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EDUC 2300 Field Placement Journals

Journal Entry 1
First Agency Visit:(Overview of Events)
During my first visit at Bean Station Elementary School, I met with the principal and
discussed about my service learning. After I met with him, I went to my mentors classroom and
began my service learning experience. I am completing my service learning with Misti Smith
who is a 6th grade Social Studies teacher.

ABCs of Reflections
Affect: Because I already know the principal so well, I was not nervous about going in a
talking to him about my service learning. He is great to work with so I was very excited about
another opportunity to talk with him and get prepared to start my service learning. I really
enjoyed talking to him. He was very concerned about how school was going for me and he was
happy to help me gain more experience. Once I met with him, I went into the class room where I
would complete my service learning. Both my mentor and principal made me feel very
welcomed and comfortable from the beginning.
Behavior: My meeting with the principal was very successful and I hope this will help
me in the future when applying for a teaching job. I felt very comfortable and relaxed during my
time with the principal.
Cognition/Content: Going into this experience, I am very excited and anxious. I look
forward to being with another successful teacher who does her best to help her students become
excellent students. This is a 6th grade classroom and it is the highest-grade level that I have been
with. I cant wait to see the different instructional methods and ideas that my mentor has to offer
in her classroom. Throughout my first day, I mainly just observed and watched the way the
students and Mrs. Smith interacted. I was very impressed by her willingness to help these
students learn and grow as not only her students, but also as a person. I saw many things that I
hope to use in my classroom.
Journal Entry 2
Second Agency Visit:(Overview of Events)
During my second day of service learning, I got more involved in the classroom and felt
that I stepped out of my comfort zone. I usually sit back and let the teacher tell me when to do
something, but I tried my best to ask her what she needed done or would I could do to help the
students in her class. Mrs. Smith allowed me to get more involved and interacted with her
students. She gave me the opportunity to get first-hand experience of what my future was going
to be like.
ABCs of Reflections
Affect: At first I was a little nervous because I wasnt familiar with the students and I did
not know how comfortable they would feel with me. But as soon as I talked to some of the
students I felt very relaxed the rest of the time. I was very pleased with how my second day
went. As the day progressed felt more confident in myself. By experiencing new ideas and seeing
how my mentor taught made me so excited to be able to do this on my own.
Behavior: I am satisfied with myself because I was able to jump in so quickly and assist
the teacher in whatever she needed done. Because I have already had two previous service
learning experiences, I knew what I was doing and that I could be comfortable enough to get
more involved with the students. I wasnt afraid to ask my mentor questions if I did not
understand something unlike the past. I stepped out of my comfort and got myself more involved
in the classroom.
Cognition/Content: To begin the day, students are split into their RTI groups. During
this time, they were working on dibbles testing. I observed and watched my mentor and another
assistant test those students that had to be tested that day. Once I was able to get the hang of it,
she allowed me two actually test one of the students. This gave me a lot of confidence knowing
that she trusted me that much already to give me the opportunity to help test her students. During
the dibbles testing I was able to look at the students progression that had made throughout the
year on those tests. It is awesome to see results of students being able to read more effectively
because teachers are putting in the time to help them improve their reading skills. That is a key
aspect of seeing students succeed.

Journal Entry 3
Third Agency Visit:(Overview of Events)
By this point, I feel very comfortable around the students and Mrs. Smith. I feel like I am
just another member of the class. They feel confident when asking me questions if they have any
and I feel comfortable answering them. I was able to see the system that they use for keeping up
with attendance and grading. I really enjoy that the teacher is provided with a computer and iPad
to make it much easier and convenient for keeping up with things such as grades and attendance.
It cuts down so much time that teachers would have to waste writing all of that information
down. Today consisted of reviewing for TCAPs.
ABCs of Reflections
Affect: Although this service learning experience is ending, I am very happy with
everything that I have learned and what I have gotten to see through this opportunity. It is
difficult because I get so attached to my supervisor and the students within such a short amount
of time. But I am thankful for another chance to interact and receive first-hand experience in the
classroom.
Behavior: Compared to my first day in Mrs. Smith to the last day, I feel that I have
grown a lot as an educator. Every time I have the chance to be in a classroom, it gives me more
of a want to have one of my own. It makes me want to push through school and try to keep my
grades up because the outcome is so rewarding. I will be able to connect with both my coworkers
and students. I look forward to the relationships that I will make throughout my teaching career. I
feel that I have grown so much due to the service learning and my time spent at Walters State.
Cognition/Content: I have been able to learn many theories and helpful information that
is going to help shape me into a successful educator. Through this is experience I have learned
that classroom management, organized lessons, and interactive activities I can create a very fun
and successful classroom environment. We have discussed this many times during our EDUC
2300 class. If our classroom is unorganized, then it is going to be a mess. Students need to learn
structure and how to be responsible to cleaning up the room. These lessons arent just applied to
the classroom, but they can use those techniques outside of class.

