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Weekly Logs 2/7/14

1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have? In media communication, the students have been familiarized with the different styles of newspaper writing and they have chosen the topic for a news story they will be writing for a school newspaper they will produce. They have been working on these stories this week and Mrs. Youngers and I have been reviewing, suggesting changes, approving rough drafts as they are completed. In drama, the students are working on nonverbal communications. We spent the first part of the week introducing them to pantomime. Mrs. Younger has been teaching the 2nd period class and I have been teaching the 3rd period class. We have involved the students in some warm-up games that have emphasized controlling their bodies. The main part of these classes has involved dividing the class into groups, giving each group a set of written instructions for a specific mime action. Mrs. Youngers and I would monitor the groups as they learned each of the actions, clarifying them and offering advice. Each group would then teach their action to the rest of the class. Using this technique, each group learns their action, then reinforces this learning as they teach it to the others. Friday was Yoga Day. Mrs. Youngers practices yoga. I do not. She led the classes both periods and I participated in both of them. This showed the students that even old people can do yoga. I think it also made them less self-conscious as, Im sure, I looked much more ridiculous than any of them did. In Speech Communications we have been transitioning from writing a personal column through active listening and into demonstration speeches. Mrs. Younger has been teaching the 5th period class and I have been teaching the 6th period one. On Wednesday and Thursday, I led a transaction activity that Id suggested. We divided each class into groups of 3, 4, or 5 students. Each student in a group read their personal column to the others. The students that were not reading had to actively listen to the reader and, afterward, fill out a response sheet that addressed the 4 different levels of active listening. Then they hat to share one of their answers with the reader as a form of feedback. This typically led to a more extensive discussion of than would have been expected if they had only written their answers and move onto the next reader. On Friday, each class took a quiz on active listening, then I worked with both of them to confirm topics for their demonstration speeches. I spoke with each student individually, getting their topics and helping them come up with a topic if they did not have one. By the end of each class, all the students present had selected a topic. Mrs. Youngers is also the director for the spring play. I have been attending rehearsals and assisting wherever she can use me. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences?

My most satisfying experiences were getting to know each student a little better in Speech Communications as I helped them determine what they were going to do their demonstration speech on. It was also satisfying to hear the groups freely discussing the writing of their group members. In Drama it was also satisfying to make it through 2 yoga sessions without losing my balance and falling. Its not as easy as it sounds.

My most challenging experience had to do with 3 students in one of the Drama classes. They seem to have taken the class in hopes of doing as little as they have to, messing around during instruction, disrupting the class, and receiving a passing grade. These students had been frustrating Mrs. Youngers before I ever set foot in the class but it came to a head this week. During instruction, they were making sarcastic comments to each other and openly ignoring Mrs. Youngers when she was giving instruction but had her back to them. I made many attempts to correct their behavior as did Mrs. Youngers until it got bad enough that she had them stay after class one day and she expressed to them that their behavior was disruptive to the class and disrespectful to her. Their dismissive response to her led to emails being sent to each of their parents, advising of their childrens behavior and that they will be removed from the class if it does not stop. Their behavior today was better but Im dubious about how long it will last. 3. What are the plans for the upcoming week? I am going to be taking over the teaching. In Media Communication, the students will move from a rough draft of their news stories to a final draft and begin work on their second, non-news, piece. In Drama, we will divide each class into groups, assign each group a number of mime actions that they must include in a presentation that they will develop and present to the rest of the class at the end of the week. In Speech Communications, the students will develop their demonstration speeches, including a detailed outline of the speech, and begin giving their speeches by the end of the week.

2/14/14 1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have? Staring the week, I have was in charge of 3rdperiod, Drama, and 6th period, speech communication, classes. By Wednesday I was taking over all the classes. Mrs. Youngers and sat down early in the week and went over the unit plans for all the classes, then she turned them over to me. She typically would spend some time in each of the classes but, for the most part, I was the lone instructor for the class. In Communications Media, the worked on their news stories and had submitted them by Wednesday. When they had finished, the students began working on their next assignment, an opinion piece. In Drama, we introduced the classes to mime and techniques on Monday and gave them their performance assignment. They were to work in pairs to create a 1 to 2 minute skit that they would perform in front of their class. It had to include at least 2 moves and 3 object characterizations they had learned in class. They began performing on Thursday and 3rd period finished on Friday. The 2nd period class has 9 more people and completed all but one of the performances on Friday. The last one will perform on Monday.

