Friday, December 3, 2010

Last Day of Service

Today was my last day of service, and the children were kind of wound up today. When I first got there, I played with the children as usual, I helped them swing on a swing that was in the classroom and played with puzzles with them. Then it was time for gym class, the gym teacher was not here today, so the children played with various gym equipment in a sort of obstacle course. I helped Carlos shoot baskets for most of the class and he had a lot of fun, especially when he got it in. Back in the classroom, it was time for snack, there were two extra helpers in the class, since today was kind of a hard day. I sat at a table with Ronnie and Carlos and gave them their snack, Ronnie was not behaving, so the teacher took him over to her table. After snack I helped the children make "monster pudding" which corresponded with the video that they watched at the end of the day. It was too cold to go out to the play ground, so instead the children either went to the rice table, doctor station, or the computer. I helped at the computer, putting on different programs and making sure that the children took turns. After this we watched the video "Little Bear" and then I got everyone's coats and backpacks, and I took Carlos to his bus and that was the day. Today was a little hectic as many of the kids seems tried, but I really did enjoy my service and I'm really going to miss it.

A current event that goes along with my service is making education real and meaningful to the students. This is what I'm writing my final paper on, and something that I'm really interested in. Today at the end of the day, the children watched "Little Bear" and in the video Little Bear and his friends make monster pudding, and during the children's work time they made their own monster pudding. They really had fun with this, and many of them understood that it went along with their movie. This was a fun activity and a good way of relating cooking to the movie and to the students own life. It helps them work on their fine motor skills, and helps them to relate topics that they are learning from the video into their own life's. A media event that relates to my service would the use of computer. Today the children got to work on the computer for a while, they would pick which picture's and songs that they would like to see and hear on the computer and they each got about a five minute turn on the computer. This was fun, they all really enjoyed getting to go on the computer.

A theory the relates to my service is that of actions and consequences. I have observed that when the children are not behaving and they hurt themselves, the teachers tell them it is a consequence. Though this does sound harsh it does teach the children to listen and behave, because if they aren't listening, it could be dangerous and they could get hurt, such as if they are not sitting to wait their turn for the swing and then they get hit by the swing. I think that it is important for children to learn consequences.

I had a great time with my service and I am hoping to go back next semester.

Friday, November 19, 2010

7th Day of Service

Today when I got to my service site, the classroom had been changed around a bit, now there seems to be a different sort of center, but the children did not use it today. Also when I got there two boys, Carlos and Ronnie, were working with a different teacher. I played with the children for a little while, then it was time for gym class. The gym teacher had set up an obstacle course for the children, that included a balance beam, tunnels, and jumping on mats. They all really enjoyed this, and they all cooperated the best that I have ever seen them. Next they worked on kicking some balls for a while and then they all sat in a circle and played with some stuffed animals and squishy balls, during this activities some of the children were crying or not really participating, so I think that more active things, like obstacles course work better for them. Back in the classroom, I helped the children wash their hands, and then I sat at a table with Ronnie and Carlos for snack. They were pretty good, and then it was time to do their work. The work today corresponded with Thanksgiving and things that they liked to eat. Carlos did his well, but Ronnie wouldn't participate, so he didn't get a sticker on his goal chart. After that there was a bit of play time were I helped a little girl play with puzzles. Then it was playground time, I pushed Ronnie on the swing and chased him, and also played basketball with Carlos, recess is a good time for these children. Back in the classroom we watched a video, which was Little Bill. Then I got the children's coats and backpacks and walked Carlos to his bus and that was the day. I really feel like I know the children now and I enjoy working with them.

A current event that would correspond with my service site would be that of recess. Now a days schools encourage recess so that children can be active, but some schools also don't want to have too much playground time. My elementary school got rid of morning recess for a year, and it made it a lot harder for the children concentrate. At my site recess is a great outlet for the children since they have a lot of energy, and it also gives them a chance to be active. We stay out there for close to an hour and they all run around and play and then are quieter and more focused back in the classroom. I think that recess is an important part of the school day. A media event that corrsponds to my site is sports. Sports are always on TV and are a big part of high school. I played basketball with Carlos today and it helped him to work on his motor skills and I think that he really enjoyed the one on one attention that he got from me.

A theory that goes along with my service is that of behavior and schedule charts. Each child has a behavior chart to mark their progress and it really does help them to listen better. Each child is also shown a picture schedule so they know what activity comes next, this helps them to transition better. Carlos is also given a chart to show that he is following directions, this also seems to help him focus. Charts and schedules are very important to the children's learning experience.

