Internship Report 2 : LUSENET : EDUC 321 : One Thread

Post here the second internship report.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2000


Internship Report #2

By Mindy Rubinstein Educ 321-01

Manhattan Center For Early Learning Head Teacher and Spvr. Michelle Mazur

12:30-2:30 10/12/00

I arrived to class at my usual time. Within a few minutes I hear the children arrive. They proceed to put their belongings in their cubbies and they head for the bathroom. I helped the teaching assts. with the children, by helping the students with their clothes. When they were all done, we headed back to the classroom.

One of the girls in the class asked me if she could do something on the computer. I of course said ByesB and I told her to ask Michelle for a program. Ja came back with Just Grandma and Me. I read the back of the program, and I thought it seemed interesting and very age appropriate. I asked the other children, if anyone else would like to join us, and two other students grabbed their chairs and we all sat around the computer. Ja turned the computer on and she inserted the disc. I was impressed that she knew what to do, so I asked her if she has a computer at home. She told me that she did and that her BMommyB lets her use it once and awhile.

When the program popped up on the screen I directed Ja to touch the screen so that it would begin. I was immediately impressed with this Living Book program. Not only was it visually pleasing to the eye, the graphics were good, and the sound quality was excellent.

Ja and the other students happily listened to and watched the story unfold. When directed, Ja touched the screen to move on to the next segment. Also, during this program, a couple of songs were sung, of which the children themselves knew and sang along as well. At the conclusion of the story, it gave you the option to either hear the story again or to end the program. Since I heard Michelle tell the other students to clean up, I assumed that it was going to be circle- time in a few minutes. I instructed Ja to close the program, remove it, and return it to Michelle. When she came back, I had already shut the computer. Before they got up to begin the circle-time session, I asked them if they all enjoyed the story, of which they all replied Byes.B

All of the children sat in a semi-circle in front of Michelle. She began this time by explaining to everyone that the MusicTeacher had hurt her hand and that she would not be coming. She then asked how everyone was doing. Michelle then went into her daily routine of the Name song and the identification activity. Everybody participated, and everyone did great.

It was now 1:30, and she allowed the students to have some more free- play. I sat at the table with C and we built Lego cars together. While we were building, I would hold up a piece and I would ask him what color it was. At times, I would make something and I would ask him if he likes it, and if so, does he want me to give it to him. Seeing that I was sharing with him, he would do the same with me.

After awhile, I sat next to B. I asked him if he wanted to do something with me and he said Byes.B I told him to take something from the shelf, and how we would work on it together. He proceeded to take out a Halloween matching game. While we were doing this, once again I began asking questions. Before he would match something up, I would ask him to identify it and to tell me what color it was.

So far my technique was working well. They were both able to successfully answer my questions.

Once again, Michelle instructed everyone to get into a semi-circle. Once everyone was seated, she held up a Halloween story and she read it to her students. They all seemed to enjoy the story, and when Michelle would ask them some questions, they were able to answer them.

At the conclusion of this visit, I observed the children singing their favorite songs. She had each child pick a song and everyone joined along.

Every time I visit this school, I cannot get over the fact how happy everyone is. They all seem to enjoy everything they do, which of course is great. Everyone gets along with each other and sharing does not seem to be a prevalent issue. Michelle has done wonders with this class!

One last thing I would like to mention is the fact that our computer BsessionB went great. The children loved the story, and it was easy enough for them to follow along. It was great to see them this excited over a story. Next week, I will try the same story with different students. I just want to see if their reactions will be the same.

10/19/00 12:30-2:30

I arrived at my usual time, with the children only a few minutes behind me. They as usual emptied their belongings into their cubbies and the teaching assistants and I assisted them with the bathroom.

Once back in the classroom, I noticed a BblobB of orange goo called Gak. Several of the children went over to that table, and they began squishing the substance between their fingers. Since it was so moldable, children were able to make shapes out of it, whether they used their own imagination, or with the cookie cutter shapes. One of the boys in the class, Cr gave me a piece of it. He laughed when I made a face. It was definitely interesting to the touch.

After playing with the Gak for a while, one of the teaching assistants asked me if I wanted to do an art project with one of the students. I said ByesB and I choose C. With my assistance, C made a beautiful pumpkin, out of various materials. First he painted two paper plates orange. While still wet, he placed black construction cut-outs of eyes, a nose, and a mouth on top of it. Later, when the pumpkin is dry, one of the assts. or Michelle herself, will attach the plates together.

