Saturday, June 30, 2012

Student Teacher Linky

We are joining up to Every New Beginning's Student Teacher Linky Party.

Student Teaching and Observations are great.
They give you a chance to see if you are really cut out to teach.
I have never had a student teacher.  I keep moving rooms and grade levels!  My principal is nice enough to ask for volunteers, and I have never had the right scenario to feel comfortable volunteering.
Here are our thoughts on student teaching:

*Don't be shy!  It's ok to take a day or two to settle in, but after that, start showing the teacher and students your personality.  They want to get to know you and your style!

*Ask questions!  From the student teacher point of view, the teacher you are working with can't read your mind.  If you are the teacher, you have a chance to learn from your student teacher, why not pick their brain a little!

*Make a plan together.  If you are hosting a student teacher you have probably decided what you want to hand over to them, but it's just like working with your students, the student teacher will likely want to set some goals for themselves.  (The teacher I student taught with did this, and I truly appreciated it.  He asked me what I wanted to start teaching first, and how much support I was comfortable with.)

*It's ok to teach things differently.  This is a hard on teachers who have been incharge of their class, but remember you can learn from a student teacher, too.  They have fresh ideas, be open to them.  For the student teacher, you may see some great lessons, you might want to use, even if they don't fit your style.

*Work with the whole grade level!  Teaching is not a solo activity.  For the student teacher, think of all the ideas you can get from multiple teachers.  For the teacher, encourage them to be part of the team, they will soon be a teacher, and have to learn how to be a part of a team.  (When I was a student teacher, the teacher I worked with would arrange for me to observe another classroom once a week, it was an awesome chance to see different management styles.  He also had me attend all the meetings so I knew what I was getting into.)

Lastly, a lesson I learned from my student teaching experience. 
The teacher I worked with gave me this piece of advice.
Enjoy your last semester in college.  Don't spend all your free time doing teacher stuff.  You have the rest of your life to do that.  If you need to leave early one day for a job interview that's okay!  Your goal is to learn as much as you can, and to get a job. 

Do you have advice about student teaching?    What was your student teaching experience like?

EmilyK & Antoinette

Friday, June 22, 2012

Patriotic Room Theme

As I mentioned earlier this week, I am changing my room theme. 
I will be surrounding myself with Red, White, and Blue, a patriotic theme.

I have included some tips for how I set up a new classroom.  (Since I have done it 5+ times in my teaching career!)
I decided to set up parts of my room now, instead of waiting until August. 
With changing grade levels I have enough to think about then!
Luckily my building is open during the day for one more week, thanks to summer school.
Thanks for our custodians for cleaning my room early, too!

I decided to start with general decor and bulletin boards. 
Colorful bulletin boards just make me happier to set up the rest of the room!
Plus your bookshelves or other furniture can be pushed to the center, out of the way.

Here are my tools:
Plus my trusty digital camera, but I couldn't a pic of that!

Of course meauring is the first task. 
I like to mark what I think will work.  I will let that marinate in my brain over the weekend, and see if I like it on Monday, when I put up the bulletin boards.
Do you have any long bulletin boards?
I have some fabrics already, but I have others to gather.
Add caption
I think the red polka dots will be my curtains.
Plus I am a curtain jumkie.  I HATE open shelves! 
I love using plastic table cloths for bulletin boards.  (The kind with no padding.)

They are cheap and don't discolor easily.
The only thing you need to consider is some table cloths only have patterns around the edges, not the middle.  It depends on what look you are going for.

Here are the other general items I found:
I LOVE lanterns.  Banners are everywhere!  Thank you PartyCity.
Thank you Target $1 section!
I will post more pics soon!
How do you start setting up a new room?


Thursday, June 21, 2012

(Grad) School is out for summer and changing my room theme

It has been a little bit, since we posted anything. 
I have spent the last month taking a Grad School class about Behavior Interventions. 
It was a great class.  Lots of resources to use with my ASD and non-ASD kids. 
It also clarified why I have to collect all that data about behavior.
The best news is... my class is OVER!
Now onto enjoying summer, and getting the teacher 'creative juices' flowing.

Starting with my room theme.
I have been the polka dot queen for the last 3 years. 
This isn't the best pic, but each of these fabrics is polka dotted.

I've loved this theme, and still do.

As you might remember I am changing grade levels, 5th grade!
I told myself if I ever went back to 5th grade (it's been 5 years since I taught it),
I would do a patriotic theme.

I am in the process to gathering red, white, and blue decor. 
Pre 4th of July sales are making this pretty easy. 
I will have pics of some of the items I collected in my next post. 

Anyone else changing room themes out there? 

Antoinette and I are having lunch on Monday.  
I can't wait!  Lunch with friends is a great benefit of summer break. 
We will be planning some future posts!


Monday, June 4, 2012

One Small Step for Technology, One Giant Leap for Us

This is our first post on a Mac.  Antoinette and I are sitting with our favorite counselor on our new (district provided) Mac books!!!!! (There are not enough exclamation points to show our enthusiasm!)  We LOVE them already.  Thanks to our community for recognizing how important new technology is!  It's one small step in giving us this tool, and one giant leap into learning something new.
We went to a 2 hour training, and have more training in August.
Mac users, any helpful tech tips?
Any teaching ideas that are great with a Mac?

EmilyK & Antoinette