This weeks focus was a final reflection on my time at Dr. Hanna
Today Monday, December, 3rd was my final field day. It was very sad to leave the kids! They became so comfortable with Taylor and me that they were really showing their true colors and expressing themselves openly. Unfortunately, on our last day, Mrs. Henderson added a new group of students to her afternoon. It is a group of four grade 1 boys and they were so much fun to work with! Even just for the hour, we got to spend with them. Since they are grade 1, they were learning very basic English like the letter sounds of the alphabet. Then they had to look at each other and describe characteristics they saw on that person. "Two ears!" was a very common one! After that, they were supposed to draw a picture of themselves using the characteristics that their classmates had pointed out earlier. They were a neat group to work with and they were very cute and energetic! I wish we could have had more time with them.
I have had an amazing time at Dr. Hanna. I love all the kids I got to work with and they seemed to really like my partner and I. I think it will really benefit me in my future teaching career, knowing how a classroom works and being able to apply what I have learned at Dr. Hanna into my future profession as a teacher. I am hoping to teach grade 3 in the future, but after working with the grade 1's today, I am definitely open to other ages! I am going to miss my time there, but I am grateful for it.
This weeks focus was inclusive education-diversity and difference. How my school is honouring diversity, equity, and human rights for all students (including sexual gender).
Today, November 19th was my fifth field day. It was a typical day in the classroom. The students were working on new word sorts. They were mostly dealing with vowel sounds and how different vowels work to create a word. Most of the students did good (not perfect) but good. There was one boy in the first group which is grade 3, who is really struggling with his words. He is very new to Canada, only arrived at the beginning of October, so it makes sense that his English is not very good. He is such a sweet boy and is very eager to learn English and catch up with his classmates level.
The next group is the grade 5's. They were working on a habitats worksheet instead of word sorts. There is only three of them in this group, but none of them knew what a habitat was until today. We worked on reading a brief description about habitats out loud, each of the girls took turns. Mrs. Henderson then asked them if they had any questions about what we had just read and they all immediately put their hand up to ask a question! My partner and I helped explain habitats, and basic words they were struggling with throughout the reading. By the end of our time together they understood what a habitat was, and the different kinds of them.
The last group, grades 7-8, were away at agribition today so my partner and I left around 2:45 pm. It was a shorter day than usual, but we still got to interact with 2/3 of the groups that we normally do. I am starting to take an interest in the grade 3 age level. They are always excited and eager to learn and are not afraid to ask my partner and me for help if they need it.
Dr. Hannah (my school) has so much diversity. Even just in the classroom that I am in, it is clear to see how much diversity there is. The boys and girls in my small groups get the same opportunities as each other, they do not get graded differently based on their culture or gender and they get the same help. My school is really good at acknowledging that diversity and taking any means necessary to help those who don't speak good English, or who just need a little more help. Student conferences aka parent-teacher interviews are coming up next week and Mrs. Henderson said she has been booking translators the past week to be able to come and translate for her student's parents. I couldn't help but think how that honors the diversity of the school. She knows known of her students are from Canada and she wants to make sure that their parents have all the necessary tools to understand how their child is doing in school, and how they can improve.
This weeks focus was inclusive education and diversity. What types of diversity I observe within the classroom and community, and types of diversity that may not be visible.
Today, Monday, November 5th, was my fourth field day. My partner and I helped the students with their word sorts and played a game with them. The game was actually taken from our slips we got in KHS 139 where we had to pretend to be a teacher and the rest of our group are the students and a couple groups went up to the front in class. So the exercise had to do with English, which was perfect because that is all they learn in the classes I am in. So the students would do a movement exercise like jumping, hopping, a lot of them chose a very popular dance called the floss, then I would call out a word from their word sorts, they would freeze, try to spell the word and then use it in a sentence and it continued until we finished their word sorts. The grade 3 group seemed to love this game!! They were all actively moving around (which promotes healthy brain activity) and trying to race each other in getting the word spelled correctly! The next age group is grade 5, they still participated, but seemed a lot more hesitant with dancing and moving around. Our last group was the grade 8's and we knew they would not want to participate in this game, so we did another game on the board with them, still concerning their word sorts.
Regarding diversity, my school is filled with it. Most of the students are refugees from Syria, Pakistan, and India. Some students come from China and India just to live in Canada. The groups I am with every Monday are very diverse, none of them are from Canada and are just learning about the Canadian culture and the language. I think it is really neat I get to be with these kids every Monday and watch them learn and grow. They are really starting to warm up to myself and my partner and have a lot more fun with us in class. Mrs. Henderson is really accepting and patient with them, she knows English is not their first language and she wants nothing more than to see them succeed in what they are learning. You can clearly see the love she has for these kids, and the way she teaches them fits their style of learning. She takes her time with every individual student and makes sure that they all do well. I want them to succeed too, so I love helping them with any English questions they have and just questions in general. I am really enjoying my time at my school and I look forward to going back!!
This weeks focus was teachers and knowledge. How I see teachers honouring different ways of knowing, and promoting knowledge in the classroom. What types of supports teachers rely on, and how they build their proffessional knowledge.
Today, October 29th, 2018 was my third field day. The kids are really starting to warm up to me and my partner and seem to be a lot more outgoing and vocal (which is good, but not during work time). Today the kids had a spelling test (In each of the 3 age groups) and they all had the exact same 25 words to spell, my partner and I got to correct the spelling tests and circle which parts of the words the students needed help with, most of them mistook "civilize" to start with an "s" and others had trouble with vowel sounds. It was really interesting to see because the grade 8 group misspelled more of the words than the grade 5 group. The grade 5 group, most of them scored a 15/25 while in the grade 8 group 3 of them got 6/25 and one student actually got 1/25. It was just interesting to see because you would think that the grade 8 group would be better spellers than the grade 5 group.
