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My Response to Salend Ch. 7

Oh the Salend book.  So long, yet so full of insightful information.  After reading just the first story at the beginning, I could already identify it with a student in my own classroom (I will call him Ben).  The calling out of turn and chatting with classmates is a distraction to say the least.  Sometimes I feel that Ben’s behavior is partially due to the fact that he is not challenged enough by some of the material we cover.  It is like unless he is able to call out all of the answers he gets bored by the lesson.  We have identified the problem behavior, but it is the next step that we are having difficulties with.  We are not positive that his issues are interfering with his learning, but it is certainly interferring with our instruction and with others’ learning.  According to Salend, we need to start recording the misbehavior, which I can understand.  But it seems like an awfully time-consuming task that could take away for instruction even more.  Now, if we had a specialist come in to do these “latency” or “interval” recordings, I would be all for it.  Maybe my CT can do some of these during my full-time teaching.

It was interesting to read the section on socio-cultural factors, as I had never considered the fact that some of my ELL’s may have completely different concepts of time or styles of movement.  Because of our EDUC 629 course last semester, I had thought about how ideas about respect for elders or about individual vs. group performance could differ among ELL’s.  It is always good to have your knowledge and pedagogy reinforced through different texts, though.

I think Ben needs a behavioral intervention plan, even if it is just letting him put a sticker on his chart when he succeeds in not calling out.  We have some of these charts in place now for a student who is shy (to encourage her to participate) and one for a student who needs extra encouragement in turing his homework in on time.  These charts have 5 boxes on each row.  When a row is filled with stickers, that student gets to go to the treasure box.  This method really allows students to track their progress and gives them a constant motivational reminder to keep up the good work.  I’m not sure that this kind of incentive would work for Ben, though.  Maybe the behavior contract would be a better plan for him.

I like the idea of using humor to build strong relationships with our students.  But I wonder just how funny we can be as student teachers.  It is important for us to establish ourselves as authority figures and role models for our students.

I must admit that I am one very lucky student teacher, as the only behavior-related issues in my classroom are along the lines of calling out and focusing.  I know that the issues could be much more severe, and I made sure to think of the “big picture” of teaching while reading this chapter.  I am sure the strategies described will come in handy, which is why I definitely plan to keep this book around as a resource!

I hope yall had a wonderful snow-week (however many days you were actually in school!)



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Congratulations, Sterling!

 And the Tar Heels win it again!

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Check it out…

My older sister sent me this link with the message, “I thought this was an interesting idea! You might be able to maintain your high standard of living after all ;o)”

Although she was being funny, this article really made me think…can we put a price on authentic lessons for pubic school classrooms?  Check it out….


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ELLs in My Classroom

I am in a 2nd grade placement, and we have many English language learners in our classroom.  Ours is the ELL cluster class for the grade level.  Although not all of the students are labeled as ELLs, there are lots of different languages represented in our classroom, inclusing Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Hispanic.  We use many different strategies to benefit all students’ learning, but there are a few that especially benefit ELLs.  My CT has many multicultural books in her library and incorporates them in read alouds, guided, reading, activities, and as parts of lessons.  She also encourages her students to read these boks during their independent reading time.  She also tries to find other leveled books that incorporate certain cultures or characters for the ELL students.  There are lots of visuals used in our classroom, which help the ELLs to recall strategies visited in previous lessons or words and concepts they might have forgotten.  These students also have access to children’s dictionaries and vocabulary glossaries when they need to use them.

As the year progresses, I think my CT is discovering more and more ways to help her ELLs succeed in the classroom.

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514 – My “Sound” Glog!

Hey yall.  Check out my Glog on Sound that I made using

SUCH a cool, free tool!—Sounds/


I learned so much from our class focusing on technology instruction.  Technology can be used in an almost infinite number of ways to engage students in learning…especially in science!  I enjoyed learning about James Gee and his philosophy on video games.  It is refreshing to see someone promoting the increasingly popular hobby rather than bashing it for violence or “rotting kids’ brains.”  I think that children, for the most part, will play video games regardless, so why not make fun, interactive, and educational games that kids are drawn to and will want to play.  If you can make the learning almost subconscious, the kids won’t even know that they are actually practicing academic skills.

I could see myself using Glogster or SAM animation in my 2nd grade placement classroom.  Either technology would have been great for our previous “States of Matter” unit.  I could create a SAM animation reel that shows the development of a caterpillar to a butterfly in our upcoming  life cycles unit.

The great thing about SAM and Glogster is that they can be created to suit nearly any topic and included any and all desired information.  They enable information to be presented to students in an engaging, interactive manner…a great improvement from reading from a textbook!

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514 – Science Blog #4: Misconceptions

As we continue with our inquiry experiments in 514, I keep thinking back to the Bubble Activity with the 2nd grade students at Haw River Elementary.  I think I would have been so much more prepared had I known more about the students themselves and their misconceptions about science, water, and bubbles.  I know the students thought that the objects would float better in the bubble solution than in the regular water, and they were surprised to see that wasn’t the case.  The students didn’t seem to have any misconceptions about surface tension because they really didn’t know what it is to begin with.  When we spoke with them about the “skin” of the water, they seemed to understand a little bit better, but they were still attributing the floating or sinking to the object’s weight and whether it was buoyant or not. 

In my student teaching placement, I haven’t been able to witness very much in terms of science inquiry experiments because they typically occur on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  I did see some of the results from an ongoing experiment about ice and states of matter.  The students have been recording their data on a big sheet of chart paper and I could see how their estimates were off at first, but they were realizing the trends in how fast the ice melts and how the volume remains constant.  It would have been interesting for me to have been able to ask students questions prior to the experiment so that I could assess their understanding before and after the experiment.  But I am sure my CT has been doing these assessments as well.  Hopefully, I will be able to witness more experiments firsthand, especially before I take over teaching myself.

Students’ misconceptions can definitely help OR hinder a science experiment.  Sometimes students are so convinced that they are right, it takes a lot longer for them to realize that what they believed to be truth is actually a misconception.  But when students do realize their misconception, it tends to stick with them longer, leaving a lasting impression. 

In my own classroom, I will gage my students’ conceptual understandings by asking questions before, during, and after inquiry experiments.  If I have my students journal as well, they will be able to see firsthand how their understanding changed over the course of the experiment.


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A Hilarious Example of Experimental Reading

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