Sunday, April 22, 2018

Twitter PLN Reflection

For my Literacy Twitter personal learning network I have learned a lot! Not only that, but I have grown as a future educator by finding new ideas and information from other educators and even sharing ideas of my own! Twitter is such a great PLN because it allows you to connect with other people and get to know them! You can use the new ideas other share to grow your ideas for a classroom and how you can be an advocate for children along with many other things! I was also able to participate in a couple tweet chats which also helped me connect with other people and expand my ideas! In the tweet chat (#nctechat) I answered some questions about myself, along with how I have improved my education and other useful PLN's! It was great hearing other people's input at well and learn more about them!

I would definitely recommend all future educators to get their own professional twitter account to help them grow as teacher AND a learning. I definitely plan to continue to use my professional twitter to become a better teacher!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Field Experience #6- Writing Vocabulary

With great sadness, I have completed my sixth and final week at Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence. However, I am happy to say that my student and I ended on a good note and I am proud with the improvements he has made throughout the process!

We began the lesson by doing a Writing Vocabulary Assessment. For this, I had my student write as many words as he could in 10 minutes. I started by having my student write his name, then I asked him if he knew how to write "is"  and "I". After that, I asked if knew how to write other spelling words that I thought would be appropriate for him to be able to spell. I told him that it was okay to not know all the words and to just write the ones that he DOES know. Some of the words he wrote down were spelled incorrectly or he wrote letters backwards or out of order, but overall he did a relatively good job and was able to write 18 words successfully!

After completing the assessment, we moved onto the book we would be reading for that week. We read "Mario's Mayan Journey", by Michelle McCunney. This book was great because it taught a lot about the Mayan culture which related to our thematic unit of "Mexican Heritage". It also discussed types of animals, which made it fun for the student. My student had a slightly hard time focusing during the reading, but it was easy for me to remind him to focus and try to pay attention to what the book was talking about.

Finally, once we finished the book, my student was able to move on to his favorite part- the ABC book! Since this was our last day I tried to give him some extra time to work on it how he wanted to. We got several pages does and he did a great job sounding out words and letters to the words he wrote on each page. I helped him with the harder words, but he did a lot of them without my assistance!

Overall, I have learned a lot from this experience and I truly believe my student did as well! He seemed to improve his writing skills and it was a lot of fun getting to know him and work with him for several weeks! While we did have our ups and downs at the beginning, the end of our time together seemed to go much more smoothly! Some things that I still think he could work on as he continues his learning is practicing his spelling and reading more so he can improve as a literacy learner!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Field Experience #5- Phonemic Awareness

This week I completed my fifth experience at Cunningham in Waterloo! It was such a great experience because I did not seem to have any issues at all! Here is what we worked on this week!

My student and I began the lesson by doing a "Hearing and Recording Sounds" observation. I read him a  couple lines that were provided that said, "I have a big dog at home. Today I am going to take him to school." I then repeated the line to him slowly and he tried to write the sentence to the best of his ability. He spelled a few of the words correctly, but spelled many of them incorrectly. I could tell he understood how to sound out the word, but once again he had a hard time matching the letters to the sounds of the words.

Next, we moved onto the book that we were reading for this week. The book was "Antonio's Card" by Rigoberto Gonzalez. This was a very interesting book because it was in both spanish and english. It also had a really good learning lesson about a child who lives in a home with two mothers. I took a passage out of the book to do Running Record on his reading. I gave him a passage with about 100 words in it for him to read. Unfortunately we only got through 61 of the words due to the time we had left. He only read 26 of the 61 words correctly. This shows me that we need to work more on reading and sounding out words to figure out how to say them correctly. I noticed that he was more of a visual reader and usually recognized the first letter of all the words, but did not always get the rest of the word correct. Finally, we finished up reading our book and moved on to his ABC book once again.

The ABC book is my student's favorite thing to do and we are getting closer to finishing it up. He is still struggling to connect the words in his ABC book to mexican heritage, but since he is not doing so great at reading and writing, we decided to just keep it simple.

Overall the experience for this week was great. My student still has a lot to work on, but I can tell he is improving. He is trying really hard to sound out words when reading and writing and recognizes a lot of the letter, but not all of them. This is something we will continue to work on next week to try to help him improve!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Field Experience #4- Spelling Inventory

My most recent field experience was my fourth visit to Cunningham and it went GREAT! It was an awesome learning experience for me in while I was really able to put into perspective how all students understand things differently and are not always at the same learning levels. My student struggled with spelling, but that just helps me recognize what I need to work more with him on!

