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Reflection Log

● Day 1: Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 9:15-12:50

○ Today, I got to know students; in particular, I got to know a couple students who
always seem to distract each other to get out of math. To keep them on track, I
tried to walk by them and check in with them frequently. I found that one of the
students was trying to “run” from the fact that he didn’t know how to do this type
of math. I tend to gravitate towards the students who are struggling a lot instead
of focusing on the whole class, so that’s something I need to work on so I’m not
neglecting the rest of the students.
● Day 2: Thursday, October 17, 2019, 9:15-3:15
○ Today, I took a small group of students out of the classroom to help them with
assignments and give them a quieter, less distracting environment to work in. I
also went through corrections with students, so they had to explain to me how
they got a new answer or ask me a question. I also sat in on a science class that
Mrs. Wiese was covering. I got the chance to see Mrs. Wiese take control of and
manage a classroom and class that weren’t hers, and I got to see a lot of
different ways that she was able to do that.
● Day 3: Friday, October 18, 2019, 8:15-10:30
○ Today, I helped the substitute teacher with stations on fractions and integers. The
class was split into two groups: one group went to play Bingo, and the other class
stayed in the classroom and did stations. I worked a lot with one student in
particular who struggles with math, so we went over a few examples together
until he felt confident to try one on his own; even then, I stayed around him to
make sure I was there to support him. Other than that, I walked around and
answered students’ questions and checked their answers. I really struggled with
how the substitute was teaching students when they were confused. It made me
think of my math classes when I was in high school; teachers just went through
the steps and spoon-fed students the answers. There was no thinking involved.
Because of that and how it made me feel, I made a conscious effort to ask
thought-provoking questions and to have the students walk me through the
problem instead of the other way around.
● Day 4: Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 8:10-10:30
○ For the first block today, I worked with different groups of students while they
worked through four different stations. My station was all about reducing
fractions, converting improper fractions to mixed numbers, and turning mixed
numbers into improper fractions. Each group had about 10 minutes to work with
me, and none of the students could get past the reducing fractions part of the
station. It was really obvious that a lot of the students hadn’t grasped the concept
of fractions yet, but there were a select few that understood. This gave me good
insight because I know that as a future teacher, I’ll probably have to spend a lot
of time on fractions with students because it’s new and abstract. For the next
block, I walked around while students worked on task sheets about fractions. I
answered any questions that students had and helped with classroom
management. There was a group of boys that got into a group, and all they
wanted to do was talk. This made me cautious about letting students pick their
partners and groups. As a teacher, I may always assign groups unless the
students show me that they can handle working with someone of their choice.
● Day 5: Thursday, October 24, 2019, 9:30-1:45
○ Today, Mrs. Wiese was gone, so I worked with a substitute teacher. Most of the
day was devoted to students getting their Accelerated Math done or caught up;
some classes, however, got the chance to do an activity and/or worksheet before
they started on their Accelerated Math. So, today I got the chance to work
one-on-one with a lot of different students and get to know them better. One thing
that I noticed was that the students were very respectful for the substitute
teacher. When I was in high school, a substitute teacher meant chaos, but the
students today were very well behaved. I really enjoy the chance I get to work
with students one-on-one because I learn about the different ways that they learn
best, and I try my hardest to let them know that it’s okay to not know and it’s okay
to be wrong so that they’re okay with taking a risk in math.
● Day 6: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 -- 10:05-11:20
○ Today, Mrs. Wiese was gone while I was there, so I worked with the substitute.
When I got there, the students were all spending 20 minutes working through
math games on their computers. I recognized some of them, like SolveMe
Mobiles, from my class with Dr. Smith. After they finished 20 minutes of that, they
had work time, so most of the students worked on their Khan Academy
assignments. One thing that I found out was that students like Khan Academy
except for the fact that Khan Academy is very unforgiving; if a student makes a
mistake, they have to do a lot of extra work to get 100%, even if they understand
the material and just made a simple mistake. That’s definitely something that I
will spend time thinking about when I decide whether or not to use Khan
Academy in the future.