In Speech Communications, they continued working on their demonstration speeches and the associated outlines. On Tuesday, we selected the order of the presentations by having the students select numbers. These numbers did not determine the order of the presentations. Rather they were drawing the order they would selecting their performance order. So whoever selected the number 1 could choose the first, last, or any slot in between. The student that drew the number 2 could select any slot except the one drawn by the 1st student and so on until all the slots were filled. This added a little variety to the order assignment and got the students more involved as those with higher numbers bemoaned the loss of their favorite slots. The performances began on Thursday and, since they are to be between 4 and 8 minutes. Are taking more than 2 days to complete. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences?

I will begin with my most challenging experience. We began the demonstration speech performances in the 6th period class on Thursday. Before the class began, I instructed them on the behavior needed to be a good audience. Despite this, they almost immediately began to talk while the other students were giving their speeches. I continued between the speeches to remind them to be courteous but it just got worse. It came to a head near the end of the class when I was attempting to let them know what to expect for the next days class and could not be heard over their banter. As a result, I raised my voice to a volume greater that all of theirs and continued. I informed them that I do not like to speak to anyone that way but if thats the only way I can be heard I can continue that way for hours. That seemed to work because they were quiet for the rest of the instruction. My most satisfying experience was the next day with the same class. This time they were incredibly quiet for their classmates speeches. As a result, I told them before the end of the class how pleased I was by their behavior and how much I appreciated the self-control.
3. What are the plans for the upcoming week? Next week is a short week, Monday through Thursday will be as normal but Friday will be a staff development day and the students will not attend classes. In Communications Media the students will continue working on their opinion pieces, which are due on Wednesday. After those are completed, they will work on a human interest piece. Ultimately, these will be assembled into a newspaper that will be sold to the student body for a nominal fee, seventy-five cents. In Drama, we will finish the last of the mime presentations and move on to our next vocabulary unit. In Speech Communications, the week will be dedicated to demonstration speech performances. 2/21/14 1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have?

I was in charge bell-to-bell this week. Mondays classes were called off due to weather. In Communications Media, the students worked on their opinion pieces for the school newspaper, turning them in on Thursday. Besides running the class, I was responsible for reviewing their assignments before they submitted them In Drama we began our second vocabulary unit. I gave them the handouts and reviewed the terms with the students, explaining that the homework portion is due on Monday. Using the same groups as the first vocabulary I assigned them different words from the list. Their assignment is to integrate their words into a 4 8 minute skit in such a way that the audience will understand them without explicitly defining them. The rest of the week consisted of offering guidance and monitoring their progress creating and rehearsing their pieces. This week in Speech Communications was dedicated to students performing their demonstration speeches. My responsibilities were to listen to each of the speeches, grading them according to a rubric, and grade the outlines they created for their speeches. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences?

My most challenging experience was is Speech Communications. One of the students started his speech by saying he was going to show us all how to do a dance called The Dougie. He then had all the students stand up and pulled up a YouTube instructional video on doing The Dougie. When the video was over he said, So thats how you do it. His outline was a handwritten instructions saying things like, left, right, step, step. and was not even in outline form. This was frustrating for me because I had watched him in the last 3 class periods wasting his time. I asked him each of those classes how it was going and if he needed help. On the day before he gave the speech, he told me he was not working on his outline because it was already done on his home computer. I spoke with Mrs. Youngers and she said she had extensively covered outlines with them already. My most satisfying experience was in the same class. One of the students gave his speech on a subject I helped him develop. It did not meet the time requirement and was not very well organized but Mrs. Youngers was surprised. She said that, even though she had him for speech last semester also, he never gave a speech. He would get too nervous and just refuse to do it. So what seemed like a mediocre performance initially suddenly became a great personal victory for one of my students.
3. What are the plans for the upcoming week? In Communications Media the students will continue working on their Human Interest pieces, and turn them in on Friday. This will complete their assignments for this unit and we will begin assembling the newspaper. In Drama, the vocabulary handout is due on Monday. The rest of the week will dedicated to the students performing their skits for the second vocabulary unit. In Speech Communications, they will be finishing their demonstration speeches. I will then introduce them to persuasive speeches, give them their assignment, and give them time to decide their topic and begin developing their speeches. 2/28/14

