Monthly Archives: November 2013

Observation # 4


The school that I am volunteering is Marcy Open School, which is a K-8th grade school.  I have done 65 hours of observation in a second grade classroom. During these past three months, I got the opportunity to know each of the students and work with them. I have worked with three children during math. I get to help with their word problems and how they could go be good critical thinkers. I have seen that these students are struggling on doing subtraction problems because they think that every problem that they get will be addition. I have showed them how to use the fact family and how useful it can be using those strategies when doing subtraction problems. It is very nice working with these students and see them progress during these past month I have been on Marcy.

Classroom as Sites for Confronting Privileges, Changing the World:

In the world problems that students have been working these past weeks I could see that there is identity and society. In the world problems she uses her students names and how many each student would get and how many were taken away. For example she would say, Malu got _____ pencils and she gave her brother ______ pencils. How many does she have left? 13.20 26,40,48.60 30,70 (students choose the numbers they want to work with and show their work by using different kinds of strategies).  Her objectives are that students get to use appropriate numbers and know how to show their work. Also they get to know how to do subtraction problems. Another lesson plan that Tiffany taught in her classroom on Veterans Day, she talked about the U.S. flag and the U.S. president.  First she read a book to students that talked about President Obama and students go to know some of his life. Then she went on her SMART board where she asked student who was the president of the united states, what are his role and other questions that got students engaged and wanting to learn more about the U.S. president. She showed the students what is the pledge of alliance and how we had to show respect when doing the pledge facing the U.S. flag.


Ensure that all children gain access to “basic skills”- The conventions and the strategies that are essential to success in American Society:

An example that I have seen in Tiffany’s class is that she teaches her students different strategies to solve word problems. She uses the number line, counting on, going back wards by tens on the hundreds chart, fact family. She tries to uses those strategies so her second graders can choose any way that will be easier for them to use and be able to solve the word problems. Sometimes she asks them to write an addition fact from the fact family and write an equation that show which number is greater or less. It will help the students learn new things and when she checks their work she sees if they are struggling with something and what she should focus more so the students would understand it.

Recognize and build on children’s strengths:

An example is that when her students are struggling in their subtraction problems she tries to group them with children that are good with math. It would help the student get help from their partner and show what strategies they have used. It builds relationship among each student and they get the opportunity to share to the class. The teacher picks randomly from the stack of papers and share it with the class and ask the student to show the class how they solved they equation. It is very nice seeing how students share their work and build different strength on math each time.

Lingering Thoughts/Questions:

I don’t really have any concerns about how Tiffany is teaching math to her students. Instead I would say that she is a great teacher and has great communication with students, parents, staff and volunteers. Her classroom is very nice and the second graders are great students.


The advantages of IB is that  students get the opportunity to be critical thinkers and reflect on what they have done. Students will make conections between life and school and they will become good communicators, which they will build their own projects and it is like a driven curriculum. The disadvantages  would be that it would be hard as a teacher to not teach them one idea that we think is correct when it comes to math, reading or other subjects. Instead of bringing an idea, students will bring their own ideas and it would be hard to view from a global viewpoint. I think that as we get used to it we could understand and become experts on this IB program.  After getting tons of information about the IB program I felt that it was overwhelming and that  the other lesson plans weren’t that difficult as the others  because we brought ideas of how we wanted to teach a specific subject, but with the IB it is so different and be open minded.  It made me think from a different perspective and not think from an anti-racist or cultural relevant lesson plan. I believe  that when we get used to one idea, it can be hard to change our idea, but as a teacher one should be open to new ideas and try new things. If I got the opportunity to work in a IB school, it would be a pleasure to work there. I will accept any challenges and get the appropriate training because I would want to learn about the program they have in that school. It will help me as a teacher to gain experience and know that I can work at any school.

