Monthly Archives: October 2013

Beyond Banking.

In chapter two, Paulo Freire  talks more about the banking theory throughout the chapter. During the reading there were some parts where he wants things to be different like where he describes how children are disconnected from reality. He believes that children get confused with what is taught in class and when it comes to face reality that is around them. In page 74, he describes this issue where he gives an example  by saying ” Roger gives green grass to the goat and insist upon the importance of learning that , on the contrary, Roger gave green grass to the rabbit.” It makes the student wonder if that could be true or it is fantasy.  He wants children to be prepared for anything and be good listeners and investigators in their learning.  For the student and teacher there should be dialogue between each other because the teacher could understand the needs of the student and the student could understand what the teacher wants from them.Freire believes that  it would workout good if teacher to student and student to teacher dialogue is done in class. One thing that stand out to me was in page 72 where he  says “banking concept of education in, which the concept of action allowed  to the students extends only as far as receiving, filling, and storing the deposits.” It  made me think that students store information and as they go through elementary, middle and high school they use that knowledge learned because it is something they store in their long-term memory. As an educator I would like to teach my students good strategies how to solve math problems or other things that will help them through out their life and always remember it.

Observation #3

Context:

I have been doing my observation at Marcy Open School. I have done about 46 hours of observation hours in a second grade classroom. The second grade classroom is very welcoming and when I get there at 9:30 am every Monday, Thursday and Friday I see them working in the STA math in their ipads. They are so quiet and so focused on their work. When I am getting ready to help them I can see some students with their hand up. I know that I have to go there and help them out. I usually ask them what have you tried, have you thought of another way to solve it because I don’t want to give them the answer immediately. I want them to think what they are doing so when a similar problem appears they would know how to solve it. After they are done doing their STA math, Tiffany gives them a mini lecture of what the main objectives would be for the math they are going to learn. I can see that students want to do their math but instead they review what they have learned before and do two problems as a group where they contribute in finding the answer for the problem. I was assigned to three students where I help them on the word problems. I go step by step how to solve them by using different strategies. I feel great that I am helping the student when they are struggling. I am learning from teaching that I am willing to work with each student who is in my group and try to communicate with them. I try to see how the student solves the problems so I know what I need to focus when they are doing more math or another subject.

Common Core/Testing/Lingering thoughts or questions:

I have seen that the teacher made an assessment at the beginning of the year and is planning to do more through the year to test the students and see if they have made a progress through the weeks they have been in school. I think that one thing that is missing is that sometimes students can’t remember what they have done. Probability if they reviewed what they have learned before she does an assessment it would be helpful and they would be refresh with everything they have learned. The classwork assignments and their effort are present in the grading of her second grade class.  Common core is present because she follows the expectations that the second graders should know for third grade and modifies it when necessary so students can understand the lesson she will teach. Each teacher has goals they need to achieve so their students could be able to solve harder problems as they progress through the year.  Some of the questions that I still wonder is how are Marcy doing to help those students who aren’t meeting the state standards? How well are teachers preparing their lessons?

The Role of the Teacher

Before I started to take education courses I thought that teaching would be hard. I always asked how was the teacher so prepared and had everything organized for the lesson they were about to teach. I wondered how much time they took to build their lesson plans. I wanted to know how they could have good connections with the students and families. I could see their hard work they put toward teaching students what they needed to know. I used to think that teachers would have the day off when we were off from school, but in reality they were in conventions or preparing lessons for our class. I used to see that teachers worked hard to accomplish their goals and help her students understand what she is teaching and will work one to one with the student until he or she would understand it. I have seen that teachers love their job and don’t regret majoring in this career because it is something the love to do.

But when I started to take education courses I saw the philosophies that there was when it came to teaching. I saw that there is a variety of ways of how to build lesson plans, how to understand the structure and how fundings are in schools that some day we would be working. Some things that I think that helped me figure out how cultural and anti-cultural is different in a class and how to address them. One thing that I would do when it becomes to teaching in my class i would try to have good communication.  I found new ideas and how to manage a class by brining new activities where they will be engaged and still learn . I have seen that teachers go through a lot of things before graduating with their bachelors but I will never give up of my dream of becoming a second grade teacher.  I want to help my students be successful in everything and help them be ready in their math, reading and writing so when I give them an assessment I could know what they have learned and are struggling.  The education courses that I am enrolled this semester is helping me  a lot by developing ideas of how to develop my class and everything.

Reflecting on School Funding Formulas.

Some of the questions that come is” Why does the South have more revenue outcome than the West?” Are they paying more tax revenue than the West, it is something that left me thinking why is this happening?  Also when I was comparing Forest Lake District and Minneapolis Public Districts I could see difference where the revenue of Forest Lake is about 1,000 less and the Revenue in Mpls public schools is about 500 less by the end of this year.  It surprised me because what could the changes be when it comes to the revenue that is distributed to the schools? Another thing that I saw is that the state wide funds is decreasing each time as the years go by.

