Monday, January 6, 2014

1/6/2014 Journal Entry

DAR Journal

            When I arrived for my first day of student teaching the classroom was dark.  I had arrived before my mentor teacher so I sat patiently in the back of the classroom.  Soon enough my mentor teacher arrived.  Then shortly after him, the student came piling in.  The day started off with the morning announcements.  I enjoyed the announcements because each day the school displays morning announcements on each Smart Board like a news report, allowing students to assist.  Shortly after the announcements, students were given their spelling words.  Students were told to write down their words in their agenda's.  I was given the opportunity to go around and initial after students had written down their words.
            Then came math.  In math, students were learning how to read a clock and tell time.  Students worked through worksheets and I walked around and observed.  One-by-one, students were called up to the SmartBoard and were given the opportunity to share their answers with their classmates.
            After math, the guidance counselor came in and read Barack Obama's "Of Thee I Sing" book out loud to the students.  This book focused on perseverance and used historical figures throughout history to tell a story about sticking with something and being motivated and determined.
            During Language Arts, students were instructed to complete their daily 5.  The daily 5 consisted of 5 components that students were to complete by the end of each week.  This 5 components were:  complete three accelerated readers, work on Education City, read with a partner, work on the days assigned journal activity, and read silently.  The journal entry for this particular day was to write about how the students would go about solving a particular problem.  The journal entry needed at least 5 complete sentences and a colored illustration.
            After lunch and specials, students came back and worked on more math about time and how to tell time.
            Throughout the day I witnessed excellent classroom management.  Students knew what needed to be done and didn't ask a lot of questions throughout instruction.  There are a few students in the class who have behavior improvement plans (BIP) and would sometimes get loud or become a distraction to other students.  Assisted by a behavior specialist and resource teacher, issues that occurred with these behavior issue students were quickly deescalated with the assistance of the resource teachers. 
            Students were assigned new tasks for this week.  Tasks such as line-leader, messenger, calendar etc.  A student corrected the months calendar at the back of the classroom.
            The teacher used a behavior bulletin board.  This board consisted of cards with different colors.  Each student is assigned a number.  If a student is spoken to, they are told to flip their card.  Each color being a different disciplinary action.  There were only a handful of student who had to flip cards today.
            Going in to this first day, I was overwhelmed since it was my first day of student teaching.  Overall, I walked away with a positive attitude towards this experience.  Other than feeling exhausted after my first day, I feel great!  I thought the teacher handled every situation he was confronted with in an excellent way.  My only concern throughout the day was that student were allowed to simply get up and sharpen their pencil, or use the bathroom.  In prior classes, I experienced students raising hands to do such tasks.  Within this classroom, students can move about freely as desired.  In my future classroom, to maintain an efficient classroom, I would instruct students to sit in their seats throughout the day and raise their hands if they needed to leave their seats.

            At one point during the day, while students were completing their Daily 5's, students seemed to get a little out of control.  Students were wondering around and the volume of voices was very high.  I would like to have seen more structure and organization during this time.  I would have hoped students would have been more controlled and organized during this activity.

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