Thinking through the Middle School Visit

The two learning targets:

Middle school students will be able to recognize the definition of college (MCTC)

Middle school students will distinguish the available majors in college.  (MCTC)

Middle school students would make connections among their peers and know that college is a diversity school. They will see that there is major changes and that one decides what to study.  Middle school student would be risk takers and open-minded on what major they want to study after visiting college. The ways that students would  accomplish the learning targets: I would give them a handout of  the most popular majors that are taken by students and explain how competitive it can be, show them around the school, tell them about financial aid and how to win scholarships, give them information of the accuplacer placement test  and how to study for them, tell them where they could go to get help if they need help in a math, english or etc., do a game at the end to see if they understood what college is about ( ask them question like where is the library, how you could buy books, where is the cafeteria.), tell them personal stories of how we are in college, tell them how college is important, communication among peers and let them meet people who could be helpful when they enroll in college, how to manage time and responsibility, how college can help you find a better job, how successful college can be in our lives. To figure out how I could asses if kids mastered or learned the target by taking some notes of what their reactions were before and after. I could ask them what questions they have and help them understand any misunderstood information, make them reflect and be critical thinkers after the tour so they know what to expect and what to do when they are getting closer to go to college. Tell them how they can be the future of tomorrow and how education is something that will help us in our daily lives.  I hope that the middle school students enjoy coming to college and exploring the environment that is in a community college. It would be a different experience and I wished that I had this kind of experience of visiting colleges during middle school because I don’t remember visiting a college.

Online work.

When I took the practice MTLE for basic skills on reading, writing and math; I felt nervous before taking the sample test because I wondered how the questions would be and what will I need to remember. As I started to take the practice test and read the first reading, it was a three paragraph essay where it described about Nixon running for president. I thought that probability it would be easy to answer the question. But no it wasn’t that easy one had to remember certain things and there were some words that I didn’t know. It made it more difficult as it went to the next question. I thought that I was doing great as i was approaching the math. I had to reference some of the text, but it did ask some easy question. When the math came it asked some question of angle kilograms, adding letters with numbers. It worried me more because I couldn’t remember how to solve those equations that I have done for a while. The math was more difficult for me  because math is not my greatest subject and for the reading now I know what I would have to do on the exam that I will take.  Also the writing  I know that I will have to explain more in-depth on what the question that is picked and know that each essay needs a good explanation . I don’t worry about that, but I do worry about the two test.

I think that I will need more practice on the reading and math, but especially on the math part because that is the most part I did struggle. I think that I will need to take math for teachers this spring so I could know what I will expect on the exam and be prepared for when I take the math. I think that  I will take the math after I take math for teachers and take the rest after I have taken the math so I don’t forget anything. I will keep trying until I pass all exams.

My Path.

1. I will be graduating this Spring 2014 with my AA emphasis in education.

2.  I am planning to get my license in elementary k-6. I want to be a second grade teacher. I have been volunteering in a second grade classroom and I love working with these children. I like helping them out with their math and reading.

3. The first college that I would go in the Fall of 2014 is Augsburg college. It is very close to my house and convenient for me to travel from campus to my job. I have friends that have gone there and the environment is very welcoming. The second college that I would go is St. Catherine were is in St.Paul and it is close to the twin cities and it will be nice to experiment a new environment. The last place would be the U of M which I could go after I get my bachelors degree at Augsburg and then get my licensed at the U of M.

More fun with standards of effective practice.

Standard: Describe what this standard would look like in practice What artifacts or evidence could you gather that would demonstrate mastery of the standard? Inspired ideas for you to use in the classroom, questions or concerns.
#1:  One that will be easy for you to master: Standard 4, instructional strategies.A teacher must understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.  I would provide students with different strategies to solve math problems. Also i would try to incorporate some of the requirements they need to know like addition and subtraction problems that are related to real life solutions. I would do an assessment around the middle of the year or earlier to see where are the students placing when it comes to math or any subject.  I would use the 100’s chart or cubes where they could use them when they are doing addition or subtraction problems.
#2:  One that might be difficult for you:  standard 7, planning instruction.A teacher must be able to plan and manage instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.  I would try to get as much knowledge of the students’s culture and how their way of learning is. It would help me design a lesson plan, but it could be hard because as a teacher one doesn’t want to be anti-racist or cultural revenant in a classroom.  I would try to come up with different activities that students could do or I could incorporate students interest. For example i could say that Mary had 4 apples and stacey had 6 more apple. How many do they have in all? It will help my students get involved  and they could share their ideas with another classmate.
#:  One that you question or have concerns about: Standard 3, diverse learners.A teacher must understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to students with diverse backgrounds and exceptionalities.  I would want to create equal opportunities with each student. I would want them to express their ideas and not feel fear that they might be wrong.____________________

Inspired Ideas or Questions?

