April 19, 2017
What are the students learning, and how is the teacher facilitating the learning?
Art! That little word can be considered a loaded work. What is art? What does art consist of? Is art something pretty, or is it communication. Art can be many different things from graphic design to music. This year I got to observe a high school Art at Abingdon High School. This school has a wonderful art program, and it offers more classes than the general “Art” courses. This school offers Basic Art, Graphic Design, all the way to Advanced Art. I observed many different graphic design classes. I observed an advanced graphic design class and a basic graphic design class. The one thing that I kept hearing from the students is “How does this project consider graphic design.” Many times we have an idea in our head as to what is really is, and it might be wrong. Abingdon High School is breaking those ideologies and teaching children about what art really is.
In the basic graphics design class that I observed at the beginning of the year, the students were working with an editing program. This program they could go online, and create different colleges, alter images of themselves, and so much more. At the beginning of the semester, the students understood that what they were doing was considered graphic design. Because in their minds graphic design is only things that you do on the computer. However, this could not be further from the truth.
After the first month or so of school, the students started to get away from the computers and started working with graphics on paper. The students participated in things such as created an ironic logo. One student created an Apple Tree. This apple tree was a tree that used the Apple logo as the apples that were in the tree. Another project that these students to part of was understanding how composition works. The students drew words out of a bag. These words were the elements of design. They had to incorporate the element that they got at random into their composition. This was very cool to see. Students were intentionally placing marks on their papers for a specific reason, and that was all because they had to make sure that the element they were given was represented in their composition. Normally when you create a work of art you do not think of today I am going to make sure that my drawing has a lot of value in it. You normally create a work, and by the end of it, art elements are present. However, if the piece just is not working then you go back to intentionally thinking of the art elements. However, with this class, the students did it backward. But it helped them understand that every mark that is put on their paper needed to have a purpose, and a reason behind it.
I observed in a high school this semester. I observed 2 graphic design courses 1 regular art course, and one advanced art course. This semester watching my mentor teacher teach I learned many different things. I learned that learning is social all learning is, even art. Art is an escape for some children who struggle in regular academic classes. However, it can be a gateway to helping them understand the different material from other classes. Students are chatterboxes, and they are constantly learning whether it be the content that the teacher is providing, or the content from the last class is finally setting in, or students are even be learning how to behave properly just from the teacher's example. I have learned that every opportunity with a student is a learning experience for both the teacher and the student. However, the teacher needs to realize this and take advantage of every moment that could be turned into a learning experience.
February 3, 2017
Classroom management is something that every educator has to conquer. Management of a classroom is what will make or break a teacher. Teachers have to learn how to be stern without coming off too mean. Some newer teachers struggle with finding ways to control a classroom. So communication with colleges and more experienced educators can always be helpful. I observed under a art teacher at a middle school. Middle schoolers are different creators. They are easily influenced They trying to figure out who they really want to be in life. However to the adults in these children's lives that can be a struggle. Because one day you can have a student who is a perfect angle and the next day he is hanging around some different friends and is influenced in a bad way. Classroom management in middle school is not just being able to control your students. It is also being able to understand your students are learn a little bit more about why they are acting the way they do.
My teacher that I was observing under does this is a wonderful at managing her classroom, but she does it in kind of a different way. My teacher understood that all children in middle school go through crazy phases. Some of them are more disrespectful than others phases, but no matter what that cannot affect how your classroom is ran. My teacher stays firm with hers students. She has fun with them making different projects and such. However all of her students know that she is not going to put up with behavior that is subpar. Most of her students understand this, and are respectful of her materials and her instructions. Although as soon as a student uses an art material the wrong way, or someone deliberately does not obey the instructions of the project she refers them to the office. However I do not feel that she needs to be that hard on her students, but it is how she has found to cope and make her classroom work for her.
My teacher also does what is called a positive book. This is a book that they students have made, and at the beginning of the students write three positive things, and one negative thing that has happened throughout the day. Once everyone has done that the entire class sures what they have wrote in their book. This not only gives the students more opportunity to write in complete sentences. It also gives the teach insight into what is going on in her students lives. This seems a little time consuming and not needed. However getting to know students, and showing them that someone cares about their life is something that every student is going to remember.
My teacher also has another method that she uses that gets the children to clean up the classroom better. She has a cup in the center of all of her tables. In each cup there is four pencils. Children were coming to class unprepared for class, no having a pencil and so on. So she filled up cups with four pencils at the end of every class before every student left she would check every cup. No one from each table is allowed to leave her classroom if their table is dirty and their cup does not have four pencils in it. This method insures that everyone has a pencil, and that she keeps her pencils.
