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May 11th- Practicum Log #1

This first day of experience at a school was very interesting. It is quite a busy school and there was a lot
going on. Throughout the day I took notes mostly on the actions of my TA, the actions and responses of the students,
and the general structure throughout the day.
OBSERVATIONS:
When the students arrived first thing in the morning,
the TA had math notes up on the projector for them to
work on right away.

There was a 30 second warning for announcements


over the intercom.
I worked one on one with a student who had an IPP for
about half an hour.
My TA mentioned the importance of resources for
teachers on the internet and through the curriculum
website.
STRATEGY: Narrative writing diamond as a graphic
organizer.

STRATEGY: Students working in small groups on an


assignment.

Very short class periods.

STRATEGY: TA contrasted a democratic society with


a non-democratic society during social studies.

STRATEGY: During TAs prep we created a practice


PAT that used the Fort McMurray fire as the details for

REFLECTIONS AND QUESTIONS:


This morning routine ensures the students have
something to focus on right when they get into the
classroom. I really like this as it creates structure and
gives the students an automatic transition from the
hectic hallway to the more serious classroom
environment. TA repeatedly brings their attention back
to it so that when the class gets distracted they know
there is something they SHOULD be focusing on.
This is similar to the shaker Deb uses in seminar: it
gives a clear transition from one topic to another and
reminds students to use their time effectively.
I think this made me more aware of the variety of the
students within one classroom. They all have very
individual needs that should definitely be answered to.
This reminds me of the seminar topic on 21st Century
Teachers: there is a pool of resources one can use to
strengthen classroom understandings. Teachers can
also use each other to help create better learning
situations.
I really like this graphic organizer. It gives the students
a visual reminder of the way a creative story should
progress. When they forget the parts of a story, it
reminds them that creative stories often start narrow
(introduction), become more complex and climax (like
the middle of a diamond), and then conclude (like the
bottom of a diamond).
The best part about this is that the students get to
brainstorm together and bounce ideas off of each other.
I know sometimes when I am having trouble
understanding something, talking it out with someone
else can help me understand it better. The students are
using each other as resources just as teachers can use
each other as resources.
I understand this as useful to keeping the students
interested (as they have short attention spans).
However, the information covered before a period is
over does not seem to be as in depth as I am used to (as
a uni student). I wonder how much the students are
actually able to take in, or what is the most effective
way to make information delivered to the students.
*ASK DEB*
I think this contrasting demonstrates the wide variety
of possibility to the students and helps them weigh the
negatives and benefits of each system. Students really
asked a lot of questions during this, and did a bit of
debating, which I thought was very useful and
demonstrated some critical thinking abilities!
This relates directly to the students lives, making the
material more interesting and engaging. I think this

a news story.

would likely make the information more memorable to


the students. I thought this was valuable.
TA showed me learnalberta.ca where we looked at
I think this aspect of today was very valuable as well:
where the curriculum was.
knowing where the curriculum is and how it is
presented on the website demonstrates the direct
expectations and desired outcomes. Through this, the
teacher can customize HOW the information is
delivered, based on understanding how his/her own
students learn best.
STRATEGY: short video to deliver another contrast to
Breaks up the day a bit and gives the class a different
the students.
way to take in information. The visual aspect of this
media is likely very helpful to certain students who
perhaps learn better visually.
STRATEGY: students reading aloud in class from
Students were very eager to read out loud! They
textbook.
seemed to be very engaged with this. One concern I
have with this is that I personally often am more
focused on my own voice when reading aloud, rather
than taking in the information. Therefore, I like how
TA made reading optional for the students: those who
were comfortable with it did so, and those who
preferred to listen were able to take it in that way.
Kids are quite demanding for attention, keeping them
I am not quite sure how to help with this issue.
on the class subject is difficult!
Definitely want to bring it up in seminar! *ASK DEB*
STRATEGY: students delivering a presentation that
Personal connections being made again. The
includes chosen music as a metaphor for the book they interdisciplinary connections are exciting to the
are reading in LA.
students, and I think this is important because it helps
them drawn connections between subjects. This is
probably very helpful to building critical thinking
skills.
The students are all wearing uniforms.
I wonder if this is what causes certain students to act
out. If they cant draw attention to themselves through
their appearance, maybe they do so in their behaviour
instead. *ASK DEB*
TA mentions that sometimes TA will show the students TA recognizes the different motivators for particular
their grades when they havent handed much in; this
students: some are motivated by realizing they will
usually results in all the assignments being handed in
have a very low grade unless they hand something in
within the week.
soon!
External teacher berates class in a chastising voice: is
I really very much valued this part of the day. The
very firm, but still mature and responsible in describing students had acted out quite a bit and definitely seemed
[teachers] issue with the class. Uses positive
to need something to shake them out of their modes of
description: Whoever did this, you know it in your
behaviour (interrupting TA, outbursts, etc). I really
heart. It is up to you to be a good person and apologize think this teacher berated them in a meaningful,
to ____. We all make mistakes and we can all change
positive way. The students were all definitely listeningthe outcomes and move on in a positive way. Who do
I didnt hear a peep out of them this whole time. The
we want to be? Reflect on this and be honest with
teachers firm voice enforced the importance of what
yourself.
[teacher] was saying, yet the language was positive and
demonstrated the possibility for the students to make a
positive change in their behaviour.
My goal for today was to make a realization on the relationships between the teacher-student. I think the biggest
realization I had was that it can be very difficult for the teacher to control the whole class while also giving attention
to each student in the way they need it. It almost seems as though the classes would need to be smaller to alleviate
this, or possibly separated by learning style (ie visual, auditory, written). I also noticed some students throughout the
day who did not seem to be engaged at all, especially while they were supposed to be doing an assignment. I wonder
how this could be fixed.