Category Archives: EDUC 1500

Observation #5


I have been volunteering all this semester at Marcy Open School. I have observed 95:46 hours this semester. I have been working with a group of students on their math work. It work with students on their word problems and went step by step how to solve them. They had a difficult time understanding how to do the word problems using a different strategy. Also I have helped the teacher grade some assessments like words their way, some math worksheets that they have done and other things that students have been doing. It made me see that being a teacher isn’t that easy because there are a lot of worksheets to grade and prepare for the class.


Evidence of family:

The school is very welcoming when you enter the school. You have to push a button before you can enter to the building because they want to keep the children safe and the visitors go directly to the office to check in. There are bulletin boards that show the work of students and dates of important events that will happen in school. It is very nice to navigate through the school because you can ask questions to Phillips who is in charge of the school where each classroom is or the doors of each grade are decorated and say first, second and etc., which describes the grade they are.  In the classroom that I am working now, it is very welcoming to families because when you enter the room you can see how colorful and peaceful it is. The teacher always greets you and there is work of each student are in the walls or you can see students working on their work.  I have seen that some families come to talk with her and she takes her time with the families by telling them how their child is doing and what things he could improve if they are struggling in something. Tiffany is a very good teacher and takes care of her children and puts a lot of effort in helping children and communicating with families.  I have seen that some parents email her and she takes her time responding them back. Some of the parents receive their newsletter by email because it is easier for the families and others receive paper copies of their newsletter.



  1. I got the opportunity to work in a group of three students who are very nice and like working with me during math. I go with them step by step of how to solve the word problems. Usually I will sit with these students on the floor and each of the students brings their clipboard and the hundreds chart. I try to challenge them by asking them if they could try a different way to find the answer to the word problem. I could see that they would get frustrated on their work because they wanted to add always but they had to subtract. They would always call my name when they needed more help or wanted to show their work and see if they were on the correct track.
  2. Before thanksgiving break I got the opportunity to work with the students on an activity where they got the opportunity to design a turkey. First I got two students to come up to the table and put one of their hands on the paint and then put it on a white piece of construction paper.  After the paint was dried, they got the opportunity to write on each finger that was in the sheet and say what they were thankful for in this thanksgiving. It was nice seeing each student write nice things and I got to communicate with each student.
  3. The other thing that I liked is that I got the chance to do a do an assessment on spelling words. I asked three o four students to grab a clipboard and a pencil. Then I took them to the hallway were each of the students were separated.  After handing them a piece of paper I started to do the spelling test. They had six spelling words, which I gave a sentence using each word. I think that it helped and they were listening very carefully to the pronunciation of each word.

I could see that the teacher manages the classroom very good and tries to meet the standards she had to follow for that year. She tries to make work fun for the students by showing them different way of how to solve the problems or do an activity that engages the children each day.  I think that all the things that I have done in this class, has made me see that I still want to be a teacher and work with students where I will try to establish goals for each one and have good communication. It made me realize that one has to prepare lessons and try to meet the goals for the whole class. It takes a lot of time to do something and try to make students be engaged. I learned a lot of techniques from the teacher and she gave me good advice of how to teach a second grade classroom. It has been the best experience to volunteer at this second grade classroom and I will still continue to volunteer.



The question that I would ask is “how would you try to engage those students who are always distracted and trying to talk to their neighbors? What can you do or what things do you have on mind because they are always going on time outs, but they still do the same thing all over again?

Final Blog.

The most important things that I learned from EDUC 1500 is the history of education, creating your own educational philosophy, achievement gap and observing in a classroom where one gets to see if what kind of philosophies the teacher is using in their classroom.  The moments that contributed to my thinking is when we got the opportunity to learn about the history of education and what was the meaning of education. It made me think that some ideas that I had on mind were kind of right but it helped me understand why one cares a lot of education and how we should view as we get more experience in the field. I think that some questions that will be in my mind is “What is my educational philosophy and would it change through the years? What can I do to help children and that they aren’t left behind? How will I get student to be engaged in their learning?” I challenge my self with some of the reading by thinking outside the box, which means that I thought how will I use these things that are described in the reading in my class. I wondered how difficult it could be, but it could help me progress and if I don’t try I will never know. It made me think a lot when I was doing the reading and ask questions to myself.  A lot of the things that I learned about the achievement gap and how school is funded helped me see things different and made me see how I could help students and what a teacher can do so the students progress and never give up. This class was amazing and made me see things different and challenged myself.

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.

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 #3


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?

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. ( 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 ( 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.

Observation # 2.


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.