MEMT 500 Seminar: Student Teaching Home


Post your Week Five Journal:

(1) What I learned this past week, listed in enumerated key words or phrases;
(2) My concerns this past week, listed in enumerated key words or phrases; and
(3) Further thoughts about my student teaching this past week (prose).

You may want to write and save your journal entry first in your word processing program and then paste into the box below.


"This week I learned that the work room has LOTS of cool stuff for the
classroom. I did a cool bulletin board.
- I learned that a fine arts education isn't a guarantee in Lawrence
Public schools anymore
- I learned that the more detailed a lesson plan I make, the easier it is
to walk in on Monday morning and feel prepared.

-My main concern this week was the proposal to eliminate band and
orchestra from the elementary schools, and the other issues to be
discussed regarding cuts. All the elementary teachers have been especially
concerned about this, as it affects everyone's jobs
-I am concerned about how to set up a reward system for the kids at New
York to curb their behavior without leaving some kids out.
- I am trying to plan a kindergarten program and there is a lot of stuff
out there to do. How to narrow it down?

This was a short week, but it seemed long. I am doing a lot of the
teaching at Deerfield, and the kids at New York always give me a run for
my money. I am getting better at controlling the classroom at New York,
however, I have to use my "mean" voice. We are working on programs for 5th
grade and K, and also preparing 3-6th for a field trip at Deerfield. At
New York, I am starting to do more work with the keyboard curriculum, but
it is frustrating when the system goes down or freezes, or other tech
problems. In general those kids do better when they can be more physically
involved in the lesson. I find myself being negative a lot and wasting so
much time, so I decided to come up with a positive reward system. The kids
will earn stickers for appropriate behaviors, and when they get to 10 they
will get a prize. Inspired by a class with Dr. Darrow, I decided that food
may be the most motivating prize. Still thinking on that one. I'm looking
foreward to interview day, but find myself getting a little nervous
already. "


Rachel Chronister,
rmchron@aol.com
Mar 10 2002, Sunday 4:54 CST



"What I learned
-PR doesn't solve everything, even if you're good at it.
-My conducting is improving after a long hiatus from conducting class.
-It's a shame that even in high schools, the world stops for
basketball.

Concerns
-I am asking myself how the block scheduling is affecting my lesson
plans. There is only so much I can do with a march that the wind ensemble is
already playing well...so what am I going to do with my allotted time?
-No other major concerns

Further Thoughts
-Looking forward to being observed
-The weeks are really flying by!
-Recently conducted in the West Area Band Festival, my first time
conducting a group on a concert. I conducted a mass group of 5th graders in
a touching rendition of Regal March (there are about 5 notes in the whole
song). What a fun experience for me, and the kids. I had a nice reception
following my introduction by the kids, which sort of gave me an indication
of what the students think of me"


Ben Tatar,
bctatar@yahoo.com
Mar 10 2002, Sunday 4:27 CST



"I learned:
- It is better to overplan than to not have enough to do. Different
classes more at different speeds. It is getting a little bit easier to
plan because I am starting to get to know the kids.
- You do not always have to yell or raise your voice to get thier
attention. We have a reward system set up that is very effective. Mostly I
just have to raise my fingers and say I'll wait and count on my fingers
down from five. Then if they aren't quiet they loose their reward. It
helps that the classroom teachers work with us to reinforce good behavior.
Most kids respond well to this system. It is a long explaination of how it
all is set up.

-It helps to have the classroom teachers very invovled with what you are
doing. A lot of them really enjoy music and really support it.

I am concerned that I still do not know all of the names, but I am working
on it. The more I work with them the more names I am learning.

I am really excited because the 1st and second graders are doing a program
next month and I get to help with it."


