Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween In Celebration

Well last week was a very entertaining, long, exciting, busy week. It was my first week in the classroom! Things are going very well in the classroom. I'm still trying to adjust to the differences but I am so blessed to have been given this experience. I am learning many new things and I am definitely learning about a completely different style of school. The standards are very structured by the district so the teachers know what topic they are teaching and for how long. This is different from the Ohio standards completely, where the teachers are given the standards and they are free to teach their own way. Here in Florida they have little room to be creative due to how structured the standards are. I do love having the opportunity to see how another state's standards work though. I'm trying my best to adjust to the changes. My mentor teacher is being very helpful. Tomorrow is my first lesson being observed, I will be teaching science.

Over the weekend all of the Ashland Interns and Ashland Teachers went to Gatorland, alligators, crocodiles and snakes Oh my!!!! There were so many different kinds of reptiles and believe it or not they even had goats, chickens, and lambs. Not sure why but it smelled like the Ashland fair which made me feel at home! :) While at Gatorland I got to see alligators and crocodiles jump up from the water to eat some chicken and we also got to see an "alligator wrestling match" if that's what you want to call it! It was awesome to sit down with the "old" Ashland Interns and talk about their experiences and have them give us tips! Then we went to chipotle to have lunch together.

We have already done so much with our host family! I couldn't have asked for a more genuine, loving family to stay with for 6 weeks! I know that I have made lifelong friends that I will stay in close contact with. Aubrey and I eat dinner with them every night as well as just hang around the house with them. They have truly made this experience much easier on me since I'm such a homebody. I can't wait to have many more great times with the family over the next 5 weeks! I got to experience Halloween the McDowell way, with lots of family friends! It was a great time to get to know lots of people as well as just relaxing with the family. Aubrey and I decided to dress up for Halloween as Miss Frizzle and the Magic School Bus! We were super cute!

Aubrey and I also decided to help coach middle school volleyball. Tonight was our first game and they won! Aubrey and I made a fast trip downtown to get cute Celebration shirts. We looked pretty official! It's nice to get involved and help out in any way that we can! We really like working with the 6-8 graders and the team is co-ed which is also different for us! We love it though!

This week has been a long one and I honestly started this blog about 3 days ago! Oops! I will try my best to keep this updated a little more! I will also attempt to post all of my pictures on facebook that I have taken so far!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to second grade!

Today was my first day in Ms. Zavieh's second grade classroom. I have 17 enthusiastic students who are excited and ready to learn. I have a range of high and low students and I am excited to get to know each one of them over the next 6 weeks. I didn't waste anytime with jumping into teaching the class today. I got to teach the higher level readers small group as well as teaching portions of math and science today. It was great to just jump in instead of observing for a whole day. Tomorrow I will be teaching the math lesson using the online textbook! Teaching with online textbooks is something new for me so I'm excited to see how the lesson goes.

Celebration K-8 school is completely different from my previous school placement in Ohio. Here there are 8 second grade classrooms, whereas in Ohio at Mapleton the school had 4 second grade classrooms! Another thing that is different is that the hallways are located outside instead of inside the school building. In Florida the classes are divided up into groups of four classrooms called "Prides." The classrooms are located together in an area and there are individual bathrooms, instead of having restrooms large enough for a class and there is a large open room in the middle that is used as a reading recovery area. I'm excited to continue my learning experience here at Celebration!

A shout out to my First grade classroom at Mapleton! I miss them dearly!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Welcome to the Sunshine state!

I made it to the sunshine state safely! It was a long drive, but Aubrey and I kept things very interesting! We stopped about 10 hours in which was a smart decision! We were both completely exhausted and our eye lids were very heavy. We got plenty of sleep to start the drive again on Saturday. We made it to our host families house around 3 p.m. on Saturday. Aubrey and I were very nervous as we pulled up to the house! We weren't sure what to expect but we were very relieved as soon as the door opened and we were greeted with hugs! Our host family, the McDowells, have already been so amazing! I felt right at home as soon as I stepped in the door! Aubrey and I have two "siblings" Cameron and Savannah, they are both in high school, so there are always people over. They have both been very helpful by getting us moved in and comfortable as well as shown us around Celebration.

As soon as we got settled on Saturday night we all went over to the Ganely's house for a nice dinner. The food was awesome and it was nice to see past interns as well as the new interns and their families. We then came back to the house and attempted to get things organized in the garage apartment where we are staying. Don't worry I will upload pictures as I go through this experience! On Sunday, Aubrey and I had our first experience at the farmers market downtown with our host mom, Sue. We got some fresh veggies to pack for our lunches, this will be a weekly visit. When we got back our host family took Aubrey and I to Chipotle for lunch, they know us so well already. Then Mitch, our host dad, and Savannah took Aubrey and I on an afternoon bike ride around Celebration. We got to ride on these super cool bike trails that are built throughout Celebration in their forest areas. It was a great time to look around, getting to know the family and get a feel for the community. We came back and had a great southern style family dinner of chicken bog with everyone.

Today was our first day of school at Celebration! Aubrey and I rode our bikes to school it's a nice 5 minute ride. It was a teacher in service day so there weren't any students but I did get to meet my mentor teacher. Mrs. Cassano the assistant principal gave us a great tour around the school and lead us to our mentor teacher's room. I will be teaching second grade in Ms. Zavieh's room. It was so nice to meet her and get to see where I will be teaching for the next 6 weeks. Celebration Elementary school is set up completely different then my last placement at Mapleton. It will be exciting to meet the students and work with a diverse group of students. This class will be a great experience for me because many of the students are very low, but I am ready to add this to my many teaching experiences! All of their textbooks are online and I'm excited to learn this new style of teaching. I can't wait to go to school tomorrow and meet my second grade class!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time Flies when your having fun

Walking into Mapleton Elementary school on my first day of student teaching I was flooded with emotions: excited, nervous, and anxious to jump into a new experience. It's always nerve racking to walk into someone elses classroom as a student teacher,but I couldn't have asked for a better mentor teacher. Mrs. Kerschner has not only taught me so many new teaching ideas and techniques but has also made me grow as an educator. I had a fabulous class full of 23 loving students who had character, energy, and excitement to learn. There never was a day that I didn't walk out of the classroom with a smile on my face. I can't believe that today was my last day as a Mapleton Mountie!

Each of my students brought me a book today to add to my very own classroom library. They know my love for children's books too well! Tonight I took a break from packing and went to watch my first graders in their musical "Squirm". They did a fabulous job, and moments like this make me excited for when I have my own classroom someday. Although this was my last day with them, I will be sure to visit them as soon as I get back from Florida. I don't think that I can stay away much longer! I will never forget this class of students and all of the things they have taught me. Mrs. Kerschner has truly taken me under her wing and has pushed me to become better teacher. I want to thank her for her time and allowing me to come into her classroom.

Tomorrow I will be driving down to Florida to finish my student teaching in Celebration, Florida. I can't wait to start a new experience. I will continue to keep you posted on what is to happen in and out of the classroom while I am down south.