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Collaborating with the School Community: During my practicum and student teaching experience at D.J. Montague I have had the opportunity to collaborate with numerous individuals in the school community. I have worked with my cooperating teachers to co-plan and co-teach a variety of different lessons. Collaborating with a third grade educator to teach her students a language arts lesson was a challenging but rewarding experience. Having never met any of the students in this classroom, I had to create a lesson plan to address the topic, incorporate modifications for students with special needs, and deliver an effective lesson to the class. It was imperative that I work with this third grade teacher in order to plan and implement an engaging language arts lesson. (Competency 29). To view the lesson that I created for third grade students based on the advice of their classroom teacher, click here to view my lesson plan.doc. Featured below is one of the pictures the students used to complete this writing assignment.
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Active and Continuous Reflection: After teaching a mathematics lesson with the students in my kindergarten practicum classroom, I reflected on this teaching experience. (Competency 28). A few hours after completing the lesson I thought about positive and negative aspects of the lesson. By thinking about ways to alter this lesson I will provide the students in next year's class with an even more effective and engaging lesson. To view my hands-on mathematics money lesson please click this link.doc.

Reflection on Math Money Lesson in Kindergarten:
Honestly, I believe the lesson was a huge success. My cooperating teacher said she loved the lesson and could tell the students were extremely engaged and learning some valuable information about money. If I were to teach this lesson again I would use sticker price tags instead of taping paper price tags on the pretend food. I had a little bit of trouble with the paper price tags coming off between groups. If I were to teach this in small groups to the entire class I would have had to replace the price tags numerous times! Stickers would have been much more durable. I was just trying to save my money! Also, if I were to teach this lesson again I would definitely keep the activity small group oriented and hands on with the pretend food being held by the students. However, I would not make this lesson my introductory lesson on money. I would use this lesson as the second lesson on money. Perhaps having the children use the money to buy things right after they learned the names and values was too much information for one lesson. A final change that I would make to this lesson would be to only use formative evaluation. Attempting to fill out the summative evaluation checklist was too time consuming and prevented me from interacting with the students more. In conclusion, slthough I was pleased with this lesson, I would make these three modifications and I believe my lesson would be even more effective and engaging. In addition, the students left the small group table and told their classmates they learned all about money and were quite excited. The student’s positive response to my lesson was very rewarding for me!

Meeting Professional Expectations: While student teaching at D.J. Montague Elementary School I have met professional expectations by collaborating with the team of kindergarten teachers, being punctual, enthusiastic, and open-minded, and dressing appropriately. During team meetings I have voiced my opinion regarding Bloom’s taxonomy, child-centered learning, and age-appropriate assessments. When the kindergarten teachers needed clarification and examples of the different levels of Bloom’s taxonomy I was willing to provide that support. I have shared my opinions regarding the importance of lessons and activities that focus on the child and allow them to learn in ways that meet their needs. Also, during team meetings I have voiced my beliefs in using assessments that are age-appropriate, test the intended learning outcomes, and allow the students to show what they have truly learned. By being punctual to school each morning, I am setting a positive example to other teachers who may constantly be running late. I am learning the importance of being a teacher who others can count on and respect. Punctuality is just another important characteristic possessed by teacher leaders. I have been told that enthusiasm is a quality that I possess in the classroom and that others find very contagious. Showing a positive, caring, and energetic attitude is another way that I meet professional expectations in my student teaching placement. During this experience I have tried my best to remain open-minded regarding teaching styles, attitudes, and overall professional demeanor. I believe this is an excellent characteristic to continue as I embark on my first year in the classroom. When working with a team of teachers it is equally important to be able to work remain open-minded and accept ideas that may be innovative or different. In addition, I have met professional expectations by always dressing appropriately. Although my clothing may appear overly dressy or formal for a kindergarten classroom I have found that my appearance is a factor I never have to second guess myself about. It is always better to be in clothing considered overly professional than to appear to be too relaxed or comfortable in my student teaching environment. I believe as a student teacher I should be dressed in more professional clothing than the teachers who work at the school. I have to prove my dedication to the profession while these veteran teachers have already done so during their own student teaching experience. The combination of these factors has allowed me to meet professional expectations and positively influence others at D.J. Montague Elementary School (Competencies 25, 26, & 30).