A system that I would develop so there is equitably in schools is by collecting property taxes and sales taxes. It will help collect funds for the schools because many people pay property taxes and sales taxes. People would know why we charge those taxes and where it would be distributed and how it will be helpful for their children in the future when they attend school or are in school now.  I would try to fund money to all the school by giving them the same amount. But I would also give some extra to those school where they need more materials or classes for those children to learn better and get a great education. When it comes to the achievement gap I would try to help each of the students and that no one is left behind because I want every children to benefit from this system and get the learning they need.  My main concern is the children when it comes to their education. I want them to receive all the benefits that other rich school would receive and that they are well prepared for college and other things they would face in life. I want them to get good test scores by preparing them with great things that we could provide them like iPad in classrooms  or computers.  I believe in  vertical equity because I want a place where equity or economic is equal when it comes to fairness in economics where things are distributed to schools and no school is left behind no matter where they are situated.  Some of the concerns that I wonder is will my system work if I collect the funds necessary for the school that are most needed or probability just collect property taxes? Also when it came to look at other districts I could see that some received more funding than others, I think that it is not fair for the children because they need the appropriate materials to learn, and not be left behind.

Digging into the educational debt..

The district that I was looking is at Minneapolis Public School especially to Marcy Open School.  I wanted to see the scores in Math for third and fourth graders. I saw that the third graders in 2013 when they took their math test they scored a 65.6% and fourth graders did  65.7% better than the following year. It was the same kids who took the exam where it made me see that the school is preparing them to be ready for the test. But the Mpls district thought that third grader from Marcy would score a 52,7% and fourth graders 50.4% after taking the math exams. (http://w20.education.state.mn.us/MDEAnalytics/Reports.jsp) One thing that surprised me was to see the English Learner weren’t doing that well especially fourth graders probability they were struggling of how to solve the problems because they were just learning the basic english language and not ready to take the exam (http://w20.education.state.mn.us/MDEAnalytics/Reports.jsp).When it comes to the achievement gap I could see that this school wasn’t focusing enough on the students who were English learners and assuming that they would do good when it came to testing. I think that they should find ways how to help them and their parents so they could be prepared for the tests that they would take and be at the level that the district wants every fourth grader should be.  As teachers one should see how we can help the student who is struggling and how we can meet with their parents so we could build goals for them as they  learn english and get used to the culture.

Culturally Relevant..

My dream classroom would be that I would put  pictures, maps and frames from Ecuador. It will describe where I come from and  children will feel welcome to see that I am able to describe who I am and how I want to have a welcoming environment in the class.  Also I would want to connect with my students so I can get to know who they are and how I could Incorporate some of their beliefs in my classroom. I would find books of some cultures that they were from and learn on depth so the students see that I am trying to learn about them and that we have a cultural relevant environment. For example when Ladson-Billings says that we have to Honor and respect the student’s home culture which means that parents and advocates want to supplant the entire curriculum with “African” curriculum (p.151). It makes me think that I would want to have some of the curriculum based on culture of the students so they can learn some of where they came from and I would incorporate some of the American History so students get engaged when they learn something new each time. the activities that I would want to do with them is bring them pictures and crossword puzzles where they can learn from that culture, then connect as a group to share the ideas they learned and how it connects to their culture.  I imagine students being engaged and interested in learning more than they  have learned about their culture. But one thing that I am afraid is that  students could get bored or not get engaged when we are learning about each others culture. I would want to form a community where students feel confident when they come to the class. The materials that I would use is that each student could bring an item that describes their culture and share it with the class. It would be interesting to see what they bring. Some of the questions that I would ask is how will I corporate some of their culture in my lesson plan? What things will be interesting that will make them be engaged to learn more? Am I being biases when it comes to teach a new culture to the students?

In chapter six on page 127 there is a quote that says “student’s real-life experiences are legitimized as they become part of the official curricula,” I would think very carefully  of how I would i could connect their experiences they had to what we would learn so they can get engaged in the lesson.  Another quote would that I would keep on mind is ” I’ve seen too many black children, particularly boy’s get missed over school” (p.152).I would try to help each student be engaged and help them when they are struggling, but I think that it would be little hard with some boy’s who won’t listen and will do the opposite of what I expect them to do. I will try my best to have good communication with the each student.I want to create a fun and interesting lesson plan where I can repeat the same process the following year.

Observation # 2.

Context:

Marcy Open School is a school that goes from Kindergarten to Eight grade. I have observed many things from how the teacher teaches and how the students are in second grade. I have done at least more than thirty hours already because I have been volunteering since the beginning of the school year and go every Monday, Thursday and Friday for at least three hours each day.

