learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

Cupcakes, Tables, and Pizza: Learning How to Divide

As students walked into the classroom this morning there was quite a buzz about how Miss Blum would be teaching math. I had many students ask me what I would be teaching or what they would be doing. It was clear to me that they had high expectations. As if I wasn’t worried enough already!

I had spent the night before polishing my lesson plan and making sure all of my materials were ready. I also read through my lesson plan enough to put anyone to shame. I was so nervous. However, it wasn’t until the students began talking about my teaching for the day that it fully became real to me. It was time to teach on my own. Though the students’ expectations worried me, they thrilled me at the same time. I would be teaching after the students returned from gym class at 10:45 A.M.

At 10:30 I started to get myself set up for the lesson. I quickly ran through my lesson in my mind. Would I have enough differentiation? Would I be able to keep control of the class? What if I forgot part of my lesson? Again, the students walking into the classroom curbed my thoughts. These kids were ready to learn. I had students get their materials out and began the lesson with a real-world problem about students in the class. This was my favorite part of my lesson and I knew the kids would be excited about it as well. I had the students in the problem act out the situation to show the division involved. This activity was more popular than I expected, as students were asking if we could do another problem like it another day. We then began the main portion of the lesson, which involved working through the Math Trailblazers curriculum using the context of a birthday party. The birthday party included division of pizzas, cupcakes, and guests to tables. Though I wish the curriculum would have provided more flexibility with the situation given, I was glad it kept the mathematical learning real-life applicable. The importance of making school work relatable for students cannot be understated.

Now that I have one day of teaching under my belt, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s lesson! I can’t wait to make math more fun for these students. The menu for tomorrow’s lesson includes group work, graphic organizers, and a fun family who needs help sharing a jar of money. I’m hoping that continuing this real-life math work will help to fuel passion for learning among students – it sure is doing so for me!

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Keeping up with 3rd Grade

I am sitting at Panera Bread with a caramel latte in front of me. On the table is my laptop, lesson plans, assessment plans, unit 7 of the Math Trailblazers curriculum, and various writing utensils. I’m sure half the time I’ve been sitting here I’ve had a goofy smile on my face. I feel like a teacher, and boy does it feel good.

At Luther, we do a methods practicum the year before we student teach. I have been placed in a third grade classroom in Dubuque, IA. This practicum takes place throughout the month of January and we are to teach a 5-7 day unit in the classroom we have been placed in. I wanted to keep my blog up to date in order to remember my experience.

I was extremely nervous to begin my first day in the classroom. The amount of sleep I got the night before was close to none. About a million thoughts were running through my mind… What if my CT (cooperating teacher) thinks I am a bad teacher? What if the kids hate me? What if I’m not ready for this? What will the school be like? I’m happy to say that many of my thoughts were eased the second I stepped into the classroom. The first 2 days in the classroom were great. I was able to learn a lot about my students and my CT. The students in the classroom are great kids. There are 19 students in the class (14 boys and 5 girls). I noticed quickly the amount of diversity in the classroom. This classroom is busy, busy, busy. There are students leaving for reinforcement throughout the day, a student who is visually impaired, math geniuses, amazing readers, and many more. The students continue to amaze me with the ideas they come up with. Needless to say, my first five days in this classroom have not disappointed!

I will be beginning a short unit on division with the class on Wednesday, January 15. The school uses Math Trailblazers, so this is what I will be using for the unit. I have been busy making lesson plans for this as well as constructing assessments. The teacher has also been gracious enough to let me work with reading groups (the school uses LEAD21) as well as teaching some science lessons.

ImageRead more about Math Trailblazers here!

This will surely be an opportunity I will never forget!  

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