First of all, I know I haven't written in a while, but I have been so busy the past few weeks. I have been teaching a unit on Colonial America in a 5th grade class and have been preparing for "Bothwell week" which starts tomorrow. During Bothwell week we take on a 7th grade class and plan and teach all of the subjects that week. I'm really excited about it, but also excited to have it over with. Everyone who has been through it says that real teaching, and even student teaching, does not require THAT much work and preparing. We had to develop really fantastic lessons for each subject that had to be reviewed by our professors and edited many times before our final versions were ready. It's hard just being thrown into a class where you aren't sure what they've learned yet and you aren't really sure WHO you will be teaching. There's really not much time to build a community, set your expectations, and get to know each other. I think this week is going to be challenging for us and the students, but I have a really great group of team teachers to work with, and I know it is going to be an amazing experience. There are only 4 weeks of schools left and I can not wait for summer to start so that I can start preparing for student teaching. I feel like it is so close!
Speaking of student teaching, I went in to visit my placement teacher and class for a day a few weeks ago. It was an amazing experience and since then I have done nothing but pinterest and search ideas for my lessons next year. Yes, I know, I'm a WAY ahead of schedule, but after seeing how the class was run and how great the kids are at that age, I am so excited to get started. I will be teaching only two lessons a day once I take over. There will be a section of math and then a section of language arts. After that there is a life skills class that I may help teach and then I will teach the same math and language arts lessons to the next section of 6th graders.
I have to be honest, I feel like I will be really prepared to teach math, but I'm not yet excited about it. I was the given the text book and the scope and sequence for next fall, but I haven't looked in to it yet. I'm really going to save that for this summer. I want to come up with some unique ways to teach the lessons that are hands-on and differentiated, rather than just teach straight from the book. I'm sure I'll be more excited once I actually start planning the lessons.
I am however, VERY excited about language arts. It has always been my favorite subject, and this is such a great age to teach it. When I take over the class my placement teacher has asked me to do a literacy unit on a book. Initially I thought I could do literacy circles with several books on the same theme, but she thought that it might be easier to pick one book so that I can get more involved in the class, and to make the planning easier. I'm really considering choosing the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. I read that book in 6th, 8th, and 10th grade and just read it again a few weeks ago. Dystopian books are some of my favorite books to read and that was the first book I read that really introduced me to the genre.
I think there are a lot of great things that I could do with this book and I have already started pinteresting some ideas. I would love to base it around the theme of identity, because I think that is something that students that age really need to explore. I did some fantastic art lessons on that theme and I might be able to incorporate some of those ideas. Also, there are some great controversial issues that we could research, debate, or write about; Things like euthanasia, medication, and even school uniforms. Anyway, I won't bore you with too many ideas yet until I am sure of what I will be doing. I'm sure that I'll be able to update my blog much more often this summer. I can not wait to begin collecting my supplies.
My placement teacher is fantastic by the way! She is giving me my own desk and is giving me a bulletin board where I can create a "get to know" me board for the end of the year. She is really open to new ideas and I think she will be completely accepting of anything I want to try-which is fantastic, because I am not afraid to experiment!
All in all, it has been one crazy semester thus far.
Here is a picture of a lesson I taught to kindergartners about the 5 senses. This one was on the sense of taste. They had to do a taste test and then categorize what they tasted. I loved these kids, but after being introduced to the older grades, I think I really want to stick with those when I am teaching.