Student Teaching Work Journal Excerpts -- Collaboration with Lindsay HudsonMonday, Aug. 20The afternoon was spent working on a collaboration project I will be doing with one of the 8thgrade teachers, Lindsay Hudson. This is the first year she’s teaching a social studies section at thisgrade level, so she was anxious to work with someone planning this project, which was a greatopportunity for me! The students will be researching a person, event, or topic relevant to post-Reconstruction America in the 1870s to 1890s and creating a “trading card” with the mostimportant information on the topic. Today we spent brainstorming the possible research topics forthe students and then I started finding relevant websites for students to explore their topics. I willbe building a wiki with these resources, in addition to creating a note-taking worksheet, a rubric forLindsay to use when grading, and a couple of trading card examples from a topic they will have justfinished studying. The class will be coming into the library computer lab to work on this during thefirst week in October, and I believe Lindsay and I will be co-teaching the lesson. Kathy somewhatguided this initial meeting with Lindsay and I, but I foresee the two of us tackling it more withouther moving forward. I’m thrilled to have this project to work on right from the start! I think it willhelp me become more comfortable working with teachers, sharing expertise, and becomingconfident in my knowledge and experience I’ve gained at GSLIS and through practicum.Thursday, Sept. 27I stopped by Lindsay’s room during her planning period today to make sure we are on target fornext week’s social studies project in the lab. She is going to introduce the project on Monday, butwe will team teach it the rest of the week. On Wednesday, I will be instructing on how to use thetrading card application to develop their product. As I said on a previous day, Lindsay is totally opento collaboration and team teaching, so I don’t think we will have any problems and I am not worriedabout stepping on her toes or her stepping on mine. Unlike when I am working with Patti’s class(and feel that I need to run things by her, so she can announce them to the class), Lindsay is muchmore willing to have me jump in whenever I want to contribute, which makes the team-teachingprocess much easier. I think she is the type of person I would try to approach in a new schoolenvironment when I start my own job to begin collaboration activities.Tuesday, Oct. 2For 7th hour I was in the lab with Lindsay’s social studies class as they worked on their research forthe post-reconstruction project. As she informed me yesterday, this class is made up of studentswho are really advanced and students are on the low-end of the academic spectrum, which makesit difficult to come up with projects that will engage everyone (definitely a time for differentiation!).
I could notice what she meant by this today as the students worked on their projects. Somestudents were really involved, taking a lot of notes and taking care to think about what eachresearch question was asking. Others struggled to get anything written. I hope that the project isflexible enough to accommodate these lower and higher students while still getting successfuloutcomes. Tomorrow we will be working on turning research into product, so time will soon tell.Wednesday, Oct. 4This afternoon I instructed Lindsay’s social studies class in how to put their research into a finalproduct using the Trading Card Creator tool developed by Read, Write, Think. I was concerned goinginto this lesson because the last two days in the lab have been a little chaotic. The students wereincredibly chatty and not always on task, and I dreaded Ruth observing my lesson in this context.Before the students came into the lab, however, Lindsay assigned them seats for today’s session,which helped enormously. The students were the quietest they’ve ever been and maintained focusthroughout the period. A handful of them finished working on their trading cards today, which willgive them time to practice their presentations tomorrow during class. I am pretty confident that allthe students will finish tomorrow with high-quality products. I hope I’m able to watch some of thepresentations next week.Tuesday, Oct. 9During 7th hour I wandered down to Lindsay’s classroom to see how the trading card presentationswere going. Like I think is true for any project, the results ranged from impressive to the bareminimum. Some students provided a lot of interesting information in a short amount of space andtime while others gave short, not-very-informative answers to the questions available. Overall,though, I think the project accomplished what it set out to do: give students broad exposure to avariety of important events and people during this time period without having them all studyeverything. I think it’s interesting that this shared sense of teaching and learning was reflected bothin those of us doing the design and instruction (Lindsay and I) and those doing the learning (thestudents). I’m so glad I was able to collaborate with her during this student teaching placement. Itgave me a great example of how we can share responsibilities and combine our own areas ofexpertise to develop and execute a successful student project.