Keila's Blog

Sunday, June 26, 2005

My Reaction

Gary Rubenstein’s book “Reluctant Disciplinarian” is 141 pages of a fun read and gave some nice tips to teachers, especially if you are new, but I don’t think it will transform my way of teaching or my life

The Pros about the book was that they were entertaining, insightful, and left leeway for other viewpoints. Some of the Cons that I saw were that it was based on one teacher’s experience and was sometimes contradictory. Rubenstein tells us his own history of becoming a teacher, which was more by accident than planned, and this may have contributed to his initial difficulties in his classroom. He describes himself as a "Softy," who has had discipline issues since childhood. Both of these are directly opposite of what I want my approach to teaching and discipline to be.

I want to think of myself as an enthusiastic disciplinarian—but I do need some more pointers. There are four chapters that I found most entertaining as a future teacher: What Does NOT Work: stories about his own mistakes, things that you swear you'd never do, but once in front of a class, you end up doing anyway. Like yelling. And if you lose control once with a group of students, they're gonna try to break you again. Fun times for all. Rubinstein also includes many of the "tried and true" methods, like incremental consequences (school policy) and writing names on the board. He gives reasons and examples from his own life about what doesn't work--and some of them were his own errors, where some are errors in methods. Being a Real Teacher: Rubinstein gives a series of rules about what "real teachers" do...most of which I agree with. Things like "Real Teachers dress the part"...meaning they should be wearing slacks and a tie, not shorts and sandals. Things like "Real Teachers have a Rules Talk" at the beginning of the school year. A lot of these basic guidelines for teachers have loosened over the last 20 years...and many districts are tightening them up again. What DOES Work: He gives us a list of things that "DO work"...for him. Some of these seem to overlap with the "Don't" list, and some of them depend greatly on his personality and the students he has. But it's a good list. Things like "Master the Teacher Look" and "Start with Traditional Methods" are essential, and "Seek Advice" is essential.

Developing a Teacher Persona: this may be my favorite part of the book, since this is an area where I feel I want to become successful in with my students. I want to have a series person and even have a informational day every Friday- like talk about black history, talk about colleges and why education is important.Again, The Reluctant Disciplinarian was an entertaining and helpful read. I would recommend the book to young and old teachers.

My Video Taped Lesson

As I finished watching my video taped lesson, I thought to myself, that children will do what you say if you treat them with respect. I had a perfect classroom, and did not need to use any classroom management rules consequences, because all my students were on their best behavior.

Some of my strengths were my set and that all the students enjoyed it, I wrote my objectives on the board and used different Bloom’s levels, I taught to my objectives and all my students understood what I was teaching, I used a modeling instruction type and an example instruction type, and I checked for understanding.

Some of the things I forgot to do were to state my objectives, review the previous day’s lesson in my set and to not hand out a worksheet in my closure.

Also, I would like to be re-evaluated because Dr. Sullivan did not take the time out of his schedule (a schedule he is getting paid for) to even put ONE comment under my 20 bullets for which I was getting evaluated for. I am NOT a mediocre student, and when you think I am, I want to know why. Thank you.

Mrs. Monroe

Thank you for all your enouraging words and support!!!

I Am Drawing Names

On Thursday, June 23rd, I taught my final lesson for the summer session- How to find the Volume of a 3-dimensional object. For this lesson I used the Qualters technique Cold Calling. Before starting my lesson, I had all the students write their names down on pieces of 3 x 5 paper I had cut up. I told them that during the lesson today I would select a name from the pile randomly and that person would have to answer the particular question that I asked at that time. At first they moaned and said, “No Miss Foster I am not going to be ready for that,” or “Is the lesson going to be hard, ‘cause if it is hard I can’t answer the question.” So of course I stated what I always say, “I am not going to give you anything that you haven’t already had.” And so I went on to do my Set- the students made a 3-dimensional cube from an outline I gave them and then they had to find the volume of it. I gave them the formula and they all found the volume. I picked a random name out of the cards and asked that student (Devontae) to tell me what they got for volume and how they found it? They answered the question and so as I used the method the rest of the class time, I heard no complaints. I have a pretty decent class and they are always willing to try new things. The Cold Calling technique worked out to be pretty useful in that I just wasn’t calling on a student because I knew they would or would not know the answer of a specific question, rather I was calling on a student at random, which made all the students stay on their P’s & Q’s. I liked this technique and I will use it during the school year.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Overall Summer School Reflection

This summer so far has been a great learning experience for me. I went in the classroom for the first two days and just sat there so that I could get used to the kids and classroom and to see if any of the kids would warm up to me. After the first day I was used to the classroom and after the second day I was used to the kids and some of them even warmed up to me. Asking them was I from here? and when I replied No, they were like Well then were are you from? DC. WHOA!!! What do you do there? I went to Howard University. What is that? It is a school like Jackson State, just MUCH better. Oh ok. And then I stopped the conversation there and focused it back onto math. As the summer weeks went on, I tried to implement a few of the things I want to do in the fall with my class with my summer class. Game day, board work and students coming up with their own examples of problems for the class to do. It was good to see where my strengths and weaknesses were. I feel as though the time I got to teach this summer was beneficial to my confidence in teaching for the school year. I wish I could have had more informal evaluations, but hey. I feel like this summer I learned a lot in Mrs. Monroe's class that I applied to my class and it made my transition from college to student teaching easier. I feel like I did a good job this summer, there are just a few things I still need to perfect and polish.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

My first day in Corps as Miss Foster

Woke up cold, nose stuffed. I was not nervous, just curious as to how they were going to treat me when I walk in there and have to give them my teacher face. Would they laugh, smile, understand me or just blank out. What would I do if they totally did not understand the context I was trying to teach to them. So I arrived and followed all the steps I had just learned in class- write the date, write the objective, command their attention. I started the lesson by asking them what they learned yesterday and that today we would be learning how to turn a mixed fraction into an improper fraction and vice versa. After labeling the steps for each objective, I would have a student repeat it for the whole class. I made sure the students wrote down the steps in their notes, so that they would have it to refer to later. I did an exercise with 4 students holding up a peice of paper that had 1/4 written on each of them. This demonstration lead into my lesson on adding fractions with like denominators. More students wanted to come up and be fractions, but they couldn't, but I was glad they were having fun. All in all, my lesson went well and I am exhausted already! I'm ready for my next lesson.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

DORM LIFE- Soon to be out

Why have I been subjected to dorm life for the past 4 1/2 years. I hate it!!! It is cold and our bathroom ceiling is leaking and I NEVER get a shower that cascades water that is even remotely warm. I just wanna go home and take a bath or better yet, just get my own place. Mom, Dad...can you hear me?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Church Family

Today was a great day! I attended Clear Creek Missionary Baptist Church with my roommate and a new soror friend. The service, pastor and people were awesome. Today happened to be Communion Sunday so that was a blessing. To me this church felt like home and after a few more Sunday morning and maybe weekday visits I will make this my new church home while I make my home in Oxford, MS. The Pastor welcomed me and my roommate as visitors from the pulpit, but I know that today was just not the day to make the committment to join. The Lord has another time for me and I am praying and waiting for it patiently. I am going to get involved in the Young Womens Ministry as a way to open my senses up to the people in the church and the way this church teaches the word of the Lord. Hopefully, everyone will be as welcoming there as they were this Sunday morning. Its HOT in Mississippi!!! (just had to write that)