Tuesday, February 19, 2013

First Month as a S.T.A.R. Coordinator

Less than a month ago, I become one of the newest members of the S.T.A.R.  Coordinating Team. Even though I have only been a S.T.A.R. Coordinator for a short amount of time, I have been having so much fun! I love being more involved in the School of Education and the fact that I get to help students feel more comfortable in college life. I have been involved with S.T.A.R. since my freshmen year as a buddy and this year was my first year as a mentor and well as a coordinator.  It’s really exciting for me to get to have different experiences through S.T.A.R. as both a coordinator and mentor. I get to do really exciting things like help give ideas for events, make bulletin boards and keep in touch with all the mentors and buddies. I am looking forward to all the events that are coming up! I had a great time at the S.T.A.R. craft night and I can’t wait to see more mentors and buddies at the really fun events we have coming up! 

Hope everyone has a wonderful spring break!!  
Madeline Brewi 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

S.T.A.R. Craft Night

Night of Crafts and Service

On Monday night, February 11th, many members of S.T.A.R. came together to try and make the lives of the people who came before us just a little bit happier. In association with America Reads* America Serves, S.T.A.R. created an assortment of Valentine’s Day cards for the residents of Chapin Home for the Aging. These cards, along with those created in an earlier event by AR*AS are being hand delivered this week by our own School of Education students.

Our S.T.A.R. Members spent the evening with crayons, markers, construction paper, and all sorts of craft materials along with some cake and snacks. Everybody was able to relax from a hectic start of the semester and unwind doing something kind for somebody else.

Knowing that many of the residents of this Home for the Aging will appreciate a handmade card, members were excited to put their creativity to use when making many of these cards. Many cards included poems, pop-up images, and beautiful hand drawn pictures from our students. This event was a great way for S.T.A.R. members to come together and have a nice relaxing night bonding with each other and helping out our local community.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Student Teaching Week 1

Actually Teaching A Class

Ok so I didn't teach a full class as of yet. I have been gradually working my way into the classroom by working my way into the classroom little by little. Today I was able to do a little more than I had done last week. I have been able to do the Do Now with students in the past but today I was able to be more involved in the class activity and discussion.

We discussed a reading that focused on the first interactions of Christopher Columbus and the native Arawaks. This reading didn't follow the typical ideas that are usually talked about with Columbus but the more raw and savage details that are usually skipped over. Thankfully, the students found this reading to be extremely interesting and kept their attention. Throughout my class I tried to really engage the students and have them think about what the reading meant and have them look at it in terms of world view and perspectives.

While I had students volunteer to read each paragraph I would emphasize key points and give a very brief summary of each section to keep students on track. I quickly noticed that I was starting to lose my class on a topic that I thought could really interest them. My cooperating teacher suggested that instead of summarizing for the students I encourage them to listen to each other more by ending each paragraph by asking questions instead. 

This easy switch led all the students to focus more and get more out of the reading immediately. One small change halfway through and I had them. Believe me, nothing is more satisfying than having a class of students who are actively participating in a reading and discussion.

  • Read through any material that you will use at least once or twice before the day and refresh yourself on the material day of. Being comfortable with your material keeps you from tripping over your words and getting yourself confused.
  • When you do a reading with the class, ask questions after each paragraph. If you summarize it, they won't listen to each other. If you ask questions throughout you keep their attention and check for student comprehension.
  • Remember to move around the classroom. It gives you a stringer presence in the classroom and helps to keep students on task.  
  • Keep your information consistent but if your lesson isn't working don't be afraid to try something different with your teaching strategy.