Friday, November 7, 2008

Wednesday, Nov. 5 at Glan Alpine

On my second visit to Glen Alpine I think my teacher was a little bit more relaxed. She didn't seem quite as angry and didn't seem to speak with so much attitude in her voice. The students worked on the first paragraph to their stories today. The writing prompt is you're a leaf! The students are supposed to describe their journey as a leaf. Each day the students work on their stories a little bit. I really like the prompt idea as well as the writing schedule the students were on. The first day they brainstormed ideas, the next day they write their first paragraph, then over the next few days they write their body, and then finally their conclusion. For the most part, the students didn't seem to have a problem getting motivated or finding something to write about. One thing that I noted about the day was that the teacher made a good use of her time in the classroom. The students transitions were pretty smooth and quick, something I definitely hope to accomplish. The teacher met in the back of the classroom with students one-on-one while the other students did individual or group work. Another thing that I notcied and also want to incorporate into my classroom is the fact that the students were always doing something constructive. An idea that I thought sounded like fun is that the students are picking poems or stories to memorize and perform as a speech. I helped type up some of the poems and stories that the students had chosen. I definitely want to use this idea or something similar to it in my classroom. The poems and stories usually tended to be funny and were very entertaining. I really hope that I am there on the day of the performances because I can't wait to see the personal touches the students put on their speeches.

There is one activity in the fifth grade class that I would change somewhat. Every day the students either read their guided reading novel independently or in groups. After they read, they answer more questions on the story in their worksheet packet. I just feel like there isn't very much creativity in this guided reading lesson. The students read and answer the questions. There is no creative art project or further research project or anything creative that could add a little interest into the story. The worksheets in the packet definitely provide a hard copy for important parts in the story and help children remember and understand certain details. I just think that there should be something else; something that allows the students to make it relevant to themselves and their interests. I think that if I were to use this type of lesson in my future classrooms I would be sure to take it a step further and add in some creative activities besides the informative worksheets.

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