I began the lesson with the spelling inventory. I had a list of 26 words to read to my student and he was to try to spell the words the best he could. The words started out smaller and easier, then they gradually became more difficult. My student was able to repeat the word back to me and sound it out to help him spell it, however he ended up spelling every word wrong. He was able to get the initial consonant but had a hard time figuring out the rest of the letters in the word. I tried my best to help him sound out the word so he could figure out how to spell it and he was doing really well sounding out the word, but he just could need seem to put letters with sounds. After filling out the spelling inventory based off of how he spelled his word, I came to the conclusion that he was in the Late Emergent stage. Because of this we never really got to work on digraphs or blends or vowels. But that just shows that it is something we can continue to work on the next few times.

After the spelling inventory, we moved on to the reading portion of the lesson. The book I read was called "Pancho's Piñata" by Stefan Czernecki and Timothy Rhodes. I thought this was a good book to read since we were leaning about Mexican Heritage. The student was able to provide background information about what he already knew about piñatas and guess what he thought was going to happen throughout the story. This was a fun book to read because he was able to make connections with the story. I even tied in spelling to the story. Whenever I came across a word I thought he could spell I would point to the word and ask him to tell me how it was spelled and he did a pretty good job with little help!

Finally, we made it to the portion of the tutoring where we worked on the ABC book. Since we had more time than we usually do, Emiliane got much further than he did the last few days. He did a good job writing the uppercase and lowercase letters, then writing a word that started with those letters and drawing a picture to help him remember them better. Again, he had a hard time connecting his ABC book to the thematic unit and sort of just drew whatever he wanted, but as I mentioned before I think that as I further his knowledge on Mexican heritage he will begin to make more connections in his ABC book!

All in all I think the overall lesson went very well. The spelling portion was a little bumpy but, as I stated, that just shows me that it is something we can continue to work on and build his knowledge and spelling skills. I think that if we just keep practicing these words he will get better spelling them over time. He does a great job sounding out the word, but has a hard time connecting the letters to the sound so we will just have to keep working on that. Otherwise he did a great job participating in the lesson and building his knowledge on Mexican heritage! I am extremely excited to see how well the next tutoring experience goes for the both of us!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Field Experience #3- Vocabulary

My third tutoring experience at Cunningham went much better than last time! The teacher created a schedule for my student so he knew what we would be doing today and when we needed to be done and it seemed to work out. He understood that when we were done he would give me his ABC book and walk back to the classroom and that he could continue to work on the book next time I come back.
I began the lesson by reading "Sand" by Marie Clay. This book was great when helping students understand the concept of print. My student pointed out the cover of the book, uppercase and lowercase letters, where a sentence starts and where it goes and ends, changes in letters of a word, and many more. My student did a great job noticing when things were wrong such as when the sentence was upside down, or when letters of a word were mixed up. He was able to point out that something was not correct so we worked together to figure out the correct word.

Next, we moved into our lesson. We began by reading the book "Mexico in Colors" by Ann Stalcup. This book is great for recognizing colors and differences between cultures. The student noticed that the buildings in Mexico were a lot more colorful than the buildings we have here. They made connections to last week's lesson about the Mayans such as when they made tortillas and the Mayan ruins. I asked questions before reading such as "Do you think the colors in Mexico are same as the colors we see here? Why". I also asked questions during the reading such as "Do we having colorful building such as these in our town? Where might have you seen some before?" And finally we asked questions after finishing the book such as "How many different colors did this book talk about?" and "What objects do you see in our culture that are the same colors?" Then, we were running out of time, so we moved onto the ABC book.

Like I mentioned in my previous blogs, my students loves working on the ABC book so he was excited to get working on it again. We were short on time so we were only able to finish one more page. Since we did the page for "A" last week, we worked on "B" this week. He wrote a capital and lowercase "Bb". Then I told him to thing of an object that starts with a "B" that he could draw to help him. He chose to draw a picture of a ball. Then, to help even more, he wrote the word "Ball" under his drawing so he could remember what he drew and that it starts with the letter B. 

For the ABC book, it is supposed to be based off of our thematic unit which is "Mexican Heritage", however he was having a hard time thinking of objects and words he can draw that reflect Mexican Heritage so we are keeping it simple for now and plan to further our knowledge about the Mexican culture so he can incorporate it into his ABC book.