1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have? This was my second week of teaching bell-to-bell. There were no classes this week that were called off due to weather but I have been suffering from a virus since last week and had to miss Wednesday because I was too ill to teach. However, I felt better in the afternoon and came in to be there for the parent/teacher conferences. In Communications Media, the students completed their opinion pieces for the school newspaper and turned them in on Monday. They are also working on their human interest pieces, which are due on Monday. Besides teaching the class, I reviewed and approved their human interest concepts and have been reviewing their drafts before they submit them. This week ended the unit on newspapers. I administered the test for the unit Friday. These tests have been graded. In Drama we finished our second vocabulary unit this week. They began performing the skits they had created last week and took a quiz on Friday to assess their understanding of the terms. I oversaw their performances and the quiz. I also graded both of these and recorded the grades in Infinite campus. In Speech Communications, the students finished their demonstration speeches and we began the next unit on persuasion. This unit does not culminate in a speech but a written persuasive piece. It serves as a transition to the research piece they are required to complete before the end of the semester. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences? My most challenging experience this week was with the drama students. When there are multiple small groups on a stage developing and rehearsing original works, it can be very confusing. It is hard to tell if they rehearsing an established piece, working out the kinks in piece they are still developing, or just goofing around and wasting time. The best I could do was to move from group to group, watch and listen to what they were doing, and ask them questions to clarify where they were in the process. Nevertheless, it is hard to quantify progress in a creative process. My most satisfying experience was in Speech Communications. On Tuesday there was a good chance we did not have enough work to keep them busy the whole period. My mentor teacher asked me what I would do if that happened and I said that they could do impromptu demonstration speeches to earn extra credit or their demonstration speeches. The speeches would be a minute to two minutes long, would have to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, and detail a simple task of my choosing. When it looked as though the class would, indeed, have time to spare, I made the offer and it was quickly accepted. That afternoon, we heard a speech on how to punch holes in papers, how to raise and lower a projector screen, and how to properly sit in a desk. The students enjoyed giving the speeches because there was nothing to lose. They enjoyed watching the speeches because they were well presented and embellished by the speakers. The part I found most gratifying was that I got to emphasize the importance of the conclusion to them while they were giving the speech in a way that did not throw them off their game. Many of the speeches they gave for a grade had ended not with a conclusion but with something like, Okay, Im done. 3. What are the plans for the upcoming week?

In Communications Media the students will be study the differences between a newspaper and a magazine. In Drama, they will begin the unit on stage directions and learn how to write blocking for actors on a stage. In Speech Communications, they will conduct an interview with someone over 25 years old to get their perspective on technology teenagers feel is important, read one of four articles on teens and technology as part of a jigsaw strategy, and continue learning about how to write a piece intended to persuade its reader.

3/7/14 1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have? This week, my mentor teacher began to take back control of the class. Some of the classes she taught, some I taught, and some we team-taught. In Communications Media, we completed the Human Interest section on Monday and began the next unit, Magazines. We began by looking at a number of magazines for ways they are different. From there we moved on to look at how magazines are tailored to specific audiences and how the different strategies advertisers use to influence readers. We ended with a team assignment to create an ad for a given magazine in one of the styles we discussed. My mentor teacher and I spent some of our planning time assembling a school newspaper using articles submitted by the students. In Drama, we began a new unit on Lip Syncing. This unit is designed to give the students an opportunity to interpret a musical piece they are already familiar with, without the pressure of having to sing it themselves. They could work individually or in group of up to four people. Monday, we introduced them to the project. We had them form groups and decide what song they were going to perform to. The rest of the week has been dedicated to establishing the blocking for their piece and rehearsing it. We plan to begin the performances on Tuesday. In Speech Communications, we have been preparing the students for a persuasive timed writing on Friday. The topic is "Teens and Technology. They have watched a TED Talk and a Frontline episode on the subject. They have read and discussed up to four articles on the subject and on Thursday were given the four prompts they would have to choose from for the timed writings the next day. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences? This week was one of many challenges. On Monday, the students in both speech classes were to have read one of four articles and filled out the portion of the Persuasion Packet in preparation for sharing with the other students in a jigsaw learning activity. What we found was were classes where only about half of the students had read their articles and only a couple of them had filled out their packets. We had to adapt on-the-fly. We, instead, used the class time to have the students read their articles and pushed back our schedule by half a day. In addition, when they did their timed writing today, many of them expected to get more time after class to finish.

