Monday, July 25, 2005

Class Assignments for the Fall

Yeah! I found out what I'm teaching! Well, of course it isn't definite, but still... I found out that I am teaching Geometry at the high school (Humphreys County High School) and Pre-Algebra at the junior high. The high school and junior high are connected, but I will still have to have two different classrooms because the junior high and high school kids don't mix. Never fear, they're giving me a cart to wheel around my stuff. Jealous much?

The Pre-Algebra class is in one of those "I Can Learn" labs, where each student gets their own computer and basically it's self-paced. I really, from what I understand, just tutor students. The system works very well, though, so it doesn't bother me. Meredith, Reggie, and I have workshops to go to for the lab on this Friday and Saturday in Yazoo City (PARTY!). Then we start professional development on Tuesday, and classes start the following Monday. I can't believe how soon that is! It's crazy! I have a lot of fun this summer, getting to know everyone, learning about teaching. I'm very excited to start the school year.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Critique of Videoed Lesson

Yesterday, I had my lesson for Ms. Cornelius videoed, and thankfully I was able to watch it in its entirety before the video tape was eaten by the library VCR. Check Ruth's blog for a visual.

I am teaching 10th grade Geometry, and I had a lesson on postulates (facts), segments, rays, and opposite rays. To start, my set was awesome. I'd been losing points everyday for my set so I made sure it was great yesterday. We had to define postulates, so for my set I put up a transparency with "10 things you didn't know you didn't know." It had facts like, "Horses can't vomit, pigs can't look up into the sky, it's impossible to lick your own elbow..." Then, I asked them for a new title for the transparency, which they gave me "Facts," and there we had it -- they defined postulates. Oh, and it was really funny to watch five adults try to lick their elbows.

One thing I need to start doing is having everything on transparencies, already written transparencies, because I'm left-handed. If I write on the board, I can't look at the class; and if I write on the transparency, they can't see what I'm writing. I also need to start using many different colors of dry erase markers to illustrate different things.

I laugh all the time in class. I had no idea I was having such a good time, but apparently everything is exciting to me when I teach. I can't decide if that's good or bad, but no one has said anything about it, usually just that my class feels "comfortable" or "inviting" or "friendly" or something like that, so I don't think I'll change. That's just my personality.

I liked my questions. I used a lot of comparison questions, and explain why, and "can you have a different answer for this question and still be correct" ... That was good. And I didn't let my students off the hook if they couldn't answer my question. I would just break the question down into the steps needed to answer the original, big question.

I thought it was kind of boring when I taught the lesson, mainly because I had to do definitions, but when I watched the video I actually liked it. There was enough activity to break up the definitions so that it didn't seem to drag. For example, they did a definition, said it in their own words, and drew pictures to illustrate the definition.

Overall, I thought it was my best lesson yet, and I liked seeing it from the students' view.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

First time TEAM teaching

I taught my first two lessons of the school year on Friday to Ruth, Anderson, Amy, Lee, and Mrs. Youngblood. I tought 10th grade geometry.

I was stressing out on Thursday. We got done with class around 12:30 and I worked straight from then until 10:00. The first day needs a ridiculous amount of planning. I wrote out my syllabus, made posters for rules and consequences, numbered the desks, had a homework basket... And that was still a reduced amount of work that I need to put in for the real first day. My second lesson definitely required less planning.

When I gave the first lesson, I completely forgot my set but other than that it went great. And I was much more comfortable for the second lesson.

Mrs. Youngblood was great. She really helped us ease into this awkward situation, teaching our friends. That is a little strange. And it's funny having only four "students" in the class; I walked by everyone's desk like fifty times during the forty minute lesson.

Tiffany Bartlett Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Student Teaching

I finished student teaching a few days ago, and I have now had enough sleep to properly comment on it. It was great. I loved the students; they were wonderful. I got some really good ideas from it, and I found out how prepared I need to be for each day to run smoothly. We were definitely spoiled, though; I had three other student teachers and a veteran teacher in the room with fourteen students. Our veteran teacher was very supportive, and I really appreciated her letting us take over the class.

One thing about our students I wasn't expecting was their lack of motivation. I can't remember a time when I didn't turn in an assignment on time; I would have had a heart attack if I had to turn in something late. But our kids repeatedly didn't turn in assignments, and had a whole list of excuses. They were nice kids, but they didn't see the importance of education, especially those that didn't have parental support or those that didn't plan on going to college. We also had one incidence of cheating on a test.

Our teacher, right before the last day of school, was informed by a football coach that she would pass one of our students. Our teacher refused to pass the student unless he actually made the grade, but I found out that there is still a chance that the coach will have the grade changed after the teacher submits it. How frustrating.

On the last day of class, the student teachers let the students guess our ages and our first names. It was too funny. They thought I was 24 and that my first name was Jennifer. They thought Sarah's name was Chastity and she was 24. They thought Jake was Jack, age 22 (even with the beard), and they thought Mason was Thomas, age 27 (though there were shouts as high as 32). That was so fun.