Morrison final blog entry SPED343

Collaboration involves commitment by the teachers who will be working together. At my placement, from what I know about communication and collaboration from both general education teachers, special education teachers, and aids is that each bring their own skills, training, and perspectives to the classroom.  These teachers share their resources, and together combine to strengthen their teaching and learning effectiveness. Both the general education teacher and special education teacher have expertise in many areas, and they combine their skills making their teaching more effective in meeting the needs of all the students.

Typically the primary responsibility of general education teachers is to use their skills to instruct students in content curricula articulated by the school system, and the primary responsibility of special education teachers is to provide instruction by adapting and developing materials to match the learning styles, strengths, and special needs of each of their students. General education teachers bring content specialization, while special education teachers bring assessment and adaptation. At Capay, it is their goal that all students in their classes are provided with appropriate classroom and homework assignments so that each student is learning, and participating in the classroom. 

At Capay, the different roles and responsibilities of the teachers, appears to have no adverse effect on the different interaction they have with their students. If anything, because the teachers do interact well with each other, I would say they have an outstanding relationship with the students.

I have only been to Capay for a short time, but from what I’ve have seen through teacher/student interaction is that the students love and respect their teachers, and in return, the teachers love and respect their students. Whenever at recess, there is not a day that goes by where a student doesn’t come over to interact with a teacher. Not just their teacher, but any teacher whom may be outside. The students always want to talk to the teachers, give them hugs, talk to them about their schoolwork, what they do outside of class, projects they’ve done, etc. Capay is like one big happy family. They all work together and learn from each other.


So far, I have completed 71/2 hours at Capay Elementary school, working with students from grades K-2, 4, and 8. I have not worked with individual students, but students only in groups, and have not yet worked with any students with exceptional needs. I feel that working with any students, whether they have special needs or not will have a positive impact. I believe I make an impact on the students because I know that as a teacher, it’s hard to sit down with each student and help them with any problem they may have. So as a volunteer in the classroom, I fill in that gap, and can help those students that really need the extra help. My being there in the classroom helps the students to be able to complete their assigned work, and gain a better understanding of the problems, and therefore gives them more confidence in their ability to be able to work the problems through by themselves in the future.

I don’t believe there are any negative effects on the students with me being in the classroom. On Thursdays, I spend an hour working with eighth graders in math. The teacher gives me three students, and the math answer book, and then sends us to a separate room in the library to work. Every half hour, the groups will rotate, and I get a new group of three students. On some days, the students do problems out of the book, and if they need help, I am there to help them. Other days, we will go through the problem they completed and go over any that they may have wrong or may need additional help on. The only negative thing about this arrangement is that because I am by myself with a few students, and am quite a distance from the classroom, that if I don’t understand a problem, or if I need clarification on a problem that a student needs help on, it can be rather difficult to get help from the teacher. Also, the math book the teacher gave me only gives the questions and answers, but not the work on how to do the problems. Sometimes when helping a student, it takes me awhile to realize that “oh, I remember this” or “wait a minute, how do I do this again.” That would be the only negative thing. Because the teacher assigned me the upper level student’s, that also makes it more challenging as I have not done that type of math in a fairly long time. If I had the opportunity to go over the math prior to working with the students, I feel that I would be much better prepared to help the student’s to have a better understanding of the math.   

"Hooker Oak" week 10

This week was my last week with Josh at Hooker Oak. It was a really good week, not counting the goodbye on Wednesday. On Monday, Josh and I played on the playground a game he had made up. It was not a game I wanted to play, but because it was my last week, I figured “why not.” When the bell rang, we went to class, and they immediately started silent reading. Josh usually reads the “Magic Tree house” series, and he finished his last book, and forgot to grab a new book from his other class. Instead of having him waste time getting another book, I persuaded him to read a different book, and he ended up really liking it. After silent reading, they did a science experiment involving water and food coloring, and they had to mix them to form the colors of the rainbow. Josh was having a lot of fun, but I noticed he doesn’t like to share. He wanted to do all the measuring, and the pouring, and the mixing, and didn’t want anyone else to help him. I did get him to share, but he wasn’t happy.  

On Wednesday, I arrived at recess, and I saw Josh for the first time swinging on the swings with a girl, so I chose not to bother him and went to visit Monica and her student.  After recess, instead of silent reading, they did PE and played Hockey. The teacher told everyone to grab a partner, so he ran over to me and grabbed my hand and yelled out to everyone “I have my partner!” I told him I was only going to watch, but he said “No! If I have to play, then you have to play.” We headed out to the field and played hockey for a few minutes, and then I walked Josh to the bus where we said our goodbyes. He hugged me, and told me to try and gets placed with him again for next semester.