My satisfying experience came this week when the play my mentor teacher is directing opened. It was satisfying to see all the work she put into the show culminate in a performance that was appreciated by their parents and fellow students. 3. What are the plans for the upcoming week? In Communications Media the students will continue the section on magazine advertising and begin the next section, analyzing a specific magazine. In Drama, the students will have a final rehearsal day and spend the rest of the week performing their lip syncing project. In Speech Communications, We will begin the next unit on research papers. Next week will be dedicated to developing the subject of their paper

3/14/14 1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have? This was a short week because there was no school on Friday. The junior high students performed the play that my mentor teacher was directing this weekend. It was very well received and this gave us time, toward the end of each day, to prepare for the next day instead of rushing back to Indian Hills for play practice. I also managed to fit four observations of other teachers into this week. At the Indian Hills, I observed Mr. Rasko teach a class on geometry and Ms. Skadburg teach a family sciences class. At Valley, I observed Mrs. Engelmann teach an Advanced Speech class and Mr. Gale teach an Advanced Composition class. We continued our work on the magazine unit in Communications Media this week. The students task was to choose a magazine, either one of their own or one from my mentor teachers collection. They needed to look at how the cover was designed, determine who the target audience is, calculate the percentage of space that is used for ads, review the types of articles in the magazine, and decide if they would read this magazine on their own. We completed the unit on Lip Syncing in Drama. Monday was the final day to rehearse their pieces. The other three days were dedicated to performing. My mentor teacher graded each performance according to a rubric she had created while I recorded them on her Flip camcorder. These recordings were then downloaded onto the S: drive by the end of each day so they would be available to the students. In Speech Communications, we have begun the Research Paper unit. We began Monday by dividing the students into six groups. Each group was given a different color marker and assigned to one of six stations we had set up. Each station contained a poster sized piece of butcher paper with a topic such as politics, current events, or technology written in the center. They were given three to five minutes to write down ideas on the butcher paper related to each idea. My mentor teacher and I walked from group to group while they were working to answer questions, offer guidance, and determine if they were still coming up with ideas. When the productivity had sufficiently slowed, we had each group move clockwise to the next station and a new topic. This continued until each group had visited all six stations. We handed out a guide to writing research papers that Mrs. Youngers had created. While she began reviewing the guide with them, I taped the pieces of butcher paper they had been working on to the walls of the classroom.

