Over the break, I had time to ponder about the fifth graders that I will be part-time teaching next term. I was very nervous to begin with, but knew it was a grade that I could potentially end up teaching in the future – it is important to have a wide range in elementary education. Throughout my undergraduate years, I observed and assisted in first and second grade classes, so I wanted to try the other end of the grades. I was worried about the upper elementary students because I seem to connect quicker with the very young children. However, after catching up with a retired teacher whose classroom I helped in, I started to see the benefits of teaching older students. They can be challenged with ideas, have deeper conversations, and switch from educator to educator with respectful behavior. These reasons will make the second subject that I teach into a very fun experience since I can choose Science to teach inquiry-based lessons or History to breakdown what they already know, among many others. You can try styles like these with younger grades as well, but it may take more explanation and modeling of the concepts.
During the meeting with my CT, I discovered that her class has been working on multiplication and division tables. I started looking for fun lessons to inspire me since I will be taking over math for half the quarter and don’t want to simply use the curriculum handbook. I did some exploring on “TeachersPayTeachers” and found a very fun-looking multiplication game. It involves die, gameboard, and partners. There are certain numbers on the board and if you roll two numbers that multiply to one of them, you get a point. I think it will help students learn the facts and practice the ones they already know with a more exciting twist than just worksheets. Finding this lesson helped calm me because I can envision myself teaching the class how to play and assessing them throughout the game.
I am almost finished with my first week in the fifth grade classroom, and I LOVE IT! My teacher and her team have very innovative ideas for writing, history, science, and health. I was excited to hear that my CT implements Lucy Calkins’ writing curriculum into her units because this was the textbook for my writing class last term. It is very interesting seeing what we read/talked about in actual use – my excitement and passion to start part-time teaching is flourishing! Picking a second subject is becoming a challenge because I want and imagine myself teaching all the subjects 🙂 It takes a lot of pride in the practicum student to let them take over teaching your students – I guess she believes that the risk is worth it for me to gain experience for how to teach. I’m glad that my CT is encouraging and helpful with co-teaching and ultimately having me teach some of her subjects.
I’ve decided to take on the #blogaday because I’ve been coming up with TONS of ideas for posts since last night :p Can’t wait to post more daily about my field placement, graduate school, or reflections! 365 days, 1 DOWN 🙂