I am really going to miss him. We had a good time together, and I hope he learned a lot. I hope that he will learn to share, play with others, and continue to pay attention in class like he did when I was there.

What I have learned so far…

As I try to think back about what I have learned so far, I really cannot think of that much. A lot of things we did this year were the exact same to what we had done last year, such as the things we have read, and the overall format of things we did in the class. This year, almost identical to what we did last year is join social networking sites, read about literacy, write a major paper, and make a movie. The only thing different is the content.

This year, we talked about what literacy is. And what I have come to realize is that there is not one set definition to describe it. I learned that literacy is more than just reading and writing, and that we cannot go a day without it. In this class, because I got the opportunity to read Penny Kittles book “Write beside them,” I learned more about quick-writes. We also learned more about digital learning, and media, as well as the program “Step up to writing.”

One of the things I enjoyed during this class was the “This I believe” activity. It was fun, and it allowed the class to get together and share what they believe in. Also in this class, we have learned about learning, and teaching, and what the purpose of education is. But I do have to say, although I was against it, I really liked working on Tumblr. When the teacher told us in the beginning of the year that we are going to have to join more social networking sites, I was annoyed, because I hate having so many accounts, many of which, in fact practically all, I never use. I hate receiving emails and updates about them, and I hate people hounding me to add them as friends, especially if I never go on it. For example, I hate Twitter, it has got to be the worst networking site available. Diggo, we did last year, and I hated it, and all the other ones, I don’t even remember because they aren’t worth remembering. Anyway, as you can see, I don’t care for any social networking sites, other than Facebook, but Tumblr I like.

So, I did in fact learn a lot in this class. And all the stuff I already learned about from the previous year, I consider it review, and I guess I can say I gained a deeper understanding of it.

"Hooker Oak" week 9

This week at Hooker Oak was a lot different than previous weeks. On Monday, Josh was out sick, and Monica’s students were on a field trip, so both Monica and I worked in the special day class with a girl named Destiny and her aid. Together, we worked on worksheets, put together a puzzle, played a game, colored, played with hula hoops, etc. It was pretty fun, although I missed working with Josh.

On Wednesday, Josh was back at school. I was excited because I really wanted to ask him about the field trip they went on last week. He says it was a lot of fun, but a lot of students got sick on the boat ride. He also mentioned that it would have been a lot more fun if I was able to go. Anyway, when the bell rang, instead of doing the usual thing of going to class and doing silent reading, the entire class went outside to do PE. They were playing a game that the 6th graders made up. I forgot the name, but basically, there are two teams, and each team has 9 balls on their half of the field. There are blockers, and runners. The blockers block the balls from the other team, and the runners try to run over to the other half of the field and take the balls and run back to their side without being tagged by the other team. Josh was actually playing with the other kids, so I was really excited for him. He was a blocker, but then all the balls he was blocking were taken, so he tried to run over to the other side and get them back, but he was tagged. When he did get tagged, he gave up because he felt that he let his team down, and they lost because of him, when in fact by the end of the game they were tied. Anyway, I told him as long as he tried his best, that’s all that’s important. When Josh left for the bus, I decided to come back and finish watching the game. As I stood there, I watched an incredible thing happen. A smaller boy on one of the teams was tired and out of breath. He was so out of breath that he was on his hands and knees on the field gasping for air. One of his teammates, who had just grabbed a ball from the other team, spotted him, dropped the ball, and ran over to the other side to help him. He helped him up, and moved him off the field, so he wouldn’t get run over by the other players. It was an awesome thing to be able to watch. 

