Hello good people! This week is Sydney and I’s turn to write the class blog. This past week we met once more with the group of Master Teachers and discussed student autonomy and how to bring more of it into the classroom. They provided us with a ton of resources that they’ve used in our own classroom (thanks if you’re reading this). We (the cohort) were also tasked with further investigating the footholds of Ambitious Science Teaching. Check out the rest of the cohort’s blogs to find out more. What is the most exciting, however, is that we will all be starting student teaching full time very soon. Here are our thoughts on that:

Olivia:

“Goal: Implement various differentiated instruction strategies to meet the needs of all learners (i.e. how do we ensure that every learner is being challenged?)
Planning: Collaborative planning focus- how do we incorporate various co-teaching models and identify which models work best for each class?
General feelings: Excited! Ready to try new strategies and build on strategies I have already began to use during field.”

Victor:

“Feeling a little nervous about the day-in, day-out, responsibilities. Also excited about trying giving the students a chance to see a slightly different learning experience than one they’ve been having. In terms of planning, I’m looking over my CT’s planned schedule for my four weeks, and collecting ideas of who to teach that content in ways that align with both the Common Core (since they do have to take the Regents), and the NGSS. For questions, I really don’t have any that I can think of. Maybe just whether are we are expected to take over out CTs’ out-of-class responsibilities at all, and to what extent.”

Sydney: 

“I’m feeling excited and anxious for sure. Planning wise, I’m excited because I am planning to have my students do a project on poly atomic ions and they will have to present so that’ll be fun to watch. I will also get the experience of ending a unit and making a test for my students and then ending my placement with a field trip. Although I did teach for 3 days in November, I’m still feeling anxious taking over the classroom for 4 weeks. I think the role of a student teaching can be a little weird and awkward, but we have to make it our own.”

James:

“I will be teaching a unit on “Chemical Changes”, i.e. types of chemical reactions. ​I am extremely excited for this unit and will be focusing my unit around the phenomenon of a sparkler. This links concepts such as: redox reactions, reaction rates (when compared with steel wool fire wire), ​PE diagrams, entropy, types of reactions, and reaction ratios. My biggest fear headed into this unit will be that explaining a sparkler will not be an exciting enough topic for all my students, though I can imagine the vast majority of my students will be engaged. My goal for this unit is to show my students what they can do with these concepts and how they can explain everyday phenomenon (such as “why does a car rust?”) with the understandings they gain during the unit.”

Me: 

“I am excited and nervous to begin student teaching full-time. I think it will be interesting to going from having over a month to plan a 4-day unit, to having much less time and preparation every day for student teaching. I’m excited to try new things and set my own norms for the classroom. I really want to get to the point where students will actively seek help and ask questions regularly because that was one of my major downfalls in college. It was also amazing to see the students using my own tricks for studying and remembering things for tests after the unit, so I hope I can continue to provide ways to help prepare my students.”

Thanks for reading, everyone. Make sure to check out the Danielle and Victor’s class blog next week. It’ll be the last one of the year.