How would I incorporate this standard in my classroom without telling them that they need to know one way to do a certain thing?

I am kinda struggling with this idea of how I could use this standard in my


The standards are express appropriately to teachers and how they need to incorporate those standards in their curriculum. It can be overwhelming to see all the standards that are need to be done and how one should incorporate in the lessons that we will teach. I think that now we might be wondering how will I know if I am doing the standards the correct way. and have many questions on our minds.  Also when it comes to safeguarding the future quality of  teachers who will be looking at this standards they will need to know that these standards will need to be added in their lesson plans and that students will need to be prepared and ready to learn. It will help the teachers plan out how they will use these standards  and how the student are accomplishing these standards as the year goes by.

Observation Reflection #1

The place I would like to teach is in St. Anthony Village. It is a place where middle class people live and it seems a very welcoming community.  I have seen that many students who live there attend Wilshire Park, St. Anthony Village High School and middle school. The school building of St. Anthony Village Highs school and middle school is very nice looking from the outside, the parking lot is very nice where you can see the yellow lines where to park, and the football and soccer field is very clean. As I saw all these things I could see that the community has a good economic status. Things are very good and when you walk into the school you can see that it is very clean and fancy specially the office. The hallways are clean, lockers are shiny and not damage. The lunchroom is wonderful because it looks great and there are a variety of food choices where one can choose anything to eat.  I think that the community helps out the school so it can be nice without any problems. The only thing that has changed during the years is that there is more Hispanics in the school and different cultures are being represented here

I have chosen three different ways that I wanted to explore more on depth about this community and see the changes that have been made since I graduated two year ago.  The first place I wanted to go is the Spaghetti Dinner event.  I have always here that dinner event when I was in high school but never went because I didn’t want to feel left behind. This event was organized to collect funds for the softball team who needs uniforms in the spring 2014. I saw that many older people came to the dinner and some families. They came to help out these girls. People were talking among each other and some children were talking or playing with their friends. I felt weird being here because I didn’t know no one and I have come back to a school event after two years. It was different to see how people have changed and they are welcoming you to come and try their spaghetti. I asked someone that seems familiar if they were having a great time with this event. They said yes that it was their first time coming to this event. They never imagined that it had good food and that they would help the school as much possible because students are the future leaders. It felt nice hearing those words because I see that many people are wanting children to learn and that these upper middle classes were donating some of their money to the school so they get the sufficient funds they need.

The second place I went was the football game. It felt uncomfortable going to my first football game in a high school. I have never gone to a football game during my high school years. People were setting in the benches cheering for the huskies football game. I felt uncomfortable being around upper middle class because they were all white people that I have never met and I didn’t know whom I could talk with during the pre game. Then I saw a teacher that I knew that and had a conversation of how she has been and we talked about the changes that have been around the school. One thing that gabbed my attention is that new teachers are in the school and that they are bringing new ideas. Then when the game started I felt more comfortable and enjoyed the game because I knew that significant changes were being made.
The last place that I went to explore this community is walking around the neighborhood. I walked like a normal person from that neighborhood. I could see that was nearest stores like Wal-Mart, Caribou Coffee, Chipotle, and other things that people need is like few blocks from each house. I could see that every street is clean and some place don’t have a sidewalk where pedestrians could walk. People walk on the sides of the street. I felt unsafe at first because I was afraid a car could run over me. But I saw that people felt safe and knew that nothing would happen because everyone knew each other.  The houses are very well taken care and already some had Halloween lights that felt welcoming for children to go trick-treat.

Exploring this community made me see that things aren’t what they seem to be. I saw that upper middle class people are nice and some are friendly. It depends how you treat them and they help you around if your lost around St. Anthony Village.