Friday, December 16, 2011

December 5-9

The final week:
This was a bittersweet week. My students knew it was my last week and told me each day that they couldn't believe I only had 4 more days, 3 more days, 2 more days... On my last day, I assumed I'd get lots of hugs and maybe a few goodbye cards, but these kids really showed how much they appreciated having me as their science teacher. Almost every period there was a variety of snacks for us to eat. I have never received so many containers of cookies, fudge, pepperoni rolls, and rock candy. I was even surprised by a few students who I thought would never go to the trouble of making me something. I received drawings from students whose drawings I had admired earlier in the semester.

One of my students wrote me a VERY long goodbye letter telling me how much she enjoyed having me as her teacher and that she wants to be a teacher now. It was nice to get something so thoughtful and to see that I have truly impacted the life of one of my students. I had a really amazing internship and I have so much to be thankful for. My mentor teacher was so helpful throughout the semester and is someone I can truly call a friend. My students were so great, even on their crazy days. I feel like I can call Suncrest home and I am going to miss everyone there so much. I have to give a shout out to the janitor, Gaylord. That man made a point to say good morning to me everyday and gave me the biggest hug on my last day at Suncrest. I really love my Seals!

November 28-December 2

This week, my students worked on atom model time lines. I had intended to do a cross curricular lesson at some point during my internship, so this lesson fulfilled that purpose. In this activity, my students were to do research on how the atom model has been depicted over time and to include "fun facts" for each model. These fun facts were to be events or important happenings that were going on around the time that each model was developed. This students drew these on butcher paper and drew pictures for each event. The students presented these at the end of the week. Many of students do not have presentation skills, so after my first period, I showed all of the other periods "what not to do during a presentation". My students did a great job after they were given these pointers.

My birthday was on Tuesday of this week. My students were really excited about it. They made me all kinds of treats, made me cards, and drew all over my board with so many Happy Birthday's that I couldn't read it anymore. It was a good day. I love my kids!

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 14-18

This week was an interesting week, to say the least. I have a student who has a strange affinity for plastic spoons. This student has been stealing spoons from the cafeteria and has been drawing faces on them to create a colony of "super spoons". Thursday was the most interesting day. This same student used two spoons, drew eyes on them, bent the handles, and held the spoons to his eyes with his eyelids to make it look like he was wearing glasses. He claimed that he was "blind" and could not do his work because he couldn't see his work. Like I said, interesting week. This is also the week before Thanksgiving break, so I'm telling myself this is why my students have been acting stranger than usual. Bring on the turkey!

November 7-10

This was a very short week, but an awesome one. The students were introduced to the computer program Starlogo and began manipulating the foodweb within this program. The students, at first, were very concerned with how to use the program and were getting frustrated with it, but soon began to see that this seemingly complex program was actually very logical if you broke down each part into small steps. Wednesday, my mentor teacher and I got some very exciting equipment in the mail. We recieved waders, and probes for the stream testing we do on Saturdays with a group of interested students. On our planning period, my mentor teacher and I decided to open the packages we recieved and try out, well play, wth the new equipment. We both put on the waders and showed them off for the rest of the school. The science Edline page now has a picture of me and my mentor teacher wearing the waders. It was a good day. We also took a group of kids to the stream to try out the new equipment. They were excited to use the new probes and waders to test the stream. We collected a variety of data which we will analyze later in the school year.

October 31-November 4

This week, we finished the roller coaster projects and each student got to present their finished product. We had guest judges come into the classroom (other teachers and pre-service teachers) to judge the roller coasters. Each group was given five marbles to test in which to test their roller coasters. If the marbles made it to the end of the track three out of five times, it was considered "functional". We had the guest judges vote on their favorite roller coaster based on functionality and the students also got to vote on their favorite roller coaster in each class period. The two winning roller coasters from each class period are now being displaying in the media center. The students were so excited that they were going to get to show off their roller coasters to anyone who walks into the media center. At the end of this week, we had a benefit spaghetti dinner for the Watson family. The school was a mad house (in a good way) with so many people coming and going, trying to get their spaghetti to support the Watsons. The school raised over $30,000. What an amazing accomplishment! It was a good week to be a Suncrest Seal.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 24-28

This week has been a good one. The students started building their roller coasters on top of or inside of their shoe boxes. As I walked around the room, I could hear them using some physics terms such as friction, kinetic energy, and potential energy. This makes me SO happy! We have briefly discussed some of these terms in class, but they are actually using these concepts to build and adjust their roller coasters. The goal is to build a roller coaster that can roll a marble from one end of the track to the other. Some of my students are being so creative with their roller coaster designs by including jumps and loops that actually work. Some of my least motivated students are staying on task and working as team players within their groups. I am still struggling to keep my lower level students involved with the physics. One of these students keeps falling asleep and the other is refusing to work in his group. To solve both of these problems I have given these students more independent work to keep them on task. Now both of these students are building Lego roller coasters that model the one that their group is making. As we finish these roller coasters next week, I hope to see an improvement in their behavior and willingness to work on this assignment.

October 17-21

This week, we got through the rest of the notes. Hooray! I gave out a lot of homework this week, so my students weren't too happy about this. At least they had the opportunity to practice their equations for physics. (If only they could see it this way.) At the end of the week, the students took a quiz on the physics they learned and finally got to insert the rest of their Prezi pictures from the Buckwheat festival. I utilized my student "experts" by having them help students who were struggling with inserting the pictures.

As this week progressed, I found that it was becoming increasingly more difficult to differentiate the math portion of physics for my very low level students (those students who are on 2nd-4th grade levels). I began searching for material that I could use for them for physics, but physics is not a covered in grades 2-4. I have been seeking the advice of my mentor teacher and the 7th grade science teacher who have both told me that this is something that comes with practice. I did purchase a few science workbooks that are geared towards the elementary grades so I can see what type of activities are appropriate and see how to "word" the physics worksheets in a way that can be more easily understood by my lower level students. I am hoping next week's project (building shoebox roller coasters) will make all of the physics from this week make more sense.