Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reading Workshop (Unit A-The First Days of School)

Schema Activation: What do you remember about the first day of middle school or high school?

I remember the first day of my senior year. I thought it was important to dress up and that everyone would be looking at what you were wearing, what that said about your economic situation, give people an image of who you were going to represent that year. People would make sure to get a new outfit for the first day from the most expensive clothing store possible. In the classes, the teachers would go over the syllabus and other rules for the school year and then spend a few minutes working through problems. I also remember going from class to class getting more and more syllabi and learning very little about what the targets were for learning except passing the state mandated standardized tests.

Activity: Reading Unit A: The First Day of school:

TS: Text to self
TW: Text to world
TT: Text to text

Chapter 1: Why you need to succeed on the first days of school

Effective teachers spent time organizing and structuring their classrooms so the students knew what to do to succeed.

TS: I need to establish consistency in my classroom because students want to know exactly what they getting in to and what is going to happen. One of my top prioritiies should be to provide a classroom that is consistent. I have to establish rules and then a set of consequences that are always the same. I cannot back away down and not make the consequencess different.

TW: If I establish consistency in my room, then those students will always know what to expect. Many professors have stressed to us that school life might be the only consistent aspect of their life. At home they do not always know what to expect but we as teachers can help them always know what is going on.

TS: Students want to have a safe, predictable, and nurturing environment, consistency, well-managed classes, no yelling and a place where learning can take place.

Everyone has stressed that we need have a predictable and consistent setting.

Effective teachers teach classroom management procedures that create consistency.

Effective teachers have lesson plans and procedures that produce student learning.

Effective teacher establishes good control of the class in the very first day of school. Control is what you are doing, classroom procedures, and professional responsibilities

Four stages of Teaching

Stage 1- Fantasy
Generally neophyte teachers believe that they just need to be friends.
Relate and be a friend to their students.
Rarely talk about standards, assessment, or student achievement

Stage 2- Survival
Teachers look for busywork for the students to do, students spend time completing worksheets, watching videos, and doing seat work. Goal is to keep their students quiet.

Stage 3- Mastery

teach for mastery, and have high expectations for their students
reading the literature and going to professional meeting to help their teaching

Stage 4- Impact

Teachers who make a difference in the lives of their students. Students come back years later to thank them for helping them.

Reaching the Impact stage will fulfill your fantasy or dream of making a difference in the live of your students.

Teachers were hired to impact lives, influence lives and touch lives.

2-The Effective Teacher

Three Characteristics of an effective teacher

1. has positive expectations for student success
2. is an extremely good classroom manager
3. Knows how to design lessons for student mastery

Positive Expectations

Positive Expectations: means that the teacher believes in the learner and that the learner can learn.

Text to self: I need to believe that the student can and will learn something. The teacher (me) needs to emotionally and verbally communicate that we believe in the learner by not yelling at a students mistake and using the word "yet". The student may not understand something initially but eventually they will meet the target.

Text to text: This is seems to fit in well with the growth mindset.

Text to world: As a body of teachers, we should all demonstrate that we believe that the learner will eventually learn something.

It is essential that the teacher exhibit positive expectations toward all students.

Text to self: I think that it is easy to exhibit favoritism and this quote touches on that. We must have the same expectations for all students. If a student misses a questions, we must have the deep-rooted belief that the student will eventually know it.

Classroom Management

Classroom management consists of the practices and procedures that a teacher uses to maintain an environment in which instruction and learning can occur.

Lesson Mastery

Mastery refers to how well a student can demonstrate that a concept has been comprehended, or perform a skill at a level of proficiency, as determined by the teacher.

Chapter 3: The First Year can be successful

What is a good teacher? One who continually improves themselves by going back to college, joining professional organizations, attends conferences, conventions, workshops, and participate in professional development meets, working cooperatively with others on the staff in collegial support networks, and learning communities

Text to self: I agree with all of those attributes for good teachers. I want to be a teacher that is continually revising and learning. I do not think teaching is about knowing everything and perfection. It is about realizing that you will never be perfect but taking the steps to become as perfect as possible. I can see myself attending conferences and conventions in order to learn more about content knowledge as well as pedagogical content knowledge. I want to be teacher who continually goes back to school and takes classes. I also want to not just talk the talk but walk the walk. I want to be a collaborator and not be so prideful that I don't go to other teachers to ask what works and what doesn't. Teaching is about being willing to admit your faults and grow through more education and more conversations with other teachers.

Text to world: This goes along with what we are learning in other classes. In Becoming a Teacher, we analyzed our content knowledge to find those areas that we are week in and come up with a professional development plan about how we are going to address those weaknesses. We then came up with solutions to those weaknesses.