Overall the lesson was really fun! My student behaved better this week with only one minor slip-up that was quickly corrected. He kept interrupting during the reading portion of the lesson, so I told him he needed to sit still and focus so we could move on and he got upset with me and hid his face in the bean bad and did not talk or listed for about 2 minutes. I decided to not acknowledge it and continue with the reading. After a short while he noticed that I wasn't going to acknowledge his behavior and he sat back up in the chair and began to cooperate again. I was glad he did not throw a tantrum or run away like last week and was able to correct his behavior so we could move on. I want to continue to get to know my student better and continue to create a schedule for him so he gets used to a routine, this way the lesson goes more smoothly and he continues to have good behavior!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Field Experience #2- Phonics

My second field experience at Cunningham was interesting to say the least... but it was a great learning experience for me! I was with a first grader this week and he was VERY energetic. He was very excited to be with me but had some trouble sitting down and focusing, but I continued with my lesson. Once again, I began by introducing myself and having the student tell me a little bit about himself as well.

Then, I started the lesson with the FAST word flashcards. Like I said, my student had a difficult time focusing so it took a little while to go through all the words and he did not pay attention quite as well so he missed about 10 of the words, but was able to self-correct about two of them.

After we did the FAST word flashcards we moved onto the letter identification sheet. I pointed at each of the letters and he told me what the letter was and if it was uppercase or lowercase. He missed about eight of the letters, but corrected a few of them. Once again he was not focusing the best and was not taking his time to figure out the letter, which is why I believe he missed so many of them. Next time I will try to help him focus better and take his time to figure out the letter.

Once we finished going through all the letters, we moved onto our phonics lesson over Mexican Heritage. We began by asking some pre-reading questions about the book we were going to read. The book was called "Hands of the Maya Villagers at Work and Play" by Rachel Crandell. This book was awesome because it had a lot of new words that the student did not know about tools Mayans used so we would practice sounding out the word based off of the letters we had just practiced. It took a little while but we would eventually figure out what the word was! During the story we would ask questions such as "What might the Mayans be carrying the wood on their backs for? Do you do chores like this? How are your chores at home different than those of the Mayans?" This way the student had to make connections to the story while I was reading to keep him engaged. When we were finished reading the book, we followed up with some more questions such as "How do the Mayans live differently than you do?" and "What were some of the things the Mayans did with their hands?" This way they could do some critical thinking and create a comparison to reflect upon the story.

Once we finished our lesson, we ended the session by creating an ABC book. I provided an example of my own so he had an idea of how he could do his own. I provided an empty ABC book that he could decorate and create on his own along with markers and colored pencils to use. He began by making a cover page with his name and a title and doodles. Then he began the first page with the letter "A" and the word "Apple" because it starts with "A", along with a picture of an apple. Then, it was time to pack up and leave.

This is where things went a little off tracks... My student did not want to stop working on his ABC book and started to throw a fit. I tried to calm him down and talk to him nicely so he would return back to the classroom, but he kept running away from me. I just had to wait until he was ready to walk back to the classroom. When we were walking back to the classroom the teacher had come to find us and try to talk to the student about his behavior and he threw another tantrum and ran out of the school. We had to find an associate to help us get the student under control and back into the school. The teacher and I discussed his behavior and she told me he always has a hard time with transitioning... We decided that from now on we would create a schedule for him so he has a set routine for each time I come in to tutor him. I hope this works so we do not have this issue again.
Therefore, a way that I could differentiate my lesson for next time would be to create a schedule for the student to follow she he knows what is expected of him every time I come in. I will also be sure to find ways to make sure he stays focus and on task so he can get better at the FAST words and the letter identifications.
Overall, this was definitely a learning experience for the BOTH of us. I learned that some students are easier than others to get to focus and its not always a walk on the beach. Now I know my students weaknesses and I will try to find ways to overcome them so he can become more successful in the classroom!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Twitter Chat Experience

I recently participated in a Tweet Chat and it was awesome! I had never done one before and it was so much fun! I did not know what to expect when I first got on, but everyone was so inviting and showed a lot of encouragement! The chat that that I participated in was #NCTEchat. Before the chat began everyone introduced themselves and said a little bit about themselves as well. 

When the chat began, #NCTEchat just asked a very simple question that got everyone involved. It helped to settle my nerves that the questions were opinion-based and easy to answer. Also, you could see everyone else's response and join in conversations with them as well. 

It was so great to be able to hear other peoples' ideas and views on things. Everyone was so helpful and encouraged future educators to expand their personal learning networks and provide helpful advice as well!

Sadly, there were only 5 or so questions every 10 minutes and the chat only lasted an hour. However, I learned so much in that small amount of time and it was so fun! I definitely plan on participating in another Twitter Chat in the near future and I would strongly encourage other future educators to try it out as well! If you would like to check out my professional twitter and see the types of conversations that I was involved in for #NCTEchat, here is the link: