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Marissa Migliorino 11/14/13 ELD 395 Field Report Being apart of an eighth grade class at Grover Middle School

has opened my eyes to teaching middle school. It was definitely different than my previous field work in elementary schools before. However, I am really enjoying this experience. Ms. Bracey has taught me a lot that I have never learned before. As a Rider Intern, I can tell how much she enjoys her job and how much she cares about her students, which makes learning from her much more meaningful. When I go to Grover Middle School, I arrive at 7:30 am, even though Ms. Bracey does not teach her first period until third period. The first two periods I plan lessons with Ms. Bracey, she goes over what she is going to teach in class, and I have had the opportunity to learn about topics outside the classroom from her such as charter schools and graduate school programs. I am learning a lot about teaching literacy in the middle school. Every class, Ms. Bracey will go around the classroom to check in with her students and make sure they are on track with their reading and assignments. Afterwards, she will speak to the class about what she is going to teach for the day. Then she teaches the lesson. She explains everything carefully and I think this makes her teaching successful because the students clearly understand I think by checking in with the students helps her keep in track with everyone and allows her to know her students much better.

Ms. Bracey teaches her eighth grade English classes in many ways. She uses the Do, With, By method. Some days she will stand and talk while presenting examples on the smartboard and chalkboard. As she does this, she will ask students to answer questions. Ms. Bracey did this for a lesson on connotations and denotations. She explained to students what they meant and how they were used. She projected the same worksheet onto the smartboard so students could follow along and she asked students questions along the way to make sure they understood the lesson. She does lessons in groups as well. The students are currently reading The Outsiders. After reading the first few chapters, Ms. Bracey decided to have her students debate. She set up each group of students knowing which personalities would match better so the arguing would not become an extreme problem. The groups were made up of three to four students. Within the groups, each student had his or her own position. One student would make sure the rest of the group was staying on topic. One student would tell Ms. Bracey what the results were. Another student would also make sure the group was staying friendly with each other. Ms. Bracey gave the students the same questions that they completed the night before for homework. Students were using their homework as a source to back up the points they were arguing. This was a great activity for the students. Ms. Braceys students really put a lot of work and effort into the debate. They were passionate about the topic and the students collaborated well among each other. Along with the debate, we have seen presentations on the Cold War, Realism in literature and art, and S.E. Hinton that the students worked in groups that they made themselves and

created a powerpoint and poster to present to the classroom. This was one of the very first lessons we saw in the classroom. Here is an example of a poster one of groups had made on Realism in literature and art.

Along with group lessons and whole class lessons, there is independent work completed in Ms. Braceys classroom. Jamie and I have not seen much of this when we have observed the classroom, but Ms. Bracey explained how she has given the quizzes or worksheets that need to be done on their own. Ms. Bracey often does independent reading in her classroom. I find this to be very successful for her classes. Just last week, she spent the whole period using independent reading for the class. It amazed me how quiet the class kept the whole entire time. As part of independent reading, the students are required to do two double journal entries for each book they read. These entries have students pull text from the book in one column and in the second column, the students discuss their individual thoughts. At the end of the book, they are then required to do a book review. It is a worksheet asking questions asking for a summary and opinion of the book. Independent

reading helps students individually analyze the books they are reading. Overall, these are the types of activities I have observed in Ms. Braceys classroom over the past couple months. Along with these different lesson plans, Ms. Bracey has helped us create our lesson. She told us that she wanted to do some lessons dealing with the topic of grammar since she noticed students struggling with grammar in the papers and assignments. She said this could be difficult because students can feel lectured doing this and she wanted to pull small groups aside to teach instead of the whole class at once. Ms. Bracey also did not want the lecture to be very long because the eighth graders students would get bored and frustrated very quickly because this was a topic they have learned many times. I came up with a comma lesson to teach the students in small group instruction. Ms. Bracey was very supportive of the lessons and gave me advice on how to make improvements to my lesson plan. I was extremely excited to complete a lesson on my own so immediately I began to work on it. I wanted to give students a chart of rules of a comma so they understood how many different ways a comma could be used. I would begin the lesson going over the rules with the students. After this, I would give them a quick worksheet where the commas will be missing from the sentences. The student will then have to add the commas in the appropriate places. Ms. Bracey and I thought it be a good idea to let the students have a little of fun with the lesson. We decided to come up with a game similar to Apples to Apples. I am going to have index cards with Rule 1, Rule 2, Rule 3, etc. written on them. I will scramble them up and pick

