Thursday, October 21, 2010

Student Teaching-- Week 9... KINDERGARTEN

Welcome to KINDERGARTEN ADVENTURES!!! I started Kindergarten on Tuesday and it has really been an adjustment. At first, I wasn't too excited about going to Kindergarten, but it's slowly growing on me. It is a BIG transition from 4th grade, where I felt I had really built good, strong relationships with the kids. With young kiddos, it's more difficult to build relationships. The kdis are still getting used to being in school all day and don't really understand sarcasm (which I LOVED about my 4th graders). Needless to say, the first day in Kindergarten was REALLY overwhelming. Wednesday was a bit better, and I started picking up on the very silly/innocent things the kids say. Let me set the scene for the first silly thing:

The teacher was reading a book called "Nature Spy" which is about a girl who takes a closer look at things in nature. This was the second day the kids had seen this book so this day was about discussing taking a closer look at things. There is a picture of a bird on one page of the book and on the next page is a picture of a close up of the bird's wings. While discussing birds and feathers, one student said "we eat birds!" another replied "no we don't! that's mean!" Then we got in to the discussion of eating animals. The teacher compared people eat birds like lions eat... and a kid said "PEOPLE!"... I could not NOT laugh! It was so funny and unexpected. I know laughing at what a kid says is not the professional thing to do but sometimes you just can't help it... and this was one of those times.

The second silly thing (not as silly, but still...)

The class was discussing bats and things bats eat. One student said confidently, "Bats drink your blood." That's not ENTIRELY not true but we redirected that statement to talk about vampire bats and how they drink the blood of cows and other animals, but not people.

I've gotta tell you, kids say the silliest things.

I'm hoping, and I know, Kindergarten will get better. I have to constantly remind myself these kids are only 5 and don't master concepts as quickly. My patience is being tested, and I'm learning how to approach teaching moments from different angles to help out different kids. I know Kindergarten will be a challenge, and I'm hoping it will make me a better teacher. Do I see myself teaching Kindergarten in the future? No, not ever. That's my answer for now... I'll revisit that question at the end of my time at Huckabay. The answer to that for 4th grade was also no... and now that's what I want to teach, so we'll see.

Student Teaching-- Weeks 5-8

WOW it's been a crazy ride! I have loved every minute with my students and it has been a BLAST! I can really see myself teaching 4th grade, which I could never imagine before. In the past 3 weeks we have had Fall Festival, our DairyQueen field trip and our field trip to the Tarleton Play. Here are the details in order:

Fall Festival: Fall Festival is the one fundraiser the school has for the classes to make money for field trips and classroom supplies. The money raised stays with the classes as they advance in grade level. For example, the money the 4th graders made this year, if it is not all spent, will follow them to fifth grade. The money stays with the students until their senior year. If there is money left at the end of the year it goes towards scholarships for the seniors. The 4th graders sold raffle tickets for a 42 inch LG Plasma TV. We took the kids to walmart and tractor supply to sell tickets and they did a great job! At noon the day of Fall Festival, 4th grade had made just over $2000... JUST SELLING RAFFLE TICKETS!! Each student was required to sell $100 worth of tickets and every kid did it and then some! The night of Fall Festival was so much fun. Each class hosts a booth at the festival and the students work the booth. The 4th grade booth is a Plant Walk (think cake walk with plants). We had GREAT participation. Some participants were winning 3 or 4 times and just wanted to keep playing! At the end of the night, 4th grade had raised $3087.64!!! I was floored when I heard the amount! It's so awesome that the Huckabay community and Stephenville community supports such a great cause.

Dairy Queen Field Trip:
The Dairy Queen Field Trip is for the students who sold their $100 worth of tickets. Luckily, all of our students met this goal and we all got to go to Dairy Queen to celebrate! It was fun getting to see the kids in a different environment. We went with the 5th grade class. The kids were pretty well behaved. It did get a little loud (but that's normal with 35 kids!).

Tarleton Play Field Trip:
The next day (and my last day in 4th grade) was the BIG field trip. When I was in school, we would have field trips to the capitol, eat lunch and go back to school. BORING. At Huckabay a field trip is a FIELD TRIP. We left at 8:30 to go see the Tarleton Theatre Production "Peter Pan and Wendy". It was a very good show. The theatre was filled with several different schools from surrounding areas. Again, we did this trip with 5th grade. After the play we went to the park to play for a little while before lunch. We at lunch at Grump's (a burger joint in town). Lunch was DELICIOUS! After lunch, we went to the Hay Maze at the Stephenville Christian School. Let me just say, this was the BEST part of the field trip, in my opinion. This Hay Maze was A-MAZE-ING! (haha..) The maze was 2-3 BIG squarebales high and was probably 1/2 the size of a football field. It was very impressive and we had a great time. Mrs. Champeau and I hid in some of the parts of the maze and jumped out and scared the kids... that was fun. The kids just couldn't get enough of the maze and wanted to do it over and over and over. I don't blame them because I wanted to do the same thing. After we left the maze we went back to the park to kill time before heading back to school. I would have to say the day was a fun-filled success. It was a good, last-day of 4th grade.