The next two days were block days. They took a Membeam vocabulary quiz, Mrs. Youngers finished her review of the guide, and I took the laptop cart to the media center while they took a gallery tour of the ideas posted on the walls. When finished, they moved to the media center where an associate gave a presentation on how to access SIRS and EBSCO databases to find sources for their papers. The last day was spent in the media center where they worked independently on topic the topic for their papers. During this time, Mts. Youngers and I to ensure that each student had selected a topic. If they had not, we helped them find a topic that matched their own interests. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences? I had a few satisfying experiences this week. Mrs. Youngers and I had put together a performance of the song Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better from the musical Annie Get Your Gun. At the end of each of the Junior High classes, Mrs. Youngers had the students sit in the front seats of the auditorium and said that I wanted to talk to them about my placement there. I told them what I had learned from during my placement. I told them they were lucky to have a teacher like her and that I had learned a lot from her because she can do so many things better that I can, adding that I was sure she would say there were some things I did better than her. At that point, she would shove me away and sing, Anything you can do, I can do better. And the number was under way. It caught them by surprise and, after we had seen so many of their performances, gave them a chance to see what we can do. At both schools, when Mrs. Youngers reminded them that it was the last day of my placement, a number of the students seemed disappointed. Some of them told me they wanted me to stay and that they would miss me. This surprised me because, during the course of the placement, it seemed to me that my participation was mostly taken for granted. The most challenging experience took place in one of the drama classes. One student is terribly shy. At the parent/teacher conferences her mother had commented that they had her enroll in the class in an effort to get her to come out of her shell. The other students had worked around this in previous presentations by giving her smaller parts to play. But the Lip Sync performance required her to actively participate. I first noticed the problem when her group would rehearse their presentation. She would just sit on the stage while the others danced and moved to the music. I asked the group what part she was going to play in their performance and was told that she would sit at the side of the stage and rock her feet back and forth to the music while the rest of the group performed. I told them that if she did not play an active part, it would affect everyones grade and was told that they had tried to but that she would not participate. I took her aside and tried talking to her but she just stared at her feet and would not answer. I asked Mrs. Youngers if she could talk to her, thinking perhaps she did not feel comfortable talking to a male teacher, but she barely talked to her either. Mrs. Youngers told me afterward that she had approached to subject in the same way I had and got almost the same results. She enlisted the school counselor and, ultimately, the student decided to drop out of the class. I have always been able to have a conversation with students, even when we disagree, but this experience left me frustrated and sad. 3. What are the plans for the upcoming week?

Next week, the district will be on spring break so I will use this time to contact my next mentor teacher, Mr. Sigrist, to prepare myself for my next placement. 3/21/14 1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have? Although there were no classes this week because West Des Moines Community Schools is on spring break, I found myself very busy working on things related to student teaching. I revised my resume, wrote a cover letter, filled out a 24 part application for a teaching position with Waukee Community Schools, and continued working on my ePortfolio. In addition, I got my certification in for Mandatory Reporter and Bloodborne Pathogens. I have also contacted my next mentor teacher, Mr. Sigrist, about getting up to speed before I begin my next placement. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences? I have had more challenging experiences than satisfying ones this week. Since I am certified as a substitute teacher, I thought I already had the certificates needed. I found the one for Mandatory Reporter but not the Bloodborne Pathogens one. I tried to login to AEA Heartland to get a copy but could not remember my user name. I thought I would just register as a new user and take the training again but was unable to because my social security number was already in use. It was after hours so I had to email their support person to request my user name. The next day, I got an email with the information but when I logged in found that I had not, in fact, had to take the Bloodborne Pathogens training. Does that make sense to you? Are substitute teacher immune to these pathogens? Anyway, I took the training and got my certification in. As I mentioned earlier, I am in the process of filling out an application for a position at Waukee. In addition to filling out the application itself, the 24 sections require copies of resumes, cover letters, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. I created my cover letter, revised my resume, and made requests for letters of reference and a transcript from Drake. The ePortfolio is slow going too. Its just that everything has to look professional and be original. After a while, I tend to get burned out on it and start second guessing myself. I guess, even though Ive been working so hard while my wife and sons are taking it easy, I do take some satisfaction in the fact that the work is getting done. 3. What are the plans for the upcoming week? Next week, I begin my second placement with Mr. Sigrist at Southwoods. I plan to get up to speed as soon as possible and spend a good bit of time learning my students names. 3/28/14 1. How did you spend your time this week? What responsibilities did you have? I began my second placement this week. It is at Valley Southwoods in math with Josef Sigrist. He teaches three classes of Algebra B and two classes of Pre-Algebra. After one day of

sitting and watching someone else teach, I was ready to get back in the saddle. On the second day, we started alternating teaching the classes. He would teach the first Algebra B class, I would teach the second, and we would team-teach the third. With Pre-algebra, he taught the first and I taught the second. 2. What were your most satisfying and challenging experiences? The most satisfying experience was having Mr. Sigrist feeling comfortable enough with me to allow me to take over classes on the second day. The most challenging experience is managing the students in Pre-algebra who dont feel they have to do the work. 3. What are the plans for the upcoming week? We are going to continue switching on and off teaching but, when I am in charge of the class, Mr. Sigrist plans to be out of the room completely so the students will begin seeing me as the one in charge. Otherwise, we will continue with the units we began on Monday.

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