Shannon L. Williams,
nonnahs@ku.edu
Mar 10 2002, Sunday 3:57 CST



"test"

Erin Stewart,
estewart@sunflower.com
Mar 9 2002, Saturday 5:52 CST



"aaa"

Anne,
aa
Mar 9 2002, Saturday 7:37 CST



"I learned:
a really great game from a substitute to keep students quiet while getting
in line and waiting for their teacher.
We had our first program this week, and I had a lot of fun and the kids
did a lot better during the performance than they ever had during
rehearsals. I'm getting better at conducting the choir and playing
warmups.
My concerns:
I'm thinking about behavior plans, I want to expect the best from my
students. I'm also doing a lot of planning for the job interviews next
week.
Further thoughts:
I've worked with a lot of substitutes this past week and learned a lot
about the schools that they have taught in and what it is really like in
different schools. I'm anxious to get a job and start teaching. My life
is really being split in half right now between my college friends and my
teaching schedule. I can't stay up very late and they don't start doing
anything until later at night. I miss hanging out with them"


Jenny Elliott,
sunset@ku.edu
Mar 8 2002, Friday 2:36 CST



"test"

testest,
test
Mar 8 2002, Friday 10:20 CST



"l"

s,
s
Mar 4 2002, Monday 7:35 CST



"1. I learned that good lesson planning is key to maintaining sanity
- I learned that some things don't work for some groups and you have to
have a backup plan ready
- I learned you have to pick your battles with the kids. If I tried to
micromanage every behavior, I would never get anything done.

2. I am a little overwhelmed when lesson planning because there are so
many things I could do with the kids.
- I am concerned that I will never catch up with my lessons. Just when I
think I have a plan, it's time to plan for the next week
- It is really hard to deal with classroom behaviors when I still can't
remember all the kids' names.

This week was really full. I had a workshop at the Lied Center to go to
one night, then we had a staff meeting another, plus lesson planning at
home. The kids are getting ready to go on a field trip to a performance of
HARLEM at the Lied, so we are trying to introduce them to the literature
and jazz stuff. Again, there is so much I would like to teach them, but it
is hard to choose. I am learning to get my materials ready way before
class starts so I don't have to fumble around looking for stuff..once
those kids have a second to goof off, it's all over. I am having a really
different experience at New York elementary. Stuff I teach the
Kindergarteners at Deerfield is more appropriate for the first graders at
New York. Classroom management is much more of an issue at New York and
the three classes I teach there just wear me out. Every kid has some sort
of an issue. Additionally, it is really hard to balance my teaching with
raising Elijah. It is so hard to find a balance! I could spend all evening
at home putting stuff together for the next day, but I still need to be a
good mom. Either way, I wind up feeling guilty for neglecting one or the
other. Sara Wedel says it gets better...I just need to get my rhythm down."


Rachel Chronister,
rmchron@aol.com
Mar 4 2002, Monday 5:54 CST



"I learned - it is really hard to teach with laryngitis, even if you are
very creative!
- different conductors/ clinicians have differnt ways of doing things and
sometimes you spend more time undoing what the guest did.
-Clinicians and guests are a wonderfulway to get the spark and energy back
into a choir.
- you have to really be nice to your janitors and remind them a hundred
times, if you want to have risers and etc for your concert. It is not fun
for the kids to sing on the floor, nor is it easy.

Concerns - I don't have any new concerns, just some of the same ones from
before.

It was a great week for us at Free STate and Southwest. Grandville Oldham
was a guest clinician for both areas and it was wonderful! He was very
energetic, and got the students moving. They loved him. I would recommend
him for any age! I saw him take a less than average choir and make them
great in 50 minutes. I also saw him take a great choir and make it better."


