Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What a great day at Summerville Elementary! I am so excited to be in Mrs. Lacey’s classroom this semester. She is a fantastic teacher with decades of teaching experience. I have a lot to learn from her. She is very open to having Lindsay and me in her classroom each week and her passion for teaching is contagious. I was extremely impressed with our smoothly the class was run, especially visiting on the third week of school. All of the children in the class knew the procedures, which Mrs. L informed us that she focused on the first few days of school before introducing any content.

The main part of the afternoon was spent in math centers. I really like how there were short math stations, all dealing with the same topic of sorting. The children rotated every 15 minutes or so, keeping their interest. It was a great setup for Lindsay and me to interact. They also did a writing activity. Mrs. L shared a book with the class that had no words, only illustration and they “read” the book as a class. She gave them instructions for their writing journals: they were to illustrate a story about their choice and they would add words another day. Then she gave them “talk time” to talk with their neighbor about what they would illustrate about. She set the timer for two minutes. This worked really well for the class.

I can honestly say that almost no one misbehaved on Thursday. It was impressive! At the end of the day when the assistant was handing out backpacks, one little girl did say something disrespectful. I really admired how the situation was dealt with by the assistant. You can tell that Mrs. L and her assistant have a great working relationship and respect for one another. Mrs. W continued handing out the backpacks and a few minutes after she was done, she calmly asked the child that had been disrespectful to come with her behind the cubbies. She bent down to her level, was out of view from the class, and did it after the other students had already forgotten. She had a caring and gentle way of explaining that what she had done was disrespectful. I thought this was a great way of dealing with it, avoiding embarrassment and unnecessary attention.

I noticed a few of Lemov’s techniques being used at SES. First, the entire school uses the Post It technique. Along with all of the artwork or student work displayed for visitors is the objective that goes along with it. As I continue with my visits, I plan on taking note how often it is displayed in the classroom for the students as well. The teachers in the kindergarten classes work together to create their lesson plans each week, with each teacher focusing on a particular subject. Our teacher let us see the previous weeks lesson plans and they all use the Double Plan technique. Not only does the LP include what the teacher’s responsibilities are for the lesson, but also what the students will be doing and how they will be assessed.

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