Makenna S.

January 7th – January 14th (8.25 hours) –  At my site, I get to work with the second grade team every day I am there. They have their planning period during the time that I am there. I feel like a part of the team now, I have gotten to know them and they have gotten to know me. I do tasks for all of them and help in anyway I can. They have been really welcoming of me and I am so happy that they are the team that I have gotten to work with. They also give me pointers and tips on things that I can work on and improve on and how to make those adjustments, they have been really helpful in learning about all the parts of teaching.

I have been strengthening my leadership skills. My mentor will let me take over some of her tasks such as getting them started on an assignment, taking them to specials or other places on campus, switching their weekly jobs, etc. By doing this I am working on being a leader and how to handle such situations. My mentor has done a good job of showing me the way she does things or handles situatios and then lets me do it. She has done a great job of helping me to understand and pick up on the way she does things to develop those habitual leadership skills.

Strengthening my leadership skills has already helped me in my high school life. I can use those skills to adapt to a high school environment in my classes my extra-curricular activities. I can also adapt these skills to a college level and use them when working on my degree. I will strengthen those skills even more in college and will be able to use those throughout my career. Leadership skills will always be important, especially in a classroom environment whether it be student to student(s) or in my career when I am a teacher. I can always go back to those skills and tactics to use to the best of my ability whenever I need to.

Since returning from break, my mentor has been working on our class transitions. Transitions are the classroom procedures for moving from one thing to another. Whether it be the morning transition from unpacking and getting ready for the day to starting bellwork. Or coming in from specials or recess and getting back into the classroom environment and being ready to learn. Some things that teachers use are the 5-4-3-2-1 method, giving them that countdown to get on track and ready to go, or different hand signals that students are familiar with such as a hand raise or claps. My mentor also does class points as a reward for smooth transitions that can lead to something fun as a positive consequence.

January 15th – January 28th (11 hours) –  The last 2 weeks I have been keeping up with what I’m responsible for in the classroom. I also have been working with the students on their assignments. I have been learning and developing my one on one skills with helping them to understand what we are doing as a class. It has helped me to learn how to communicate with them while helping them to show me that they are understanding what they need to be. I have been learning the proper ways to guide them to the correct answer and having them tell me how they came to that answer. This is an important skill because I need to have strong communications with the students when it comes to getting help from me.

The teachers have been talking about their upcoming formal observations and what they are going to be teaching during them. A formal observation is when the principal comes into their classroom and observes their teaching to make sure that they are doing what they need to be doing in the classroom. Each teacher has a “pre meeting”, then they have their observation and then their “post meeting.”

January 29th – February 11th (8.25 hours) – My mentor had to leave while I was there, to pick up her son from school because he was sick. Before she left she told me what she wanted me to do and have the class do. Because I am not certified I cannot be left in charge of the class by myself so one of the parapros came in and helped me out. I took them to specials and was in charge of picking them up after and getting them started on their vocab. I was told to write their words and the definitions on the board while they were at specials so they could get started on them when they got back. After I picked them up from their specials and got them in the room, the para pro that was in there with me told me that she was impressed that I was able to have them come in so quietly and get them started so easily. This was a meaningful experience for me because I was able to take over and was complimented on my ability to do so.

My SMART goal is to go through understand what goes into a formal obervation and the steps to it. I chose this goal because observations are a big part of beiing a teacher and one of the more stressful elements of it. My mentor and I thought that it would be a beneficial goal for me so that I learn early on what will be expected of me and how my mentor does it. To complete my goal I have reviewed with my mentor of what she is expected to do. She needed to fill out a form with questions on it about her classroom, how she runs her class, techniques she uses to get their attention, how tansitions work, classroom expectations, etc. Then she will go to a pre observation meeting with the observer, usually the principal, where they will discuss what the procedures will be, what she will be doing and they will go over the responses she had. Then on observation day, the principal will come into her room and observe how the class is working, take notes on what is going on in the room, etc. After the observation, they will have another meeting, the post meeting. In this they will just discuss the same things as well as what went well and what could be improved. For this goal, I haven’t had anything that was difficult for me, it has just been a lot of sitting with my mentor and discussing what happens during an observation. She has done a good job of showing me the steps and thoroughly explaining it to me. She always asks me if I have any questions about it, she shows me all the different physical elements she has of it. The things she doesn’t actually have copies of, she explains to me and why they do it. The whole process and everything that goes into it was surprising to me because of all the steps and expectations. There are so many steps, meetings and things that they need to meet to do well in the observations. It has been a really good learning experience for me to see and take away from, I have learned a lot of expectations and things that I will need to do in the future. It has been cool to see the ins and outs and how the different teachers approach it. As well as figuring out what to do, what not to do, things I like or don’t like and just overall seeing how I want to approach it. This isn’t something that I need to be prepared for immediately, not something that I need to put into use now, but I will need to when I become a teacher. I know I will have 2 formal observations a school year, so these things I am learning now are going to benefit me then. I have been strengthening my communication skills by talking to and asking questions with my mentor, as well as other teachers on the team, about their plans and things that they are doing with their evaluations.