Effective districts and schools, likewise have a training or comprehensive induction program for all newly hired teachers.

Text to self: I think this is really important. I am actually really looking forward to professional development. I think this relates back to the idea of teamwork and realizing that being a teacher is not about being alone. I also realize that I am going to have to do a lot of work as well.

Question that I have: Do most of he high need schools or Title 1 schools that we will be applying o in the Winter/Spring have induction courses or professional development specifically for entry-level teachers? Does Muskegon Public Schools, G-L Public Schools and Grand Rapdis Public school districts have this type of training for new teachers?

Text to self: When signing a contract, I must see if they have professional development and make sure that they are investing in me as a new teacher.

I will be required to perform immediately and education is not a product

Text to self: I must approach teaching as a never-ending process and not as a product. I totally agree with this and some of the best teachers I have had have instilled this belief in me. To teach is to believe that there is still much to learn. I actually love this idea. I do not want to think I have mastered anything or that I have learned everything there is. There is always more to learn and more to sink my teeth into. Teaching is always changing with the times and as a teacher I must be willing to change and make my teaching better through conferences, conventions, etc.

I was shocked by the following:

1. Teachers do not go to conferences.

Wow. As a graduate student, I was encouraged to present my research at professional geology conferences. I also was encouraged as an undergrad to do the same. I cannot imagine becoming a teacher and not attending a conference for continuing education. That is one of the things I am looking forward to the most. I wonder where their statistics came from to come up with a statement like that.

2. By 2013, the U.S. will need to hire more than 2 millino teachers and administrators.

This should be encouraging because that is a lot of teachers. My question is if this is still true with all the budget cuts and changes in the educational system in America.

Chapter 4: The Importance of Effective Teachers

What is the difference between an effective teacher and an ineffective teacher?

Effective teacher: steal from the best and learn from the rest. These look at the resources that are available to them and reorganize those resources to reach a goal. Effective teachers are problem solves who analyze, synthesize, and create materials to help students learn.

Ineffective teachers: busywork, survivors, whine that nothing useful ever applies to them.

The The single most important aspect of an effective teacher is that they steal from the best and learn from the rest.

Teachers do not want programs; they want achievement for their students. Programs do not produce achievement; teachers produce student achievement.

The effective teacher, even in an ineffective school, produces improved student learning and increased student achievement.

I was shocked at the statistics for students who have ineffective teachers in an ineffective school. I could not believe that the student achievement would drop by that amount. In thinking about it though, it does make sense that how well a student does has a lot to do with the teacher. The teacher has to foster critical thinking and an environment where learning can take place.

The achievement gap can be closed with a school of average to above-average teachers, but the school and the teachers must work together on improving student achievement.

The achievement gap is something that I really dislike. I think that it is really important to address the achievement gap in education circles as well as by government programs. I think that students in at-risk schools do deserve to have the best teachers. Unfortunately, those schools might be the ones with the least number of teachers that stay for more 2-3 years. This could be because of a lack of support that those teachers are given. It should be a priority to have a support network for those teachers.

What are the characteristics of a teacher?

1. Teachers are poets.

Teachers weave with colorful language a passion for your subject. We come up with secrets, pictures, etc.

Totally true!

2. Teachers are physicist.

We bring magic, logic, reason and wonder to the properties, changes and interactions of our universe.

3. Teachers are maestros. We conduct and orchestrate individuals' thoughts.

We are architects by providing students with a solid foundation for future thinking and learning.

Teachers are diplomats and the ambassadors of tact and sensitiivity.

I need to work on tact. I sometimes speak everything I am thinking in a moment because I am an external processor. This is why I struggle with conflict because generally I go right for the heart or juggular because then my thoughts are out and done with. I need to be very careful in my classroom that I do not hurt my students' feelings.

Teachers are philosophers, as our actions and ethics convy meaning and hope to young people who look to you for guidance and example.

I look forward to this the most. I want to provide students with hope and the idea that with a certain amount of work they will be able to achieve their dreams and have better lives.

Chapter 5: The Research Process.

What is reasearch? process of critical thinking and problem solving employed by thousands.

We must not teach how we were taught. This is huge! I am so worried of teaching how I was taught and demonstrating a fixed mindset when I want to foster a growth mindset. I do not want to be someone who talks as if they have a fixed mindset when in the heart there is a growth mindset. It is about mentally sitting down and thinking critically about the growth mindset and how best to put it to practice.

Closing thoughts: I need to take teaching as something that is fluid and always changing. I need to change with the times and after my first year of teaching critically think about what worked and what didn't. If something didn't work than I need to be willing to change or get rid of it.

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