SPED 2010 Field Placement Journals


Service Learning Journal-Visit 1

Today, I began my first day of service learning by meeting Mrs. Morgan who is fourth-
grade math teacher at Bean Station Elementary School. When I first entered Mrs. Morgans
classroom, I noticed that there were two large tables in the back of the room. One of the tables
was the shape of a half moon, allowing the teacher to sit on one side of the table and the students
to sit on the other side. There was also another table at the back of the room that had two
computers on top of it. She has the desks arranged in the room where it allows the students to
have good visual sights of both the smart board and white board that is in the front of the room.
Mrs. Morgans homeroom entered the classroom and took their seats at their desks. Each student
had an assigned seat that they were required to sit in. There were 14 students present in her
homeroom today.

After thirty minutes in homeroom each morning, it is time for RTI. Mrs. Morgan has
seven kids in her RTI, but only six were present today. During this period, Mrs. Morgan handed
each student a page with times tables, numbers 0-12. She set the timer and gave the students two
minutes to complete as many as they could before the time ran out. Because of accommodations
for students who have a learning disability, one of these six students received an extra two
minutes to help her try and complete the problems. This child has a 504 plan, but I was not
informed on the disability that she has. After finishing the assignment, they were dismissed to go
to their first period. Mrs. Morgan has four different blocks throughout the day. These classes are
split up by performance levels. Today, Mrs. Morgan was covering lessons on multiplying
fractions and helping her students understand tenths place. The students completed two
worksheets, and during this time, Mrs. Morgan allowed me to walk around the room and observe
the students work and help them if needed.

Going into today, I was quite nervous. I was very anxious to get into the classroom and
see how the fourth-graders learned and behaved. I was also very excited to see the different
instructional methods that Mrs. Morgan used. When today started, I was very mute and did not
talk very much, but as the day went by I continued to become more comfortable with Mrs.
Morgan and her students. I felt comfortable and more included when the students began to ask
me for help on problems they could not figure out on their own. I think it is beneficial that RTI
and the blocks are set up so that the students are with other people who are at about the same
learning level as them. However, each kid is not necessarily on the same level because when I
had the chance to walk around the room and answer questions, certain students had a harder time
than others. I feel that this is beneficial because if you have a student who may be a little bit
further behind, they will push themselves to be at the same level as the other students. As
teachers, it is important to tell your students what you expect so if you set a goal for a certain
student, and show that you care, they will be more likely to invest themselves in what you are
laying in front of them. It is important to make every student in the classroom feel confident and
like they can accomplish anything. It will help them become more successful in their school
work and life.

Our SPED class has made me think a lot more about students who may have a disability.
Although Mrs. Morgan does not have any students who have a severe disability, she has a few
students who have learning disabilities. By taking what I have learned during SPED so far, it had
made me more knowledge about learning disabilities and some of the actions that you may see
from some of those students. It is important to recognize when students are struggling or may be
distracted by something. While observing in class today, I noticed a student who seemed to be
struggling to pay attention or to complete her work. I continued to watch her the entire class
period as she kept talking to her neighbors while the teacher was talking, and she did not
complete much of her work because she kept getting distracted. After class, I went to Mrs.
Morgan and asked her if this child had a learning disability and she said that she did. She has
been diagnosed with ADD. Today gave me a much better understanding of the struggles of a
child with this type of disability. We have learned about this in class, but being able to see a
firsthand experience puts it into a better perspective for me. SPED has helped me recognize
disabilities more easily because I know more about them and the actions that may take place.
Service Learning Journal-Visit 2

The classroom was the same today as it was yesterday. During flex, today, I went with an
assistant and walked around the school until flex period was over. There are two buildings at this
school that is connected by a large awning. One building holds the students in pre-k through
second grade. The big building is third grade through sixth grade. Each building has separate
outside play areas. I think that is beneficial so that the pre-k students wont be playing with sixth
graders for safety persuasions. Both buildings have gyms, but the larger building is where most
of the activities take place. The main office, library, cafeteria, and art room are in the larger
building. I walked around both places for about 15 minutes to look at and learn more about the
school.

After homeroom, Mrs. Morgans RTI group came in and began working on a review
sheet for this weeks test. On Thursday of this week, the entire school will be doing the math
portion of a test called the district assessment. This test is the third district assessment that they
have taken this school year, so Mrs. Morgan pulled questions from the previous tests and is
reviewing them with the students. The test is time limited, so for practice, she sets the clock and
let them work on it until the time runs out. One of her students is allowed a few extra minutes
due to a learning disability. Mrs. Morgan told me that some of the students would have the test
read to them if they have trouble in that area. She wants to make sure that all her students are as
prepared as possible for this test. Today all four of her blocks were continuing to work on tenths
place, but they also worked on the one-hundredths place.

