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Joni Koncar
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Finding text that is relevant to teaching the curriculum and staying within reading abilities is a struggle. I like how you broke down each piece so the students could identify with the writing. Making text personal helps connect information and make it easily accessible to the student. The CCSS is a great outline of what students need to know to be able to progress towards college/career readiness, but making sure students below their grade level are also progressing is essential. You've done a wonderful job breaking it down so we can keep those students progressing. Having many formats (audio, visual, text, etc.) of each text will help confront students with different intelligence's to grasp and accept the new knowledge.
I really like how you agree that it is daunting when putting all the data together and figuring how you will best explain all of this to a caring and worried parent. Making sure that there is more focus on what the student is achieving in rather than just data driven issues is important to see the student in a holistic way. I love being able to see a child improve academically but it is just as rewarding when you see them make a new friend. I agree that sharing a positive story is so uplifting for me personally, but also for a parent sharing in their child's joy.
Lisa, I love your view of teaching and why you decided to continue your dreams. I am completing my student teaching right now and must say being in the classroom and nurturing relationships with my students has shown me a greater reason to love teaching. Seeing a student finally understand a concept or having them dive into a book and enjoy each aspect makes me appreciate what I'm doing. There have been days when I'm tired and wonder if I can make it through, but as soon as I see my students and see their achievements my doubts vanish. Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece and keeping us thinking about the reasons for being here.
The "Systems of Organization" you mentioned are so important to be able to survive. I have noticed as I've been experiencing my Student Teaching, that keeping two steps ahead is needed in order to stay on top of everything needed. Like you said, having all of your handouts, lessons, and homework prepared for the upcoming days is a must, so you don't go into the classroom ready to scream. Class lessons and classroom management go out the window really quick if the students can tell you are unprepared. I've also noticed that if the students aren't into the lesson you need to be flexible and change the lesson or presentation of new information. I'm happy to hear that it gets easier and I honestly think being prepared is one way to make it easier on yourself.
I really like this system because it doesn't seem to "childish" and gives them application to real life money use. Implementing such a large scale behavior system is a bit daunting, but once in place I think it would be such an asset. I agree with John's mention of introducing the system at the beginning of the year. Along with setting clear classroom expectations, a behavior system would be stressed from day one. I don't know if something this intense would be good to jump into the first year of teaching, but during the second year I think it would be great.
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Oct 15, 2013