"Hooker Oak" week 8

This week at Hooker Oak went really well. On Monday, When I arrived at recess, Josh was eating lunch with Monica’s student. When he finished eating, him and I played on the playground until the bell rang. We went to class, where they started silent reading.  I had Josh read to me and I noticed he reads very slowly. He started complaining that it was hard, so I asked him if he would like to see what I have to read. He got really excited and said “yes” so I pulled out my “Victors and Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua views of the Conquest of Mexico.” He asked me what page I had to start on, so I told him page 29, and he flips to the page, and reads it perfectly, and quickly. I was amazed. He read a few sentences, and then gave up, but I was proud of him anyway. When they finished silent reading, they worked on writing essays. They are given a prompt and they have to write a journal entry about it. The teacher didn’t do anything this class, and she gave no instructions, because she was busy setting up for the overnight field trip. She was placing people in cars, and hotel rooms. Josh really didn’t want to work today. He was upset that he didn’t get to finish his last prompt he had to write Last class. I looked at it, and he literally only wrote three words. The teacher doesn’t want them go back and work on them, so he was upset about that as well. After a lot of convincing, I got him to start writing, and then the girls at his table told him he had to at least have half a page written for all the prompts or he can’t go on the field trip. He got even more upset and put down his pencil and gave up. I was so frustrated at those girls, because I finally got him to work, and they completely messed it up. I had to tell him to not listen to anyone else, that he is going to go on the field trip, and to not worry about how much he writes, just too at least try, and not give up. I told him to write as much as he can. He ended up writing a page. I was proud, he was proud, we were happy. Then the fire alarm went off, apparently Monica’s classroom had started a small fire, so we left and headed off to the lawn. When it was clear, it was time for Josh to head to the bus. All of a sudden, he ran to his classroom. He told me he had to run and ask Kathryn before he left if I can go on the field trip with him. I did have permission from the school, but none from Carla from CAVE, so I couldn’t go.  Josh found out, and he refused to go unless I went because he didn’t have any friends, and he said nobody wants him there. I told him that he is going to have a great time, and that the other students do want him there. I told him that the other students are looking forward to having him there, and getting to know him, hang out, and have fun. He still didn’t want to go, but the teacher came over and told him the same thing, and we together convinced him that he should go, and that he is going to have a great time, and that I will be there on Monday to hear all about it.  

On Wednesday, because Josh was on the field trip, Kathryn sent me over to work with Christian, a second grader. Together we worked on a couple of worksheets, and then I read him an alphabet book. After it was time to go, and so we headed off to the bus.

"Hooker Oak" week 7

Hooker Oak this week was a lot of fun. On Monday it was Halloween. It was great to see everyone in costumes, even the teachers. Josh dressed up as a warrior from Halo. He was excited when Monica and I arrived. He even gave both Monica and I each one of his pumpkins. When I did arrive, it was recess time, but nobody was outside. I went to sign in, in the special day class, and found Josh inside the classroom. All the upper division classes went on a field trip, but he didn’t get to go because his mainstream teacher forgot to give him a permission slip. I think that is really bad on the teacher’s part. As teachers, forgetting a student, especially one who doesn’t feel included already can really affect them. Josh was very upset. Anyway, During recess, in the classroom, he had to work, which I felt was odd, and completely unfair, as it was their recess time, and everyone else was out having fun on a field trip. What made it even worse for him was that Monica’s students and others from his special day class got to go on the field trip because their teachers didn’t forget about them. This is Josh’s third field trip where he hasn’t been able to go on with the rest of his class. As you can probably guess, I was very frustrated, and I felt really bad for him. Anyway, we worked on and finished 6 pages worth of worksheets, and then finally, heard the mainstream class got back from their field trip so we headed over to the mainstream class. There, Josh just colored Halloween pictures. The teacher passed out cupcakes, I got one, and Josh got two of them.

On Wednesday, when I arrived at Recess, Josh was playing with a group of kids. I was so proud of him. I sat on the swings and watched.  When the bell rang for everyone to go to class, Josh ran over to the mainstream class to go grab his backpack. As we were walking, he noticed the teacher carrying a load of boxes, so he ran over and held the door open for her. When we got to the mainstream classroom, the class was just working on finishing up their math, or reading. Josh grabbed some leftover Halloween pictures from the recyclables, so he was going to color. Josh, he is a gentleman. He grabbed me a chair, and pulled it out for me, then waited till I sat down and pushed the chair in. When I was seated, he asked me if I would like to color with him. I said yes! He got really excited, he got me and himself each a box of crayons, and paper. He made sure I got everything I needed and wanted. When we began coloring, the teacher walked over, and told Josh about a field trip they are going on next week. It is an overnight field trip on a boat, and she told him he must have a chaperone in order to go. He asked me if I would go with him as his chaperone. He says his parents won’t be able to go. I told him I am not sure if I would be able to go, but I will ask. When we left for the bus, Tyson, a guy who helps in the special day classroom, went to make a copy of his permission slip for the field trip, and told Josh that if he cant find anyone to be his chaperone, he will probably go with him. Josh, he says “I want Melissa to go and be my chaperone.” I was almost in tears, I was so happy.

Kids of Today vs 1980’s Technology

A day without the teacher 2

A day without the teacher

I really couldn’t find a video that I liked as a good example, but this is something interesting that I did find.