Sunday, October 25, 2015

Content and Language Objectives

My first year of teaching, I went through a one-day SIOP training (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol). I really felt like one day was not enough time to understand and apply all the information. This year, our training is on 3 different days. I am also taking the class for college credit, so I have homework to do in between classes.

I have really enjoyed my time in class! I teach in small groups and usually have 8 groups that I teach each day. My assistant also has 8 groups. So posting Content Objectives and Language Objectives can be somewhat overwhelming. We use Corrective Reading for a lot of our reading groups. So I am going through the Scope and Sequence of the curriculum and creating posters of Objectives that go with a series of lessons in each curriculum. When I am finished with them, I am hoping to post them on TeachersPayTeachers as a new product. My plan is to laminate sheets with the Content and Language Objectives on them and post them on the wall. When more than one group is working on the same skill, I will use a post-it to mark who is working on that skill that day.

As a side-note, I caught a cold from my husband. He works at the hospital as a phlebotomist and I work at a school. So between the two of us, A LOT of germs are coming home. It totally knocked me on my butt! I spent 2 weeks totally miserable!! It was a virus that was going around, so there was not much a doctor could help with. I have been using a lot of essential oils lately. I am trying them out to see how they help me stay healthy and deal with stress. So far, I LOVE using peppermint on my chest or neck. It usually helps my sinuses clear out. It's also supposed to promote focus. I find that I usually feel awake when I use it in the morning and I am more productive. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Exit Tickets and Push In Support

It is my 3rd week of pushing into a class of 20 students to provide SDI to my students as part of the Math Core. Everyday, I preview the math lesson that is being taught as part of the core curriculum. Right now the class is working on building arrays to solve multi-digit multiplication. It has been incredibly exciting to see that my students are very successful at this!! They are using a multiplication charts for some of the single-digit equations, but they appear to truly understand the concept. One of them even finishes first and asks for MORE WORK to do!

Yesterday the general education teacher put a problem on the board and had students solve it as an exit ticket. I was able to quickly sort them by who understood and who needed more review. Today I was out of the building for SIOP training. But tomorrow, I will be able to pull students who need more practice to the kidney table at the back and re-teach the concept. I am a big fan of exit tickets and find them incredibly helpful for modifying my instruction.

I've used post-its as exit tickets, asking students to write the answer to math problem or to answer a vocabulary question. I also have kids use "secret thumbs," to show me their level of understanding. I have them give me a thumbs up, thumbs down or in between. I use that feedback in the middle of the lesson to see if we need to cover an idea again with additional practice.

I really want my kids to advocate for their own understanding and to feel comfortable asking questions. I have had students that were too intimidated or embarrassed in a group of 5 kids to admit that they didn't understand. I've had WHOLE GROUPS that were afraid to admit they didn't understand. It takes time and it takes trust. But if I don't teach students how to self-advocate, how will they learn to do that? How will they learn that it's okay to need help? That you learn more by admitting you don't know? I want my kids to know that when you PERSEVERE you learn about yourself, about school and you feel good know that you can do hard things!