Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Welcome Back!

Welcome back S.T.A.R. Family!

We hope everyone had a long relaxing break, but it is time to get to work. I, Rita, have started my semester of student teaching, and boy is it a lot more then expected. And to make matters worse, I have to complete this new EdTPA to do before the end of the semester. So my to do list from now until May 18th:
  • Complete student teaching
  • Complete my EdTPA
  • Take my certification exams
  • Take my on-line class
Whats new with S.T.A.R. for Spring 2014?

S.T.A.R. has two new members working the Eboard with brand new ideas and great enthusiasm for the S.T.A.R. program. In addition to our newest Eboard members, S.T.A.R. has also begun an apprenticeship with members of the School of Education, just one step in keeping our SOE family closer than ever.

Please feel free to stop by the office at anytime, and get to know our team and the entire SOE office. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stop Take A Rest

Yesterday, S.T.A.R. hosted their semiannual  Stop Take A Rest event, where mentors and buddies gathered together for some healthy snacks, fruity smoothies, and relaxing back rubs, while listening to some holiday music.  Tasty pretzels, nutty almonds, and dried cranberries were the perfect snack for anyone who had the munchies. 

The smoothie station was a huge success. People were eager to make their own smoothies with strawberries, bananas, blueberries, ice, yogurt, and/or peanut butter.  These treats were guilt-free and were the perfect balance to a most likely fattening Thanksgiving break.  For those who stayed a little later, an assortment of sandwiches, wraps, and chips were delivered.  

Throughout the event, the Stressbusters were available to give any students back rubs to help ease any of the stress they may have.  In addition, students got to sit back, mingle, and laugh together.  It was definitely a relaxing event and a wonderful way to start off our last couple of days at school.  

Are you nervous about finals week?  
What are some tips you would like to share with others about how to CONQUER finals week?    


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stop Take A Rest Event

Once again, we will be hosting our Stop Take A Rest event before finals week.  Stressbusters will be there to provide back and neck rubs.  We will also have some snacks and surprises for our guests.  The event will be on Monday December 2nd at 1:50PM-3:15PM (Common Hour) in Bent Hall 277A.  We hope that you would consider taking a break and relaxing with us!   

Come, S.top T.ake A. R.est - Did you know that finals week is in less than 3 weeks? Do you need time to take a break and just relax?We would like to invite to our final S.T.A.R. event of the semester, an afternoon to sit back and relax! 
The Stressbusters will be there to provide back and neck rubs for all students!

If you will be joining us, please RSVP HERE!

Holiday for Heroes

Last week, students gathered together to design and write holiday cards to those who risk their lives to serve our country.  A variety of construction paper, markers, crayons, colored pencils, and fancy scissors were available to spark people's creative juices.  There were also delicious bite size brownies that could satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.  By the end of the event, 22 special homemade cards with heartfelt messages were made and ready to be mailed!    

Friday, November 15, 2013

S.T.A.R. Midnight Run

For many years, the Campus Ministry at St. John's University has been working with the Midnight Run Organization to feed and clothe people who are homeless in Manhattan.  Students volunteer to make sandwiches and distribute these sandwiches along with clothing to different parts of Manhattan.  However, that is not the only thing they do.  A vital part of the Midnight Run is to get to know the men and women they meet.

The Midnight Run has become a very popular service event that many people are eager to participate in.  Thus, one needs to sign up very early in order to earn one of the ten precious spots available each night.  Luckily for the S.T.A.R. family, the S.T.A.R. coordinators reserved a night, way in advance, just for them.        
On November 6th, several members of the S.T.A.R. family met up with the leaders of the Midnight Run that night at O'Connor Hall.  There, we made 50 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, 25 turkey & cheese sandwiches, and 25 ham & cheese sandwiches.  Afterwards, we put 1 pb&j sandwich, 1 meat (turkey or ham) sandwich, 1 banana, 1 juicebox, 1 napkin, and a couple pieces of candy in each plastic bag.  To differentiate the turkey and ham sandwiches, we tied the plastic bags with turkey sandwiches.  While everyone was cleaning up, two of us went to Montgoris Dining Hall to get a huge container of coffee and soup.  An interesting thing is that Chartwells, which is in charge of the food at Montgoris, is separate from St. John's and is always willing to donate any coffee or soup they have that night to a Midnight Run.  Once the van was packed and ready to go, we drove down to Midtown.  Our stops were E 50th St & Lexington Ave (outside a store named Bloom), W 53rd St & 5th Ave (outside St. Thomas Church), and W 51st St & Broadway (outside Times Square Church).  Throughout the night, we met many regulars and talked to several people.  One person we had the honor of meeting was Malcolm Bonds, the Vice President of Midnight Run.  He was a down to earth homeless man filled with wisdom and insight.  Everyone knew him and he knew everyone.  He told us many stories and how he was always happy to see St. John's students volunteering because they want to be there to help others.  It was a blessed experience meeting wonderful people, hearing their stories, and having people excited and grateful to see us.   

If you haven't done a Midnight Run yet, it is a MUST before you graduate St. John's!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Extravaganza

           Last Thursday was the annual S.T.A.R. Halloween Extravaganza.  In the Sullivan Cafe, spooky decorations covered the tables and walls.  There was an array of devilish treats like cookies shaped as fingers, lollipops that looked like ghosts, and cupcakes that were Halloween themed that were ready to be devoured by hungry zombies.  Mentors and buddies played several rounds of Halloween themed Bingo; eager to find out if they would have Bingo and win.  Prize bags were given out to the winners, but since everyone at S.T.A.R. is a winner, everyone else received goodie bags for playing.  

What did you dress up as for Halloween?
If you didn't, what would you have dressed up as?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Student Teacher Adventures

Last week was the end of my six weeks with my first student teaching class.  It was a memorable adventure with the 35 students (36 for a month before one transferred to another local school) in the 5th grade class.  I learned a lot from observing the teacher's techniques, teaching the writing lessons (and occasionally social studies), and working with small groups and certain individuals.

Here a few teaching and classroom management tips that I found effective in the classroom:
1. Establish firm routines: this will help keep your class organized and out of trouble 
(i.e. complete the Do Now after you unpack in the morning and copy your homework when you return from lunch)
2. Have a bathroom signal: this will make your life easier
 (In addition, there's no need for a child to announce to the classroom that he/she needs to use the bathroom.)
3. If you notice that your class is still struggling with a concept, don't be afraid to review it  
(i.e. Some students weren't writing meaningful sentences with their Greek/Latin root words, so the teacher spent part of a period going over what it meant to write meaningful sentences and gave the students the opportunity to fix the sentences they had already wrote.)
4. "Hands down when someone is talking"
(It can be intimidating and distracting for those who are trying to answer a question when other children in the room are waving their hands in the air.  Thus, enforce this saying.)    
5. Remember to model first.  Then work on a couple of questions together as a class.  Afterwards, give them some questions to do independently.   
(If done correctly and the students listened, then there shouldn't be any questions during independent work.)

There are more techniques that I learned, but I can't think of them right now. 

What are some tips you have/know that are beneficial for future educators?

On my last day, the students had a surprise party for me and smothered me with gifts and treats.  
My cooperating teacher gave me a basket of teacher related things.