“Teacher Proximity” is how close a teacher is to their students. It is a classroom skill that teachers use during instructional time, dealing with classroom management, individual student engagement in the lesson, and monitoring of the students during learning. I have been learning the meaning of this term throughout my internship but recently learned the term for it.

February 12th – February 25th (5.5 hours) – Today I observed my mentor helping a student 1 on 1 with their work. It was a good learning experience for me because I was able to see how she was able to push him to the correct answer without just giving it to him. It was helpful for me to see because I was able to learn some of the kind of questions that push students to think about how they can get to the right answer on their own. Her patience and the way that she was helping him was beneficial for me to see and is a strategy I am going to be able to take and use in the future both in this program and my career.

This week my mentor explained to me different class reading strategies. One in particular was close reading. Close reading works for both individual and class reading as well. It is a technique where the class will read the same story for extended amount of time- the reading for the week. First day will focus specifically on reading and understanding the gist of the story, then they will go back to it and annotate, then they will go back and highlight, circle, underline, writing in the margins to understand parts of the paragraph and prove opinions about it.

February 26th – March 11th (8.25 hours) –  I got to help the students with the annual egg drop prototypes. Every year the students have a science project they get to do in groups in each of the classes. They have to make a structure to protect an egg when it gets tossed off the roof of the gym. I got to go around my class to the different groups and see what their ideas were and how they were going to transform their ideas on paper into a real thing. It was a really cool experience because some groups had similar ideas but also very different ideas. Obviously some worked better than others, but I had a lot of fun learning from them and seeing their wheels turning as they explained their prototypes to me. Seeing how creative they are and seeing the ideas that I would never have thought of was so cool because some worked a lot better than I thought they would or better than any idea I would have come up with.

My second SMART Goal is to work on being more authoritative in the classroom, not just fun, and working on specific tactics to achieve this goal. I have been more lenient and not as “strict” with the students as I should be when it comes to certain things, like student behavior in the classroom. While this goal is not something that I can learn in a semester it is certainly a skill that I need to strengthen. This goal is one that I am going to be working on throughout college practicums, student teaching and even when I become a teacher. However my mentor has done a good job of pushing me and reminding me when I need to be more authoritative with the students or when I need to give them warnings and or have them clip down (on a positive/negative consequence clip chart that is used in all the classrooms). Working on improving on this has been difficult for me because I am quiet and soft spoken, so sometimes classroom control is not easy for me. My mentor has an overall good class but they have their moments just like every class will and it is learning how to get them back on track and overall classroom management that I have been improving my skills on. On Fridays my mentor has me do the spelling tests, she lets me have full control of the class and it has been so beneficial for me to learn how to manage a class of students. Since I have been doing this, my authoritative skills have improved since the beginning of the year. I think that since working on showing the students that I should be treated with the same respect they have for all the other teachers on campus, it has worked in my favor. They know that I am a “teacher” and adult figure in that room and that they need to listen to instruction from me in the same way they would Mrs.Gillespie or any other teacher. At the same time I am also their friend, I have a good relationship with each of the kids in the class. We like to have fun and goof around but they also know that we need to be serious and get work done as well. I think that throughout the year building my relationships with each of the students has also helped me to achieve my goal because they know my boundaries and when it is time to focus and when it is time to have fun. Learning classroom management and authority has been a goal of mine this whole year and I think that I continue to learn and improve everytime I am in the classroom. It is a skill that I am going to need for the rest of my teaching career, it is not one that can ever be truly completed because every teacher is always learning new techniques and adapting to what is going to work for each class they are going to have.

My mentor has explained a few different class reading techniques to me, guided reading was one of them. Guilded reading is like it sounds, the teacher will choose a text and guide the students through it. Before even having the students read the text, the teacher will introduce any vocab in the text that the students may not know as well as the story structure. Then the teacher will either read the text aloud to the class or have them read it in partners or groups. Then the teacher will select a teaching focus to explore the meaning of the text.

March 12th – March 25th (2.75 hours) –  Because we were on spring break I was only able to go in one time. I went in after break and got to see all their smiling faces again. I observed the start of the new quarter talk my mentor had with the kids. I also observed the ELA lecture and notes, and helped students with what they were supposed to be doing and kept them on track.

Retention is when a student gets held back to do another year in the same grade. This is a topic that teachers are talking about right now as they are trying to see and make sure that their students are ready to advance to the next grade level. The students who are not ready to move on yet could be considered for retention.