I was much more comfortable and confident going into the classroom today. Morgan
allowed me to walk around the classroom to observe the students and make sure they were
completing their work. I also answered any questions that they asked me if they needed help on
their homework. Some of the students in the classroom required a lot more of my attention that
some of the others. During each class period, I also graded papers. Midterms are sent home next
week so I tried to assist Mrs. Morgan as much as I could. Because of good behavior, the entire
fourth grade watched a movie in the science class this afternoon. I was not told the name of the
movie, but I know it was related to their science class. The good behavior turned to bad during
this time. The students were misbehaving and were very loud the entire movie, so they ended up
losing their recess for the rest of the week.
A new idea that I saw today during Mrs. Morgans class was when she was teaching the
students about one-hundredths place and fractions. Today after she had finished going over her
lesson, she explained to the students that you could relate the one-hundredths place to money. So,
she then passed out fake change to each student for them to use when working on their
worksheet. The change got the kids very interested; it was like their eyes lit up when she gave
them the money. The hands-on experience was very beneficial because it allowed the students to
relate their math to real life situations. I could tell the difference in all the students because they
wanted to get their hands on the money, but I noticed a huge difference in the young lady who
has ADD. Yesterday she was very distracted the entire time, but today she stayed right along with
the rest of the class and completed her work in a very reasonable time. She was so intrigued
when counting the money and got very excited every time she figured out an answer. This
activity gave her a lot more confidence and made her feel like she had accomplished so much.
Service Learning Journal-Visit 3

Today the classroom setting was the same as my two previous visits. I decided that I
would go with the students to the cafeteria to get my lunch. It is set up with the tables parallel to
the wall, but there is one table sitting horizontally in the middle of the lunch room for students
who have bad behavior while eating lunch. Just like your regular cafeteria tables, they are long
with round, twisty seats that are attached. Two lunch room ladies supervise the students during
their lunch period. The cafeteria also has snack machines located on the left side of the room.
After I had picked up my lunch, I went with three of the other fourth-grade teachers and ate in
one of their classrooms. She has her room said up differently than Mrs. Morgan. She has her
students desks facing her desk rather than facing the whiteboard and smart board at the front of
the room. I would preferably want my students facing the boards, so that they dont have to turn
their heads when I teach. We had twenty minutes to eat lunch and then we returned to the
cafeteria to pick up Mrs. Morgans class.

Today, the school was on a different schedule. During homeroom, the students had to take
their ELA district assessment. About ten minutes after coming into homeroom, Mrs. Morgan
took her students to use the restroom before testing started. When they returned to the room,
there were two students from her class that had to take their test in the main RTI room. Those
two students were sent to take the test on computers rather than on paper because they have some
accommodation requirements. The class began their test around 8:30 a.m. At 9:10, Mrs. Morgan
gave them a restroom break and time to get up and stretch for ten minutes. When the students got
back to the classroom, they all continued with their tests. After testing, each class went to their
third block. Mrs. Morgan had all her blocks work on review sheets to help them prepare for their
Math district assessment that they will take tomorrow.

While the classes were studying for their test, I walked around the room and observed
them. I was there to help any of the students if they needed any assistance. I felt very
comfortable today, and, I was quite sad because it would be my last day with them. I have felt
very at home and involved with each student the past couple of days. As each day passed, the
students got more comfortable with me. When they saw that Mrs. Morgan was busy, they came
up to me asking me for help. It was comforting knowing that they trust me for help even though
they have only known me for three days. Once the students were finished asking Mrs. Morgan
and myself questions about the review, they had to write sentences that were projected on the
smart board. Because of their bad behavior during the movie yesterday, each fourth-grade
teacher required their classes to write the rules after completing their work. I liked this strategy
because I could already tell the difference in their behavior compared to yesterday. The
classroom was much quieter, and they got a lot accomplished. I thought that this was a good
punishment because they are still getting some writing practice in, while also seeing the rules
that they are supposed to fall each day.

An exciting new idea I saw today occurred during Mrs. Morgans advanced class. When
they were going over a review sheet for the district assessment, she allowed a few of her students
to go up to the front of the room and show the rest of the class how they worked out that
particular problem. It was like they got to be the teacher for a few minutes. I like this strategy
because it gives students confidence when they can show the work they have done to figure out a
problem. I also think it is beneficial because some students work problems out differently, or
they have a different viewpoint on how to get the final answer. That was the case with one of the
problems, which was adding fractions. The students seemed to be more interacted and more
interested when one of their classmates was at the board showing them how to do a problem.