As an elementary education major, there are required methods courses that we typically take during junior year. These courses explore methods, hence the name, that are most effective when teaching elementary students. I am in my last methods courses now which cover literacy assessments, writing and language development, mathematics, and science. Last semester, I took a reading methods class as well as social studies.
One of the main goals of the methods course is to prepare us before we go into our full semester of student teaching. For the past two semesters I have spent at least four hours a week in an elementary classroom. So far, I have observed in a third grade class, a collaborative first and second grade class, and now I am currently in a kindergarten class.
I have been very fortunate to have wonderful field experiences each semester with teachers ready to pour all of their knowledge into me. Not only do I get to observe classrooms and teaching methods, but I also get to teach lessons myself. This helps to prepare us before we go into a full semester of student teaching. Getting to spend a day implementing what we learn in our classes, with real students, is not only beneficial to our learning, but it gives us all something to look forward to each week.
In addition to going into classrooms, I also get the chance to tutor a student one-on-one each week for our Literacy Assessment class. This gives us more opportunities to practice writing lesson plans and to assess a student’s reading level. Even better, it gives us a chance to spend more time with incredibly cute kids.
It is the last full week of classes at TU, and that also means crunch time before we get to leave for winter break. In between studying for finals, there are a lot of celebrations to enjoy and look forward to. This past week, two resident assistants in Fisher South put on a program to deck the halls. With the help of residents, the whole hall turned into a holiday explosion. The first floor is the Christmas floor complete with three different Christmas trees.
On the second floor, the holiday is Hanukkah.
The third floor is decorated for Kwanzaa, but the decorations were covered by a multitude of students busy with their studies. The wall is covered with paper candles and banners in black, red, and green.
On each floor there are little notes that have facts about each holiday. So not only is it spirited, but we all get to learn a little about different cultural celebrations.
Fisher South also got to celebrate having 99% of the building complete the second round of MapWorks. This is a survey that helps staff get to know how they can better help the residents and how they are doing throughout the semester. This time, the reward was a chocolate party and it was the perfect way to take a break from studying.
We are in the midst of Homecoming week here at TU and as a junior I have a few Homecoming traditions that I always look forward to. Every night of Homecoming Week includes events that the whole school is invited to attend. Organizations are able to participate in the competitive aspects of Homecoming and are judged by attendance, as well as how they place in the competitive events. I work in Fisher South, the first-year residence hall, and our hall government competes in Homecoming each year. The events for Homecoming this year include a Color Run, Street Painting, a Yard Board competition, a Pie-Eating Contest, and our annual Bonfire.
The theme this year is the All-American Homecoming in honor of TU moving into the American Athletic Conference for our Division I teams. Fisher South is a very competitive building, and these events have made all of us step up our game. My favorite event of Homecoming is Street Painting. During Street Painting, organizations take a section of 8th Street leading up to Chapman Stadium and paint murals to show our school spirit. We are given three hours to complete the competition and it was all hands on deck. Our concept was “The All-American Dream” and Goldie was dreaming about a Golden Hurricane sweeping up the Bulls (our opponents for the game), Captain ‘Cane punching a bull, and our football team making the winning field goal. Continue reading