Thursday, May 7, 2009

Student Teaching

Warning: Teachery post :)

I can't believe I am over half way done with my student teaching. It has been an interesting experience, with ups and downs. This group of kids is definitely more difficult than my third graders, and adjusting to a new teaching style has been...well an adjustment. But I'm learning a lot, loving the kids, and being challenged, and that's when the most growth happens.

We have been doing some fun stuff in the classroom. My work sample is on Sea Turtles, and while its a lot of work, I am pretty happy with how it's going. The students are very interested. When I told them we would be going on the internet there were quite a few who said that they had already googled sea turtles. So I'm pretty happy with how my unit is going, so I felt like sharing it.

sea turtle bulletin board
Here is the sea turtle bulletin board I made to display some of our turtle stuff. Today, I had two girls come in with pictures and informational printouts they got from the internet that I added to the board (but I had already taken the pictures of it before they brought it so its not pictured). I love that the board is turning into something collaborative with the students, and not just what I come up with to put up there. The big green sheet has all the species of sea turtles, and the kids wrote on those little pieces of paper things that make these turtles unique from the other species. I hope to add more soon.

sea turtle bulletin board
Here's another view of the bulletin board. I had the students make sea turtles out of paper bowls, which I thought turned out pretty cute. The chart is from a game that we played to learn about different threats the sea turtles face. We went around in a circle and drew a card. Some cards said they were unharmed, the other had one of the threats listed on the graph. If the student received one of those cards, there were out of the game and had to put their card on the chart. The next day I used the chart to teach a lesson on graph reading. I gave them some math problems to answer using the graph, as well as some questions about what the graph means (mainly about how most of the threats are caused by humans).

sea turtle box
I checked out a bunch of books from the public library and school library, as well as my cooperating teachers books for students to do some research with. I wanted to make sure that the books stayed in one place, and didn't get mixed up with the thousands of books my cooperating teacher has (so jealous), so I made this box, that all books about turtles must be returned to. I was quite proud of it, but now its got bent a bit.

I'm looking forward to see what the students do next week, when we study how we can protect sea turtles, and write letters to beach goers giving them advice for making good choices that will benefit these endangered species. We're going to hang them in the hallway with more of the paper bowl sea turtles we've made for students who pass by to read before they head to the beach this summer. Yay sea turtles!