The teacher I observed under can seem a little strict at times. However her classroom is always clean, and every student's work is always finished. She has a few methods that work for in her classroom to keep the children under control and working. They are just being respectful to the children and not letting things drag on. She uses the positive books to understand a little bit more about her students that way the students know that she cares. If the students know that a teacher cares they are going to be more enticed to like that teacher. Lastly she uses the pencils in the cup method to keep her classroom clean and organized, and to keep her art budget from always having at buy more pencils.
A teacher is defined a person who provides instruction or education. However a teacher should be more than just someone who provides education. A teacher that teaches in the exploratory classes, such as; Art, Music, Agriscience and so much more, could come into contact with 100 students or more. A teacher has great impact on a lot of students. Teachers cannot simply educate when they have 100 or more students a day. Teachers have to inspire their students. In the exploratory classes teachers have much more leeway on what material they can cover. Sometimes this can be a challenge, because there is not exactly set guidelines as to what needs to be taught when. However this give the teacher the opportunity to motivate children in different and creative ways. Sometimes teachers get those children in their class that are disrespectful, and rude. However there is always something else going on in that child’s life that is making him or her be disrespectful. Whether that be that their home life is rough or that they are not being disciplined well at home. Nonetheless teachers educators have to remember that sometimes we might be the most stable adult in a child's life. If we do not show that child that he or she is loved while they are in our classroom they might not get it anywhere else. Putting interest in a child’s life can change their entire attitude. With putting in that little bit of effort to show a child you care can give them the confidence that they need to put forth effort into their work. Especially if the project or assignment somehow relates to their everyday life, they are going to be inspired and motivated to go that extra mile just because the teacher or educator took that extra step to get to know their students.
Observations in a Class Room
Children running around, screaming, crying, who would want to put up with that as part of their occupation? Well of course some teachers would say it is worth it. I got the privilege to observe under a wonderful teacher who actually cares about the student’s growth of knowledge. She is doing a wonderful job in the little town of Chilhowie, Va. This teacher is changing lives and helping the students in every way she possibly can. Let me further explain to you the different methods and activities she I using so you can better understand what happens in her classroom.
One thing that my teacher done was so simple yet the students respected her so much more than other teachers was she just stood up. Other teachers would hide behind their desks and make the children come to them whenever they had a question. However my teachers were not like that. She made an effort to stand up and if the students had a question than she would go to them. She would also have students work in partners. For example she would put a problem on the board and make the students wish the answer to the neighbor. My teacher would listen to the students. This would help her have a better understand to see if all the students understand the material. Because you always get some of those students who never answer any problems so you do not know if they get it. This way you can listen to all the students to know if they completely understand the material.
Another method that my teacher uses is a lot of interactive things. For example she was teaching her fourth graders angles, and all she did was teach them what the different types of angles were with their arms. She also did this other really good idea with her fifth grade students she was teaching them area and perimeter, but she wanted them to completely understand the full concept not just how to calculate it. So she came up with the activity that used drawing robots. What the students had to do was draw a robot on a piece of graph paper. She gave the students a few criteria as to what could and could not be on the robot such as all the robots parts had to be rectangle, and the robot had to include a head, neck, legs, arms, eyes, ears, body, and hands. Then the students would calculate perimeter and area of the entire robot as well as individual calculations of all the body parts. The students than got to decorate their robots, and after that they had to create a replica on larger graph paper. Yet again calculate area and perimeter once again. This helped the student understand what perimeter and area actually are instead of just knowing the formulas.
The teacher that I observed under was wonderful. I got to watch magic happen in her class room. She had a way with the students where you did not have to be mean and strict and if there was a little bit of talking that was ok. She knew when to use her mean voice, and when she could goof off. She is a wonderful teacher and has so many wonderful methods that I am so glad that I got to learn.
Today the teacher I observe under, came up with this awesome idea to help the fifth graders at her school, understand area and perimeter a little bit better. What the children did was create robots on graph paper. Although Mrs.S did not hinder the children's creativity she did give them a few criteria. All the shapes had to be square of rectangle, the children had to include all of the following body parts: A head, neck, legs, arms, eyes, ears, body, and hands. The Children had the best time creating their robots. Some of them created dogs, Karen Plankton's wife off of sponge bob. The children also had a really good grasp on how to use perimeter and area in a hands on sense. So they have experience using perimeter and area, and understand the concepts of it. This picture below was the first step the children had to do.
