I decided to have my co pre student teacher record me during Number Talks. Number Talks is how the class starts math every day. They come to the carpet and using the ELMO the teacher writes a problem and the students are supposed to solve it using whatever math strategy they are working on that week. Every session two problems are done and two students get to do each problem to provide multiple examples of how they are learning and comprehending and to provide examples of how to perform the strategies for their peers. When the students are on the carpet there are certain rules like when they think they know the answer and how to solve it they put their thumbs on their hearts to show the teacher they are ready. I enjoy doing number talks with them because this type of math is fun for me and I love seeing how focus and willing to participate they become.
After watching the video I think some effective parts of my teaching were 1) being able to address student who were being disruptive without stopping the lesson or knocking the other students off track, 2) being prepared and having the materials ready to get them started, and 3) having a clear loud voice. When I first started leading the students in Number Talks I did not know how to work the ELMO or I would be nervous about them participating and behaving on the carpet but now as time has went on I’ve learned to be more confident each time I do this and I now to have everything ready and set up before they even get to the carpet so that we are able to get started.
There were also areas where I did need improvement. For example, checking for understanding frequently. I would ask them from time to time did they understand but now I realize that is not enough. I should ask more open ended questions for them to better give me answers that show they truly get the information be provided. The last time I did Number Talks compared to the video where I was recorded I notice a big change in this area. Another thing I need to improve on is referring to the students as “you guys” I know “boys and girls” is more appropriate and I catch it right after I say it every time but saying “you guys” just comes out more natural and the students still respond well to it but I know I should put more effort into changing that.
I’ve had to record and reflect on my teaching and interactions with students before for previous classes and I dread it every time. I hate how I sound and look on camera and when I know I’m being recorded the nervousness sets in heavy and sometimes my lip even twitches so I really need to get over that anxiety of being recorded or watched because I would hate for a student to notice that as I am trying to teach them something.
My philosophy will be based on cognitivism. Cognitivism is basically saying that if we can recall, understand, evaluate, etc. a concept then we have learned it. It sees the mind as a computer. With a computer we input information and later we can pull up that information for other uses. The same applies to the mind. We are given information from various sources and later when we need to apply that information to a situation occurring in our lives we recall it and do so appropriately; therefore we have learned it.
This philosophy would be demonstrated in my teachings by using different aids to give my lessons. The aids I choose will be designed to assist visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Everyone does not interpret information the same so I would need a variety to make sure I am able to get through to almost every (if not all) student. For instance, if I were teaching a math lesson on addition and subtraction to a group of first graders I would begin with telling them orally, then showing them visually, and then finishing off my lesson by showing them how to do addition and subtraction with helpful tools. They will store that information and when it is time for them to apply it to new problems they will be able to reach into their minds and recall the information that I previously relayed to them.
The students will lean under this philosophy by first be telling them what it means to add and subtract. My auditory learners would most likely pick up on everything I am telling them and being to store that information in their brains. After I finish my lecture on addition and subtraction I would show them on the board in the classroom how it is done. My visual learners would be able to see what I am doing and store that information in their brains. Lastly, I would give the students something to touch like counting blocks, straws, etc. and show them that they could use these to actually see what it is to add and subtract. The kinesthetic learners in my class would enjoy this very much because they would be able to interact which in turn leads them to storing that information. After my lesson on addition and subtraction I would give them a few problems to work through. Each of my students should then be able to recall what they learned and apply it to these new problems they have before them and if they have then my cognitivism approach has worked.
I would be an effective urban educator because I would start by getting to know the different types of students I am teaching. No two students are the same and it is important for me to realize that before I step into the classroom. I have to expect that my students are going to come from all different types of backgrounds. They will diff in gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, economic backgrounds, and disabilities and capabilities. My teaching style will have to be able to adjust to the many different types of students that I come into contact with. All of these difference will have an effect on each students learning abilities and it’s safe to say the only thing that every student will have in common is the fact they will be in my class and I will be trying my best to meet all of their needs. I know it’s possible for me not too but that doesn’t mean I will not try because once we are in that classroom it is my job to make sure they all have the same opportunity at receiving and equal education.
I am working with the Taylor Reading Corps as a volunteer to tutor children with reading. They placed me in Bernice McDowell Elementary School in a firs grade classroom. The school houses K-5 students. Its a long, one floor building with many classrooms, a gym, a lunchroom and a play ground. As I walked around the premises I found that the school is located in a, for the most part, quiet area during the day. The neighborhood is full of single residence homes. In the morning groups of children either walked from the near by homes or were bused in so I don’t know what kind of area all the students come from. The children are very diverse in reference to ethnicity and cultures. Unfortunately all of them are not excelling at the expected reading level which is why the Taylor Reading Corps is volunteering with them and many other schools in Taylor, Michigan. PCBE is already going on with the partnership between TRC and Taylor Public Schools. They students get more resources to help with their literacy and TRC and the Taylor Public School sysytem learn more about how to help the students improve and learn different factors in what are affecting these students and the ability to meet their potential. In addition to what they are already doing they could possibly added on other subject area tutoring sessions to help improve a students success all around. Based on what I am learning I could build relationships with the students and their families by getting to know them and discovering what all affects their learning. This will allow me to help them further their education.