This week was back to a more normal schedule from the previous one in which I went on a Wednesday afternoon to make up for the missed Monday.
We started with the Daily Five again and I was able to work with a couple of students in the read to someone else group. The first girl showed me how they check for comprehension by taking note of things such as place, main character, and problem. the Next boy that I read with had a Guinness Book of World Records book to read but when we started to look at it he told me that he just looked at the pictures and didn’t read what was said about them. I tried to encourage him to read some of them and eventually we started taking turns reading a couple to each other on each page.
The kids were behaving a little differently i noticed on this day. I noticed that a few of the students who listened really well most of the classes I have observed were acting out a bit more. when talking to my co-op she couldn’t think of reason for why this might be however.
On Friday was conferences and so we also had a few things to do in preparation for this. First The students were given a sheet with a list of personal behaviours each with a blank beside them. The students were to consider how well they did each behaviour and give themselves a mark out of 4 for how often they do each with 1 being hardly Ever and 4 being almost always. My co-op gave me 3 boys to work with that she thought would need a little extra help with this. Two of them needed help Understanding what examples of some of the behaviours might be so I was able to provide them with these explanations. The third boy my co-op said would probably just give himself mostly 4’s and wouldn’t be honest about the assignment. I found out that she was right because he gave himself, on the list of about 20, all 4’s except for 4 or 5 3’s. one of the behaviours was about causing distractions to other students. During this assignment he was playing with his pencil the entire time, throwing it up and catching it and tapping it on the table. I mentioned to him that that might be considered a distraction so he could maybe rethink his 4 but he didn’t catch on. These forms were going to be discussdd at conferences and my co-op said that a lot of the students last year who weren’t honest became shy and embarrassed when asked about how they answered each in front of their parents.
From that assignment we moved into trying to create goals for each individual student. They would look at what areas they had given themselves 1’s or 2’s and try to make a goal depending on this. They were also able to consider specific areas in math and English that they felt needed improvement and also use these. The boy who was giving himself all 3’s and 4’s struggled with this and only wrote down one goal for math and when I told him we were supposed to be doing two so to try coming up with a second he became slightly frustrated because there was nothing on the sheet he felt needed improvement So I helped him come up with one regarding the neatness of his desk as my co-op had made comment on it earlier. I then helped the other students in the class to make corrections before they wrote out a good copy of their goals.
I have talked a bit about how the students learn by being put into groups that correspond to their levels of understanding So I will do a quick reminder on how that worked. My co-op tests their skills about once a month to regroup and make sure they are in a group that will most benefit their learning. these groups all do the same or very similar work in their English classes but the groups focus on different things such as fluency, word choice, or writers voice.
Something I found to be really great is that the teachers at my school went through the curriculum and put some of the goals into simpler words and phrases to understand.
These posters with the outcomes and goals are then posted in the classroom so that students can see and understand what they are to be learning.
We talked a bit about the textbooks used in the different classes as well. The science textbook is almost spot on for what is in the curriculum so they use that one quite a bit. In other classes such as social studies and math My co-op said she has to piece things together and also use other resources.
Overall I do believe that the students have an understanding for why they learn the topics they do and they seem to be excited about them.