Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week 6! (Feb 25 - Mar 1)

Wow, I cannot believe that student teaching is going by so quickly. I have found that it is very hard to keep up with reflecting online about my experiences within the classroom. I am really finding a place in the art room and am starting to have great relationships with each class and each student. It feels great.

This week I had my first "head day" as the teacher for every class of the day. Ms. R was in the classroom but ran many errands and got a lot ready for putting up art within the community and a district art show at a local technical college campus. It was great experience for me. I felt like I was managing behavior all day long rather than teaching!

A final peacock, colored with glitter and metallic crayons and ink
It was a day 3 of the rotation schedule, so everything that I had to teach was a repeat of was Ms. R and I did the day before. This was a big help because I had very little to prepare for.

5th grade was continuing their work on tropical birds, 2nd grade was working on coloring and painting a new lighthouse project, 3rd grade was finishing perspective drawings and coloring their fired clay peacocks, 4th grade was drawing and coloring some fantasy trees from their imagination (in contrast to the previous palm trees), 1st grade was creating boats for the seascapes and Kindergarten was painting frogs! It was a busy day, but a fun day!

Some frogs, in progress!

I was extremely tired after my head day, and was reminded of how important classroom management strategies and rapport really is. I did a much better job of moving students away from each other if they were causing disruptions, and even had a student go to the "take a break" chair. I often have a high tolerance (mostly too high) for misbehavior, so I was proud of myself.

Week 5 (Feb 18 - Feb 22)

This week was a busy and fast week! Monday started out with my supervisor coming to observe me with the first graders as I introduced my edTPA mixed media seascapes. The students did a great job using the art supplies to create their backgrounds. They learned about scumbling and what space is in art. Crayon, marker and water were used in the backgrounds, giving them a new experience with mixed media.

The water station was a popular place! They loved watching the marker bleed into waves.

A finished background waiting to dry!

 It was a good day for me to receive feedback on my teaching because I started video taping my teaching for evaluation. I thought that I may have overwhelmed the students with a lot of vocabulary in the middle of the lesson, which I did! Both my supervisor and cooperating teacher had some great things to say, but also mentioned how I could slow down and create more visuals and steps for the students to follow. This was all great feedback that made me much more comfortable during my lesson with my focus group. I thought I would be nervous to get taped, but I really felt comfortable and prepared! The edTPA lesson plan format really gets me thinking about absolutely everything in the lesson, classroom and about the students, so I was ready to go!

Wednesday was an early release day for the students at the elementary school, and was a special program called Snowfest. Ms. R and I worked with students to do a snowflake relay race in the gymnasium. Each grade has a "buddy" grade (such as fifth grade and second grade, first and fourth and third and kindergarten) so they were lined up with their buddies. The students had to relay with their groups from one end of the gym to the other while keeping a paper snowflake on their heads. It was a blast! The students quickly found out that running with the snowflake on their face was faster than walking with it on their head. I even worked up a sweat demonstrating for them. It was a great day that made me feel like a part of community within the school. The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing and changing artwork within frames around the school.

The elementary school is covered in artwork, which really adds life to the school. It is a feat to put it all up and down, but there are so many cooperative teachers, student teachers, volunteers and high school helpers that make it all work.

On Friday I had my first student teacher seminar at the University. It was a day spent in informational meetings about Love and Logic, Commencement and Licensure. The afternoon was spent with my fellow art education student teachers and supervisors reflecting on our times in the classrooms. The end of this week really has be excited to be a teacher!

Week 4!

Student teaching is just flying by. I can't believe that I have made it past my "midterm" of my first placement. I hope to keep up with posts better than I have thus far because so many fun and exciting things are happening everyday! Week four has been the best week yet because I am really feeling a sense of ownership and comfort in the classroom with the students and with my cooperating teacher. Now that I am understanding rules, procedures and expectations, everything is melting into place.

This week the fifth graders began a new unit on drawing tropical birds. It is a project that Ms. R really enjoys because the students spend a lot of time making their drawings unique. The students were impressed with how many examples she has from past students, and seemed to embrace it as a challenge to work hard enough to be one of her examples in the future.

Some second grade snowflakes after they were finished!
The second graders were working with printmaking. They spent one day folding and cutting paper snowflakes and another day using chalk to create prints of the snowflakes on white paper. It is a very simple project that the students seemed to enjoy. Some of them only created one print while others made up to three or four! Many of them turned out quite beautiful. This is the last snow project of the year, which makes Ms. R and I hopefully for no more snow days! Valentines day was actually a snow day for the school district! I assume the classes making snowflakes didn't influence that!

Third grade is working on one point perspective drawing. Many of them are doing quite well with it, while others struggle and wonder why we are doing it and how the lines on the paper make sense. I didn't know if perspective would be too advanced for this age group, but many of them are doing so great that it makes me re-think my original thought of perspective being saved for middle school! We introduced perspective as a way to make things look more realistic and to show distance in a drawing. Ms. R really used a good example of when students are outside for recess and they see their friend across the playground and they look really little, but when we walk up to them they get bigger and bigger. The students really understood what she meant!

Fourth grade palm trees on display in the hallway
In contrast to the snowflakes in second grade, the fourth graders worked on drawing palm trees with chalk all week! They were practicing how the palms come from the center of the tree trunk and how each palm could be drawn with simple lines.

The first graders were finishing up finger painting roosters and were introduced to Windslow Homer's seascapes. This was a great lead in before I start my edTPA unit of mixed media environments. The students created an oil pastel seascape featuring a boat, inspired by Windslow Homer in one day.

A first grade seascape/boat inspired by Winslow Homer
The kindergarteners were working on self portraits with crayon and cut paper that turned out very cute! It was fun to watch them explore facial features and how to use lines to draw them. Many of them told Ms. R and I that they learned how to draw eyes in a new way. We talked about using realistic colors to show how we really look. They used mirrors to discover eye colors, shapes and hair colors. This will be a two day project because many of them didn't get a chance to color their faces in after only one day.

I am starting to feel so much more comfortable in the classroom and look forward to next week when I start my edTPA lessons!