After C and I washed our hands, I asked him if he wanted to read a story from the computer. He said Byes,B and I gathered up a few more students. I asked Michelle for the same program, Just Grandma and Me, and I turned on the computer. This time, these students had me completely set it up for them. Like last time, these children enjoyed the story. They sang along with it and some of them even pointed to something they liked on the screen. I would even interject every so often to ask them a basic question relating to the story. Once again, the computer session was a success.

After the story was completed, I returned the program to Michelle, and I then followed the children to their main table. Some of them were playing with puzzles, while a few others were playing with Legos. I asked the children if I can join them and when they said I could, I asked if I could play with them. For the next several minutes, I joined them in a Lego building session. When we built it too high, the pieces came tumbling over, causing the children to laugh.

Before we knew it, Michelle told everybody to clean up, for it was now circle-time. Everyone did as they were told, and they took their seats up front in a semi-circle. Michelle started this time by reading everybody a Halloween story. Afterwards, she had everybody do their daily routine of singing the Name song and doing the identification activity. Upon completion, she had each child choose a song they wanted to sing. (Yes, I did sing along with them.)

It was just about 2:30 now and the assts. started to set up for the childrenBs lunch time. My time is up. This is it!

I have extremely enjoyed my time with these children. Every week I would look forward to seeing them. I believe that I have definitely gained fieldwork experience as well as seeing how a computer can be used in a classroom. Initially, I was not too keen on the idea. I felt that a teacher should be teaching the class, not a computer. Now I understand that it is not a replacement for the teacher, but it is actually an enhancement for the class. I hope that with any future fieldwork that I shall have, I hope I will see how the computer is incorporated into the classroom.

I am very grateful for this experience!

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2000

Name of School: P.S. 102 Name of Teacher: Dianne Ferrell Time and Date of Visit: 10:00-11/6/00-11/7/00

Description of activities in the class:

11/6/00 My observation took place in a fourth grade regular ed class. There was a diverse population of 20 students with one teacher and one assistant.

As I observed the beautiful white painted classroom, I could not help but notice the tremendous American flag. Beneath the flag were two plaques that consisted of the daily lesson plan for the class. The lesson plan included the activity and the hour at which time it was to take place. "Celebrating the Arts through Music" was scheduled at 10:00 on Monday and Tuesday. As I looked around the room, the children's beautiful artworks were displayed including a section of self-portraits entitled "The Stars of Room 24". Next, I observed a hugh blue and white posterboard making a connection between Math and Mozart. This board was surrounded by quarter, half and other fractional notes found in one of his musical pieces entitled "Amadeus".

The teacher asked the students and myself if we would assist her by putting several items in the open shelves within the room. They contained many different materials which included small pots, large wooden and plastic spoons, paper-towel tubes, containers half full of dry beans and rubber bands stretched over small open boxes. The teacher told the students that these were some of the materials that they were going to use in the music lesson. She also told them that Miss Kathleen was going to assist them today in finding music on the computer.

The teacher asked me to assist her in showing the students how they could find music on the computer. I informed the teacher and the class that I remember my son using the computer at home and by way of the internet he was able to get on a web page called "the piano education page". She asked me if I could show this to the children. I did so in steps. I first clicked on the "e" to gain access to the internet and typed in "the piano education page" in the box next to the word "search". The next thing the class and I saw on the screen was the piano education home page. They were very excited. From there were many columns on the left-hand side of the home page. Some titles included "kids page" "audition room" "interview room", etc. I told them that they could explore any of these sites and gave them a preview. Then I asked them to look at the blue and white posterboard with a picture of Mozart surrounded by quarter and half notes. I asked them would they like to know more about Mozart. They all were very interested. I showed them how they could go to "the audition page", click it on and there they would find letters A-Z. This room would allow them to learn about different composers. I informed them that if they clicked on the letter "M" for Mozart, they could find a short biography about Mozart along with a musical sample of one of his pieces. I showed them a sample and they were thrilled. At this point, with the teacher's permission, one by one they were given a turn to explore several other artists such as Bach, Beethoven from this page. In concluding this lesson, the children were asked to copy in their notebooks the steps which I had written on the blackboard allowing them to gain access to "The Piano Education Page".


I arrived in the class at 9:45. The children were very happy to see me as I was them.