Friday, November 12, 2010

6th Day of Service

Today the class was once again small, as two boys were absent and one little girl had moved up. The day started with play time, during which I played trains with some boys and just generally observed what was going on. All the children played nicely for the most part, though some were crabby. Then it was time for gym class. When we got there there was a fifth grade boy helping out with the class, I thought that that was cool that he got to participate like that. During class the children played on scooters, which they really liked. They also made the scooters into a train, which is what they were learning about this week. The also practiced kicking balls and playing with hulu hoops. After gym we went back to the class and had snack and then they did their work. Their work was painting a train picture by wheeling a small plastic train through paint. This was cool, the children enjoyed it, and it tied into what they were learning. Next we went out to the playground. I pushed some children on the swings, but mainly I chased this one little boy all around the playground. He really like doing that, and it seemed to help him to focus better later. Back in the classroom we watched a Thomas the Train video, which again ties into the lesson on trains, and the I got the children's backpacks and coats. I took one little boy to his bus, and that was the day. It was very enjoyable, and I liked how the theme of trains was tied in throughout the day. (they had even made a train out of cardboard box's, there were train sets in the play area and train pictures on the wall.)

A current event that would relate to my service would be that of technology in the classroom. These days teachers are always trying to bring technology into the classroom, whether in be doing something on computers or even using cell phones as part of a lesson. In my classroom at Gearity they use watching a movie at the end of the day to make the transition easier and to tie the lesson into the class. They used watching Thomas as a way of continuing the lesson on trains and also to learn about colors and sizes as well. A media event that would relate to my service would be that of art. Today the children used art to tie into their train lesson and to also work on their motor skills by rolling the trains through paint. I think that art is an important think to have in the classroom, and it can teach children many skills.

A theory that relates to my service would be that of punishment. The children in my classroom often hit each other, and they are not really given a timeout, just told to stop or keep hands to self. While this might be effective, I think that maybe they would get the message better if they had to sit out for a minute or two. But other than that I'm really enjoying my service and it is something that I would consider doing again next semester.

Friday, November 5, 2010

5th Day Of Service

Today when I got to the classroom, I was told yet again about some changes to the schedule. Now at the end of the day the children watch a movie while the teacher's get their backpacks and coats so as to make the line up process run smoother. Also the children now all have their own goal charts. Each child has two goals and if they achieve both goals they can pick from the treasure chest. These goals are things like lining up on time and keeping their hands to themselves. These new changes seem to make the class run smoother. Anyway when I first got to the classroom it was playtime, so I played cars with a little boy named Carlos for a while. Then it was time for gym, it seemed to be more structured today. First the children ran around, then they practiced skills such as galloping, then they did some actives with kicking balls, and finally they had some free gym time towards the end of class. The actives done in gym class today seemed to be focused on working on the children's motor skills. Most of the children did well and seemed to enjoy the actives. Back in the classroom we had snack time, and then craft time. The craft they made today was a rainbow using different colors of paper. I helped Carlos work on his, he did a pretty good job staying focused. Then we went outside for recess, I pushed a little girl on the swing and she did a good job of saying more if she wanted to be pushed again. When we went back in the classroom the children watched a movie about Spot the Dog, in the movie Spot sees a rainbow, which is why they made rainbows today. While the movie was still playing I helped the children get their coats on, then I walked some of them to their buses. Severel children were absent today, but it was still a good day at Gearity.

A current event that relates to my service is the voting that took place on Tuesday. While I don't know if Gearity had any issues on the ballot, I do know that education in general is always a big ticket issue. Schools like Gearity that have special education programs need funding, and for that they need levies to pass. So it is important when voting to take in the different education issues, because if schools don't get enough funding, programs like the one I work at at Gearity will suffer. A popular culture event that relates that relates to my service is educational television for children. There are many shows out their aimed to help children learn, like Dora the Explorer or Word World. Today at Gearity, as mentioned above, the children watched a Spot movie, things like this help them to stay focused and work on their speech, among other things. It does seem that the children benefit from watching this movie, they were all very focused during it. A theroy that I think applies to my service is that of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when something pleasant happens when a certain behavior is exhibited. When the children at Gearity do what their supposed to, like line up on time, they receive a sticker on their goal charts. This seems to work well and most of the children seem to be becoming better listeners.

Today was another eventful and enjoyable day of service. I can really see the children's progress now, I see them talking more, gaining motor skills and becoming better listeners.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weblog 6

My prop is a story out of the book Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul. The story is called A Friday Night in May and is by Carolyn M. Mason. This story is about a little girl who is about to go on stage for her first dance recital. She is sure that her first grade teacher will come. Her mother is very doubtful of this fact, all thought this teacher, Mr. Walker had gotten her daughter to read and had encouraged her to dance in the first place, the little girls mother just didn't think that he would come. She thought that he would have better plans on a Friday night. The little girl was sure Mr. Walker would come as she had asked him to attend, and sure enough, he did. The mother was then amazed at his dedication.
This story relates to the chapter because it talks about having high quality teachers, who go above and beyond what is needed. It also talks about being a teacher 24/7. It is obvious that the teacher from the story, Mr. Walker was an exceptional teacher, he not only taught this little girl how to read and made and big impression on her, he also took time out of his weekend to watch her dance. This shows a true caring attitude for his students. The chapter also speaks of knowing every student by name, and the man in this story goes beyond that by knowing the students personalty and supporting their talents.
There is also a really great quote at the beginning of this story. The quote is by Marva Collins and it says "You can pay teachers to teach, but you can't pay them to care." I think this sums up a large part of the chapter, you as a teacher have to decide to care, you education and degree is going to make you, it has to be your on choice.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fourth Day of Service

