Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back into the swing

I still don't totally feel I'm back into the swing of school. But I'm getting there. Slowly.

Things are going fairly well. I like my biology class a lot, but that doesn't surprise me. I love biology! We are discussing the basic concepts such as cells, botany, life cycles, etc. but are learning how to teach these concepts to young children in ways that allow them to explore and find answers on their own. We will also take a visit to the zoo and since my teacher is a Project Learning Tree facilitator, so she will certify us all and give us their curriculum for our keeping. We will also get a certificate to put in our portfolios! I'm all about stuff that looks good in my portfolio!

Earth and Space science... um, don't have too much say about that class. It's rather boring and I'm not totally sure where we are going with it. That's about it.

Math stuff is going well also. A bit overwhelming, since the methods we are being taught to use totally contradict how I was taught. I was taught (and probably many of you too) with the teacher (book or mom) giving the example problems, showing me how to work them, then practicing together, and then practicing alone. Now I'm being taught how to teach from a problem-solving point of view, where children are encouraged to find answers on their own, using their own methods and ideas. This is too help them understand what they are doing and that math is not just some rote activity.

This was slightly eye opening to me as I feel like I can do basic math, but ask me why something works, and I haven't got a clue. I can see how a problem-solving, student-based approach is so much better, because kids get to understand the why and how behind math. I'm excited to "re-learn" some things and hopefully come out feeling better about math.

I'm excited about my math internship too. I am at a city school, but the atmosphere is so different than my last school, much better that is. My teacher is wonderful and very nice. I'm excited to get to know the kids, who are in second grade. We started on Tuesday, and will observe once more next week, before we have to get into the swing and start teaching.

In addition to the math class and internship, I've also joined the math education club and I'm looking forward to the meetings, they sound fun and interesting. And I'm also attending the MCTM conference next month, which I am totally psyched about! My math teacher/supervisor is on their board, and I get to go for free! Even better! Certificates will come with both of those things for my portfolio! Woohoo!

Last but not least is my science internship. I'll be teaching 5th grade geology. Geology is not my favorite topic, but I'll try my best to make it interesting. I figure we don't always get to teach what we like. This internship is slightly chaotic though. My supervisor was asked to fill the roll a week before class started, and has never taught anything like this before. So she is still trying to figure things out herself, which makes things more than unorganized and crazy for all of us. What makes it even better is the county decided to revamp their geology unit right before school started, so no one has really seen the new curriculum yet. I, in fact, won't see it until 12:30 on Wednesday, and I start teaching at 2:00. Good thing I'm fairly good at winging things.

I think that's about all the excitement for now. I will continue to be sharing what I have been learning, as well as giving updates, throughout the semester.

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