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:

Fluency Lesson Reflection #1

The best word I could used to describe my first field experience at Cunningham is "successful". It was so amazing that all the children were excited to learn and go out of there comfort zone to work with teachers that they have never met before. Everyone was so welcoming and it was amazing!

There was a slight mixup with the classes when we got there... We originally planned our lessons for first graders, but we ended up being paired with kindergarteners which was just as great! I was partnered with another future educator from my classroom and we worked together to teach our fluency lesson plan to the kindergartener. We first began the lesson by introducing ourselves, then asked the student to tell us a little about herself as well!

Then, we moved into the FAST word flashcards that we created for the lesson. My partner and I were both very impressed at how well our kindergartener was doing with the words, considering they were meant for first graders! She knew almost all of the words and we went through all 50 words relatively quickly!

After we finished going through the FAST words, we moved on to the book that we were going to discuss for the lesson. The book was "My house" by Rebecca Emberley. Since our thematic unit is over Mexican Heritage, this book was in english and spanish. Our students was excited to read the book and did not hesitate to jump right in! We hardly even helped her read the words because she was pretty persistent on reading it herself. She would read each word in english, then we would repeat it back to her in spanish. If there was ever a word she came across that she did not know, she would sound it out or segment it to help her figure out the word.

The book was really great because it labeled parts of a house and things that someone might find inside a house, which is very relatable. Along with that, the book was also very fun and interesting to read since it was in two languages! We asked questions before reading the book, during the book, and after reading the book. Some questions included, "Based off of the title and cover of the book, what do you think we will be learning about in this story?" or, "Do you recognize any of the spanish words in this book? Have you heard any of them before?" Our student was very attentive and did very well during the lesson.

After we finished our lesson for fluency, we provided the student with an ABC book to create and color. We provided our own example of our ABC book so the student can see what an ABC book might look like, then we provided her with markers and colored pencils to create her own. Sadly, we ran out of time and all she was able to finish was the cover on the book, but we allowed her to keep her book so she could work on it more and finish it in her own time. If we had more time we would have went through the alphabet and put each letter on its own page. We probably would have tried to get through at least a few words each day until it was complete.

Like I mentioned before, this experience was really great and overall I think it was a success. We all walked in there not really knowing what to expect or how things were going to go, but I thought it went great! Timing definitely made things a little difficult because it sort of felt like we had to rush through the lesson, but I believe that we accomplished a lot in the time we were given. I think the next time will go more smoothly since we know what to expect now. Also, I would consider bringing more FAST words or more advanced words for the student since our kindergartener did so well on the 50 words we gave her... So maybe we could try to challenge the student a little more next time.

It is hard for me to decide how to differentiate the tasks for next time since we will be with a different student and they will be a different age. But like I said before, maybe I could find some more advanced FAST words to challenge the student a little bit! A goal that I would like to set for myself is practicing better time management for the next time and get to know the student I will be working with better since I will be with them for several more weeks!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Extra Credit!

Piper Freestone

What exactly are InTASC and ISTE standards? Well, let me tell you. First of all, InTASC standards is an acronym that stands for The Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium! According to CCSSO,  InTASC "is a consortium of state education agencies and national educational organizations dedicated to the reform of the preparation, licensing, and on-going professional development of teachers." Its main purpose is to assure that the teacher is doing what they can to make sure that all students are able to learn and perform at high levels.

According to, ISTE standards stand for International Society for Technology in Education, and can be defined as "the definitive framework for successfully implementing digital strategies to positively impact learning, teaching and leading in our technology-powered world." We have these standards to evaluate the skills that students need to learn effectively and be productive in world that is full of growing and improving technology.

These standards are written from the perspective of teachers. Some vocabulary from the standards that seem to be most useful are "development", "diversity", and "technology". To me, these all seem vital to teaching because it is important to notice the diversity of learners in a classroom and help with their learning development. Technology is growing and improving every day and is now a large part of society, so it is important to include it in the education in classrooms as well. Technology can enhance achievement of the standards in this way, as well. It is a large part of life- it's everywhere we go. Therefore, it is important to educate students on technology and appropriate ways to make use of it in everyday life.

These standards can enhance BOTH teacher and student performance. It helps teachers grow as educators to successfully educate students in the classroom no matter their learning abilities. They can guide the design of instruction by helping teachers know what to teach and why it is important to teach them. They provide an outline to help teachers provide the best education to their students that they possibly can!

These standards will be used in my future classroom to help guide me to become the best educator I can be for my students! I can easily refer to the standards to create ideas on how to create a lesson that supports the standards! All in all, these standards are vital to teaching and can be used many ways in a classroom!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Blog #4- Pinterest

One more learning tool I really enjoyed and would really like to discuss further is Pinterest! I know a lot of people use Pinterest to find creative ideas for certain things, however I was very new to it. First, I want to say that Pinterest is great! It is so fun and it full of super fun and creative ideas. All you have to do is search a key word and Pinterest will take you to a bunch of ideas and things that relate to the word you put in. Also, on your account, you can create a "board." This is helpful because it allows you to put all of the things you found on your Pinterest search onto your board so you can easily come back to it later and look at it and use it again! This can be great for a classroom because, as a teacher, I can create a board full of ideas that I can use in the classroom and with my students. For example, I was able to find all sorts of ideas on educational websites I could use in my classroom and allow my students to use. I was also able to find ideas on things I can use in a special education classroom that could be very beneficial! I would strongly encourage other educators and future educators to look into how they could use Pinterest in their classroom!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Final Project!

Directions to Interactive Learning Tool:
  • Read everything.
  • After reading the information provided, click on the link to EDpuzzle. This will send you to a video that you will watch.
  • Pay close attention to the facts provided in the video as you will answer a few open-ended quiz questions at the end.
Good luck, and enjoy!

EDpuzzle- A Walk on the Beach!(The image below is not a link)

2–LS4–1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Welcome to the interactive learning tool about the science of beaches! With this tool, you can test your knowledge and eventually accomplish several things such as:

I CAN observe plants and animals on beaches and compare them to other plants and animals in my area.
I CAN name at least one plant that grows on beaches and one animal that lives on beaches.
I CAN understand how beaches are formed and where sand comes from.

This relates to and supports the Thematic Unit by incorporating science in a lesson about beaches! The students will be able to see why beaches are the way they are and learn more about them through this learning tool! They will be able to acknowledge the difference of life on beaches compared to life in the area where they live.

-This interactive tool provides several multimedia features such as audio, self-created images, and video/animation. I used my video I created from my video project from the middle of the semester, then downloaded that to From there I was able to include voice-over audio as well as quiz questions at the end.

Characteristics of Learner-Centered Teaching I Included:
1. "Learner-centered teaching engages students in the hard, messy work of learning."-  I included this by getting the students engaged in learning by watching a helpful video that provided facts and information for the students.
2. "Learner-centered teaching encourages students to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning it."- I did this by adding quiz questions at the end of my video to help them reflect on what they learned.
3. "Learner-centered teaching includes explicit skill instruction."- I did this by providing directions to the learning tool to help the students get through it easily and with no problems.