Erin Stewart,
estewart@sunflower.com
Mar 4 2002, Monday 10:50 CST



"I learned that people get stressed out for you when there is a concert.
You need to practice exactly the way you will perform for a 1st grade
concert.
I'm a little concerned about teaching the choir. I dont have a lot of
experience with it. Can I anticipate problems and catch them the first
time?
We had our 1st grade musical this week and it went very well. I'm glad
it;s over so people will stop freaking out about it. I think if I can get
some planning done this week, I can kinda lay out the rest of the
semester. "


Aaron ,
aaronh@ku.edu
Mar 3 2002, Sunday 10:49 CST



"1. -getting kids ready for their program can be quite tiring, plus when
there are a hundred of them and one of you the mean, authoritative person
has to come out to keep discipline in control
-after rehearsal of my songs on the program (4th grade), I have the kids
vote 1-5 (1=bad, 5=good) on their performance--they know if their
performance is good or bad
-ask kids for their input if you are stuck with things like endings on
their songs and such--they have very good ideas, I actually changed my
ending because one of the kids thought that it would sound better another
way and they were right

2. -I am having to work on relating to fifth graders. I think in my head
that since they are the oldest in the school that I shouldn't have to
remind them of rules or tell them to do something over and over and over.
Of course, this thinking process of mine is completely wrong because they
are still kids. My teacher told me to think of them just as
kindergarteners in bigger bodies.

3. -I am really enjoying working with my teacher. We have formed a
really neat relationship and I feel that I can talk to her about any
concerns that come up. I am not afraid to ask her questions and I have
not felt that I am asking dumb questions (whew!). She is so full of
wonderful information on discipline and tricks. I told her the other day
that the only problem with me slowly taking over more and more classes is
that I don't get a chance to watch her and collect more of her "secrets"
of teaching."


Andrea Herrman,
anniehermie@yahoo.com
Mar 3 2002, Sunday 8:30 CST



"1)What I learned this week:
·Getting ready for contest takes a lot of time.
Having an 8th grade class with 6 boys and 46 girls is a nightmare.
·
Something new happens every day!!

2)My concerns:
·Am I teaching enough in the choral rehearsal?
·Trying to teach music on block schedule seems almost impossible. I can?t
take the time to teach everything when so much of the time is spent to
learn music for contests and concerts.


Everything is still going really well. I am enjoying all grade levels. I
find, however, that it is incredibly draining to teach kindergartners and
seniors in the same day. It is so difficult to switch my line of thinking,
vocabulary, and expectations for all of the grade levels. I am surviving
though, and feel like most of the kids respond very well to me. I have
been very strict in my first few weeks, and feel that has really paid off.
The students now seem to respect me and respond well to things I ask them
to do. I am sure now more than ever that this is the career I am supposed
to be in"


Tori Koehn,
torif@ku.edu
Mar 3 2002, Sunday 5:26 CST



"What I learned:
-Learned about the pay scale! Oy! What a.....disappointment.
-Learned about sick days, personal days, etc.
-when you get up in front of the kids, whether you know what you are
doing or not, you are the expert. Example: Tuning.

Concerns:
-There seems to be some confusion amongs teachers in the district who
think that I am a rent-a-student-teacher because I am observing people on my
off time.
-My lack of knowledge in some areas of instruments is hurting me...nor
do I have a lot of time to find out how they work. Ex. Horn, bass clarinet,
etc.

Further thoughts:
-Time is flying by, but I am realizing how long 15 weeks is"


Ben Tatar,
bctatar@yahoo.com
Mar 3 2002, Sunday 4:40 CST



"Things I learned:
-Losing just ten minutes of a class period can make one class fall fairly
far behind.
-A fine arts fair is a great way for the "specials" to get some publicity in
a school.

Concerns:
-One of my first grade classes is missing a few class times because of field
trips. This means that they are going to fall pretty far behind the other
first grade classes. Why do teachers schedule these things during music??

Other thoughts:
I am getting a little tired and short with people. Luckily when I am in
front of the students I have been fine. I know that I am able to put my
problems aside and get my teaching done when I need to, I just wish that I
had some time to vent. That would hep me out quite a lot"


Sara K. Bradstreet,
k8tea@ku.edu
Mar 2 2002, Saturday 6:13 CST



"It is sometimes quite easy to have a brilliant plan for the day, but then
the seventh graders will have the standardized tests that day. Plan
thwarted. Much grumbling, and you must spend your time attempting to
console them and to bathe their tender feelings. It is also funny how
various paths towards relating to them can be very effective.

