Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Post #15 and Final Reflection Video

That's All Folks

Future Classroom from Blog Post #1
As I think about my future classroom, the picture is a little hazy in my mind.  I expect I will learn a lot more about methods as my own college courses progress.  I want to teach fourth or fifth grade or even sixth grade math all day at a middle school.  However for this reflection, I am focusing on fourth or fifth graders.  I want to keep and maintain their attention.  I want the students to expect the unexpected.  My personal teaching style is incorporating lecture with discussion followed by hands on experience.  I know I will have to be flexible and be able to assess what actually works versus what a lesson plan says.

In a class size of 25+ students, I will have to constantly be aware of the array of learning styles and ability of the students.  There are always the high, middle, and low students, and possibly special needs students contained in the class.  Natural leaders will emerge. There will also be those that are shy or content to not be as verbal.  Regardless of these things, I worry most about behavior problems.  Their home lives may not be so great or they may have medical issues.  Social dynamics between the students will be a factor.  Fourth and fifth graders should no longer need help tying their shoes or sounding out words, but they have other needs.  I want them all to develop skills to assess information, solve problems, and achieve success because of and despite all of these factors.  

I expect to use various tools in the classroom.  Of course the basics are pens, pencils, paper, and textbooks.  I know art is a valuable subject to integrate into other subjects so I plan on having many art supplies and music.  I want to have a quality classroom library while also making use of the school library.  For different units of study, I want to bring items for hands on demonstration. Concerning technology, I would love to use a Smart Board well while also allowing students to use classroom computers to enhance learning.  

I want my classroom to be the place my students will enjoy entering every day rather than dread.  I want my classroom to be a place of safety, positivity, stimulation, and achievement.  While I am not a sports fan, I may use a sports theme for decorating because I want my students to have the attitude that we are all on the same team. 

New Reflection
After having field experience at Fonde Elementary School this semester required by another class, I feel like I have seen a lot more real examples of a school in dire need of rejuvenation.  I no longer fear bad behavior like I wrote about in my earlier post.  The key is to give students a reason to behave, not badger them for misbehavior. 

Students are craving for engagement and inspiration to learn.  Technology definitely has a part to play in that.  My statement, "I would love to use a Smart Board well while also allowing students to use classroom computers to enhance learning," stands out to me.  I will need to hands on training to use a Smart Board well.  Just trying to figure it out myself is not enough.  With my current ability, I could not use it for much more than as a projector for the internet.  In a school like Fonde, there are not enough computers in the classroom to incorporate technology based learning in any major way.  I know I will have to do my best to work with what I have.  Having said that, to me the greater issue is evaluating what is the point of education and what defines success in the classroom.  While I know standardized testing is a current reality, I refuse to be a drilling, teach to the test type of  teacher.  I stand by the rest of my original post.

Oops, I did it again.  This video exceeds five minutes.  Enjoy some jelly beans or something.


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