one of the cards. If I pick Rule 2, for example, everyone will have to go back to his or her original worksheet (unless they already know the rule off the top of their head) and write down their own example of that rule on index cards I have provided for them. The point of this part of the lesson is to see if the students understand the rules, how to use the comma, and allow students to have the chance to be creative and competitive with creating the best sentence for each rule. Ms. Bracey really enjoyed this and thought it would be successful. She thought the sentences I originally picked for the worksheet would be too easy for them and she taught me to pull different quotes from books and use those as my sentences so I did not need to struggle with developing original sentences and so they would be difficult enough. The grammar has not yet been able to tie in with other lessons Ms. Bracey is currently completing. Jamie and I will both be doing our lesson on the December 3rd. A copy of my lesson plan is included. Ms. Bracey has some different techniques she uses in the classroom. One thing I notice she uses a lot is a timer. She is precise on her time on specific lessons. When the debate was occurring, she made sure each question was being debated in the same amount of time. She also used the timer for the short quiz she gave on The Outsiders. This short quiz was given for less than ten minutes to complete because they were multiple choice questions and they were questions the students only would know if they read so Ms. Bracey felt little time was needed with

the quiz. I found this interesting because I have never observed a teacher use a timer before. So to see Ms. Bracey use this with an eighth grade classroom was quite different, in my opinion. This is a photo very similar to the one Ms. Bracey uses in her classroom. Ms. Bracey has set up a successful environment for her eighth grade students. The classroom is simple, but has enough to make the classroom complete. One part of the classroom that I think is great to have and you often do not see in middle school classrooms is a library. Often you see this with an elementary education classroom. However, Ms. Bracey has shelves with books lined up all along the back of the classroom. She has many different genres such as realistic fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, series, fantasy, and mystery. Ms. Bracey has many different genres so there is an interest for everyone. Jamie and I just helped organized and made new lamented labels for the shelves. The students use these books for their independent reading. Along with the book shelves in the back of the classroom, she has many different bulletin boards and posters around the classroom. One of the boards gives examples of different books that are

popular to read among eighth graders currently. The Help is an example of one of the top reads. Another board that is in the classroom is the literary terms board. These board presents many terms that help students with reading and writing, especially when it comes to writing a paper. It helps students detect connotations and denotations when reading. It also helps students discover the climax in a story or what rising action is. It also has the word characterization to help develop a story along with many other terms. Ms. Bracey and her students created another poster hanging in the classroom together. The main purpose was to help students how to find profound evidence when reading. She had the students complete an assignment for homework where the students how to pull two quotes out of the chapters they read in The Outsiders and they needed to analyze the quotes using profound evidence. Many students were struggling with this and not supporting their reasoning with evidence from the novel. She was hoping creating this poster with the students would help them understand this method and how to use it. Along with the different presentations and bulletin boards around the classroom, the desk are set up differently in the classroom. The desks used to be in straight rows going across the classroom. Now the desks are in a U shape around the classroom with one small row in the middle. Ms. Bracey

felt like she could work with students more easily and she could see everyone. Along the wall behind the desk is a large map of the world. Ms. Bracey said she likes using this to relate where some literature comes from and that it does not all come from the United States.

Overall, I have learned a lot from Ms. Braceys classroom and I plan on learning a lot more within the next two weeks. She has taught me a lot of lesson planning, the physical environment of a classroom, and different ways to teach the classroom. When beginning this course, I was a little nervous to start going in the field because I was not used to older students and not students in special education. However, Ms. Bracey made this first experience a great one and I am glad that she was so willing to help me develop lesson plans that I feared struggling with. I can not wait to use what I have learned in this classroom.