Since our unit is food, I thought we should do something more hands-on, so we made faces out of fruit! The children had so much fun with their creativity and deciding which fruits for each part of their faces – some students added hands and legs or hats. They fed off each other for ideas, which I really liked 🙂 During centers, I called about five children over at a time so the group stayed small. The most exciting part for them was eating their faces 😮 One girl even told her mom the order of the steps (make the face, take a picture, eat it). I am glad at the success of the activity and strive to come up with more that are just as engaging!
“We do not believe that the basics are reading, writing, and arithmetic…the basics are courage, confidence, and life skills because with these, children have fertile ground on which to plant the seeds of academics and to live successfully in the world” (Nelsen, Lott, & Glenn).This quote comes from the “Positive Discipline in the Classroom” book that I ordered. I think it is important for teachers to realize that there are other skills involved in school and success in life, than just the academic content. Today, I incorporated activity stations into my math lesson on subtracting mixed numbers. They included a WAR card game, bingo game, and board game. The students had a lot of fun and were excited to play each game – when I rotated, they didn’t want to stop! My CT liked the activities so much that she wanted them for her file and to send to her team teachers 🙂The students gained confidence in these games because they were practicing the skills in a calmer environment. When I was leading bingo, I made sure to give everyone enough time to solve the problems, picked easy/hard problems depending on the group, and helped the struggling students. They learned some life skills subconsciously of working in a group and waiting for others to catch up or not be stressed by peers finishing before you. It is important for children not to be struck on the head with the content knowledge, but for them to discover how to do it and have fun learning. Many of the graduate students were discussing how tough it is to come in to someone else’s classroom and start altering the teaching style – Don’t get me wrong, my CT is great! But the way she does math is very worksheet-oriented and I am strongly interested in hands-on math learning. We are all excited to full-time teach in the Spring because your CT then encourages you to be your own and practice your techniques. It is really the term where you try things out and become a better teacher for the first year.