Our coop teacher Ms. Henderson is very patient with all the kids and lets them take their time spelling the words, she explains the vowel sounds and how to sound certain words out without giving the word away so the kids can learn. She wants them to learn how to say/write these words instead of simply giving them the answer when they start to struggle, she knows they will learn nothing that way. She really relies on the students and the teachers around her to support these kids to learn their words so they can do better academically and socially. She does quite a lot of research on what types of supports these kids would need in order to improve, that is why this program is done in small groups so that they can build friendships without being made fun of and they aren't afraid to ask questions when the group is smaller.
The group of 3 grade five girls needed a good "brain break" after their spelling test as Kathy from KHS would say, so my partner and I decided to show them how to do the "cha cha slide" along with the video we danced to in class, my coop teacher loved it so much she had to film us all dancing along! I thought it was an awesome way for us to get engaged with the kids and for them to see that we aren't so scary! We just want to help them learn and grow!
The focus for this week was the school and community. What types of people are in my school and what does the surrounding community look like?
I had my second day in the field on October 22! At this point, I am getting to know the kids a little bit better and learning their names. They seem to be getting more comfortable with myself and my partner as well, they seemed more outgoing this time. My field is just kids where English is their second language, so they are learning strictly English skills. Taylor (my partner) and I came up with an exercise on the board where we took the words that they are learning and mixed the letters up and they had to see if they could figure out what word it was, they seemed to really enjoy this exercise and they were all eager to participate! It was neat to watch their expressions when they got one right, they seemed so excited! I was able to take some pictures of the classroom and the separate tables this time too.
Ms. Henderson also showed us how "reading tests" work, so a student comes and sits with us while the rest of the group works on whatever assignment they have at the time, they read a short book from a specific reading level and the teacher puts an "RT" symbol by the words they repeat and an "SC" on the words that they got wrong the first time but corrected the second time, then they are asked a series of questions regarding the story they just read to test their comprehension. Once that is done, you had up the number of mistakes they had during the reading and you look at their comprehension to decide if they really understood the story, then you decide if they should move up to the next reading level, go down a level or remain at the level they are at now. Once we watched how it was done, Ms. Henderson let Taylor and I do a reading test with a couple students by ourselves and then we discussed it afterward. It was super neat doing this exercise and seeing how the kids can learn and grow in their reading and help them improve!
In my school there are a lot of teachers and administrators, I have not met them all yet, but I did meet the principal and she seems to be running a pretty good school! The community around the school is a neighborhood with houses and a park, I have not been around too much of the neighborhood. But all in all, it was a successful field day and I look forward to going back.
The focus for this week was the learners, their environment, and if it brought back memories of my elementary school:
I had my first field experience this afternoon October 15th because last Monday was Thanksgiving. My school is Dr. Hanna(h) in the North end of Regina and my cooperating teacher is Dawna Henderson. Dawna is very nice and she made myself and my partner feel very welcome. I am not placed with a specific grade, I will be working with grade 3 all the way to grade 8 with students where English is not their first language. So for the first 45 minutes, we are working with grade 3/4 students (there is 4 of them) and they are the very basic level of English, so we helped them with sounding out words such as "leg" or "cat" and then we helped them come up with things that relate to "communities" because they are designing postcards and sending them across Canada to different schools, so some kids chose to draw policemen and an ambulance because they help the community, while other kids chose to draw themselves with a friend in a community park.
Then those kids go back to their normal classrooms and we gather the next group of kids from grade 5 (there is 3 of them) and we worked on common and proper nouns with them. These kids seemed to have a relatively good grasp on the difference between proper and common nouns, they too were working on postcards to send out to different schools in Canada so we helped them with that towards the end of our time together. Then it was recess! During this time my partner Taylor and I talked with Ms. Henderson about the different cultures in the school. During our chat, 2 Muslim boys came up to Ms. Henderson and asked if they could use her room to pray, so we had to step out of the room to give them their privacy. I thought it was kind of neat to get a taste of the different cultures in the school.
Our last and final group was 4 boys and 1 girl from grades 6-8 and they were the most advanced group. They were learning nouns as well, but they were learning how to actually apply them to the stories they were writing. Taylor and I helped the girl write her story about a vicious zombie monster, it was really neat to see where her imagination was taking her and being able to help her express her story on paper by suggesting different words she could use.
All the kids were very sweet and we get to be with them every Monday, so we will really get to know them better. They all seem eager to learn the English language. The environment of the classroom made it a welcoming space for them to express their concerns or ask any questions they may have. It was set up with 3 curved tables that all the students sit around and if they needed any time to write by themselves or with Taylor and me, we moved to a separate table to help them away from the big group. It was different and yet similar at the same time to my personal elementary school in Moose Jaw because I was not used to working with grade 8's and helping them learn basic English skills, but at the same time, my school brought in students from all over the world through our exchange student program so I was sort of used to experiencing different cultures.
Over all I am excited to get to know the kids better and spend Monday afternoons with them!
This will be a page designed for blogs about my time at Dr.L M Hanna school. My experiences with the kids in my class and my cooperating teacher.
For some reason my blog one is at the bottom. The later weeks are at the top.