March 26th – April 8th (11 hours) –  The past two Mondays that I was on site, there was a substitue teacher in for my mentor. I got to watch their procedures for running the class while also helping them out in any way I could. It was interesting to see the different things that they would do in class that I am not used to seeing, because every teacher is different. My mentor also left me things to get done for her while she was out. Most of them were things that I am responsible for when she is there as well but there were some prep things that she needed done while I was there as well.

This internship has taught me that I love the attmosphere that teaching has. The bonds with the team, students and paras. I love having an individual relationship with each of the students in the class and my mentor. My mentor and I have gotten really close this year and she has taught me so much about what teaching is really like. The internship has also taught me that I have a lot of patience. That is a crucial skill to have when working with kids. I have always been told that I am patient but I have really seen it in myself throughout this experience.

1. Be prepared! Show up to your internship on time everyday you go in, have everythings with you that you need.
2. Give your mentor plenty of time and notice about things you need from them. SEP and your internship will require things from them as well and they are busy just like you so give them more time than needed.
3. Have a good spirit every time you go in. It is important to have a ready to learn and ready to help with anything that they need, attitude.

Guided practice is common vocab in school. Guided practice is what happens after the introduction of an objective. After the keynote is given, the teacher will go through guided practice to help students further learn before they need to be able to do it on their own.

April 9th – April 22nd (15.25 hours) –  On April 16, I was able to stay at my internship site for the whole school day. I got to observe parts of the day that I haven’t gotten to since the beginning of the school year. On a typical day I am only there for specials/plan time and reading, so by staying there all day I got to see all subjects, all the lessons and centers that were planned for that day. This was a meaningful experience for me because its not something that I get to do very often and it was a lot of fun to get to spend the whole day with the class, my mentor and the team.

Lesson plans are exactly as they sound. They are the layout for what will be taught for the week. It contains the objectives, activities and or assessments for each day of a specific week.

July 20th – August 13th (41.75 hours) – I have been at Senita Valley in Mrs. Gillespie’s class for about 5 weeks now. I have been involved in so much since being there. One memorable experience was going around the room and helping students with their assignments. I sat down with a struggling student and helped him through it by explaining it from a different perspective. I saw him begin to really understand it and it was a great feeling to know that I helped a student to learn. I also get to help the students struggling with their reading and help them to learn new words and reading skills.

I want to learn professional communication skills from Mrs. Wahl. How to talk with employers, co-workers and parents of students in my case. How the interactions should go, what to do in those professional situations. I want to learn classroom management skills from my mentor. I have been enjoying watching her run her classroom and how she handles all the different situations. I want to learn the skills to keep a classroom under control and keeping students on task.

As a student I have learned that I am good with time management. My mentor will give me tasks such as grading homework or tests to preparing assignments for upcoming objectives. I am good about getting them done in a very timely manner. As a professional I have learned that I am better at talking to new people/co-workers than I thought I’d be. I have spoken with many teachers and staff members on campus, including the principal and vice principal on multiple occasions. I tend to be shy around new people but I am proud of myself for branching out to them and am excited to continue to meet new people.

August 14th – August 27th (13.75 hours) – I got to teach a lesson about open and closed syllables to the class. I went over practice with cutting syllables and determining the difference between open syllables or closed. I did practice with them on the white boards and did most of it as a class. I got a lot of participation from the students and it was great to see them understanding what I was teaching. I helped the kids who were struggling and did practice until I could see that they all understood. It was an awesome experience and I’m excited to get to keep teaching topics to them as I continue my internship.

August 28th – September 10th (8.25 hours) – Working one on one with the students. These past two weeks have been benchmark review weeks and benchmarks so there wasn’t any new objectives for me to help with. However I was able to clarify topics and any questions the kids had on the topics. It was a slower week in the classroom so I did a lot of prep work for upcoming projects for the second grade team.

The appropriate behavior at my site is to be polite and courteous with co workers, students and parents. In the classroom, I need to keep quiet when I am observing. I also need to use the appropriate tone for whatever I am addressing the class about. I follow the same classroom expectations as everyone else. When I am working with coworkers, especially the team of teachers I am with, we talk like we are friends because I am comfortable being around them.

Yes, this is a natural fit for my personality. I tend to be a more quiet person anyway and have a lot of respect for my superiors. I like to think that I have a good professional manner when I am with them. I am working on annunciation and speaking louder when I need to address the class, being a soft spoken person, that is an important thing for me to work on.

I come across new words often, the teachers have a lot of terms for tests, special help assessments, learning programs, student understanding, etc. One term specifically was the terms high and low learners. I heard it when we were going over test scores from the previous year to decide what they need to review before starting new objectives. High learners got higher than average scores and are advanced and/or on track for second grade. Where as low learners got lower than average scores and need more instruction help on a concept before advancing to the next objective.

