Monday, September 30, 2013

Cupcake Rhythms

My student teacher and I have been working on teaching 2nd grade the correct names of notes and rests (Quarter Note, Whole Note, etc.)  Instead of "Ta" and "Ta-a-a-a."

This year my goal is to move towards have a centers-based classroom approach where kids are doing more application of what they are learning after some direct or whole-class instruction.  Basically, I wanted to provide more differentiation for my students.  (Ooo!  An educational buzz-word!  I feel so smart and "teachery!")  Over the summer I began collecting items that I thought would work well for a centers activity.  These cupcakes were one of those items.

It's a very simple activity.  Match the name of the note with the picture of the note.  Done!  I made 4 sets with the stack that I purchased from Lakeshore Learning.  Here is what one set looks like:

So, I wrote the name of the note on the top and drew the symbol on the bottom.  I then cut them apart and laminated them (for longevity!).  Here's what it looks like cut apart:

ALSO...I thought that this could work well as a tool for an assessment.  (Which might be nice for special ed students as a way of identifying the term with the symbol with manipulatives vs. writing.)
I'm excited for the kiddos to use them!  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Making a Student Teacher Feel Special

I love my job.  And really, I see job as a bad word and I don't really feel like I have a job, I have career that I love to do.  I also love sharing how I teach and how I do things, hence my blog!  But I wanted more!  So I decided that I wanted to start having student teachers.  Mr. Resley comes from University of Northwestern-St. Paul, my alma mater.  I've been wanting to have them send me student teachers for a little while, so I emailed an old professor of mine last year to let them know I was interested in having my school be a placement for them.  She replied back wanting to send Mr. Resley to me to do 28 hours with me.  Hooray!  I finally could give back!  Because Northwestern did such a wonderful job of preparing me for the classroom and I wanted to give back to them in some way by helping raise the next generation of teachers.

So, this year is my first year having a student teacher! I'm SO excited. After Mr. Resley did some methods hours with me last year and requested to do his full-time student teaching with me this year. I was ecstatic. When he did his methods hours with me, he taught a lesson or two and I was incredibly impressed. I felt like I could turn over my classroom to him right then and there. He has a natural gift. 

Over the summer I tried to figure out what  I wanted to do to make his time here enjoyable.  I remember when I was student teaching at my elementary placement that my cooperating teacher had a special desk area for me that made me feel like I had more ownership there.  I felt like a real teacher.  I wanted Mr. Resley to feel the same way.

So I redid my counter space and made it a special desk area for him.  Over the summer I made a name sign with some scrapbooking materials and a picture frame.  This is a gift to him that he can take with him when his experience here is finished to perhaps someday hang in his own classroom.  I also provided a magnetic whiteboard, a pegboard, a tray to hold papers of any sort, a pencil cup, small set of drawers to hold post-its, paper  clips, etc.  I also have a picture frame with scrapbook paper in the background that I am going to write inspirational quotes on.  The first quote (Found through Pinterest of course) is: "The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters.  The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day!"--Todd Whitaker