and through limestone caves
  • Eat “Caveman” pizza, rewana bread, and urenika potatoes (whatever those are)
  • Go on a Night Abseil: repell down a cave with “galaxies” of glowworms!
  • Go to a caving museum
  • Maybe see a real Kiwi bird

Internet will be sparse since I’ll be in the boondocks, but I will blog as soon as possible!

What are you looking forward to this weekend?



Filed under Life, New Zealand, Student Teaching

5 responses to “Looking forward to the weekend…

  1. Dominique

    that trip sounds so fun! i wish i could go too! the things i would be most excited about are watching farmers shear angora rabbits (YOU KNOW I AM OBSESSED WITH THEM, IF YOU STEAL SOME OF THE ANGORA I WILL SPIN IT AND KNIT WITH IT FOR YOU), and the night abseil!!!! take lots of pictures!

  2. oooohh fun! I am looking forward to being with my hubby a little more this weekend, plus a fun dinner on Sunday!
    p.s. check this out, I gave you a blogger award, b/c I think you’re great!! http://www.enjoyyourhealthylife.com/2011/04/07/award-winning-thankful-thursday/
    enjoy 🙂

  3. Dani

    that sounds like an epic day of teaching! we need people like you who bring excitement to reading. ANNNND sound like you were reading great books–I mean could class get better then Shell and Skippy…? I think not. 🙂
    Looks like you are learning a lot and developing your philosophy. I am really excited for you!
    I am PUMPED for your weekend too, holy cow that sounds like fun! Can’t wait to hear what comes of it! ❤
    This weekend I am looking forward to JAMMN—I will be taking some pics for you, no worries!

  4. Pingback: My last day of school…Bluebird Vegetarian Cafe |

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