Am I really able to teach these eighth graders anything? Am I able to
give aid to the students that I am coaching on their solos? Should I
volunteer to help the baseball coach?

These eighth graders sure are money. They scoff at non-classical music,
they police themselves, wow, when I was in eighth grade..."


joseph klassen,
jfk53@ku.edu
Mar 2 2002, Saturday 5:27 CST



"What I learned:
-Students love challenging rhythmic activities, especially 3rd-6th grade.
-My teacher sent problem behavior notes home with many first grade
students and I've been learning about how the parents and students respond.

My concerns:
-I've beem really stressed lately because of teaching and working on my
interview portfolio and planning a wedding and I need to figure out how to
relax more.

Further thoughts:
This next week I'm using certain discipline strategy plans for specific
students. I'm excited to record the results and see how effective they
will be. I like this job. Also, I've been thinking about my philosophy
of music and I've come to realize that I highly value the aesthetic
quality of music. Before, I had thought that my primary value was in the
moral and expressive quality of music. I think that this world needs more
beauty and that music is a wonderful way to escape the ugliness and
appreciate the more important things"


Jenny Elliott,
sunset@ukans.edu
Mar 2 2002, Saturday 4:52 CST



"1. This week I learned that if you are producing a large scale production,
then you might as well put the rest of your life on hold. We are finally
finished with the inaugural performances of “Bravo!,” our variety show.
The kids finally tuned in to Mr. Strom’s vision for this show at the
grueling 4 hour dress rehearsal, and the following two nights they
provided the audience with a spectacular show.

2. My concern for this week is the scheduling of this show right before
contest. A show of this nature should have been performed after contest
season or during the fall semester. When he told me that this variety
show was used to replace the musical, I was questioning in my mind the
scheduling of the dates. Oh well, it might have been out of his control.

I am not looking forward to next week. Contest is coming up in April, and
none of the solo, small ensembles, or large groups have even seen a piece
of music. I suppose March Madness can apply to choir too because I
foresee the next two months as being very chaotic. The good thing is that
I should finally get more time in front of the class. So far I have been
his technical consultant by setting up lights and sound for the show, and
my exposure with the students has been making suggestions here and there
in regards to blocking of the individual groups in the show"


Dan Brinkley,
danbrinkley@earthlink.net
Mar 2 2002, Saturday 11:58 CST



"I learned:
-that it is better, and more fair, if you can try to discipline an
individual rather than the entire class.
-some kids seem to love negative attention and try to trap you in their
web of negativity.
- you must be a great model of what you expect because they will do it
even if you do it wrong.
-Knowing names makes classroom management more effective. Sometimes all
you have to do is say their name and look at them to get them to stop
whatever they were doing.
-the fourth graders still love to do movement activities eventhough the
boys say they do not.
I am concerned about a few negative attitudes from two boys. I have talked
with other teachers and they get the same thing as I do. They seem to have
a love/hate relationship with school. I hope that we can find a way to
turn their frowns upside down"


Shannon L. Williams,
nonnahs@ku.edu
Mar 1 2002, Friday 9:05 CST



"I learned:
-that it is better, and more fair, if you can try to discipline an
individual rather than the entire class.
-some kids seem to love negative attention and try to trap you in their
web of negativity.
- you must be a great model of what you expect because they will do it
even if you do it wrong.
-Knowing names makes classroom management more effective. Sometimes all
you have to do is say their name and look at them to get them to stop
whatever they were doing.
-the fourth graders still love to do movement activities eventhough the
boys say they do not.
I am concerned about a few negative attitudes from two boys. I have talked
with other teachers and they get the same thing as I do. They seem to have
a love/hate relationship with school. I hope that we can find a way to
turn their frowns upside down"


Shannon L. Williams,
nonnahs@ku.edu
Mar 1 2002, Friday 9:02 CST




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