Today was a little different at the preschool, there was a new schedule and a new student. The new students name was Logan and he has some speech, but is also a little aggressive. Under the new schedule there is no more circle time, I think this is because the children weren't getting much out of it and there are also new work tables. When I first got to the classroom the children were playing, I got to meet Logan and I helped him and another boy with painting. Then I played with Logan in the kitchen corner. It was then time for gym. The children ran around in time to music, and then played with stacking cups. After gym it was snack time, then recess. At recess I was pushing the same boy on the swing again and he was doing a great job of saying and signing "more", another little girl who was swinging was also beginning to say "more" and "no". It was really cool, because I had never heard her speak before, its really great to see the children learning. When we came in from recess, the kids went to their work tables to work on puzzles. I helped out at a work table with two children, Carlos and Denay. They both speak pretty well, and Denay is going to be moving up to the next class soon. The puzzle that they were doing involved one child holding cards and the other child having the pieces that corresponded to the pictures. They did a really good job. Then it was clean up time, the children got there coats and backpacks, picked a prize from the "treasure chest" and then we walked them to their buses. It was a good day, it's really enjoyable getting to know these children and watching them learn.

A historical event that responds to my service learning site is The Equality of Educational Opportunity Study which said that African American benefit from going to integrated schools, but not from having extra resources. The resource part does not relate to my service, since all of the children get the same resources, but the integrated part certainly does. Most of the children in the preschool are African American and some are white. At this school everyone is friends and it seems race does not matter. All the children play with each other. If schools were still segregated these children would be missing out on some great friendships, so as we of course know in this day and age it is essential and the basis of equality to have integrated schools. A popular culture event that corresponds to my service site would be Halloween. At Gearity the children are not allowed to dress up for Halloween, because some parents don't agree with Halloween because of their religion. The children in my class were still excited and talking about trick of treating and costumes. I think its too bad that they can't dress up, that was something that I loved about elementary school. It's interesting going to a different elementary school and seeing their customs. I think that society has gotten very politically correct and
unfortunately its taking fun things away from kids, like Halloween parties at schools.

In short, though, I'm really enjoying Gearity. It's great working with the children and I'm understanding more how to talk to them and not to tolerate any hitting. I can't believe that a few weeks ago I was scared and intimidated by the children, now I can't wait for Fridays!

(I used the text book to find the historical event)

Friday, October 22, 2010

3rd Service Learning Blog

Today was my third visit to Gearity Preschool, so I now know the class schudule and how things work. When I first got there the children were playing, I sat down at a table with two boys who were spinning plastic pegs, they were very engrossed in the activity, and I was playing with them. Then it was time for gym class, and the kids had a lot of energy. In gym they ran around, stacked cups and played with a parachute. However, this gym class didn't go to well, as some of the kids didn't want to participate. After gym we went back to the class and had circle time, but it was special because, one boy, Corey was moving up to the integrated class. So the teachers read him a special book that his classmates had made him and for snack they all decorated cookies as a celebration for Corey. I thought that this was very nice and it showed Corey what a good job he had been doing. After the cookies it was recess time, and the kids are usually pretty good during that time. I pushed kids on the swings for a while and this one boy who doesn't talk and last week I was told to prompt him to say/sign more if he wanted to be pushed more, but this week he told me all by himself. That was really cool because the first week of my service I was not sure if the children were really learning, but now I see that I was dead wrong, maybe their class is different for the preschool experience that I had, but in everything they do, playing, gym, art, etc., they are gaining more skills. After recess the kids had art where they painted with water colors, and they played for a while. Before they went to their buses they all got to pick prizes from the "treasure chest." Today was really enjoyable, I'm really starting to get to know the kids, and I enjoy working with them a lot.

A historical event that relates to my service experience would be IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). This is an act that was put into place in 1975 and it requires schools to have special programs for children who have disabilities. I was researching this act for my paper, and it has a lot to do with my service project. Many, if not all of these kids would not be allowed to go to school without IDEA. IDEA also makes it possible for them to have the special resources that they need to learn and to have the special class that they are in. IDEA also covers IEP's(Individualized Education Program) which I believe all the children in my class have. A pouplar song that relates to my service is Hot N Cold by Katy Perry. Today during gym the gym teacher was playing this song as a cue for the kids when to run and when to stop their actives. I think it proved helpful to them as they where transitioning and it was fun for them to run around in time to the music.
Today was an overall great day, and I'm really pleased that Corey is moving up to the next class. Some people think that because children have a disabilities that they are incapable of learning or being with their peers, but that isn't true, and I'm seeing it in action when I'm at Gearity.