September 11th – September 24th (8.25 hours) – The past two weeks I have been observing classroom procedures and the teaching styles of my mentor. I have been helping students with their work and answering any questions that they have about the objectives. I have been able to start with instruction in preparing to help with the teaching more in the coming quarter of the school year. I have been given the responsibility of the weekly spelling tests. I administer the test and grade them when they are done. My mentor has stepped back when it comes to that aspect and I have taken over that particular portion of the testing on Fridays.

Since I am in the field of education, I have been exposed to the terminology throughout my years of being a student. Most of the terms that I am not familiar with are acronyms for different standardized testing or school offered programs and assistance for their students. The acronyms are later explained to me however they all have that common thread and I don’t come across them very often.

September 25th – October 8th (0 hours) – Vail schools had fall break so I have not shadowed in two weeks.

In person communication is most used at my site. I talk to the other teachers, admin and students face to face. It is the most appropriate because it is the quickest and most effective way to share information especially with the other teachers. We also use emails and my mentor and I will text back and forth but face to face is the most effective.

I am comfortable with all forms of communication and deciding what type is the best for what situation. I use in person communication the most with my mentor and the rest of the teachers on my team. I am also comfortable with sending emails and making phone calls if need be. Whenever I need to send an email I will make sure that it has all the contents needed and that it has no errors. When making phone calls I make sure that I have all the information needed from my mentor before making the call.

I have not learned any new terms due to not being there over fall break.

October 9th – October 22nd (8.25 hours) – I have obtained weekly responsiblilities in my time at my site. My typical visit days are Mondays and Fridays. On Mondays I write the spelling words for the week on the board and any other information my mentor wants me to, and I set up the students’ jobs for the week. On Fridays I get to run our spelling game, then get them set up for the spelling test, give and grade the spellings tests as well. This is a cool experience for me because my mentor will step back during this and let me take over as the teacher and treat it as my own.

Being at an elementary school and working with teachers, I am not introduced to new vocabulary very often. I have not learned any newer terms these past 2 weeks.

October 23rd – November 5th (11 hours) – These past two weeks have been pretty typical. I do my weekly responsibilities, on the days that they need to be done. One meaningful experience was working one on one with our new student, I was helping her with her vocab for the week. I showed her how we set it up, where to find all the resources she needed. I also helped any other struggling students who were needing more one on one attention. This is meaningful to me because it is helping me to build relationships with the students and connect with them to help get them on the right track.

I interact with coworkers every day that I’m at my site. During my time there I am there for their planning time. The team treats me just like any other member of the team. Today I had a converstation with a 2 of the teachers on the team about the upcoming events and current planning. They were showing me their newsletters and how they do them. They were showing me their plans for their upcoming observations, what they are doing, their expectations of the students, and how the actual observation will look.

As previously mentioned, the 2nd grade team treats me as one of their own. We talk for purely social reasons just as we do professionally. We talk and get to know eachother on personal levels, share stories, we talk about what we do on the weekends etc. We talk like friends as much as we can talk as coworkers.

One vocabulary term I have learned is an EEI. An EEI is Essential Elements of Instruction. This is how teachers break down each objective to create a formal lesson plan, they include essential questions-what they want their students to get out of the lesson, independent practice- letting students practice and show their understanding.

November 6th – November 19th (8.25 hours) – I have been helping the students that need some extra help with any questions that they have. When they have individual work time to complete any assignments, these are the students that tend to have more clarification questions. Whether it be helping them to sound out different words, or helping them to learn the skill of deductive reasoning or just needing the extra encouragement that they are capable of completing their assignments. Helping them with these things makes me feel good and like I am making a difference in helping them to understand and be successful. It is also helping me with my experience and my mentor shows me the ways that she would go about answering their questions and how to help them.

I have done a good job of staying on my schedule. I have been going every Monday and Friday since right after the school year started. I have not missed a day that I was scheduled to be there. I also have gone in on days that I was not scheduled for as extra days. The extra days are days that my mentor wanted me to come in, either she needed extra help that week or there was something fun going on that she wanted me to be a part of and experience. I set my calendar for every Monday and Friday, but since it is a constant schedule it has just become habit that I go in those days. I put the extra days in my calendar as well.

I believe that one of my strengths is time management. I have been able to maintain everything I have going on in my school schedule. I have been able to continue to stay on top of my grades. I am a part of 2 extra curricular clubs, SWAT and NHS, they both can be demanding of my time but I have been able to keep up with those as well as my internship. I have made my weeks into a routine with my internship 2 mornings a week, anything I have to do at home gets done in the evenings. I have not had any problems managing my time.

“Unwrapping a standard” basically means breaking down each part of every standard that they are teaching. After they break down the standard they will evaluate students’ learning and understanding of it through the proficiency scale. For example the highly proficient student, proficient, etc.