The teacher guided the music activity by first asking the children some questions which included "Do you like music? Do you like to sing and dance? Do you have a favorite kind of music?" At one point several of the students called out the answers. The teacher responded quickly by informing the students in a cheerful but firm tone that they must wait until their name was called before they were to answer. She showed consistency in her expectations of the students, carried out her plan effectively and the results were favorable.

The teacher told the students that they can make music by drumming on a pot, or humming through a paper towel tube, shaking a container half full of dry beans or plucking rubber bands stretched over a small open box. She asked me to demonstrate each of these concepts to the children. Each child was given their own set of materials. I assisted the teacher by individually guiding the students in accomplishing these tasks. Each child was involved in working with hands-on materials. The teacher then asked the children if they would like to play an instrument someday. With practice, she told them that maybe they would learn to play one of the instruments here. The teacher pointed to a picture of a drum and a flute from her music book. She told the children that she had a surprise and allowed them to explore a new musical experience as she introduced them to their very own plastic flutes and toy drums. Joy, excitement and curiosity were some of the emotions I observed on the children's faces. The teacher, her assistant and I all participated with the children, which was great fun.

Researching Favorite Composer/Making Instruments-In the first observation, the children were taught how easy it was to find a short biography and musical piece of their favorite composer through "The Piano Education Page". In my second observation, the children learned how easy it was to make musical instruments, by using a pot as a drum, by making a shaker from a half-filled bean container and producing a stringed instrument by wrapping rubber bands over a box.

What I observed was that the teacher did not teach the children in the usualy sense. She provided a "prepared environment" for the children. The environment contained all of the elements needed for the children to make progress towards becoming self-actualized human beings. As I walked around the room, I tried to recognize every small accomplishment by verbalizing my approval. I was always encouraging and patient. I noticed that the children reacted in a very positive way. I feel that this was a very valuable experience for me. It was like a living place full of children in search of themselves and their world. There was a sense of total involvement as children explored and discovered,sometimes alone, sometimes together. There was much movement, socializing and casual interchange between children and between the child, teacher and myself. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2000

Elizabeth Connors P.S. 140 Thur Oct 26, 2000 8:30-10:00

Every morning the students have a one-hour and a half reading period. The teacher had just began using new format for this period when I visited for my first internship report. The new format included the use of computers during this time when previously it had not. The teacher was somewhat reluctant to incorporate computers in the reading lesson but she was working in conjunction with a reading specialist who had recommended establishing a computer station. She shared with me her main concern was that the students might use their independent time on the computer focused on non- academic material. When she shared her concern with the reading specialist he assured her that that was OK. They still were reading and processing information only the material was of their choice.

As it turns out the classroom teacher is pleased with the results overall. Most often the students looked up things about sports and popular music. Ms. Cowhey said the students were very interested in the World Series. She told me even the girls were involved and many of them liked to look up information about their favorite player Derek Jeter. She is pleased with most of the material they find and believe the level of work they are reading may challenge them. She said often the material they find is written for adults. The students therefor are often being challenged by the material and are eager to read on because they are reading material that is meaningful to them. The students are able to understand the articles because they understand and are familiar with the context. If they come across words they donBt know it does not matter because they are able to figure it out because they are familiar with the overall meaning of the article. As a result of incorporating technology into the independent reading period the students were able to learn in an authentic student- directed learning environment. The students took an active part in their learning experience. They selected material they were knowledgeable and interested in and because of that they were challenged to read broader richer material then they were normally accustomed to. Oct 30,2000 10:00-12:15 The next time I visited I saw a very dull use of technology in the classroom. Not only do I think it was dull but I feel a lot of valuable class time was wasted and the computers could have been utilized for a better purpose. The teacher allowed the students to spend the entire science period and a full week typing and correcting their natural disaster projects. Not all the students could get on the computer at the same time so they worked in groups. In my opinion this did not seem to work. When the students were not typing they didnBt seem to be doing anything besides wait and talk to one another.

I believe this time could have been more productive. I not even sure what the learning objective of this lesson was. The only thing they could have learned was typing skills. I know the goal was to type and correct the first draft but what were they really learning from this. I would have preferred them to write them by hand or use the computer during free time and have the students work in small groups and manually correct each otherBs work. At least if the students corrected each others work they would be learning drafting skills. The computers were not needed during this lessonand did not help the students learn. The computers are suppose to be used as tool to engage students in meaningful, authentic learning experiences not simply as a spell check.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2000

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