Educational Philosophy:

I can see the two philosophies are combined in her educational philosophy. She has essentialism where she stresses the role as a teacher in delivering a basic body of knowledge that every student should know to become a productive member of society. Realism where she believes that the real world can be researched and understood by having a fundamental knowledge they need to survive the natural world. She has those two combined and wants students to progress and be ready for the next year. In the walls I see the hopes and dreams that the students hoped to have for the whole year.  She has word wall where different kinds of words are put in the wall so students can reference them when they need it. Next to her desk she has the schedule for the whole day, the hundreds chart, piece symbol and owls on the walls. The relationship between the student and the teacher is that they have a good connection. Tiffany tries to help each student and she knows what are his or her strengths and weakness. Her room is very organized and light comes through the windows. It feels very welcoming and students are engaged to learn when they walk into the classroom. The desks are organized in a certain way where the teacher has the ability to move around and help the students. Bookshelves are organized and have books of each level so students can read during reader’s workshop. Tiffany is a very organized person and loves her students.

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 Lingering Thoughts/Questions:

Since the first time I went to volunteer and observe how Tiffany teaches her second grade classroom I was afraid how students would react when they saw me or if she was nice. I have seen how see has managed to control her students who are miss behaving and how she has a great connection with each student and parents. She is very welcoming and easygoing teacher. I have seen her sometimes get frustrated when students are not listening but instead she does a small dance with the students so they can calm down and she would be able to teach her lesson.  The students are very nice and always wanting to help each other. I have built a good relationship with each second grader this year, they aren’t afraid to ask for help or they sometimes tell me what they have done the day before.  Some of the questions that I have in mind is “how did she feel her first year when she got the opportunity to teach a class? How does she manage to control some students who are very active and sometimes don’t listen when they are sent to take a time out? “ The only thing I could say is that Tiffany is a great teacher and the staff from Marcy gives good compliments of her teaching. I am happy for having the opportunity to observe her class and getting good advice.

Digging into Relevant Pedagogy…

From the video, I can see that Tracy is trying students to communicate and have a community in the classroom. She wants students to engage and feel that they are in a place where they can express themselves. Tracy has a classroom where each students has a a voice and that they can   help each other when they aren’t understanding something. She wants to have a great communication with each student. She wants students to build from their culture and share their stories as a group. She wants them to interact with different cultures and feel that they are the same.  I liked when she asked each student which of them have different friends from different cultures? It made me see that Tracy is a teacher who likes to interact with different cultures.  From the reading  I can say that she is a teacher who is helping students makes connections between their community, national and global and she encourages  “community of learners.” I can say that she does those practices good and tries to incorporate all her knowledge and help the students be good critical thinkers in the community that they have. I could use some of the ideas in the classroom but will need some change because I will have a welcoming environment and make students be engaged. It just depends how we want to teach pedagogy in our classroom.

Educational Philosophy

I believe that the purpose of education is that a student can achieve their goals. Students will gain knowledge from all they learned during the years they were in school. Education will open them to new opportunities when it comes to apply for a job or a university they want to attend. It helps them through out their whole life.

School provides each student with a good academic achievement, creativity and is a good critical thinker. In the curriculum the teacher will meet with one student at a time to see where they are struggling and set goals for them. The teacher should seek a similarity in the students and see in what they are struggling. They will try to incorporate the struggles  in the lesson she will be teaching. The students and the teacher will have a good communication and the student will be successful at the end of the year. The school will feel welcoming and the students will be engaged to learn when they see that the teacher cares for them.

My purpose as a teacher I will try to work with each student and see what his or her strengths and weakness is each subject like reading, math or writing. I will set goals for each student so they can reach a certain level that they need for the next grade. I will do assessments at the beginning of the year so I can see where I can help the student throughout the year. But I will do a portfolio for each assessment I will do in reading, math or writing. I will compare each assessment and see the progress they have made. Also it will help me see what I need to do so they can reach the level that they need to be for the following year. I will communicate with each parent when they come to conferences or by email to let them know how their child is progressing and what changes they made during the year.

When it comes to approach the larger community I will make them see that I am bringing all my knowledge and helping each student by setting goals at the beginning of the year. I will let them know that the results of how students have progressed and what my lesson plans will be like during the year. I will be open to any suggestions or concerns from parents and will try to help their children during the year. As a professional educator I will do my best for each student to be successful and be good leaders.

School Governance.

The area where we shined  with the school philosophy is with the curriculum and how the teacher will focus with each students to help them on their struggles they are facing during the school year. We described how the student will choose when they will go to school and how they will share the power the teacher. I think that if we twisted and added more information of how the different wings that our school would have and how each of those will focus in the student’s learning. Also give more information how we will share the power or when as teacher will we not share the power? I still will wonder how will the students meet with the standards by having a progressivism school.

I would choose to work in a charter or private school where I can combine my  goals that I would like each student to accomplish during the year but still include some of the standards so they can be ready for college or a  job that they will have.  I will also be free to design a lesson with my goals that I have for them. I think that it would limit my view in schools because some school will follow a certain governance method and will need to put my ideas and theirs together. It would challenge me but I will try my best to work with that governance method. When it comes to see if the school governance model maintains a status quo I am not sure it might have one or it can change during the year.