● Day 7: Thursday, October 31, 2019, 9:30-3:15
○ Today, Mrs. Wiese’s classes all did fun, different, Halloween activities. I really
liked how she changed up her normal classroom day to make a holiday more
special and fun. I really saw that the kids were appreciative and excited for an
opportunity like that. One of her classes also did Chasing Einsteins. I think that
the students really enjoyed it, but there were times where they were frustrated
and impatient so they would start guessing until either myself or Mrs. Wiese
stopped them and got them to slow down and be patient. I also got to go over a
potential lesson plan for next week when I teach my own lesson in the classroom.
At the end of the day, I got the opportunity to sit in on a parent meeting. I really
enjoyed it because I got to see just how much teachers care about the students
and how well they get to know their students. That experience was very
eye-opening for me; it let me know that what I’m going to be doing is so important
and influential.
● Day 8: Friday, November 1, 2019, 8:15-10:30
○ Today, the students got the chance to finish up their Halloween activities, and
then they got work time for their Accelerated Math. Because it was the end of the
week, students were trying to fulfill their objective requirements; there were only a
couple of students who were more than a week behind, so that’s a pro for the
way Mrs. Wiese teaches. One thing that has been made very obvious for me in
these last few weeks is that it’s okay to slow down and take a long time to go
through lessons that are difficult for students to understand--like fractions and
integers. Another thing that I realized was that students aren’t expected to know
their multiplication facts like they used to. I remember being in elementary, and
knowing multiplication facts was something we worked on for an entire school
year, but now, students don’t even know the simplest facts.
● Day 9: Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 9:30-11:30
○ Today was a pretty slow, normal day. Students worked on their Accelerated
Math, so I helped out with that. I got some time to talk to Mrs. Wiese about my
lesson plan and what she wanted and expected of me. I really like getting to talk
to her about any and all things regarding education because she’s very
nontraditional in her teaching approach, but she also holds traditional values and
beliefs about students. Everytime I get the chance to talk to her, I learn more
about education and her passion for it.
● Day 10: Thursday, November 7, 2019, 9:30-3:15
○ Today, I got to watch Mrs. Wiese teach two of her classes about mark-up price
and discounts. They didn’t get through all of their notes, so I just watched how
she does notes with her students. I really like how she gives the students
handouts to tape into their composition books for notes. When I was in school, if
there weren’t any worksheets, a lot of my classmates didn’t take notes. I was
really surprised to see that everyone in Mrs. Wiese’s class was taking notes and
participating in discussion. I also got the chance to teach my first lesson in Mrs.
Wiese’s extension class. We went over how to solve equations with variables on
both sides and how to determine how many solutions there are in a given
equation. I think that my lesson went well; the students engaged in it and were
excited to share and discuss. The students were very talkative, so I need to work
on my classroom management and getting them to be quiet when I ask them to.
● Day 11: Friday, November 8, 2019, 8:15-10:45
○ Today, I helped two small groups of students get through as much Accelerated
Math as possible so that they would hopefully not be on ICU. I really like that Mrs.
Wiese knew that students were getting behind and were getting stressed about it,
so she gave them time to do their work instead of moving onto another lesson. I
mostly supervised while the students worked, but there were a couple of students
that needed help, so most of my time was spent helping them. One thing that
was really exciting was that one of the students who had been struggling with
fractions was finally understanding and able to walk me through how to solve the
problems. That experience reminded me of why I want to be a teacher and the
difference I’ll make as a teacher.
● Day 12: Tuesday November 12, 2019, 9:15-12:00
○ Today, I taught my second and final lesson in Mrs. Wiese’s class. I think that it
went pretty well. The kids were talkative and tried to waste time, but I think I did a
pretty good job of managing the classroom. One thing I need to work on is being
aware of the quieter students who have a harder time getting my attention. Other
than that, I sat in on Mrs. Wiese’s morning class, and they worked on
Accelerated Math. I thought that it was really cool that Mrs. Wiese offered a prize
in the form of a Dairy Queen sundae for the students who reached their
objectives and scanned at least one thing today. Overall, I would say that my
time with Mrs. Wiese was very eye-opening and full of learning. There were a lot
of things that I expected, like days that it was difficult to manage the classroom,
and things I wasn’t expecting, like students wanting to do math and being honest
about their grades. It’s unfortunate that this came as a surprise to me, but when I
was in junior high and high school, students would do anything they could to get
out of math or try to take advantage of a nice teacher. I really appreciate how
honest Mrs. Wiese is with her students and the respect that they have for her.