Audubon Park Elementary SchoolIntroduction to Teaching EDF 2005Dr. QadriAlanna Harris
Class Rules: 1. Don’t talk when Ms. Motzer is talking. 2. Keep track of your own stuff. 3. Keep hands and feet to yourself. 4. Follow directions. 5. Raised hands not raised voices.Classroom rules are posted visibly in the classroom wherethe students can see them at all times.
The Orange County Public School System website showsthe very clear and ambitious vision, mission and goals forschools and students in Orange County.
Every day students will track their progress on the lesson forthat day. Students vote prior to learning based on their ownknowledge, then again after the teacher has taught it. Thispictures shows the before and after of understanding thelesson.
LESSON PLAN •Every day starts with morning announcements, work and writing homework in the planner. •After morning announcements, begins a block of time called Response to Intervention (RtI). The students that are chosen for this group have been identified as struggling with various issues (most in reading) and therefore need additional assistance. • Next other classroom management things (voting for lunch, attendance) are completed. Then they begin their classroom morning meeting. Here the students are able to discuss any pressing problems that they are having in their life and they can discuss possible solutions as a group. After they have completed this, then they say “Good Morning” to each other in different languages.
LESSON PLAN • Reading block then takes over, where the whole class breaks into small group center rotations. During the rotations the students will visit: the computers, complete “seat work” based on the skill that was taught, “word work” which has the students utilizing their vocabulary and spelling words for the week, silent reading, and guided reading (with the teacher). In the guided reading block, the students are divided up into groups based on reading level and we read and discuss appropriate books for their level. • Writing is next. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday they work on a piece of writing and Wednesday they work on a specific grammar skill. Monday is spent in the prewriting stage, Tuesday is spent in the writing stage, Thursday is for editing and revising, and Friday is for publishing and sharing.
LESSON PLAN CONT.• Lunch and Recess follow writing. After recess, they have a15 minute read aloud where the teacher reads a book out loudto the students, showing correct pitch, voice inflection, andfluency.• Social Studies/Science is during the next block on time. Theunits vary between 2-3 weeks and focus on one subject areafor those two weeks. Currently they are doing Science andlearning all about Energy.•Specials (electives) are next. The students visit: PE, WritingLab, Science Lab, Performing Arts, Art, Computer Lab and theMedia center.•Math is the last subject of the day. The start off whole groupfor math and then, based on need, some students go to asmall group with the teacher for re-teaching or extra review onthe skill.
This photo was taken of a second grader during “seatwork” time. Every morning the teacher separates the classinto small group center rotations. 1. Seat work. 2. Wordwork. 3. Guided reading with the teacher. 4. Computerwork.
Technology, specifically computers, are a huge part of theevery day activities and work for each student. There are 3computers in the classroom and every student gets plentyof computer time each day.
Rather than always sitting in desks during the day, theteacher encourages students to spread out around theroom and do their silent reading or seat work on thefloor, or at a different table, or in the comfy chair.
INTERVIEW Name: Ms. Motzer Grade you teach: 2nd grade 1. What made you want to become a teacher? Influence of a specific person? Love of children? I danced my whole life and I used to teach dance on the weekends and over the summer. I really enjoyed watching the ah-ha moment with the students I taught in dance when they were able to accomplish the dancing goals that we had for them. I knew that my love for teaching children was not only in the dance world, but in the world of education in general. 2. What is your biggest struggle as a teacher? One of my biggest struggles is time management. It is very easy to delve into a discussion and then look up at the clock and realize that lunch is in 5 minutes. I normally plan extra activities to do, in case we have extra time at the end of the lesson. 3. What is your favorite part about being a teacher? I love figuring out what motivates a student and trying to best to individually motivate them to complete their work and/or have appropriate behavior all day. I have a few different students who have individual needs, so they have individual goals and charts that cater to what they want/like. This helps them to stay on track throughout the day.
INTERVIEW CONT. 4. How do you deal with a group of 15 students with 15 different personalities and 15 different learning styles? Most of the students are visual or kinesthetic learners, but I do offer auditory accommodations as well. Most of the activities we complete on the promethean hit all three learning types. Having a delicate balance with the students is very important. Allowing each student a fair chance to complete a task is essential, because their success could drive another student to want to accomplish the same task. A lot of classroom management is needed. A color chart is utilized for negative reinforcement, which works for some students. I also have a whole group negative reinforcement, which unites the students together as a whole class, because they are trying to work together to accomplish something. Positive reinforcement is also used, because I give out a lot of positive praise. I normally give out one “Thank you __________ for taking out your seat work packet” because then every student will jump to take it out to receive that compliment. 5. What would you say your Philosophy of Teaching would be? I am very much behaviorally driven. I believe anything can be accomplished in the classroom, by any student, as long as they want to do it. It is finding what drives them and what disappoints them and then creating a system that creates the most cohesive classroom. I have one student who has a checklist for her morning, making sure she finishes everything that she needs to. If she does she is rewarded. I normally have the students turn a color if they do not turn their folder in. To extinguish the behavior of not turning the folder in, I have the students change their color if they do not turn it in. I consistently have 5 students who do not remember, so I have little reminder cards on their desk in the morning. Some are going to be weaned off of this card, but others will never remember without the card. The changing of the color does not affect their behavior, so I had to find something else that would.
INTERVIEW CONT. 6. How do you use technology everyday in your classroom? Our school, as a whole, is highly technology driven. I use the doc cam, promethean board, and computers all throughout the day. They are used a management tools (morning work, lunch count), teaching tools (flip charts, videos), and for tracking the students’ individual progress for their own learning. 7. Do you have any advice for me as a student wanting to become a teacher? The biggest piece of advice I have is to make sure you know the students are not your friends. When I first started out in my junior internship, I wanted them to like me. So I did not have the authority in the classroom. I learned quickly that it was very hard to get it back once it was gone. They will love you anyway, but they will also respect you.
REFLECTIONI really enjoyed doing my observation hours at Audubon Park ElementarySchool in Baldwin Park, I had the privilege to observe Ms. Motzer and agroup of 17 second graders. The classroom climate was very exciting andenergetic but also structured and controlled. The direct teaching approachwas Ms. Motzer’s primary instruction method. She demonstrated strongleadership in the classroom, but also made lessons exciting byimplementing class participation and involvement. To create an environmentfor engaged time, Ms. Motzer had students practice the lesson they hadstudied on the Promethean board, and for academic learningtime, students played different games such as Vocabulary Jeopardy andShow Me the Money.
REFLECTION CONT.With a group of 17 students, there are 17 different learningstyles. There were no exceptional learners in the classroom Iobserved, however, there were a few students with learningdisabilities who required extra one on one assistance from theteacher. There were several different ethnic groups present inMs. Motzer’s classroom, so to start off each day and todemonstrate culturally responsive teaching she has herstudents say, “Good Morning” to each other in different languages.I look forward to using the teaching methods and utilizing theconcepts I learned from Ms. Motzer in my classroom one day.