The next step the children had to do was of coarse decorate their robots however they wanted to. Than the students were in given larger graph paper and were instructed to create a replica of their robots just a bigger version. After they drew a exact replica they were to calculate area and perimeter once again. Here are a few picture of the ones that the students finished.
The Children Had a wonderful time creating their Robots, and naming them as well. I have noticed that the children who actually get to do hands on craft things such as these, do understand materiel a little bit better. This type of learning helps the children not only understand the process of calculating area, and perimeter, but it helps them with a sense of real world mathematics.
Yelling children, panicking adults, and corny elementary inside jokes with your co-workers might not seem like the type of thing most people would want to look for in a job, but not for a few talented people in South Western Virginia. They would not trade what they do for anything. I observed in an elementary school today, under a magnificent women named Mrs. S. The only subject that she teaches during the day is Math. She will go around to different class rooms all day long teaching and helping children understand math better. Mrs. S uses a lot of great visuals to help the children understand better. Every child has an interactive note book (a composition book). The children take notes in these books as well so do little activities that they glue into their notebooks. I think this is a unique way for the children to keep up with all of the hands on things they have done through out the year. While I was observing under Mrs.S, I went with her to two third grade class rooms, and two fifth grade class rooms. Let me tell you about my experiences.
In third grade Mrs.S was teaching the children about lines, Line segments, rays, and angles. The way she taught them was very cool, but simple. She used the children's arms. For example a line is on going so if you point your arms out straight with your hands pointed out than you have a line. A line segment your arms are out straight, but your hands are in fists because a line segment has points in it. The same thing for a ray your arms are out straight, yet one hand is pointed while the other is in a fist. Than with angles about hands are open with one arm straight up and the other straight out. This is a neat little way to show this stuff.
I also went to another third grade class. In this class the children were quizzed on fractions. They took notes in their interactive note books on how whole numbers work. They also worked on how you can tell the fraction of the "shaded shape". They also worked on greater than, less than, and equal to things with the fractions. Mrs.S used what I call the alligator method, with explaining to the students the concept of greater than, less than, or equal too.
For example on of the questions was...
What is the fraction of the shaded area?
The children would answer 3/8. Than they would be given another shape and they would have to determine wither the shapes were <,>, or =.
In the fifth grade class Mrs.S was reviewing with the students for a test for the next day. She used this cool game website to make it a competition between the boys and the girls. They were working on adding and subtracting fractions, and picking out with operation needs to be done within a word problem. Although the first class that we went into was struggling with regrouping with fractions just a little bit. Mrs. S being the ingenious person she is came up with this great idea to take sentence strip and cut them to fit the problem.
For example if the problem is 3-1 1/4. What you would need to do is take the three sentence strips and cut the third one into four equal pieces. That way it is easier for the student to subtract. So what you need to do is take a whole sentence strip away, and a fourth of one. What you are left with is one and three fourths of a sentence strip.
3-1 1/4=n Same problem just made simpler. Just like the sentence strips make it easier as well.
2 4/4-1 1/4=1 3/4
Children Will Be Children
Anytime you work with children there are always funny things that happen. In my first third grade class I went to one little boy had nothing but a to go box of cereal in his pencil box. He had taken everything out of it and left it at home just so he could sneak his cereal into class. Also in the same class there was third grade drama. Just because one little girl changed tables. They eventually got over it and were all friends by the time we changed classes.
When there is snow you can always be ready for children to be excited looking out the windows, being restless. Although you do not always see adults excited to have a window. In one of the class rooms I was in, the teacher was excited he could look out the window. He was moved to a different class room because his room was being re-floored. His normal class room does not have a window, so when he had a window in his temporary class room it was the best thing he could have ever asked for.
You also always have the children who just hate school. You can tell which students these are as soon as you walk in the door. They are the students that do not look you in the eye. The students who never do their work. These students are the ones who struggle who should not be struggling in school they just do not put forth the effort. These children tug at any teachers heart. These are the students that keep me motivated to keep going towards my degree. These students are the reason I pursue a career in education. I think that Mrs. S will agree with me. The way she teaches is very hands on, and you can tell she cares about the children. She want to make a difference. School should be a fun place where every child feels loved and happy, not sad and depressed. Mrs. S does an amazing job with this. The students always have fun when she is in the class room, but she still has the students respect. So the students have fun actives, yet stay in control. Mrs.S is a teacher that makes children want to fake being well, when they are actually sick, just so they can come to school to learn.
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What is this Blog About?
This blog is about my observation in class room settings for my Education 114 and 115 classes at E&H. . This blog is about what I have learned, the different teaching methods, and stories about the children I observed. All the children that are talked about in this blog are not noted by name for security reasons.